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Since it was announced that Marriott is buying Starwood, there’s been little information about the future of SPG – TPG’s favorite hotel loyalty program. Although we haven’t heard anything about the future of the program itself, Starwood is continuing to make program enhancements, announcing a new transfer partner last week.
Last week, Starwood and Greek airline, Aegean, became transfer partners. What does this mean for SPG members? Well, you’ll be able to transfer points from SPG to Aegean’s Miles+Bonus program at a 1:1 ratio. Aegean, which is a Star Alliance member, is the largest Greek airline and is expected to expand to a total of 149 destinations in 45 countries in 2016, according to a press release.
As part of the announcement, Starwood is offering double points, as well as complimentary breakfast, Wi-Fi and late check out if you book a stay at one of Starwood’s 11 participating Greek properties by February 29, 2016 for stays until December 31, 2016. For a complete list of participating Starwood properties – which vary from those in Mykonos to Athens and cities in between – check out Aegean’s list. And as is true with all Starpoints transfers, you’ll receive 5,000 bonus miles for every 20,000 Starpoints transferred to Miles+Bonus in a single transaction.
Aegean’s awards program has three tiers: Blue, Silver and Gold. In order to reach Blue status, just sign up for the Miles+Bonus program. To reach Silver status, you need to fly Aegean or Olympic Air at least twice and earn 12,000 Tier Miles within 12 months or collect a total 24,000 Tier Miles, regardless of which Star Alliance airline you fly. In order to achieve Gold status, you need to fly Aegean or Olympic Air at least four times and earn 24,000 Tier Miles within 12 months or collect a total of 48,000 Tier Miles, regardless of which Star Alliance airline you fly.
The program used to offer lifetime Star Alliance status, however, that was changed in 2014. Although Aegean has an appealing award chart, fuel surcharges apply to some awards and the airline has some of the strictest routing rules with its region-based award chart. If you’re planning on using Starpoints toward an Aegean flight, make sure to do your research, as the cost of Aegean’s fuel surcharges may outweigh other options. That being said, you may find some great deals by transferring Starpoints to Aegean if you’re planning to fly to Greece.
Sign up for the Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card from American Express to earn 25,000 Starpoints after spending $3,000 in the first three months. There are no foreign transaction fees on this card, so it’s perfect to use in Greece or other international destinations.
Know before you go.
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