Singapore Airlines has released their redemption chart for flights on Virgin America. Keep in mind that Singapore Airlines is a transfer partner of American Express Membership Rewards, and since it is a foreign partner, there are no transfer fees involved (unlike transfers to say, Delta SkyMiles).
While I agree that this isn’t a particularly lucrative award chart for premium cabin flyers, there are a couple of options that could make some sense to those with Membership Rewards points who don’t mind economy.
One is the intra-West Coast redemption option, which includes flights between Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Palm Springs, Portland, San Diego, San Francisco, San Jose, and Seattle. It’s 9,000 Krisflyer miles for a one-way flight + $2.50 for the security tax. Most of these flights can be purchased with just 4500 or 7500 Avios provided you find a direct flight on American or Alaska Airlines. However, San Diego to Seattle may require a connection along the way, which would increase the price to 9,000 Avios or 12,000 Avios. This means that a connecting itinerary makes as much sense to book with Krisflyer as with Avios.
West Coast to Mexico (including Cancun)
In addition, Cancun from the West Coast seems to be a good option as well at 16K miles per person one-way. Virgin America flies from both LAX and SFO to Cancun, and since you don’t have to pay miles per segment (like with Avios), you can position from other west coast cities for only $2.50 per segment. Seattle-Cancun via Dallas on American Airlines would cost 17,500 Avios, compared to 16K Krisflyer for Seattle-San Francisco-Cancun (and you get funky mood lighting on the way to your Mexican vacation).
Free Stopover Analysis vs. Avios
If you book a one-way flight, you get no free stopover. However, round-trip itineraries can take advantage of a free stopover. With a free stopover, that means I could fly something like Los Angeles – Seattle, Seattle – San Francisco, San Francisco-Los Angeles for 18,000 miles + $7.50. The same trip using Avios for flights on Alaska Airlines and American Airlines would cost 19,500 Avios + $7.50. Granted, there have been multiple transfer bonuses for Membership Rewards -> Avios transfers, and the transfers are instant unlike Singapore Krisflyer. However, if you’re west-coast based and have some spare Krisflyer miles hanging around, a Virgin America redemption could be worthwhile.