Can You Transfer Points From The SPG Amex To Earn Elite Status On American Airlines?
Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available. View the current offers here.
Today's newbie question is one that we get quite often, so if you're an experienced points expert, you can probably skip this post!
TPG Reader Vick tweeted me to ask:
"@thepointsguy Can you transfer points from the SPG Amex to earn elite status on American Airlines? And if so, is it a good idea?"
People get excited about transferable points, so I've received this tweet a lot and emailed about it even more often.
The short answer to Vick's question “Do I earn AA elite miles when I transfer my star points?” is no, you don’t. Points transferred from AMEX, Chase or Starwood do not count as elite qualifying miles unless there is a special promotion, and we haven’t seen one of those in a while. American Express and Delta used to give Medallion Qualifying Miles (MQM’s) for certain transfers, but those days are long behind us.
There is one notable exception, and that is if you are transferring hotel points (such as Marriott) to Southwest. Generally these transfers do count towards qualification for the Southwest Companion Pass, which is one of the best airline perks out there. It gets you free companion travel for the remainder of the calendar year in which it's earned AND the following year, which is an elite status in its own way. It’s a great perk, but note that Chase transfers do not count towards the companion pass.
So there you have it; sorry to burst your bubble Vick, but you’re going to have to earn those elite miles the hard way or pay for them through the promos that many airlines are running these days.