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Recently, Starwood announced that they were cutting ties with Virgin America. This means you only have until TODAY January 6, 2017, to transfer SPG points to Virgin America points. And while Virgin America points can be valuable in themselves, the real value here is to eventually then transfer your Virgin America points to Alaska Airline miles. This transfer road will actually be one of the better options if you like to redeem your hard earned hotel points for airline miles. Personally, I like to keep my SPG points for Starwood hotel stays unless I have a specific flight in mind where I am in need for more miles.
SPG points transfer to Alaska Airline miles at a 1:1 ratio. However, for every 20,000 points transferred, you’ll receive a 5,000 point bonus. This is for all transfer to airlines. That means, 20,000 SPG points = 25,000 Virgin America points. Then, starting on January 9th, you will be able to transfer your Virgin America points to Alaska Airline miles at a 1:13 rate. Ultimately, once you complete the two separate transfers, that means you are transferring SPG points to Alaska Airline miles at a 1:1625. This assumes you transfer in 20,000 point increments due to the 5,000 point bonus. Alaska Airline miles are worth somewhere between 1.6-2.0 miles per cent.
Alaska Airlines offers a ton of flexibility for award redemptions because you are not locked into just one alliance. They have partnered with many airlines, which means you have more wiggle to get the flight you want. For many routes, the number of points required to redeem a free flight are far less then with partner airlines. Their program also allows a free stopover on both one-way and round-trip awards. You can also cancel an award ticket 60+ days out and pay no fees!
You can check out Alaska Airlines award costs here. It is a very favorable chart and if you have some upcoming trips you are looking to plan I highly suggest checking it out to see if this program works for you!