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As we covered recently, converting Starpoints to airline miles is one of the best value ways of using your Starwood points. With the extra 5,000 miles you receive when transferring 20,000 points, you achieve a 1:1.25 transfer ratio — besting the every day earning capabilities of almost every airline credit card, which typically pick up a single mile for every dollar you spend.
The good news is, if you are transferring Starpoints to American Airlines AAdvantage miles, that transfer rate just got even better. Through September 14, 2016, you earn an extra 20% bonus miles when you convert SPG points to AAdvantage miles — that's on top of the bonus 5,000 miles you receive when transferring 20,000 Starpoints!
How to Maximize Transferring Starpoints to AAdvantage Miles
To max this promotion out, you will need to process your transfers in multiples of 20,000 SPG points. Using an example from the AAdvantage website.
- Your 20,000 Starpoints® convert to 20,000 AAdvantage® miles (20,000 miles total)
- When you convert 20,000 points, Starwood adds a 5,000 point bonus (25,000 miles total)
- You earn 20% bonus miles on your conversion (20% of 25,000 = 5,000; 30,000 miles total)
So, at the top end, you can achieve a 1:1.5 transfer ratio when transferring from SPG to American, netting 30,000 AAdvantage miles for every 20,000 Starpoints transferred, which is awesome!
How Many Starpoints Can I Transfer?
There are no restrictions on how many SPG points you can transfer during the promotional period, however, there is a slightly frustrating limit placed on daily transfers from SPG to AAdvantage.
Starwood Preferred Guests can transfer up to 79,999 of their Starpoints® per transaction per program within a 24-hour period to the American Airlines AAdvantage® program.
That 1 point means the maximum you can transfer in a 24 hour period and still receive the max value is 60,000 points.
How Long Do Starpoints Take To Transfer To American?
Typically, Starpoints transfer to AAdvantage miles in two days, but officially, SPG states that transfers ‘may require 2-4 business days.' Here it pays to be careful as the 20% bonus AA miles will take longer.
Bonus miles will be posted by American Airlines to the qualifying AAdvantage® member's account within 7 business days after the initial conversion activity has been posted by Starwood Preferred Guest. Bonus miles earned in this promotion do not count toward elite status qualification.
If the points don't post in less than 7 days, it may make it hard to use the additional 20% bonus miles for redemption right now as American will only hold an award flight for up to 5 days.
Also, worth noting, specific to SPG point to airline transfers, is you can only make one airline transfer per member, per airline, in a 24-hour period. There are also minimum transfer requirements for Gold (1,500 Starpoints) and Preferred (2,500 Starpoints) members. There are no minimum transfers for Platinum members.
Is it worth taking advantage of this promotion and transferring Starwood points to American miles? If you have a particular award in mind then I think this promo is good value, you are effectively receiving a 50% bonus on SPG point transfers (when transferring 20,000 points at a time).
That advice comes with a couple of caveats, though. First, with the changes to the AAdvantage award charts earlier this year having an adverse effect on the value of American miles, award prices aren't what they were last year. Second, with the 20% bonus miles taking up to 7 days to transfer, it will be hard to use those points for an award that you can only hold for up to five days — there is a risk the miles may not show in your account before the five-day hold is up.
Outside of those concerns, receiving 1.5 AAdvantage miles for every Starpoint transferred is a fantastic deal and well worth investigating for your next American award flight. See the AAdvantage website for the full details.
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