50% Amex Transfer Bonus to Starwood Until March 31, 2012!

by on March 1, 2012 · 54 comments

in American Express, Starwood

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Update: The bonus is now 25,000 points for the Starwood Amex business and personal cards, 10,000 points after first purchase and 15,000 after $5,000 spend within the first 6 months.

Offer expired on March 31, 2012.

Starwood Preferred Guest is a transfer partner of American Express, but the normal transfer ratio is a dismal 3:1, which means you’d need to transfer 60,000 Amex to get 20,000 SPG (which can then be transferred on to a number of airlines at a 25% bonus).

However, until March 31, 2012 Amex is running a 2:1 ratio, which is better but still not amazing. The bonus is hard-coded into the transfer ratio, so no need to register and the points should transfer automatically. Just log-in to -> Use points -> Hotels and then Starwood along the side of the screen or click here.

I see two main reasons people might take advantage of this (but feel free to comment on why it might make sense for you):

1) To build American Airlines miles. Currently AA is not a member of either of the main transferable points programs, Amex Membership Rewards or Chase Ultimate Rewards, so you can essentially transfer points to Starwood at 40,000 Amex to 20,000 SPG and then transfer to AA at the 25% bonus and end up with 25,000 American Airlines miles. If you are swimming in Amex points and want to redeem for a great AA award (like 40,000 miles offpeak coach roundtrip to Europe), this could make sense, but it’s still a 1: .625 transfer ratio of Amex to AA. Check out this post for more on maximizing AA awards.

2) To take advantage of one of my favorite point redemption methods, Starwood Cash & PointsI can often get over 4 cents per Starpoint in value when I redeem for Cash & Points stays, so if you value Starpoints at more than two times Amex points, this transfer bonus might make sense. Plus, Cash & Point and award stays now count towards SPG elite status and starting today Starwood is adding a ton of benefits to Gold and Platinum status.

Hat tip TPG reader Scott!

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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  • Bryan

    Do you think Chase Sapphire will ever give a transfer bonus?

  • Pointasaurus

    Think I’ll hold out for a Delta SM transfer promotion? Any rumors on when hit the streets yet.

  • Scott Schieffer

    Thanks for the info, TPG! I was not sure if the bonus was on top of the 2 to 1 ratio; good to know it was downsized from 3:1. Not an amazing promo, but after signing up for yesterday’s 75K Amex Business card promo, it’s good to know more about the MR program.

  • Phil

    This is good to know. I was just looking at a potential booking for next years ski trip at Beaver Creek and with the pay 4 get 5 nights of SPG it would cost basically 10,335 SPG points per night for a week. And now that I have SPG suite upgrade awards (newly minted today!) I could upgrade to a one bedroom suite. The going rate when I am looking for that room is $800 a night. So I could transfer basically 20k Amex MR to get an $800 value, so 4 cents per point. So even though on the surface 2:1 may sound bad, the actually value incurred can be pretty good. Especially when my stash of Amex points either came free from sign ups, or at the very least I earned at a level of 2 points per $ spend (I only ever use Amex MR cards in situations where either through category spend bonuses or the old bonuspointsmall thing I get at least 2x spend)

  • Jamison

    thanks TPG, working on attaining lifetime platinum with SPG and this will surely help as I am swimming in airline miles, but not hotel points!

  • Gregg

    Would these transfers extend the expiration date of SPF points?

  • Phil

    Isn’t their lifetime status based on stays and number of years of attained status? As such a transfer will be of no value, unless you want to use the points for stays to boost your stays.

  • PJ

    just catch the SPG’s 25K offer ( sometimes 30K) with 10 K referral bonus.

    3:1 for MR:starwoods is well beyond a throw away price 2:1 still not great unless you are really loaded with MR from and in desperate need to get Starwood to get in Starwood with very attrative redemption.

  • thepointsguy


  • PJ

    hold your breath keep your fingers and toes crossed

  • thepointsguy

    Yes I think he means points will help him book stays that will count towards elite status since SPG counts awards stays towards elite now

  • thepointsguy

    I hope so, but I have no information either way

  • PJ

    SPG has awesome redemption values around LAX. I never dreamed Sheraton Gateway LAX could be redeemed for 3K on weekends before the 7K upgrade. Still Four points still available for old price

  • Guest

    how is this a good deal?

  • Jamison

    indeed… love the 1600pts & $30 cash option for often $199+ cat 2′s

  • lycidas1

    It could be good, depending on a person’s circumstances. What’s notable is that it’s better than the usual transfer rate.

  • Evan

    Really in need of hotel points… What is the best hotel partner to transfer from Amex MR, taking into account this Starwood promo?

  • Sam

    Why would they? They already have a better program without the transfer bonuses

  • MJLouise

    Nice improvement, how long does these “bonuses” usually last?

