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