Late to understanding VX to AS changes

Old Jul 6, 17, 8:54 am
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Late to understanding VX to AS changes

All

I fly out of SFO and am Elevate Silver with 65,000 points and a Virgin CC. My main airline is AA where I have Platinum status.

I use VX for West coast trips and places where AA doesn't have a non stop.

I have been searching the forums and called Elevate for answers about the following:

Any help of direction to links would be super helpful:

Will the Virgin CC go away or change to the Alaskan Brand and miles? What happens with the $150 companion ticket I receive every year?

It sounds like I should wait until the last minute to convert my points to AS for maximum length of time- Is that accurate? Would Silver translate to gold?

If you are only AS MVP and not MVP Gold is it worth to fly as an MVP?

any other tips and insights would be great!

thanks
paige
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Old Jul 6, 17, 11:08 am
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The Virgin credit card is already gone to new people trying to sign up. Existing card members will likely get converted to the AS one whenever the contract is up with Comenity. Silver elevate members only get Alaska MVP status. The AA partnership with AS is largely going away at the end of the year along with Elevate.

I would burn through your VX points if you find a good redemption by the end of the year. If you want to use them on Hawaiian, do it quickly as the VX partners that are not common to the AS plan are also going away in a couple months.

The VX product is going away so now is the time to start looking at your options. The AS network out of SFO is still very limited--basically the current VX network with a few new cities coming. If you need a bigger network or go places not currently served directly from SFO, it may be time to pick a more suitable carrier or just fly on whatever carrier is most convenient for each trip.
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Old Jul 6, 17, 4:24 pm
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Originally Posted by sfozrhfco View Post
The Virgin credit card is already gone to new people trying to sign up. Existing card members will likely get converted to the AS one whenever the contract is up with Comenity. Silver elevate members only get Alaska MVP status. The AA partnership with AS is largely going away at the end of the year along with Elevate.

I would burn through your VX points if you find a good redemption by the end of the year. If you want to use them on Hawaiian, do it quickly as the VX partners that are not common to the AS plan are also going away in a couple months.

The VX product is going away so now is the time to start looking at your options. The AS network out of SFO is still very limited--basically the current VX network with a few new cities coming. If you need a bigger network or go places not currently served directly from SFO, it may be time to pick a more suitable carrier or just fly on whatever carrier is most convenient for each trip.
I actually think it is fairly unlikely that existing VX CC holders will just be converted to a BofA Alaska card. I hope not, since I want the signup bonus if I get the card.

Unfortunately, as both of you know, United is the only carrier with really significant route reach for direct flights out of SFO. VX/AS will still be #2 though. Far harder to make AA or DL work consistently (though the OP seems to do it).
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Old Jul 7, 17, 8:37 am
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Originally Posted by shza View Post
I actually think it is fairly unlikely that existing VX CC holders will just be converted to a BofA Alaska card. I hope not, since I want the signup bonus if I get the card.

Unfortunately, as both of you know, United is the only carrier with really significant route reach for direct flights out of SFO. VX/AS will still be #2 though. Far harder to make AA or DL work consistently (though the OP seems to do it).
I agree, It doesn't make sense for the customer to be automatically be put into a new CC program without consent.

I fly mostly SFO-JFK so AA has been great for me. I have been using VX for LAS, LAX (while their AA terminal is under construction), Mexico and Hawaii which is more infrequent than heading to NYC. I had the VX CC for points to use for these trips and premium benefits, but wasn't trying to get elite status like I try and maintain on AA.

This forum has been super helpful in deciding to stick with one program and CC.
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Old Jul 11, 17, 8:58 pm
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Originally Posted by spaige View Post
I agree, It doesn't make sense for the customer to be automatically be put into a new CC...
Basically the alternative result of a non card merger to the BoA AS card is that the same will happen as I experienced with the NW/DL merger: since US Bank had the old Worldperks credit card and did not want to give up customers to the AMEX Delta card, US Bank converted the cards into the dead-end “Flexpoint” card– my previously main NWA credit card became worthless to me and I ultimately cancelled it. If you are not converted to AS BoA, expect the current bank issuer to convert the VX credit card account into some similarly worthless travel point program that is unrelated to AS miles.

That experience was a nuisance to me because I would have preferred having my card converted to the new mileage program. Instead, I had to cancel the new card to avoid the annual fees, have my FICO score take the hit in giving up a generous credit line and then a further hit with a credit inquiry to acquire the successor miles credit card that I really wanted..

Last edited by LAXRuss; Jul 11, 17 at 9:04 pm
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Old Jul 11, 17, 9:48 pm
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Somehow Costco managed to convert people from the Costco Amex card to the Citi Costco Visa card without people having to do anything.
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Old Jul 13, 17, 12:42 pm
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Originally Posted by Baze View Post
Somehow Costco managed to convert people from the Costco Amex card to the Citi Costco Visa card without people having to do anything.
It's illegal to send a new credit card to a cardholder unless they have a signed a cardholder agreement with the new issuer/bank/company.
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Old Jul 13, 17, 12:52 pm
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Originally Posted by cringle View Post
It's illegal to send a new credit card to a cardholder unless they have a signed a cardholder agreement with the new issuer/bank/company.
Well, my wife had the Costco Amex and when Costco switched to Visa from Citi I don't remember us having to do anything, even got an email stating we didn't have to do anything. Can you explain how that all worked?