  • thepointsguy

    Usually a month. This one ends March 31, 2012

  • Adam

    Something doesnt seem right to me. In previous TPG posts we’ve Seen the Value of starwood points and Money Be around .05-.06 Cents per Point. I mean i could See how waiting for the Delta Promotion could also Be worth it but this seems pretty Damm good. Especially when i just got the amex PrG 75k for only 1k in spend. Id have to spend 5k for 25k starpoints via the spg Card or 1k for 37.5k points transferred from MR.

  • Guest

    Tough call here – I have high balances in SPG, AA, and Amex. However, it seems to be pretty difficult to use my amex points without getting hit with a fuel surcharge (Aeroplan). Wondering if I have high balances if I should just let everything sit tight for the time being.

  • PJ

    no way 1 starwood point= .05 -.06 cents that is .0005-.0006 dollar my goodness

  • PJ

    I have converted Sapphire Ultimate reards into Hyatt that is a more than fair conversion 1 to 1.

    COme to think about this: 8000 UR can get you into Irvine Hyatt , Hyatt at Incheon(?) , the south korea airport . also 8000 to Hyatt Santiago which costed more than $330 to book .

  • Adam
  • Adam

    Read up chucklehead

  • PJ

    TPG reported as 4.5 cents 5.2 cents 6.6 cents NOT .0045 cents . lol. glad this is not a math class

  • singtx

    Same boat…any good info on a new Delta transfer involving MQMs?

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  • Guest

    He is pointing out that you are doubling up decimals/cents. “.05 cents” is 1/20 of one cent. He’s being a smartass, but he’s also correct.

    Also, not sure when you got the PRG, but MR points usually post after the SECOND month (i.e., two statements between your spend and the points posting), so by the time you get your MR points, the promo likely will have ended, and your 75k points will also be worth 25k starpoints. Still a good deal, but the bonuses end up being closer in value.

  • PJ

    if you like to be called smartass that would be fine for you to act that way. this is what I know
    1. AMex let you advance MR points
    2. Amex let you move up your statement cutoff date
    3. I have Platinum, GPR, BLUE and 4 other GPRs( to collect 4X75K) as account manager: only one occassion the account holder had to wait about 6 weeks to see the bumped up bonus to show up after SPEND was met. The rest pretty much coincided with the very next statement cut off date ( NOT AS PRECISELY AS CHASE in the evening the statement was cut)
    4. AMEX even FedEXes the card over to you

  • PJ

    cheaper than Motel 6 I bet !! Similarly, 3k points can get a free night weekend stay at Sheraton gateway LAX (if booked by Feb 29) or Four points LAX. 10 K for Sheraton Hotel and Resort in Rio etc.

  • Ace

    If I see one more “costed” or “payed” I am going to puke

  • PJ

    a caution when you transfer amex MR to Aeroplan: during the high travel months, aeroplan gets you over there on United but rarely can be on nonstop flights where you can book with United miles .

  • Ran Zhang

    Adam – with the “Be around .05-.06 Cents per Point.” is simply not right. Instead, my math values each point to be around 0.05 – 0.06 DOLLARS (not cents). For example, I just redeemed a 120 dollar/night at Westin LAX (great deal!) for 3000 points, which means each point is worth 0.04 DOLLARS, also known as 4 cents per point.

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  • Alison

    This is a good option for road warriors who are married/in relationships with people who don’t travel for work and thus have paltry point balances in their MR accounts – not enough to buy anything, and it’s a nice way to “pay back” a bit of the free travel and upgrades they get to enjoy through their SO’s status. Vieques and Hawaii really cleaned my SPG clock, so this bonus was a great way to scrap about 40K SPG points back into the account so we don’t feel too bare!

  • Travis

    Only worth it if you are seriously hard up for AA points. With Amex points good for continental/united it’s hard to transfer them at 1:.625. IMO

  • thepointsguy

    FYI Amex points can’t be transferred to united/continental

    With this promo they can be transferred to Starwood then US at near 1:1

  • upupandaway

    Great to know this… but how do you transfer amex mr points to SPG(only have a amex blue card and not an annual fee card) . Can you transfer delta points to SPG?

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  • Adam

    I am loaded in amex MR points, Citi premier points and 70K in Chase saphire rewards. Can I transfer Chase UR points to SPG or are marriott and hyatt my best options for hotel stays? I am debating getting some SPG points for flexibility but the value seems pretty bad? Any advice?

  • heather

    Is this deal dead? I just went in to extend my points expiration and it’s only showing the 3 to 1 transfer.

  • Fred

    i just went into my AMEX MR to transfer and the promo isnt there!
    shows 333=1000

  • Amex Shenanigans?

    Is it just me or did Amex pull this offer before the expiration date? It now seems that it’s back to the standard 333:1000 ratio…

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