Transfers of points from one loyalty hotel or airline loyalty program to another are usually a bad deal — indeed what makes SPG points or Marriott Travel Packages standout values is the fact that they are the exception rather than the rule. One further oddball exception to the rule — and one that was a very niche play — was the ability to move points from Virgin Atlantic to IHG. What made this deal palatable even if not stellar was the fact that points transferred in this way counted toward IHG status. It was possible to earn top-tier Spire Elite status just by transferring in points from Virgin Atlantic. However, that has ended — transfers from Virgin Atlantic to IHG Rewards are no longer elite-qualifying points.
IHG’s top-tier Spire Elite status requires you to stay 75 nights per year or earn 75,000 elite-qualifying points. It was formerly possible to transfer 75,000 Virgin Atlantic miles to IHG at a 1:1 ratio and earn IHG Spire Elite status without any stays or other activity. That isn’t a great deal as IHG points can usually be bought for around half a cent each and Virgin Atlantic miles have more valuable uses than that.
However, there were two key advantages:
- Virgin Atlantic is transfer partners with all of the major transferable currencies, making it very easy to accumulate those points.
- Upon achieving Spire Elite status, one can select a “choice benefit”, one of which is the option to get 25,000 bonus points
That meant you could quickly amass Virgin Atlantic miles to garner easy IHG Spire Elite status and move 75,000 transferable points to 100,000 IHG Rewards Club points in the process. It wasn’t the most valuable play in award travel, but it could certainly make sense to do it on a smaller scale to top off an account close to earning elite status.
As reported by Head for Points back in July, this is no longer possible — transfers from Virgin Atlantic are no longer elite-qualifying points. It was fun while it lasted, but the party is over. While this has been true for about two months at this point, it recently came up with regard to the Current point transfer bonus from Membership Rewards to Virgin Atlantic Flying Club – so we wanted to get the word out for readers who may not have otherwise heard.
H/T: Head for Points