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And The Best Use of Starwood Points for Air Travel Is…

A week or so ago I wrote about the worst use of frequent flyer miles (answer: 100,000 miles for a biz class ticket on a 16 mile flight in Africa). But I figured I should pass along something more useful, so today I present the best value for transferring Starwood Points to an airline.

Starwood points transfer to LAN at a 1:2 rate (largely because LAN’s award chart is based on kilometers, not miles). This is to your advantage if you’re transferring Starwood points because there are a few great awards out there. I’ve seen others talk about the distance-based charts they use which allow you to get a short one-way flight for just 2400 SPG points. Nice.

That said, the best deals are really on the North America to Brazil/Peru/Bolivia rewards on LAN metal. You can fly on LAN to Brazil for 100,000 LAN Kilometers round trip in LAN’s amazing business class. That will cost you just 40,000 SPG points (20,000 points gets you 50,000 LAN KMs because of the 5,000 point bonus you get on 20,000 point transfers; that 5k bonus is doubled for LAN transfers). If you’re looking to save points, coach tickets to Brazil on LAN metal are just 48,000 KMs, which is 20,000 SPG points. That’s a helluva redemption deal, considering 20,000 SPG points will typically only get you a domestic roundtrip ticket.

Redemption values to Argentina are also good – 30k SPG points for a coach ticket and 60k SPG points for a business class ticket. But those Brazil values are amazing.

Yet another reason to get that Amex SPG card as your day-to-day card.

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  1. Alas there are no one way booking options when booking non-LAN flights using LANPASS. You have to book two legs at least (does not have to be a return though). So outside of South America this makes it much less useful…

  2. any experience dealing with LAN award booking personnel on the phone? or is it easy just to transfer miles and use their website?

  3. @TJ Correct, this is really just for South America travel on LAN metal. That said, it’s an amazing deal for that. You can check out the post I linked to for great distance-based awards on partner airlines.

    @Vinny It does take a little while (2 weeks in my experience) to transfer SPG points to LAN. Their tool is perfectly fine. I’ve had to call them and tho there was some wait time, they were helpful.

  4. I have been unable to establish an account with Lanpass. I have been trying for the pass two weeks. Any idea what are the taxes and fees that you have to pay to Brasil and others from the USA? Thanks

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