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American Express Spreads Its Wings; Welcomes Virgin America to Its Membership Rewards Program


American Express expands Membership Rewards partners to connect Cardmembers with Virgin America’s Elevate Program


American Express (NYSE:AXP) today announces that Virgin America will join the industry-leading Membership Rewards program. Beginning on October 5, American Express Cardmembers enrolled in Membership Rewards will be able to transfer their points into Virgin America Elevate points and redeem for any unsold seat, on any Virgin America flight, at any time, without blackout dates.

Virgin America’s rapid growth is closely aligned with where American Express Cardmembers live and where they want to travel. The award-winning airline services top travel markets such as New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco, and recently expanding to Dallas-Fort Worth and Chicago.

“Virgin America has demonstrated a commitment to first-rate service and innovative amenities that make the airline a strong partner for American Express,” said Lynne Biggar, executive vice president and general manager for U.S. Consumer Services at American Express. “Expanding our program to include Virgin America means our Cardmembers will be able to redeem points for reward flights that take them to top destinations in the U.S. and Mexico.”

The Virgin America Elevate program offers Web–based redemption with no blackout dates and has grown to over 1.9 million members since the carrier’s 2007 launch.

“As we continue to expand into new markets, we’re pleased to partner with American Express to extend our reach even further – and to offer our unique service to Cardmembers across North America,” said Brett Billick, director of CRM at Virgin America. “This partnership allows us to reach American Express’ loyal and high-end Cardmember base while giving our Elevate members even more ways to earn points.”

Virgin America joins 16 other industry-leading airlines in the Membership Rewards program through American Express, including Delta, Air Canada and JetBlue, allowing Cardmembers to top off their preferred frequent traveler program to redeem award flights and upgrades.

Launched in August of 2007, Virgin America provides upscale air travel for less, with topnotch service, innovative amenities and stylish cabin design. The carrier has consistently been named best airline in the U.S. in Travel + Leisure’s World’s Best Awards and Condé Nast Traveler’s Readers Choice Awards. For a full list of markets where Virgin America flies, please visit

About The Membership Rewards Program
The Membership Rewards offers more than a million rewards from over 500 brands. The program allows Cardmembers to earn one point for virtually every dollar charged on eligible, enrolled American Express Cards, with many opportunities to earn points faster. Membership Rewards points are redeemable in a wide selection of reward categories. Points have no expiration date, and there is no limit on the number of points a Cardmember can earn. Membership Rewards was recognized as a key factor in winning one of the company’s most recent awards. For the fifth consecutive year, J.D. Power and Associates ranked American Express first in customer satisfaction for 2011, recognizing the company’s superior commitment to customer-centric services and experiences. For more information about the Membership Rewards program, visit: or call 1-800-AXP-EARN (297-3276).

About American Express
American Express is a global services company, providing customers with access to products, insights and experiences that enrich lives and build business success. Learn more at and connect with us on, and

About Virgin America
Headquartered in California, Virgin America offers guests attractive fares and a host of innovative features aimed at reinventing air travel. In just over four years flying, Virgin America was named “Best Domestic Airline” in the Condé Nast Traveler 2008, 2009 and 2010 Readers’ Choice Awards and “Best Domestic Airline” in Travel + Leisure’s 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011 World’s Best Awards. Virgin America is a U.S. owned and operated airline that has created 2,000 jobs and welcomed more than 12 million guests since its August 2007 launch. The airline’s new aircraft offer interactive in–flight entertainment systems and power outlets near every seat. Virgin America offers Gogo(TM) WiFi on every flight and hosts the largest in–flight entertainment library in the North American skies via the touch–screen Red(TM) platform. In 2011, the airline announced plans to nearly triple its fleet size by 2019 and placed the first orders for the new eco–efficient Airbus A320neo and CFM LEAP engine. In April, the airline opened its new home as an anchor tenant at SFO’s sleek and sustainable new terminal 2 (T2). For more:


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