Starwood Preferred Guest and Virgin America Elevate are ending their partnership on January 6, 2017, making that the last day that you can transfer SPG points to Virgin America Points.
Why does this matter?
In April of this year, Starwood Preferred Guest added Virgin America Elevate as a 1:1 transfer partner. This was amazing news, considering 20,000 Membership Rewards or ThankYou Points are worth 10,000 Virgin America points. And like all 1:1 partners of SPG, you get 5,000 bonus miles for every 20,000 points transferred (20,000 Starpoints equals 25,000 Virgin America points), which makes the effective transfer rate 4:5 if you can transfer in increments of 20k.
Then Virgin America and Alaska Airlines merged, and earlier this month it was announced that starting January 9, 2017, you can link your Alaska Mileage Plan and Virgin America Elevate accounts. You can then transfer 1 Virgin America points to 1.3 Alaska miles.
If you transfer 20,000 Starpoints to 25,000 Virgin America points now, you can transfer those to 32,500 Alaska miles on January 9th. That means 1 SPG point = 1.625 Alaska miles.
Takeaway: If you want to take advantage of being able to turn you SPG Points into Alaska miles with a 62.5% transfer bonus, you only have through January 6 to begin the process by transfering your SPG points to Virgin America miles.
Planning a Big Virgin America or Alaska Redemption?
Then start your transfers ahead of time. The maximum SPG points you can tranfser in one day is 99,999, but the maximum you should transfer to get the most value is 60k.
You always want to transfer SPG points to airlines in increments of 20k since doing so garners a bonus 5k miles for each 20k chunk. Transferring 80k SPG points to Virgin America would equate to 100k miles (80k / 20k = 4, and 4 x 5k = 20k), which is more than the maximum you’re allowed to transfer in one day. Transferring 60k SPG points to Virgin America would equate to 75k Virgin America miles, which works.
Depending on how many miles your Virgin America or Alaska redemption is, make sure you start the transfers ahead of time so you’re not cut short by the January 6 deadline.
January 6, 2016 is the last day you can transfer SPG points to Virgin America Elevate as the two are cutting ties. Time to make to some decisions!
Hat Tip View from the Wing