In early September I wrote about how there was a 30% bonus when you convert Starpoints into American AAdvantage miles. That offer was supposed to be available through October 15, 2017, though has now been extended through October 31, 2017. So if you were considering the offer but haven’t yet taken advantage of it, you still have a couple of weeks.
Here’s how the bonus works:
- Earn a 20% bonus with each conversion
- Earn an additional 10,000 AAdvantage bonus miles for every 100,000 AAdvantage miles received from conversions
Starpoints ordinarily convert into American AAdvantage miles at a 1:1 ratio, with a 5,000 point bonus for every 20,000 points transferred. For example, if you were to convert 80,000 Starpoints into AAdvantage miles you’d ordinarily receive 100,000 AAdvantage miles (after factoring in the 5,000 point bonus for every 20,000 points transferred). Then thanks to this promotion you’d receive 20,000 bonus miles (the 20% bonus) plus a further 10,000 miles, for a total of 130,000 AAdvantage miles. That means you’re earning 1.625 AAdvantage miles per Starpoints when converting in those increments.
If you are considering transferring points, do keep in mind that 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 points at a time. Points transfers from SPG to American typically take somewhere around 1-4 days.
How does this compare to past promotions?
- This spring you could earn a flat 25% bonus when converting Starpoints into AAdvantage miles, which was an opportunity to get as many as 1.5625 AAdvantage miles per Starpoints
- Last summer you could earn a flat 20% bonus when converting Starpoints into AAdvantage miles, which was an opportunity to get as many as 1.5 AAdvantage miles per Starpoints
As you can see, it depends on the increments in which you transfer points, but potentially this is one of the best transfer bonuses we’ve seen from SPG to AAdvantage. Then again, American miles are also worth less than in the past. However, there are still some great uses of American miles. Here are some of American’s premium cabin redemption rates for travel on partner airlines:
|Contiguous 48 U.S. To:||Business Class||First Class|
|Contiguous 48 U.S. States||25,000||50,000|
|Canada & Alaska||30,000||55,000|
|South America Zone 1||30,000||55,000|
|South America Zone 2||57,500||85,000|
|Middle East / India||70,000||115,000|
|Asia Zone 1||60,000||80,000|
|Asia Zone 2||70,000||110,000|
Being able to redeem 70,000 miles for a one-way business class ticket from the US Asia Zone 2, the Middle East, or India, is a pretty good deal. When you divide that by 1.625, you’re looking at the equivalent of ~43,000 Starpoints one-way for business class on a longhaul without fuel surcharges, which is a solid deal.
Redeeming American miles for travel in Etihad business class is a great deal
Keep in mind that Starpoints can be converted into Marriott Rewards points at a 1:3 ratio, so one other good way to convert Starpoints into AAdvantage miles is using Marriott’s Hotel + Air Packages. See this post for a detailed analysis of which type of redemption makes more sense.
If you had been considering taking advantage of this offer but missed the deadline, you still have time. I wouldn’t convert Starpoints into American miles just so you can take advantage of this offer, though with a specific use in mind this could be a great deal. Starpoints are one of the most valuable points currencies out there, and they lose a lot of value when you speculatively transfer them to a partner. Still, this is about as good as a transfer bonus as we’ve seen to American, and with a partner redemption in mind, it could make sense. Just remember that American has very little saver award availability on their own flights.
(Tip of the hat to Running With Miles)