20% bonus on Starwood transfers to American and US Airways

For some reasons we don’t know about, Starwood Preferred Guest was not included in the current 25% bonus for transferring your hotel loyalty scheme points into Avios.

American Airlines and its new sister company US Airways have stepped into the breach with an offer of their own.  Until 31st July, you will receive a 20% bonus on all transfers of SPG – and only SPG – points to American and US.

The home page for this offer is here for American and here for US Airways.

American Airlines

Usually, 20000 Starwood Preferred Guest points would get you 25000 American Airlines or US Airways miles.  For transfers initiated by 31st July, that is increased to 30000 miles.

Note that the terms and conditions say that the bonus miles may post up to 7 working days after the base miles.

This could be an attractive offer for some people.  Remember that AA does not charge fuel surcharges except on BA and Iberia redemptions – flights to the US on AA planes only incur Air Passenger Duty.  If flying to the Middle East, 30000 American Airlines miles is good enough for a one-way flight to Abu Dhabi in business class on partner Etihad.

(To see our complete list of all current hotel promotions for the major chains, click here to visit our ‘Hotel Promos’ page or use the link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)

Now Iberia launches its own Avios redemption sale - with low taxes
Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn and by email
About Head for Points

We help business and leisure travellers maximise their Avios, frequent flyer miles and hotel loyalty points. Visit every day for three new articles or sign up for our FREE emails via this page or the box to your right.

Comments

  1. Its a 20% bonus!

  2. mitesh patel says:

    Hmm very nice! have around 60k spg to transfer , building up the AA pot nicely to around 170k

  3. I transfered 40000 SPG yesterday. I updated Awardwallet this morning and the 60000 AA have already hit my account. First time transfering from SPG and I must say I am very impressed.

  4. I’ve got 22000 starwood points – when do you think an avios bonus will come? I know there is a 5k bonus for any transfers over 20k, but after a 20% too would be nice!

    I’m in no rush to use them either – saving up for something special :)

    • The Avios transfer bonus is every 9 months, pretty reliably. However as SPG wasn’t in this time it may well not be in next time ….

  5. Starwood points don’t expire do they?

    • Trevor says:

      18 month no activity expiry

    • Yes they do, I think it is 12 months without activity. However SPG has historically been good about giving them back to you next time you make a booking.

      • I think they also keep the account and points active if you have status from your credit card…

  6. AviosNewbie says:

    Hi Raffles, don’t you usually view hotel bookings as the best value for hotel points? -rather than converting to flights?

    I have booked the Westin in cancun using SPG points, but would u reckon canceling it and converting the SPG points would be a better value? I’ll need to pay for my hotel in cash in that case. Any thoughts?

    • It depends what you need. Starwood is an exception to the usual rule about not converting because of their 1:1 rate which is even better here.

      It is down to your plans. IF you had a hotel booked for 20k points per night for 2 nights BUT next year wanted to visit the Middle East, it might be an idea to switch. Your 40k SPG would get you 60k American and that is a business class flight from London to Abu Dhabi on Etihad. AA does not charge fuel surcharges so your tax would only be £200 or so.

      However, if you have no obvious use for the AA miles then I would leave your Starwood booking as it is, as long as you feel you’re getting value for your points.

      I won’t be converting any Starwood to AA because I simply don’t see an immediate use for them. Even Etihad is out for us because they only release 2 business class seats per flight and I need 4 ….

  7. I’m looking for some advice please. I want to do a Dublin to New York to London trip in Februrary 2016. I know it’s a long way off but these flights can be booked almost a year in advance I’ve noticed. It’s 40,000 AAdvantage miles and about £26 in tax total for economy. I’ve got around 25,000 SPG points which I was just saving to convert to Avios as and when.

    I’m not a big collector as you may see but I was wondering do people think AA will devalue their programme at all between now and next year? Part of me wonders if the bonus is offered due to an impending downgrade or mileage change.

    I’m not sure whether to convert them now whilst this offer is on as 5,000 miles extra is quite a lot for me, or whether I’d be better to leave them and just continue to collect via the AA Amex.

    Any thoughts?

    • There will almost certainly be an AA devaluation next year. Two reasons – a) the other US airlines have done one this year and AA hasn’t and b) the merging of the AA and US Airways schemes early next year is the perfect time.

      You are therefore running a risk.

      You would not be running a risk using Avios unless BA makes wholesale changes to the distance charts which is unlikely. If you are worried about not having enough, remember that Dublin to Boston is only 25,000 Avios return in economy and an American Airlines flight from Boston to New York is only 4,500 each way (or cheap for cash, or even take the train or bus – but do see Boston first!).

      • Thank you Raffles.

        Sorry for the delay but I hadn’t realised there was a reply waiting for me. It is a risk and just as I’d thought. I do like the idea of adding in Boston though so thank you for the suggestion. The AA Amex signup alone will cover a flight between Boston and New York so I could use it for that, using Avios as you suggest otherwise.

        Thank you very much for the input.

    • Carlo, using AA miles out of Dublin on AA can work out cheaper than using BA Avios on the same AA flight.

      For example, dec 3rd, the AA flight DUB -> JFK cost 20k AA miles plus £27. The same flight, booked on BA, will cost 20k Avios plus £121.

      Converting those SPG to AA will get you 5k extra AA. It’s possible that a similar conversion bonus might appear for Avios, but far from guaranteed. The saving in fees and extra AA miles will surely more than cover any possible future AA devaluation.

      • Yes we’d noticed that one and noticed the difference when selecting AA metal or BA metal to fly on. The best thing is that we could open-jaw on AA and return straight to London from JFK, which would be perfect. All we need is a flight to Dublin from London before the trip and they’re around the £80 mark so all-in-all very good.

        I’m going to stick to the AA plan of collecting their miles, but I’m cautious about transferring my SPG right now due to my hunch and as Raffles suggested above.

        Thank you also for responding to my message.

  8. If I’ve read the terms correctly it seems that for those who want some AAdvantage miles it’s cheaper to buy Starwood miles and convert than it is to buy them direct. With charges added, 30k miles form AA cost $803 while 20k Starwood points cost just $700.

    In many circumstances you need fewer AA miles to redeem on BA that using Avios although the charges are the same. On partners where a connection might be involved you need many fewer that with Avios because of the zonal redemption policy.

  9. So should i convert my starwood points to Avios now – or wait for a potential bonus in the next 6 months or so?

  10. mitesh patel says:

    Transferred mine yesterday around afternoon GMT, and now showing in my account on AA. (Y)