I’ve written before about the power of SPG points–how you can transfer the points to over 30 airlines, and do so at a premium ratio (for most airlines) when you transfer in increments of 20K SPG points (for 25K airline points).
And NOW, with the SPG/Marriott merger, these points are worth TRIPLE their value in the Marriott points system--and can be switched back and forth between the two!
SPG points are currently the most valuable hotel point system around because of their unique flexibility. You can transfer your points to the following airlines through your online SPG account:
Here's the airlines and the ratios:
|Aeromexico Club Premier||1:1|
|Air China Companion||1:1|
|Air New Zealand Airpoints||65:1|
|Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan||1:1|
|All Nippon Airways (ANA) Mileage Club||1:1|
|American Airlines AAdvantage||1:1|
|British Airways Executive Club||1:1|
|China Eastern Airlines||1:1|
|China Southern Airlines Sky Pearl Club||1:1|
|Delta Air Lines SkyMiles||1:1|
|Japan Airlines (JAL) Mileage Bank||1:1|
|LATAM Airlines LATAM Pass||1:1.5|
|Miles and More||1:1|
|Saudi Arabian Airlines||1:1|
|Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer||1:1|
|Thai Airways International Royal Orchid Plus||1:1|
|United Mileage Plus||2:1|
|Virgin America Elevate||1:1|
|Virgin Atlantic Flying Club||1:1|
It's a great way to top up your frequent flyer miles with a certain airline for a free flight. Flying Blue (Air France's air miles system) is a gem, and can get you flights for less points than other airlines with more availability at times.
Now how will you get the points? If you click on either the business or personal link above, you’ll only have to spend $500 in 3 months to get 20K SPG points. Get your significant other to apply, and you can either use it to transfer to an airline point system that will take you BOTH, for example, to Seattle/L.A (long haul flight across North America). Cheapest way is with Aeroplan as the conversion is 1:1 + 5K bonus Aeroplan points when converting 20K SPG points or to United points,–while they have a LOT of availability for Air Canada flights without the high taxes–unfortunately, with SPG, they only transfer to United at a 50% conversion (1:2). It’s unfortunately the only way I know of in Canada to earn United miles (other than RocketMiles, a website that gives you points for booking hotel stays that you can transfer to United, many other airlines, and even Amazon for gift cards--oh, and of course, by FLYING and PAYING for a United flight--what a concept).
United miles are amazing in some cases. For example, YYZ-LAX for next to nothing in taxes with lots of availability. YYZ-TLV on Air Canada, for NO fuel surcharges! If you have a Social Security Number, you’d definitely want to get the Chase United Mileage Visa, that offers terrific features, along with a 50K welcome bonus (at certain times or if you already have a chunk of miles in your account–how many, I’m not sure about). If you sign up for a United Mileage card and then attempt to book a flight, you’ll see the offer going from a 30K welcome bonus + $30 statement credit to a 50K + $50 +5K more for a secondary cardholder. Ahhh, America–you gotta love their credit card offers!