SPG Adds Avianca LifeMiles As A Points Transfer Partner

Starwood Preferred Guest and Avianca LifeMiles have just announced a new partnership. That’s pretty interesting, given that Marriott’s takeover of Starwood is scheduled to be finalized in just over 24 hours (of course SPG won’t disappear overnight, but still, it’s great to see the folks at SPG innovating until the very end).

SPG-LifeMiles

Through this new partnership, Avianca LifeMiles will be added as one of SPG’s mileage transfer partners, meaning Starpoints can be converted into LifeMiles at a 1:1 ratio, with a 5,000 point bonus for every 20,000 points transferred.

Avianca-787-Business-Class - 1
Avianca 787

LifeMiles is a useful frequent flyer program for Star Alliance redemptions, and they often sell miles at a discount. For example, at the moment you can buy LifeMiles for as little as ~1.375 cents each. So while they’re a great program for redemptions, I probably wouldn’t transfer points from SPG to LifeMiles when I can otherwise buy them at a reasonable cost.

However, there’s more than just LifeMiles being added as an airline transfer partner. To celebrate the new partnership, SPG members can earn double base Starpoints for stays of two or more nights at participating hotels in Latin America and the Caribbean between September 15 and December 15, 2016. Registration is required, and you can find the full list of participating hotels here.

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W Hotel Bogota

Interestingly the page about the new partnership indicates that they’re “joining forces to bring you more benefits.” To me this sounds like we might see a similar partnership to Starwood’s Crossover Rewards partnership with Delta, and also Starwood’s Your World Rewards partnership with Emirates.

Emirates-SPG

This would be pretty logical, since all three carriers are in very different geographical regions. However, it seems like we’ll have to wait for more details on that, since they haven’t been announced yet.

Bottom line

It’s great to see SPG adding another airline mileage transfer partner, especially a program as useful as LifeMiles. Personally I’d rather pay cash for LifeMiles than transfer Starpoints to them, but I’m sure others will find this valuable. I’m also curious about what further perks Starwood and Avianca are hinting at.

About lucky

Ben Schlappig (aka Lucky) is a travel consultant, blogger, and avid points collector. He travels about 400,000 miles a year, primarily using miles and points to fund his first class experiences. He chronicles his adventures, along with industry news, here at One Mile At A Time.

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Comments

  1. @ Kieran — Indeed. Yet rather hilariously the picture they use as the background for the partnership page is of the lobby area of the W Bogota.

  2. T&Cs state: Offer is valid for stays booked and completed between September 15 and December 15, 2016.

    In your experience, is this strictly followed for SPG promotions? I have a booking made quite a while back which falls within the dates, but cannot be rebooked as the hotel is now sold out (rates are astronomically higher). Since it was booked prior to September 15, do you think I’m out of luck?

  3. Tell me if I am getting carried away in my fantasy here…
    Is there any chance if Chase takes over the contract for the post-merger Marriott and SPG credit card, that Ultimate Rewards points will then be transferable to all the SPG transfer airlines too?? That would really open up a whole new world of possibilities to Chase cardholders, wouldn’t it?!
    Just asking as a Sapphire Reserve cardholder…

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