Maximizing SPG Transfer Bonus to AA and USDM

SPG Transfer Bonus Promotion to American and US Airways

Currently, American and US Airways are offering a 20% mileage bonus for miles transferred from Starwood Preferred Guest. You can transfer SPG points up to 79,999 at a time; however, the best ratio is moving blocks of 60,000 SPG points. This promotion gives you an additional 15,000 points to the 75,000 AA or US miles that you would normally receive.


Starwood Transfer Bonus

If you did decide to transfer, some sweet spot awards turn even cheaper with SPG points.

Great Sweet Spot Redemptions

90,000 US Airways Miles (60,000 SPG) Round Trip Business Class Caribbean to North Asia

While the famous 90,000 US Airways award from North America to North Asia has now increased to 110,000, the price remains the same for awards originating in the Caribbean or Central America. As American offers a very extensive route network in that region, it is still a great award deal. Don’t forget you can also include a stopover. You can either stopover somewhere along the way in Asia (or Europe), or somewhere in North America. For instance, if I was originating in Toronto I could create an award from Pointe-a-Pitre to Shanghai then returning to Toronto as a stopover. This way, I only would need to position one-way for the award, and also have a free one-way to the Caribbean for future use. You can easily position to the Caribbean using Avios which can be earned through the American Express Gold Rewards Card or the American Express Platinum Card by transferring Membership Reward points to Avios. Or grab ticket on Air Transat, Sunwing, CanJet etc… if that’s your kind of thing.

American Off-Peak Awards

Somewhat less “aspirational” but American offers off-peak awards for travel in economy class. Travel to Asia is 25,000 miles (16,666 SPG points) and Europe is 20,000 miles (13,333 SPG points) each way. Of course, as you need to transfer a minimum of 20,000 SPG points for the 25% bonus, this makes more sense if you have a large number in your party. For example, if you are looking for three passengers to Europe one way, 40,000 SPG points is pretty good value, especially if you’re travelling from smaller cities.

30,000 American Miles (20,000 SPG) One Way Business Class Europe to Middle East or India

This is one of American’s award chart sweet spots, and is doubly so given Oneworld’s strong nature within the Middle East. You can redeem your American miles on Etihad, Qatar Airways, Gulf Air, El Al, Jet Airways or Royal Jordanian. One thing to note though is that because of American AAdvantage routing rules, you cannot fly SriLankan as Sri Lanka is located in “Asia 2” instead. For example, you can fly two segments on Qatar Airways Boeing 787 in Business Class from London to Doha to Mumbai for only 20,000 SPG points.

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Qatar Airways Boeing 787 Business Class for 20,000 SPG Points

What to Do withe the SPG Transfer Bonus

You can do unlimited transfers during the promotion period, which ends on July 31. While SPG points are usually valued for their extreme flexibility, occasional transfer bonuses like this don’t hurt either. For Canadians, the best way of accuring Starwood Preferred Guest points on the Starwood Preferred Guest American Express, which offers a current sign up bonus of 10,000 points after $500 spend. As a general rule, I wouldn’t speculatively transfer points over to either program despite the bonus miles, but it’s a great deal if you already have an award in mind. As well, it might also be worth transferring if you have a high balance of SPG points and a low balance of airline miles.


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