How to use your Starwood status to get perks on Virgin and Delta

With Delta Air Lines now owning 49% of Virgin Atlantic, and offering the ability to earn miles and status by crediting Virgin flights to their SkyMiles programme, I thought it was worth reminding you about the often-ignored ‘Crossover Rewards’ programme.

This effectively gives elite members of Starwood Preferred Guest and Delta SkyMiles status benefits with each other.

Starwood has a website outlining the benefits which you can find here.

SPG Starwood Delta

How does it work?

Put simply ….

If you have Starwood SPG Gold or Platinum status:

You will earn 1 SPG point for every US$1 you spend on flights with Delta.

To qualify, flights must have been booked directly with Delta or via a normal travel agency – online travel agents are excluded. Your ticket must contain ONLY Delta operated and Delta coded flights – having a Delta flight plus a non-Delta flight on the same ticket means you earn nothing.

If you book Virgin Atlantic flights under the Delta codeshare flight numbers, these would count for Crossover Rewards.

To earn the points, you will need to link your SPG account with your Delta account.

For SPG Platinum members only, you will get special benefits when flying with Delta – 1 free checked bag (for you and 3 companions), Zone 1 Priority Boarding (for you and 8 companions), priority check-in, ‘day of departure’ upgrades.

Note that you will rank behind Delta status members and Delta credit card holders in the upgrade queue, so you shouldn’t put much faith in that clearing.

There are no special benefits for flying with Virgin Atlantic, although I imagine that might change in the future.

If you have Delta SkyMiles Diamond, Platinum, Gold or Silver status:

You will earn 1 Delta SkyMile for every $1 spent at Starwood hotels. This is on top of your usual Starwood points.

You will receive 4pm check-out, free internet, priority check-in and an upgrade to an ‘enhanced’ room. These are fundamentally the same as SPG Gold benefits.

So, is this a good deal?

I am assuming that more Head for Points readers are likely to have Starwood than Delta status, so I have approached it from that angle.

For a UK resident, this appears to be very attractive.

First, Starwood Gold status is free if you get an American Express Platinum card, or become a high spender on the Starwood Amex.  Many Head for Points readers will therefore already have this status.

Secondly, it is more likely that a UK resident who ends up taking the odd US flight with Delta (or a Virgin flight booked as a Delta codeshare) will not have status with them, as they won’t be flying them enough. The Delta benefits are therefore something you would not otherwise have.

Thirdly, the 1 Starwood point per US$1 spent on Delta coded tickets means (assuming you convert the points to airline miles) 1 mile in any SPG partner airline for every 68p you spend. How ironic is it that you could spend £2,000 on a Delta ticket and earn almost 3,000 Avios via SPG?!

You can link your Starwood and Delta accounts via the Starwood website above.

Note that you will NOT be able to take part if your Starwood account is set up for ‘Airline Direct Deposit’ ie you earn a flat 500 airline miles per stay rather than earning SPG points.

(Want to earn more hotel points?  Click here to see our complete list of promotions from the major hotel chains or use the ‘Hotel Promos’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)

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  1. Andrew (@andrewseftel) says:

    When I looked into it, it seemed that you have to credit your flight to Delta Skymiles to earn the crossover SPG rewards on top. This is probably a dealbreaker if you are already invested in Flying Club.

  2. Don’t forget about getting the same benefits with Emirates!

  3. Andrew H says:

    O/T. Has anyone had problems with AwardWallet updates in the last 24 hours? When I try to update all my accounts, most of them time out!

  4. Sorry OT but couldn’t comment on the Amex platinum article as it wouldn’t let me. Just got an amex platinum.

    If I spend 2,000 on a new card and then cancel within a month do I just pay 450/12 or is it minimum three months?

    Can I then downgrade to the gold to keep my membership reward points?

    Many thanks

    • No minimum, cancel whenever.

      Yes, you keep the points if you downgrade to Gold BUT you don’t get First Year Free on Gold. The £140 kicks in immediately.

      • Thanks Raffles. So it would be 37.50 if cancelled after a month?

        • Genghis says:

          Approximately. The pro-rata refund is calculated on a daily basis.

          • I was told they changed it this year and they now round up to the nearest month?

            • Genghis says:

              Not in my case. For my most recent plat cancellation (May 16) I got just over £425 refund (kept the card for a few weeks) and with mine and wife’s SPG, weren’t even charged a fee (cancelled within first month).

            • Sussex bantam says:

              Nope. They charged me 82pence just yesterday. I think it was one day charge on BAPP.

    • Scallder says:

      If you can spend the £2k and pay it off & cancel before your first statement is generated you actually pay nothing…

      • Scallder says:

        Should have added that for best practice you should obviously clear out your MR points as well in that time…

        • Genghis says:

          Indeed. Best practice is to set up the link to where you think you will transfer to as soon as you get the card. Then you’re all ready to go to make the transfer as soon as points hit.

      • Genghis says:

        I don’t even think you have to pay it off before the first statement. Simply to spend, get the points and then cancel. That happened with recent SPG cards but the balance was cleared by DD the following month.