I can’t say I knew that much about South African Airways (SAA) or their Voyager Frequent Flyer program before I heard about this announcement but I still knew that a program adding a new partner is always a good thing. I learned quite some time ago that you never know when a loyalty system’s transfer partner, that you never once considered in the past, suddenly becomes an important part of a trip that you’re planning.
Earning SAA Voyager Miles With Marriott Rewards
With immediate effect, Marriott rewards members who elect to earn South African Airways Voyager Miles when they stay at Marriott properties worldwide will earn at the following rates:
2 SAA Voyager miles per dollar spent on qualifying hotel charges at the following brands:
2 SAA Voyager miles per dollar spent on room rate only at the following brands:
1 SAA Voyager mile per dollar spent on room rate only at the following brands:
- Protea Hotels
- Courtyard by Marriott
- AC Hotels by Marriott
- SpringHill Suites by Marriott
- Fairfield Inn & Suites
- Residence Inn by Marriott
- TownePlace Suites by Marriott
- Marriott Executive Apartments
- Moxy Hotels
- Delta Hotels (coming Q1 2016)
These earning rates appear to be in line with Marriott Rewards’ other airline partners.
As well as earning Voyager Miles Marriott Rewards members can also transfer Marriott Rewards Points to SAA Voyager Miles at the following conversion rates:
This are the same conversion rates as Marriott offers for the majority of its partner airlines (see here for more details) and how useful this is will depend entirely on your own valuation of Voyager Miles and Marriott Rewards points.
Personally I value Marriott Rewards Points at around the 0.7 cent mark so, for me, it rarely makes sense to convert my points to airline miles – I can get far better value by using them for hotel stays or Marriott’s Travel Packages.
SAA Voyager Miles Overview
Here are the full details of the South African Airways Voyager program.
South African Airways (SAA) is a Star Alliance airline so their miles can be used across a wide variety of international carriers.
Earning Voyager Miles
Voyager Miles are revenue-based for travel on SAA with passengers earning 1 Voyager Mile for every 1.6 South African Rand spent on base fare and “fuel levy” (approximately 10 miles per US dollar).
Earning rates on Star Alliance partners are distance based and can be found here.
Spending Voyager Miles
The Voyager Miles Star Alliance award chart looks like this….
Although it doesn’t stipulate it anywhere I’m assuming that these mileage costs are for round trip travel based on the fact that the award rules state the following:
Award flights are permitted for round/return trip travel on scheduled flights operated by Star Alliance carriers
With that in mind the following awards look interesting:
- North America – Europe – 108,000 Voyager Miles
- North America – Australia – 152,000 Voyager Miles
- Europe – Hawaii – 127,000 Voyager Miles
- North America – Europe – 152,000 Voyager Miles
- North America – South America – 127,000 Voyager Miles
All things considered I wouldn’t choose to earn SAA Voyager Miles on Marriott stays and I wouldn’t convert my Marriott Rewards Points to SAA Voyager miles either. The best value you’re going to get is by exchanging your Marriott Rewards points for one of Marriott’s travel packages. This will give you 7-nights at a hotel of your choosing (within whichever band you redeem at) as well as between 35,000 and 85,000 SAA Voyager Miles.