Points Update January 2017

Second post!

If you remember my post from last month, this will become a monthly item on the writing board.  Rather than just updating my Keeping Score page, I want to explain a few things.  You know, why I do what I do.

If I just put numbers in front of you, I’m the only one that’s going to benefit from it.  If I explain those numbers, I hope it helps you a little bit too!

My goal?

I want to get everyone travelling a bit more, and a bit cheaper, too.

Not a whole lot in the world of points and miles this month, but here a few quick updates!

Alaska and Virgin America (and Starwood, oh my!)

As you must have heard by now, the acquisition of Virgin America by Alaska Airlines has been approved.  In some of the details on points and loyalty were revealed, with more information to come soon.  The important part for me is the transfer rate.  You can transfer Virgin America Elevate Points to Alaska Mileage Plan miles at a ratio of 1:1.3.  For every Elevate Point you move over to Alaska, you’ll get 1.3 Mileage Plan miles.  With Alaska miles valued at about 1.8 cents per point, and Elevate points at around 2.2 cpp, this is actually a good deal, in my opinion.

Elevate Point x Transfer Rate :: Mileage Plan Value x Transfer Rate

(2.2 x 1) :: (1.8 x 1.3) = 2.2 cpp :: 2.34 cpp

If you agree with my estimations, you’re actually gaining some value when transferring from Virgin to Alaska!  But wait, there’s more!

Starwood points are arguably one of the most valuable currencies out there, due to their impressive list of transfer partners and their transfer bonus.  Luckily for us, SPG transfers to both Alaska and VX.  Now, that offers us some flexibility, as they both transfer at a 1:1 ratio.  1 SPG point is equal to 1 Mileage Plan mile, or equal to 1 Elevate Point.  Then we get that 5,000 bonus for transferring 20,000 SPG points at once.  So, now we’re looking at…

20,000 SPG points = 25,000 Alaska Mileage Plan miles

or…

20,000 SPG points = 25,000 Virgin America Elevate points

But, since the Alaska merger clearly values Virgin America Elevate points differently than Starwood does, we can transfer those Elevate points into Mileage Plan miles at 1:1.3.  So, it looks more like this..

20,000 SPG points = 25,000 Alaska Mileage Plan miles

or…

20,000 SPG points = 25,000 Elevate points = 32,500 Mileage Plan miles

All we’re doing is moving those SPG points through Virgin America first, and we’re gaining another 7,500 Mileage Plan miles.  Great deal!  One catch:  SPG is cancelling their partnership with Virgin America on January 6th, so you’ll have to act fast if you want this!  I pulled the trigger, since I’m planning a New Zealand trip in the next 2 years.  What better way to get to New Zealand than using Alaska miles for a stopover in Fiji with Fiji Airways on my way to New Zealand?

I spoke too soon on earning Avios from Ebay..

 

201701-british-airways-portal-ebay-points

Those 2 Avios were not from gift cards, if you couldn’t tell!

Ouch.

No more Avios for me.  Note these are all gift card purchases, so hopefully regular purchases will still earn points.  I think I’ll take a break from Gate365, in favor of some of the more reliable shopping portals.

Bank of America Alaska Airlines Business Card

You’ll notice this is the first month I’ve started to track Alaska miles!  Previously, I didn’t have anything earning me Mileage Plan miles, so there was no need to track it.  With my second business card, I’ve been happily earning those, and quickly hit the minimum spend on the card, bumping my Mileage Plan balance from 0 to over 35,000 miles in a month!


Well, that’s about it for this month!  I’ve been busy earning miles and points online shopping for Christmas, and now I’m moving on to a frugal month challenge for January!  Don’t worry, I’ll post that one soon enough, and you can all judge us when we send more than $0 this month!

To fatter wallets and fuller passports!

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