Beginning of the end for Virgin America’s Elevate program

The end of Virgin America‘s Elevate program is coming quickly. When the merger closed the January 9, 2017 date was announced as the beginning of the integration and migration efforts. But that date will also be the end of the line for some Elevate partners.

Starwood Preferred Guest is the first to announce such a shift. The hotel program is partners with both Elevate and the surviving Alaska Airlines MileagePlan program. But only for another 10 days. In a statement shared online today SPG indicated that the Elevate relationship is ending quickly:

SPG has decided to focus its partnership on Alaska Mileage Plan and end its partnership with Virgin America’s Elevate program.

This means SPG members will no longer be able to earn Elevate points on hotel stays, or directly transfer Starpoints into Elevate accounts after January 6, 2017.

SPG members will be able to use Starpoints to travel on Virgin America by transferring Starpoints to Alaska Mileage Plan miles and redeeming them for Virgin America flights on starting January 9, 2017. Furthermore, SPG members can continue to transfer Starpoints to Alaska Mileage Plan at a 1:1 ratio – and earn a 5,000 bonus miles when they transfer 20,000 Starpoints to Alaska Mileage Plan.

No real surprise here and expect to see others moving in this direction relatively quickly. Also, if you were considering buying SPG points at the current promo rates and then transferring to Elevate and then to MileagePlan to get the extra 30% bonus you’d better do so quickly, both because the buy promo ends in a couple days and because the Elevate transfer will be ending soon.

And, yes, this is a spectacularly quick loyalty program integration for an airline merger. Though it helps that Elevate is pretty small.

Header Image courtesy of Alaska Airlines

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Seth Miller

I'm Seth, also known as the Wandering Aramean. I was bit by the travel bug 30 years ago and there's no sign of a cure. I fly ~200,000 miles annually; these are my stories. You can connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.