Today we’d like to remind readers who hold Starwood SPG Platinum Status that it’s possible to transfer SPG points to airline miles starting at just one 1 (one) mile transactions.
While this might sound pretty stupid it does actually have plenty of purposes such as ‘pinging’ an airline account with an activity to keep your balance from expiring or to top up the balance to the nearest 1000′ level for purposes of a redemption.
You can access SPG’s page for airline partners here.
READ MORE: SPG Rate & Bonus Points And Miles Promotions
Most airline loyalty programs have now shifted to a policy that requires a transaction on the account in specific time frames between 12-24 months in order to keep the mileage balance from expiring.
This can be tricky especially if one has many accounts of which a few are dormant without any transactions. Maybe you applied for a credit card a few years back because there was an interesting signup bonus and there are 50,000 miles on that loyalty account that you haven’t used so far.
Alaska Airlines has a 24 months ‘active account’ policy and while they say their miles don’t expire Alaska ties their expiration of the miles to the account being active which requires activity within 24 months. The language is rather vague:
Mileage Plan miles do not have an expiration date and may remain in an active account indefinitely, provided that the Mileage Plan program has not been terminated pursuant to these conditions of membership. Activity in an account includes redeeming a Mileage Plan award or accruing mileage in the Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan program. However, notwithstanding any term to the contrary, if a Mileage Plan account is inactive for 2 years, Alaska Airlines may close the account, delete any mileage balance and reassign the Mileage Plan number.
This is one example where it’s great to just dump 1 mile into the account for an activity ping and to extend the lifetime of the account for another 24 months just as I did last year:
I’m in that situation with Avianca LifeMiles right now and had a balance of xx,904 miles as a balance. I decided to transfer 96 SPG points, converted to 96 Lifemiles.
The advantage of this is I don’t have to pay for an additional full 1000 miles either by purchasing them or using the cash&miles option which depending on the airline can save money that’s unnecessary to spend for purchasing another 1k in order to issue the award.
This feature with Starwood Preferred Guest is exclusive to Platinum Members, Gold and Non-Status members have to transfer a minimum of 2,500 Starpoints. Reason for me writing this today is because just this week I talked to another longstanding SPG Platinum friend who didn’t even know about this feature and it wasn’t the first time I ran into folks who didn’t know that you can transfer even as little as one point.