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The brilliant arbitrage situation where it is possible to get 1.625 Alaska Mileage Plan Miles for every SPG Starpoint by transferring via Virgin America Elevate, is (predictably) being shut down on 6th January 2017.
Starwood confirmed a few days ago that Virgin America Elevate would cease to be a Starpoints transfer partner from that date, meaning that some other great redemption opportunities will be going away then too:
“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.”
You still have a week to make transfers and take advantage of some fantastic value redemptions, so although I’m sad to see Virgin America Elevate go, at least enough notice has been given to prepare.
Remember that today is also the last day to purchase discounted Starpoints!
Definitely bad news, but also quite predictable. If you think you might want to redeem Virgin America Elevate or Alaska Mileage Plan Miles in the next year or so, now is the time to transfer!