I am often asked about the best credit card for earning American AAdvantage miles, given that Citi has historically offered a half-dozen different variations of their co-branded credit card.
While the Citi cards often have lucrative sign-up bonuses, the best cards for every day spending are hands-down the Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express and Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Card from American Express.
SPG Starpoints are one of the main flexible-points currencies, and one of the few variations of miles or points that I consistently value above 2 cents each.
That’s because in addition to all the awesome ways to use SPG points, you also receive a 20% bonus when transferring Starwood points to their airline partners, provided you’re transferring in 20,000 point increments.
Starwood has a ton of airline transfer partners, though one of the best options is to transfer points to the American AAdvantage program.
That’s partly because American allows five-day holds on most award tickets, and AAdvantage is one of the few SPG transfer partners where points post on a consistent schedule.
Transfer requests made prior to Sunday at midnight Eastern will consistently be initiated on Monday, and the miles should be in the American AAdvantage account by midnight Tuesday, or first thing Wednesday.
This means you can place an award ticket on hold Saturday or Sunday, prior to transferring your Starwood points, and avoid making speculative transfers.
It is worth noting you can only make one transfer every 24 hours, up to 79,999 SPG points at a time. The latter is a particularly irritating restriction, given the 20% transfer bonus when converting blocks of 20,000 Starpoints, so it rarely makes sense to transfer more than 60,000 SPG points at a time.
Keep in mind you can also transfer SPG points between household members, though the names on the Starwood accounts generally need to match the names on the airline accounts.
Anyways, via Gary, Starwood and American AAdvantage are offering an additional 20% bonus on transferred miles during July.
This means that for every 20,000 SPG points transferred to American you’ll receive the usual 5,000 bonus points, plus an additional 5,000 points, for a total of 30,000.
Similarly, 60,000 Starpoints would convert to 90,000 American miles – enough for a First class ticket between the US and the Maldives, for example.
Etihad First Class is a great use of American AAdvantage miles
Registration is not required, and the full terms are as follows:
AAdvantage Bonus Mile Offer Terms and Conditions
To qualify for this AAdvantage bonus mile offer, member must initiate the AAdvantage mileage conversions with the Starwood Preferred Guest® program between 12:00 a.m. CT July 1, 2014, and 11:59 p.m. CT July 31, 2014, (the “Promotion Period”), and be in good standing in the AAdvantage program. Members can convert multiple times during the Promotion Period.
To earn the 20% conversion bonus, member must convert points from the Starwood Preferred Guest program. This offer is non-transferable and non-reversible.
Bonus miles will be posted by American Airlines to the qualifying AAdvantage member’s account within seven business days after the initial conversion activity has been posted by Starwood Preferred Guest. Bonus miles earned in this promotion do not count toward elite status qualification.
American Airlines, AAdvantage, the Flight Symbol logo and MileSAAver are marks of American Airlines, Inc.
Starwood Guest Preferred Transfer to Miles Terms and Conditions
Starwood Preferred Guests can transfer up to 79,999 of their Starpoints per transaction per program within a 24-hour period to the American Airlines AAdvantage program. Plus, for every 20,000 Starpoints transferred within the same transaction, Starwood will automatically add another 5,000 Starpoints! This means that up to 94,999 Starpoints can be transferred into your AAdvantage account.
There is no minimum Starpoint transfer requirement for Platinum Preferred Guest members. Gold Preferred Guest members have a minimum transfer requirement of 1,500 Starpoints, and Preferred Guest members have a minimum transfer requirement of 2,500 Starpoints.
Transfer maximums are based on a combination of member Starpoints and the Starwood Preferred Guest airline transfer transaction bonus. Only one airline transfer transaction per member per 24-hour period is allowed; multiple transfer transactions within the same 24-hour period will reject. Both the Starwood Preferred Guest and AAdvantage account must have identical member names in order to complete this request; different names will cause the transfer to reject. Airline transfers are one-way, non-reversible and non-refundable.
As usual, I wouldn’t make speculative transfers, but if this works with your travel plans it’s certainly a great deal!