25% Bonus on American Express to Starwood Transfers

by on September 2, 2011 · 14 comments

in American Express, Starwood

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Update: The offers mentioned below for the Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Cards from American Express has expired. View the current offers here - personalbusiness.

I love my American Express points, but I use them exclusively for airline transfers, especially when there are transfer bonuses.

The Starwood ratio is 3:1, which means 1,000 Amex points normally only gets you 333 Starpoints – not a good deal in my opinion. While Starpoints are more valuable, I don’t believe they are 3 times as valuable – maybe 1.5 times.

However from September 1- 14, 2011, American Express is running a 25% transfer bonus, so 1,000 Membership Rewards points = 417 Starpoints. This isn’t earth-shattering, but the first thing that popped into my mind was that this is at least a somewhat better option for people looking to beef up their American Airlines Million Miler status before their new stricter qualification rules go into place December 1, 2011. -> Use points -> Hotels -> SPG

American Airlines isn’t a transfer partner of American Express, so the best way to transfer your Amex points into American miles is via Starwood. Once they are Starwood points, you can then transfer to American and you get a 5,000 mile bonus for every 20,000 Starwood points transferred.

So essentially you want to get your Amex points into 20,000 Starwood increments. I’ll do the math for you – 48,000 Amex points transfers to 20,000 Starpoints, which transfer to 25,000 AA miles. Not the best use of Amex points, but if you need to top up your AA account before million miler status qualification is restricted to flights, this could be an option.

It could als0 be an option to get some Starwood points for the US Airways Grand Slam promo - you’ll need at least 800 Starpoints to get a “hit,” but only Platinum members can transfer in increments less than 1,000 points. So everyone else still would have to transfer 3,000 Amex to Starwood to get 1,251 Starwood points, 1,000 of which can be transferred to US Airways to qualify as a hit. 36 hits and you’ve got 100,000 bonus US airways miles – enough for a US to Europe award in business class.

Frankly, the most effective way to accrue a bunch of Starwood points is just getting a Starwood American Express Personal or Business Card. The current offer is 25,000 points: 10,000 upon first purchase and 15,000 extra when you spend $15,000 within the first 6 months.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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    Are these MR transfer bonuses applicable to canadian MR? My guess is they are not.


    Transfer Points
    1,000 Membership Rewards points is equal to 500 Starpoints

    A minimum of 1,000 points can be transferred to this Participant


  • Anonymous

    Wow- thats great. It looks like you have a 2:1 transfer ratio- much better than ours

  • PJ

    agreed, no way a star point=3 MR :) i got on the Starwood 30K signon bonus right on the expiration date and already hit the SPEND with 2.75% convenience charge on property tax. looked like a no brainer to me ; many resort hotels at Mexico in winter time is $60 plus 4000 points ( Cash and Point) Four points By Sheraton closeby to SFO and LAX only costs 3000 Starwood points

  • Varun Parthasarathy

    There’s no way i can convince my self to transfer Amex MR points to Starwood. Even if it was 1:1 ratio on Amex to Starwood . A single Make a Green Choice Starwood Voucher fetches 500 Starpoints.

  • Anonymous

    1:1 is a no brainer because Starwood has a bunch more 1:1 transfer partners than Amex and they have the 25% bonus. So it would be like having Amex points with a constant 25% bonus to every partner.

  • Varun Parthasarathy

    I agree with you there. I missed that point.

  • LisaA

    TPG, your thoughts on whether to hold out for a better Starwood Amex offer, such as the 30K point offer they had going this summer? I tried to apply about a week before it was supposed to end and the offer was already pulled. I hadn’t been paying attention before then, don’t know if they tend toward making new offers every (x) months. Or not.

  • Jason

    How strict are the rules as far as transferring to a spouse’s acct? In other words can I transfer from both my Amex and my wife’s account to my star wood account and then to her AA account? She’s the one that needs the miles…

  • David

    Dang!! That’s even better. by 8%

  • Flamingo

    I called AMEX MR to transfer MR points — ask the lady for the 25% bonus transfer before the transfer –> the lady said there is no 25% bonus SPG point transfer — unless I registered or provide her a bonus id #.


    Flamingo can ask TPG ths question personally Wed 9/7 in SMD 3.

  • Flamingo

    Go the answer from MR site showing 25% bonus

    Look like I just talked to a NEW CS with no experience — Do not call MR @ 9am on Monday.

  • Anonymous

    Why don’t you do it online?

  • Pointsbuyer
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