Virgin America, the upscale, low-cost airline today announces an exciting new partnership with Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG), the award winning loyalty program of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc. Beginning immediately, SPG members will be able to transfer Starpoints into Elevate points at a 1-to-1 ratio, and Elevate members will earn two points for every one dollar spent on Starwood Hotel stays. The transfer ratio becomes 1-to-1.25 when transferring 20K Starpoints, since you get a 5K bonus.
This adds more value to SPG points which are already the best in the trade. They have tons of transfer partners, most of them with great rates. The Virgin America Elevate loyalty program has some good value of its own. Unlike many other airline rewards programs, Elevate has no blackout dates or restrictions. Members can redeem points for flights starting at 2,500 points. The amount of points required to redeem for a reward flight is directly tied to the revenue cost of the ticket. There’s no fixed value to Elevate points but you can expect an average value of 2.2 cents per point.
You can also get some tremendous value on travel abroad by redeeming with their partners, Virgin Atlantic, Virgin Australia, Emirates, Hawaiian and Singapore Airlines.
Virgin America and Starwood have also partnered to create two tropical SPG MomentsSM to commemorate the partnership launch. SPG members can start bidding today on packages for two to Maui and Honolulu that include seats on Virgin America’s inaugural flights to both locations and a four-night stay at either the Westin Maui or the Sheraton Waikiki. Both packages offer amazing foodie extras including a tour of Maui farms followed by a private lunch using collected ingredients, or an one-hour chartered Mai Tai Catamaran ride around the coastline of Oahu and a private 5-course wine pairing dinner on the pool lawn at the Sheraton Waikiki. These Moments also include Gold status on Virgin America for one year. For more information on SPG’s Moments, including a complete schedule of 2016 events and bidding details, please visit spg.com/moments.
As you’ve probably heard by now, both companies will be gone soon. Alaska Air acquired Virgin America in a $4bn deal and SPG was taken over by Marriot for $14bn after a short bidding war.