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Starwood Preferred Guest points are the most valuable currency on my monthly list of currency valuations at 2.3 cents a piece. They’re valuable because they can be used for hotel redemptions (plus 5th night free on awards and cash + points) and can also be transferred to 32 airline partners- many at a 25% bonus for every 20,000 Starpoints transferred. My favorite transfer partners are Alaska, American and US Airways.
American AAdvantage miles are also pretty high up on the value list at 1.7 cents a piece. They recently suffered a stealth devaluation (most notably axing their valuable stopover rules and Oneworld Explorer awards), though not as bad as many other currencies. That being said, I still suspect program changes as they continue on towards merging with the US Airways Dividend Miles program at some point in 2015. That being said, there are still valuable awards, like 40,000 miles roundtrip to Europe off-peak (October 15-April 15) and there are several new partners that unlock unique destinations, like Qatar and Sri Lankan).
AA just launched a promotion for the month of July where you get a 20% bonus on SPG transfers- no registration is necessary. If you plan it carefully, this means you can get a 50% bonus because the 20% bonus includes the built in 25% bonus when transferring in blocks of 20,000 points.
For example, 20,000 Starpoints normally = 25,000 AA and with this 20% bonus you’d end up with a bonus of 5,000 extra, for 30,000 total AA. There is a max transfer of 79,999 Starpoints per day, so the most you’d want to transfer on a given day is 60,000 in order to maximize the 5,000 built in SPG bonus.
60,000 Starpoints= 90,000 AA miles, a pretty solid deal if you know how to maximize AA miles (this could also be a good way to pad your AA account for those who have also gotten in on the amazing 100,000 mile Citi Executive AAdvantage offer this is still alive and kicking!)
Note, SPG transfers can take over a week to process, but they usually go in weekly sweeps on Monday/Tuesday so if you do it by Sunday, it usually only takes ~72 hours. American Airlines will let you hold award tickets if you call and place them on hold for up to 5 days, so while there may be a small window for error, you can take advantage of this promotion and hold award tickets if you time it correctly.
Key Terms & 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.
-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.
– 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.
– For every 20,000 Starpoints transferred within the same transaction, Starwood will automatically add another 5,000 Starpoints.
– 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.
Hat tip View from the Wing