Sorry for going slightly off topic but it could pertain to the Virgin card when it goes away.
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Old Jul 13, 17, 1:20 pm
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Originally Posted by Baze View Post
Well, my wife had the Costco Amex and when Costco switched to Visa from Citi I don't remember us having to do anything, even got an email stating we didn't have to do anything. Can you explain how that all worked?

Sorry for going slightly off topic but it could pertain to the Virgin card when it goes away.
The Costco situation was unique. Costco's deal with Amex was more of a partnership than an affinity program. I think it included some rights or "ownership" to the cardmember population, since they are also Costco members.
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Old Jul 13, 17, 1:35 pm
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Originally Posted by dayone View Post
The Costco situation was unique. Costco's deal with Amex was more of a partnership than an affinity program. I think it included some rights or "ownership" to the cardmember population, since they are also Costco members.
Ok, but doesn't explain Cringles statement.
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Old Jul 13, 17, 2:47 pm
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Originally Posted by Baze View Post
Ok, but doesn't explain Cringles statement.
Well Visa, Mastercard, Amex is just a network for doing the transaction over. If the card issuer changes the the network they use and doesn't change the card issuer, credit limits, etc I don't see why you as the end user would need to sign anything. They aren't giving you a new account or anything just issuing you a new card on your existing account with them.

Likewise the card issuer most probably reserves the right to change the affiliate program as well.
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Old Jul 13, 17, 2:57 pm
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Originally Posted by nzkarit View Post
Well Visa, Mastercard, Amex is just a network for doing the transaction over. If the card issuer changes the the network they use and doesn't change the card issuer, credit limits, etc I don't see why you as the end user would need to sign anything. They aren't giving you a new account or anything just issuing you a new card on your existing account with them.

Likewise the card issuer most probably reserves the right to change the affiliate program as well.
Costco switching from Amex to Citi Visa is definitely a change. Don't think the Costco Amex was issued by Citi bank. Had to go directly to the Amex site to pay the bills. Have other Amex cards issued by other banks and always go to the bank that issued it to pay those bills. So don't know why Costco can do it but Virgin America couldn't as people seem to be implying.
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Old Jul 13, 17, 4:10 pm
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Originally Posted by Baze View Post
Ok, but doesn't explain Cringles statement.
As I said, Costco had some ownership of the accounts. In most affinity relationships, the card issuer "owns" the account. Costco's agreement granted it much more control over its credit card accounts.
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Old Jul 13, 17, 4:32 pm
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Originally Posted by dayone View Post
As I said, Costco had some ownership of the accounts. In most affinity relationships, the card issuer "owns" the account. Costco's agreement granted it much more control over its credit card accounts.
Interesting.
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Old Jul 14, 17, 1:36 pm
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Originally Posted by nzkarit View Post
Well Visa, Mastercard, Amex is just a network for doing the transaction over. If the card issuer changes the the network they use and doesn't change the card issuer, credit limits, etc I don't see why you as the end user would need to sign anything. They aren't giving you a new account or anything just issuing you a new card on your existing account with them.

Likewise the card issuer most probably reserves the right to change the affiliate program as well.
Not 100% true for Amex.
Yes, Visa and Mastercard are just networks. The card issuer (owner of the relationship with the card holder) is someone else, typically a bank. You swipe your card, Visa/Mastercard route the request to the issuer for approval/denial.

For most Amex cards (at least in the USA), Amex is both the network and the issuer. A credit request on most Amex cards come to Amex for approval. While they don't have any branch locations in your neighborhood, Amex has a certified bank so can issue credit/loans.

Amex also offers network services to issuers like you said, but this is a much smaller scope. Again, the issuer is typically a bank. IE: the Bank of America Amex. The Amex network routes credit requests for these cards to BoA.

Originally Posted by Baze View Post
Costco switching from Amex to Citi Visa is definitely a change. Don't think the Costco Amex was issued by Citi bank. Had to go directly to the Amex site to pay the bills. Have other Amex cards issued by other banks and always go to the bank that issued it to pay those bills. So don't know why Costco can do it but Virgin America couldn't as people seem to be implying.
Costco is a hybrid between the 2 scenarios I mentioned above.
On the old Costco Amex, the issuer was Costco. But Costco is not a bank (can't offer a revolving credit balance) and didn't have things like "cc fraud prevention". Thus they contracted with Amex for network AND financial services. Credit requests were done by Amex on the behalf of the issuer (Costco). When the issuer changed to a different network/financial services provider, they (via their new provider) swapped out your old card for a new one. While this resulted in a change to the acct number (so that the various networks know to route Costco credit requests to Citi instead of Amex), the physical issuer did not change.

For the VX cc, the network is Visa, the issuer is Comenity and Virgin America is a (dying) marketing partner. The AS cc is another issuer, so Comenity can't simply "transfer your acct". You will need a new cardmember agreement with the AS cc issuer (BoA). Having said that,it would not surprise me if BoA makes a sweet deal to purchase names/addresses of VX card holders from Comenity, then reach out to those folks to try and secure their business.
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