50% bonus when transferring SPG points to USAir

Now this is what I call a deal. According to this page, USAir is offering a 50% points bonus on all transfers from Starwood through July 31. That means you’d earn 37,500 Dividend Miles for transferring 20,000 Starpoints, since Starwood offers a 5,000 point bonus when transferring in chunks of 20,000.

USAir points are extremely valuable, given that they offer unrestricted access to Star Alliance award inventory and don’t charge fuel surcharges, not to mention they have a favorable award chart along with generous routing rules.

About lucky

Ben Schlappig (aka Lucky) is a travel consultant, blogger, and avid points collector. He travels about 400,000 miles a year, primarily using miles and points to fund his first class experiences. He chronicles his adventures, along with industry news, here at One Mile At A Time.

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Comments

  1. With this bonus, do you think it is worth transferring points out of SPG, and losing the flexibility of SPG, to park them in US Air miles, even though I have no specific use for US Air in mind as of now?

  2. Are you sure both bonuses would apply to the transfer (the 5000 for 20,000 and the 50%?) Is it possible you would just get the 50% so 20,000 would get you 30,000 instead of 37,500?

  3. @ Keith — It’s tough to say. I don’t really trust US, to be honest, and by that I mean I don’t trust that they won’t make some radical changes sometime down the road. Any airline that gets rid of elite bonus miles clearly doesn’t “get it.” If you think you’ll make a booking by the end of the year, though, I would probably go for it.

    @ Ken — Yes, I believe so. The 5,000 mile bonus is automatic, so really should work with this promotion.

  4. I read about this 10 days ago. Surprised that it wasn’t written about here.

    The USAir redemption level is lower than UA if you’re flying * Alliance.
    That reason along caused my son to transfer all, yes, I said all his Starpoints to USAir. He’s willing to sacrifice all his points for flying upfront in business class.

    After much studying on this issue, I’m pondering a point transfer. The only thing holding me back is not having the points to use for European properties. That’s where you get good value for your points (anywhere between 4 and 8 cents). It’s something to think about.

    FYI, if the point conversion doesn’t make it by the deadline, you’re out of luck.
    Words to that effect appear on the website. If you’re going to act, do it sooner rather than later.

  5. lucky –

    So here’s my question – I have 72k USAir miles and around 160k Starpoints – what’s the sweet spot for transfer? I was thinking 40k Starpoints, which would give me 75k USair miles, leaving me at 147k USAir miles.

    This leaves me just short of the 160k I need for two business class tickets to Europe, but I am accruing USAir miles regularly and/or could buy the remaining 13k for $300 (if I used the current bonus buy).

    Alternately I can transfer 60k for 112,500 and get to 200k USAir miles which leaves me a bit of a cushion and doesn’t cost me anything. Either case still leaves me over 100k Starpoints which I’ll use for the hotels wherever we go (and which I’m also accruing relatively quickly).

    Is there any reason I want to transfer either more or less miles?

  6. thanks for linking the award chart.

    hmmmm…i never realized that the cost is the same for first or biz.

    sad to admit right now, i’m holding a UA biz award JFK-SFO-SEA.

    so, i guess i could do the SPG xfer and fly ps F for the same 50K hit.

    while i’m still hoping that fares will drop and the award won’t be needed, that’s an interesting option to consider.

    btw, i’m here at the LAX RCC and your name is still on the message sheet as are a slew of other FTers

  7. @ Dan — Yeah, redemption for actual SPG property stays is tempting as well, especially with cash and points and in Europe, where hotels can be ridiculously expensive. In my case, I always have plenty of hotel points or at least sneaky ways to get expensive hotel stays for very little, so I generally prefer miles, but to each their own.

    @ Alex — That’s the million dollar question. If it were me, I would transfer enough for two business class tickets to somewhere I want to go, assuming I’m not able to book yet. You might also want to consider getting a USAir credit card if you don’t have one already for the sign-up bonus. It’s easy enough to get a few more points should you want to do first, so that’s probably the safest bet.

    @ bk3day — Yeah, it’s certainly interesting that they don’t have a separate value for those domestic three cabin flights. I’m guessing you’ll see a price drop for an itin like JFK-SEA, though, so it might not be worth transferring just for that.

  8. Hi,lucky

    When u say “generous routing rules”, any example? like a stopover is permitted even within same region?

  9. The “sweet spot” depends largely upon personal usage patterns… what makes sense for one doesn’t necessarily make sense for another.

    An important point to note is that the “nights and flights” option allows for this same bonus (75,000 US miles for 40,000 SPG points) while also discounting a 5-night stay all the way down to 20,000 for Category 3 and 30,000 for Category 4 (better than the 28K and 40K you get when redeeming the 5th night free alone).

  10. @Sinep –

    How do you come up with 75k US miles for 40k SPG points?

    From reading the T&C of “Nights and Flights”, I come up with 60k Starpoints gets you 50k airline miles + 5 nights in a Cat 3, while “Nights and Flights II” 70k Starpoints gets you 50k airline miles + 5 nights in a Cat 4.
    *ptshttp://www.starwoodhotels.com/preferredguest/account/starpoints/redeem/nights_flights.html

    I don’t follow your math here.

  11. @Ace – Because you forgot to add the 50% bonus mentioned in this blog entry. You are correct that you get the 50K US miles, but add the 50% bonus by registering for the offer, and you net 75K US miles instead.

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