Extra 20% Bonus On Transfers From SPG To American

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Through September 14, 2016, you can earn an additional 20% mileage bonus when you transfer Starpoints to American AAdvantage. This is very similar to the promotion they’ve offered the past several years.


When transferring in the right increments, this means you can earn 1.5 AAdvantage miles per Starpoint. Starpoints ordinarily convert into airline miles at a 1:1 ratio, with a 5,000 point bonus for every 20,000 points transferred. With this promotion you’d earn a further 5,000 miles when transferring 20,000 Starpoints, for a total of 30,000 American AAdvantage miles.

LAN-Business-Class-787 - 17
Redeem American miles for LAN business class

Now, of course I think it goes without saying that this promotion isn’t quite as lucrative as it was in past years, given that American devalued their award chart earlier this year. Still, there are plenty of great uses for American miles, and when you’re getting 1.5 AAdvantage miles per Starpoint, this can represent a very great deal.

The SPG Amex is already the best way to earn American miles

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 other cards often have lucrative sign-up bonuses, the best cards for every day spending for the purposes of earning AAdvantage miles are the Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express and Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Card from American Express.

Starpoints are one of the main flexible-points currencies, and one of the few variations of miles or points that I consistently value above two cents each.

That’s because in addition to all the awesome ways to use SPG points, you also receive a 25% 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, and I consider American AAdvantage to be one of the better ones.

Keep in mind that 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.

Redeem American miles for Qatar Airways business class

Bottom line

As usual, I wouldn’t make speculative transfers to take advantage of this promotion. However, with a specific redemption in mind this can represent a very good deal, when you’re talking about earning 1.5 AAdvantage miles per Starpoint.

This is pretty close to my break even valuation of the currencies — I value AAdvantage miles at 1.5 cents each, while I value Starpoints at ~2.2 cents each.

Do you plan on taking advantage of this 20% bonus on Starpoint transfers to AAdvantage?

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  1. Hey! I enjoy your blog quite a bit – thanks for all the posts and interesting info. One note – is the text after the LAN business class photo supposed to be formatted that way? It like the formatting for your post headers got into the photo subtitles and the body text. Just wanted to point it out in case it’s not supposed to be like that. I do a bunch of work in Adobe ID and WordPress and know first-hand how formatting can go awry. 🙂

  2. Yes, I will be doing a transfer. I know the award chart is not as generous as it used to be but there are still values.

  3. I think it’s often forgotten that you can get some seriously good values from a combo of SPG and Citi AAdvantage, when the city you’re traveling to is part of the ‘reduced mileage award’ promotion that is on the latter card. I just booked a MileSAAver flight for a friend to come visit me in Austin (which came out to a RT cost of 17,500 AA miles plus a few bucks in taxes and fees).

    If you use SPG points to transfer to American to book this award (during the promo period), it’d cost roughly 14k SPG points to book an AA roundtrip flight, which seems to be an insanely good value.

  4. Hi,

    Just let everyone knows that AA has a technical issue with Cathay’s system. The agents cannot request any ticket on Cathay right now.

  5. can anyone here show me how to make the transfer, do I call SPG or AA to make the transfer and how long does it take for the bonus to show up, thank you

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