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How Can I Get Elite Status By Doing Starwood Transfers?

by on August 24, 2014 · 23 comments

in Starwood, Sunday Reader Questions, Video Blog Post

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TPG reader Andrew asks on Facebook:

I have approximately two million SPG points that I can transfer to airlines. I’d like to know if you have any strategies on how I can get airline elite status by doing Starwood transfers?”

I love the innocence of newbie questions, and today’s newbie question of the week comes from Andrew, who has two million SPG points and is looking for a transfer strategy to obtain elite status. If only! Sadly, Starwood transfers do NOT count towards Elite status. Amex, Chase and Citi transfers also do not count. If they did, everyone would have elite status, therefore rendering elite status worthless.

If you want elite status, you have to earn it! Image courtesy of Shutterstock.

If you want elite status, you are going to have to earn it! Image courtesy of Shutterstock.

There are credit cards out there that will give you elite status miles, but you are going to have to spend quite a bit and pay some annual fees. Or, just do it the hard way, like most of us, by getting on a plane and sitting your bum down in that seat. Good luck!

If you have any other questions, please tweet me @thepointsguy, message me on Facebook, or send me an email at [email protected]

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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  • tpup

    Can Starwood and Deltas crossover rewards help this person?

  • JustSaying

    Delta cards are the trick if you want to earn status from spend……..

  • LAKnight

    Maybe Andrew just wants us to know he has 2 million SPG points (jealous…)

  • stephaniejmota

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  • Raffles

    Don’t be too dismissive of his question. It is only, what, 2 years since AA stopped counting SPG transfers towards lifetime status? If he had done this in 2012 he would have AA status for life!

  • Craig

    If you use SPG Points to book flights via their Redeem for Flights option, would these flights not earn elite qualification miles?

  • http://aaadventurephoto.com/ Alan

    How do you even amass two million SPG points? The earning rates are pretty weak for their credit card. I guess maybe if you’re a road warrior and exclusively stay in expensive Starwood hotels for a number of years. Otherwise, I’m at a loss.

  • http://www.lmfao.sssr/ Willie The Shake Speare

    Here is another (noobie) sounding question:

    Given: airlines differentiate between RDM (redeemable) and EQ (Elite qualifying points), and the main difference is that you earn EQs by flying, while you earn RDM in a variety of ways (flying, including both service class and status multipliers, credit card spend, transfers, courtesy).

    Why wouldn’t airlines give EQs for flown award tickets? It is true, the airline earned no revenue from those award tickets, but the passenger did fly those miles.

    One could argue either way.

    (a) Pro current policy: you did not pay for that ticket, dummy,

    (b) Against current policy: those are passenger’s miles, and miles are a form of currency, and passenger paid for it. Put another way: if the passenger could sell the miles in some sort of free market, and then use the dollars to buy an equivalent fare, then surely, that flight would earn EQMs.

    I feel much strongly about (b), though, even though I realize that the current policy is not to get EQMs for award tickets.

  • http://www.lmfao.sssr/ Willie The Shake Speare

    Let’s not forget that only a few years ago, you could churn the Citi AA cards, what, every 60 days, and earn bonus miles in the dozens of thousands. These would count towards “Million Miler” status, and if done enough, you could actually earn “Million Miler” status.

    While not exactly what the reader is asking, it is not too far from the scenario that I described.

    Or what if some {Airline, Bank} combo came up with the following:

    - spend X, earn status Y. Wait. I think that already exists, no? Maybe not earn full status, but earn toward status.

  • http://www.lmfao.sssr/ Willie The Shake Speare

    TPG: a quick question. Where do you come up with those random Shutterstock images, and why is this silver platter related to status?

    Or, are you saying that you are serving your answers to the noobs on a silver platter?

  • iamright

    While the Southwest Rewards cards don’t gey you to elite status, two cards in a year including minimum spend gets you 104,000 miles. Spend $6,000 more in the yar and you will get a companion pass for the next full year and the remainder of this year. If you travel with a significant other often, this will amount to a huge saving, especially since paying with points gives you a 40% discount.

  • http://aaadventurephoto.com/ Alan

    Slow day?

  • philly

    Your answer, sadly, was a bit dismissive.

  • Jumus

    You don’t. It’s made up..

  • Texas281

    he can use his 2 million points to stay at spg properties and stay 50 + nights to get platinum. do that for 10 years and you will have platinum for life. that is what i do with my SPG points. I am on year 4. o and just for shits and giggles… see attached image

  • Texas281

    actually you can do it if you can charge a bulk of your expenses on there. see my earlier post on this thread.

  • http://aaadventurephoto.com/ Alan

    If I were to charge a bulk of my expenses on an SPG card, I’d be putting about 20k per year on there. It would take me 100 years to have 2 million points just by using a card at that rate.

  • Flyer Fun

    I left United because of their revenue requirements for American. However, because of Gold status with Marriott, I dropped from 1K to Sliver instead of to non-elite. In fact, TPG wrote about that program (see Link).

    thepointsguy.com/2013/11/united-premier-silver-status-extended-to-may-31-2015-for-united-marriott-rewardsplus-members/

  • Bill Rubin

    OK for the first time, I must comment that this was a stupid question originally and should never have been posted as a topic herein. Bad call, TPG.

  • http://creditcardjoint.com Credit card Joint

    Business expenses. Business tend to spend a lot more then the average consumer. I have seen accounts accrue 200k-300k monthly.

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  • jac

    Agreed. “I love the innocence of newbie questions.” No need to be a jerk as you make your living by educating those who (like yourself) began this hobby as “newbies.”

  • ABeagleKnots

    A business owner who spends lots of money on behalf of clients can rack up lots of purchases, like an interior designer who buys things for clients.

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