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I mentioned the other day that because it’s the last chance (probably ever!) to buy discounted SPG Starpoints, I’d recap some of my favourite uses this week, in order to demonstrate why you may want to stock up while you still can.
Remember, the sale ends on 31st May 2018, and when you purchase 5,000 or more and you will save 35% compared to the normal price.
Starpoints can be transferred to a vast array of airline partners at a generous 1:1 rate – with an additional 5,000 Miles bonus when you transfer in blocks of 20,000. For example, if you bought 20,000 Starpoints for ~£340, you could transfer them over to Alaska Mileage Plan and receive 25,000 Alaska Miles. In other words, your cost per Alaska Mile would be ~1.35p per Mile.
1.35p is expensive for some types of miles like British Airways Avios, but is a good price for more ‘exotic’ airline currencies like Alaska Mileage Plan Miles.
There are lots of incredible ways to redeem Alaska Mileage Plan Miles, but for many readers, one of the best (and simplest) is for Cathay Pacific Business Class to Hong Kong. You only need 42,500 Alaska Mileage Plan Miles to fly (one-way) in Business Class on any direct Cathay Pacific route between Europe and Hong Kong.
At ~1.35p per Mile, that works out at about £575 to buy the Miles required. To book the same flight with Avios, BA would charge 90,000 Avios!
Obviously, you need to factor in unavoidable airport charges and Government taxes on top, but at least there are no additional ‘surcharges’ to worry about when redeeming Alaska Miles for flights on Cathay Pacific. If you can connect from a cheap low cost carrier flight to start your long haul somewhere outside of the UK (like Dublin, Brussels, Paris, Copenhagen, etc), you should be able to keep total costs for an outbound one way below £650.
Air Passenger Duty for premium cabin long haul departures from the UK would add on an extra ~£150. If you were booking a one way back to the UK from Hong Kong though, fees shouldn’t be more than £35, so you’d be looking at ~£610 in total.
I already have a healthy Alaska Miles balance, but will be topping up a couple of accounts via the SPG sale before the end of the month to take advantage of deals exactly like this one.
I’ll be sharing more of my favourite Starpoint related airline redemptions throughout the next week, but feel free to share your own favourites in the comments!