Is Starwood About to Reduce the Points to Miles Transfer Ratio with LAN?

Chinese-language blogger Troy gives me the heads up that Starwood points appear to be transferring to LAN at 1 to 1.5, instead of the usual 1 to 2.

The Starwood page listing transfers still shows that 1 Starpoint yields 2 LAN points (20,000 Starpoints transfer to 50,000 LAN kilometers with bonuses).

Here’s the confirmation e-mail he received, though, showing the reduced rate when he made a transfer.

I tried to make a transfer earlier today to test things and the website wasn’t working properly for me, instead of bringing me to the confirmation page it would dump me into my account summary.

But things seem to be working again, and the confirmation screen shows the usual 1:2 ratio for LAN.

So I don’t know if Troy’s experience is a glitch, or if Starwood is in the process of updating their systems to reflect a lower transfer rate.

But if you are going to make a transfer, it’s worth grabbing screen shots showing the points you are promised in case you get fewer points (the 1:1.5 transfer ratio) and need to point out that the transfer was short.

And if you’ve been thinking about using LAN for short, non-stop flights on their oneworld partners, leveraged by the great Starwood transfer ratio, it might be a good idea to make that transfer now rather than waiting (with appropriate screen shots) in case the option goes away.

I’m less inclined towards using LAN this way though since British Airways Avios points are so easily acquired, and since their chart is also good for short non-stop flights on oneworld airlines. Still, the 1:2 transfer ratio is attractive for such awards (even if dealing with LAN can be frustrating at times).

Hopefully this last remaining 1:2 transfer partner will remain. Gone are the good old days — before Qantas devaluations even — when Starpoints transferred to Qantas at 1:2 plus bonuses. Back in the spring of 2002, 21 Inside Flyer subscriptions earned 52,500 Starpoints .. enough to redeem Qantas miles for a British Airways trip on the Concorde.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. […] News and notes from around the interweb: A simple comment on my blog may win you Hyatt points and Vegas experiences A resort fee that isn’t a resort fee, meant to cover the cost of something that is free to begin with. The Hyatt Visa is surprisingly valuable for status in Las Vegas. Food guru slams British Airways salmon salad: ‘the driest thing I’ve ever eaten’ Starwood points transfer to LAN kilometers now at 1 to 1.5 rather than the previous 1 to 2. I wrote about this when it appeared to be changing at the end of April. […]

Comments

  1. Wow, this would be unfortunate but not catastrophic. When avios offers points bonuses SPG transfers approach similar values to lan transfers. And avios can be used for one ways and booked online. LAN, on the other hand is frustrating – as much as I find that the agents really want to be helpful, I don’t know that they have the tools. In addition, they sometimes cannot find availability which truly should be present (in one case an agent found a flight I had identified AA saver availability only when she apparently moved on to the next page on her computer). And there is sometinhg odd about their confirmation process – apparently they have perform some other task to confirm, and I always get anxious during that period. Last, even though fees tend to be low, users may need to alert their provider that they will have a Chilean transaction upcoming. To avoid difficulty, I always use my BOA debit dard – yes, I miss out on points, but I save my sanity.

  2. Wow redeeming on LAN to South America in economy is very cheap at 1:2 ratio. Only 20k SPG to brazil/lima and 30k argentina/chile. Why do people say dealing with LAN is a pain?

  3. Very unlike Starwood to make a change without significant advance warning. This isn’t Delta or United, after all.

  4. Remember though that you’re transferring at a ratio of 1 SPG point to 2 KILOMETERS. Although the LAN chart has some great short mileage bargains, you’re also cashing out at two kilometers instead of one mile, so awards are really similar in price to Avios.

    And the reason LAM can be a pain is because you need to allow a good half-hour on the phone with Chilean agents on a VOIP line just to ticket a basic AA domestic award – although they tend to be very friendly.

  5. I can see some longer mileage good prices too in Y. For example Sydney-Shanghai is 35000 each way ie 17500 starwood points compared to 25000 req’d for AA or 36000 for QFF. Obviously it pays off better for direct flights.

    I can see that Hawaii is another good one from Sydney in the same bracket ie 35000 points and the segment by segment pricing allows a free stopover by booking as two separate awards.

    When you consider Qantas’s fuel surcharges (which as a resident I hate) this make it great value for some fares.

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