Aug262014

SPG points to AAdvantage miles in less than 48 hours

SPG points to AAdvantage miles in less than 48 hours is simply a data point to let readers know that my transfer from Starwood Preferred Guest to American Airlines AAdvantage miles was initiated Sunday morning at 10:30am and the miles have posted to my AAdvantage account this morning.

The last time I transferred more than 100 Starpoints to airline frequent flyer miles was 2003 when I made a transfer of 20,000 Starpoints to 25,000 British Airways Executive Club for a First Class award ticket.

As a former SPG Platinum member I earned thousands of frequent flyer miles in promotions requiring airline partner transaction activity. SPG Platinum members have no minimum transfer level and there were a few times when exchanging 10 points or 100 Starpoints into frequent flyer miles earned thousands of bonus miles.

SPG Gold members are restricted to a minimum 1,500 Starpoints transfer for frequent flyer miles. SPG base members have a 2,500 Starpoints minimum transfer requirement.

There is no minimum Starpoint transfer requirement for Platinum members with most airlines. Gold members have a minimum transfer requirement of 1,500 Starpoints, and Preferred members have a minimum transfer requirement of 2,500 Starpoints.

Starwood Preferred Guest Airline Partners

This transfer to American Airlines allows me to book round trip economy class tickets from Monterey, California to Europe for the TBEX Athens travel blogger conference in October for 20,000 miles each way on AAdvantage MileSAAver awards. These discount awards for travel between USA and Europe are available October 15 through May 15, 2015. I plan to fly soon after October 15.

My thoughts are to either book flights in and out of two different Greek island airports or purchase a low cost under $100 flight between Greece and Italy and spend a few days in Rome or Venice, Italy.

United Mileage Plus charges 30,000 miles each way between USA and Europe and has a more convenient schedule from Monterey, California directly to Athens, Greece but I decided to save those miles since 30,000 miles is the same one-way award ticket price for summer travel.

AA.com awards AAnywhere, but Athens is my post from yesterday describing the difficulty of booking an online award ticket to Athens, even though there are at least eight other airports in Greece with widely available award space using AAdvantage miles.

I was reluctant to transfer Starpoints to airline miles, since 3,000 points is a free category 2 weekend night. But in a way, the 3,000 Starpoints I transferred to American Airlines saves me 30,000 United miles for a better use at a later date. It seems like a good trade-off at the moment.

Bottom line: SPG points to American Airlines transfer took less than 48 hours.

AA.com mileage balance

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Ric Garrido of Monterey, California is writer and owner of Loyalty Traveler.

Loyalty Traveler shares news and views on hotels, hotel loyalty programs and vacation destinations for frequent guests. Check out current hotel loyalty program offers across all the major chains in Loyalty Traveler’s monthly hotel promotions guide.

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About Ric Garrido

Ric Garrido of Monterey, California started Loyalty Traveler in 2006 for traveler education on hotel and air travel, primarily using frequent flyer and frequent guest loyalty programs for bargain travel. Loyalty Traveler joined BoardingArea.com in 2008.

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Comments

  1. I just transferred my spg points to alaska mileage plan and the points were posted within 24 hours. Moreover it was weekend, for sure the points are posting quickly now.

  2. Wierd how it has been 5 days since I initiated a transfer of points from my wife’s SPG account to mine and it still has not posted. Even though the confirmation email went out promptly after the request was put in online.

    Also, my reading from flyertalk indicates it that transfers to airlines are based on the contract SPG has with them. Therefore, a transfer to someone like LAN might take 2+ weeks.

  3. “SPG Platinum members have no minimum transfer level and there were a few times when exchanging 10 points or 100 Starpoints into frequent flyer miles earned thousands of bonus miles.”

    i am a platinum but not aware of this, can you elaborate on it a bit more? thx

  4. @dj – An example that I sort of recall was Northwest Airlines had a promotion where five partner activities earned something like 10,000 bonus miles. Staying at a Hilton brand hotel and earning miles was a partner transaction. Buying something online through the airline shopping portal was a transaction.

    US Airways had a similar type of promotion a couple years back.

    As SPG Platinum, I could transfer 10 points or 100 points (in theory I could have transferred one point to one mile) and earn a partner transaction. There were a few times when I transferred 10, 50 or 100 points to miles and ended up with 1,000 or 5,000 miles after all my partner transactions were processed.

    These promotions were probably a decade ago. I don’t remember the details.

    The value to SPG Platinum members is sometimes you need only a few hundred miles to get an award ticket and the no minimum transfer requirement can be an easy way to get those needed miles by transferring Starpoints.

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