Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) has changed the conversion ratio of Starpoints to LAN’s LANPASS from 2 to 1.5 per Starpoint. This change was done unannounced on June 25, 2013.
LAN uses and rewards LANPASS Kilometers (KMS) instead of miles. There have been some advantages to transfer Starpoints to LAN and then use them for award trips within South America, where LAN often has award sales.
Now, that SPG has devalued the transfer ratio to LAN by 25%, are we going to see the other SPG to airline conversions changing by the same amount?
Right now the best use of Starpoints is often to transfer them out to airlines and use for airline award tickets in business and first class.
It has made sense to use Starpoints to hotel awards, but the continuous hotel category creep and the last devaluation of Cash & Points awards relatively to paid rates, has made redemptions very expensive considering the number of points that you earn from paid your stays. You can read my article about this here.
I am really against for airline and hotel programs tinkering with their programs and not giving proper advance notice to their members about these changes. SPG should have announced this change and given members adequate time to move points to LAN. Changing the transfer ratio overnight and unannounced, is not the right thing to do.