Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Get a 20% bonus on Starwood transfers to American and US Airways

Links on Head for Points may pay us an affiliate commission. A list of partners is here.

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.

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.


How to earn Marriott Bonvoy points and status from UK credit cards

How to earn Marriott Bonvoy points and status from UK credit cards (February 2023)

There are various ways of earning Marriott Bonvoy points from UK credit cards.  Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses.

The official Marriott Bonvoy American Express card comes with 20,000 points for signing up, 2 points for every £1 you spend and 15 elite night credits per year.

You can apply here.

Marriott Bonvoy American Express

20,000 bonus points and 15 elite night credits Read our full review

You can also earn Marriott Bonvoy points by converting American Express Membership Rewards points at the rate of 2:3.

Do you know that holders of The Platinum Card from American Express receive FREE Marriott Bonvoy Gold status for as long as they hold the card?  It also comes with Hilton Honors Gold, Radisson Rewards Premium and MeliaRewards Gold status.  We reviewed American Express Platinum in detail here and you can apply here.

The Platinum Card from American Express

30,000 points and unbeatable travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review

You can also earn Marriott Bonvoy points indirectly:

and for small business owners:

The conversion rate from American Express to Marriott Bonvoy points is 2:3.

Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which can be used to earn Marriott Bonvoy 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 Offers’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)

Comments (24)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • Richy says:

    Its a 20% bonus!

  • mitesh patel says:

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

  • xcalx says:

    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.

    • Rob says:

      It’s a fluke, I think they do them in batches every few days!

  • Adam says:

    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 🙂

    • Rob says:

      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 ….

  • Adam says:

    Starwood points don’t expire do they?

    • Trevor says:

      18 month no activity expiry

    • Rob says:

      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.

      • Alan says:

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

  • 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?

    • Rob says:

      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 ….

  • Carlo says:

    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?

    • Rob says:

      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!).

      • Carlo says:

        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 says:

      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.

  • pgw says:

    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.

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

The UK's biggest frequent flyer website uses cookies, which you can block via your browser settings. Continuing implies your consent to this policy. Our privacy policy is here.