Starwood Preferred Guest Gives Us Notice When Virgin America Partnership Is Ending

Note: This is a re-post from yesterday.  There was a database error that caused it to disappear.  I wanted to make sure the information was available for folks considering a transfer.

Now that Alaska Airlines and Virgin America are officially merged, details are coming into focus on the future.  You might think Alaska Airlines isn’t a good fit for you, but you might be surprised.

Alaska Airlines runs a distance-based loyalty program.  Customers earn miles based on how far they fly.  Virgin America’s program awards miles based on how much customers spend.  That creates some imbalance the programs are addressing.  In the short-term, there’s a strategy on how to earn really big bonuses when you transfer points from Starwood Preferred Guest to Virgin and then to Alaska.

Like all great deals in the miles and points world, this one isn’t going to last long.  We thought SPG and Virgin ended the partnership without notice last week.  Instead, we learn today through a post on InsideFlyer that the partnership will end January 6th:

SPG has a long-standing partnership with both Alaska Airlines and Virgin America, and was excited to hear the news about the official close of their merger. This presents a great opportunity for Elevate members to join and enjoy all the benefits of Alaska’s award-winning Mileage Plan starting January 9th. Instead, SPG has decided to focus its partnership on Alaska Mileage Plan and end its partnership with Virgin America’s Elevate program.

This means SPG members will no longer be able to earn Elevate points on hotel stays, or directly transfer Starpoints into Elevate accounts after January 6, 2017.

SPG members will be able to use Starpoints to travel on Virgin America by transferring Starpoints to Alaska Mileage Plan miles and redeeming them for Virgin America flights on alaskaair.com starting January 9, 2017. Furthermore, SPG members can continue to transfer Starpoints to Alaska Mileage Plan at a 1:1 ratio – and earn a 5,000 bonus miles when they transfer 20,000 Starpoints to Alaska Mileage Plan.

The Final Two Pennies

This axe was expected to fall at some point.  I’m pleased that SPG and Alaska/Virgin are giving customers notice.  This gives you a chance to make a last transfer if they were planning on it.  There’s nothing much worse in our game than saving towards a key award and seeing the option disappear without notice.  It’s less than 2 weeks notice, but hopefully enough time for folks who want to take advantage of this.

The post SPG Gives Notice That Virgin America Partnership Is Ending was published first on Pizza in Motion

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