Starwood Cuts Transfer Rate To LANPass By 25%, Is It Still Worth It?

by on July 2, 2013 · 7 comments

in Lan, Starwood

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One of the best aspects of the Starwood Preferred Guest program is the fact that you can transfer Starpoints to any of 31 airline partners, making them extremely versatile both for topping up account balances, as well as giving you a 25% bonus when you transfer in increments of 20,000 points to most partners.

Starpoints transfer to most partners at a 1:1 rate (with the unfortunate exception of 2:1 to United), but until now, they also transferred at a rate of 1:2 to LAN’s LANPASS frequent flyer program. However, just last week, the transfer rate was reduced to 1 Starpoint to 1.5 LANPASS kilometers – a 25% devaluation.

LAN Airlines Boeing 767-300ER_PAOC

Flights on LAN can still be earned with SPG points, but you will now need more.

There had been speculation about the reduction over the past couple of months and now the Starwood website confirms the new figures, stating that you can transfer up to 79,999 Starpoints into LANPASS Kms at a ratio of 1:1.5, although no official announcement was made.

The Starpoints transfer rate to LANPASS is now at 1:1.5.

The Starpoints transfer rate to LANPASS is now at 1:1.5

LAN is the premier Oneworld carrier servicing South America with multiple hubs, such as Lima, Peru, Guayaquil, Ecuador, and Santiago, Chile, so Starwood points can be used to book flights or upgrades such as the one I took my mom on in Premium Business Class from Miami to Santiago and Santiago out to Easter Island in May  for Mother’s Day.

SPG LAN transfer rate

Although it is now not as lucrative, a SPG to LANPASS transfer could still be a wise choice for expensive short-haul flights (of which there are a lot within South America) and certain other options. For flights operated by LAN, you can find the mileage chart here. But for example, for flights within the Argentina, Chile and Uruguay zone, a roundtrip economy ticket is 24,000 LANPASS kilometers. That would only require 16,000 Starpoints.

There are still some decent redemptions despite the devaluation - especially to/from North America

There are still some decent redemptions despite the devaluation – especially to/from North America

On LAN flights to/from the US to Southern South America (Argentina, Chile, Uruguay), you need 70,000 kilometers for economy roundtrip – which would only require you to transfer 42,000 Starpoints. A business class ticket requires 150,000 kilometers, so you’d only need to transfer 80,000 Starpoints (pretty much in line with transferring to American).

On the other hand, if you were just flying to Peru or Brazil from North America, you’d only need 48,000 LANPASS kilometers for economy or 100,000 for Business – meaning you’d just have to transfer 27,000 Starpoints for economy or 57,000 miles for business class – a pretty good deal.

Failing all else, you can still transfer Starpoints to American Airlines and use AAdvantage miles to book your LAN flights. Or possibly even better, you can transfer Starpoints (or Amex Membership Rewards or Chase Ultimate Rewards) to British Airways and book short-haul flights at sometimes lower mileage levels since BA’s Avios program is distance-based and shorter flights require fewer miles – sometimes far fewer than the LANPASS kilometers needed – and can come in very handy for flights like TPG Managing Editor Eric’s expensive short-haul from Buenos Aires to Iguazu earlier this year.

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  • hom

    another starwood devaluation this year.

  • Jenny

    Last month I got an SPG card and this week I made my first purchase. When can I expect the initial points to show up on my online account? The online page of my account says “not enrolled in an awards program” so I’m not even sure that I’m earning points like I’m supposed to. Any advice?

  • disqust101

    Yet another reason why SPG blows chunks.

  • LCChile

    I got rid of the SPG card although did transfer all my points to LAN before the devaluation. Took 35+ days to appear. That being said, should note that LAN domestic flights that before were available to be booked via BA Avios are no longer are available (airport codes don’t work on their site and agent said no longer can book them manually either). As such, may make this worth considering yet for internal S. America flights which can be ridiculously high. LAN is now LATAM and a total monopoly.

  • David sparks

    Be careful transferring to LAN. Those 48k awards between US and Northern South America exist in theory but in practice availabilty is scant. Often those flights are at 128k, in economy. I have had far better luck — and gotten far better value from my SPG points — transferring to American and booking LAN flights on those routes via Oneworld awards.

  • Travelista

    I think the math’s off starting at “On LAN flights to/from the US…”
    How do you make 30k starpoints into 70LAN km etc with a transfer ratio of 1:1.5?

  • Josh

    It will be after your first statement.

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