Update: Starwood is claiming this was a glitch, and that it should be updated soon. I guess we’ll see — clearly something is up, though.
This has been a big week for Alaska Mileage Plan. On Monday we learned that their partnership with Delta is ending, that they’re making some great changes to the program, and at what rate Virgin America points will convert into Alaska miles.
That last part has opened up a pretty cool opportunity, as I wrote about yesterday:
- Starpoints convert into Alaska Mileage Plan and Virgin America points at a 1:1 ratio, with a 5,000 point bonus for every 20,000 points transferred
- Virgin America points will convert into Alaska miles at a 1:1.3 ratio
- This means you can convert 20,000 Starpoints into 25,000 Virgin America Elevate points, and then convert those into 32,500 Alaska miles, which is a 62.5% bonus when converting Starpoints into Alaska miles
That’s a fantastic transfer ratio that could be worth it under many circumstances. Unfortunately it looks like it didn’t last long, as Virgin America Elevate has been removed as a Starwood Preferred Guest transfer partner. When you now go to the SPG points transfer page you’ll see that Virgin America is no longer listed as a partner.
I think we all knew that Virgin America would be removed as a Starwood Preferred Guest transfer partner sooner rather than later, given how generous this opportunity was. My guess is that they’re justifying this on the basis that Starpoints can still be converted into Alaska miles, so it’s not like the opportunity as such is gone. Rather they’re just eliminating the opportunity to get an even more favorable ratio.
Virgin America Elevate is also partners with Amex Membership Rewards and Citi ThankYou, though Citi has announced that ThankYou points will no longer transfer to Virgin America Elevate as of January 22, 2017. However, that ratio wasn’t as favorable, given that points transfer 2:1 rather than 1:1.
Being able to convert Starpoints into Alaska miles with a 62.5% bonus by way of transferring to Virgin America represented a great deal for the brief period it was possible. Unfortunately I’m not surprised to see Virgin America cut as a transfer partner, though I am disappointed by the lack of notice of this change.
Did you manage to transfer Starpoints to Virgin America before they shut down transfers?