SPG-Virgin Transfers End, New Routes Begin and More… A Look Ahead at the First Week of 2017

Jan 1, 2017

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Happy New Year! If you were out a little late last night and your head is screaming “WHY!!!” as you read this, don’t worry — that’s something we call “fortitude.” It means you made it through 2016 and even New Year’s Eve 2017. Congratulations! Give yourself a pat on the back and grab some coffee, some Tylenol and some greasy food, because it’s time for a look at what’s coming up this week in the world of points, miles and travel.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

You can only buy 150,000 American miles per calendar year, but guess what? We’re in a new year! The counter has reset and Tuesday is the last day to take advantage of American Airlines’ current offer to purchase miles with up to an 80% bonus. We generally don’t recommend buying miles speculatively and the cost of miles via this promotion on its own doesn’t quite equal our TPG valuation of 1.5 cents per point for AAdvantage miles. But readers report these points purchases do qualify for the 5x category bonus on the Platinum Card from American Express. So do the math and see if this bonus makes sense for you.

JetBlue has a new route to Aruba starting this week. Image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

On Wednesday JetBlue launches its daily nonstop flight between Ft. Lauderdale and Aruba. While this route won’t have the carrier’s famous Mint cabin, it should be more convenient for those living in the southern part of the country than the current JetBlue offerings from New York and Boston.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

With Aer Lingus now a member of the British Airways-Iberia triad, last month a new sweet spot opened on the British Airways Avios mileage chart. As a result, you can now find terrific value on award flights from the US to Europe (meaning Ireland) during off-peak sections of the award calendar.

When does off-peak season start? This Thursday. That means there will be 10 new routes you can fly in economy for only 13,000 Avios each way instead of the previous 20,000 Avios. Off-peak season runs from this Thursday to June 16, with the exception of a blackout period from April 7-23. If you’re thinking of going to Europe in the spring, take a good look at using Avios.

Friday, January 6, 2017

The major event of the week. The partnership between Virgin America and Starwood Preferred Guest officially ends on Friday, which means Virgin will no longer be a transfer partner of SPG. So if you want to transfer Starpoints into your Virgin America Elevate account and potentially take advantage of the opportunity to get extra Alaska Airlines miles when transferring via Virgin America, the last day of the upcoming workweek is your final chance to do it.

img-alaska-shopping-1000

Sunday, January 8, 2017

And finally, while the holiday shopping season is over, you still have until Sunday to pick up an extra 1,000 Alaska bonus miles when shopping online through the Alaska Mileage Plan shopping portal. There are currently identical offers available for the American and United portals, but those expire earlier on Tuesday and Friday, respectively. So if it takes until next Sunday for your New Year’s hangover to clear, make sure Alaska is your shopping portal of choice.

Welcome to 2017, everyone, and have a great new year.

Featured image courtesy of damedeeso via Getty Images.

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