Get a 20% Bonus When You Transfer Starpoints to AA

Aug 2, 2016

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Of the many possible ways to redeem your Starwood Preferred Guest points, transferring points to airline programs is one of the best uses of Starpoints. Well, good news! One of these transfer options just got better. American Airlines and Starwood just launched a joint promotion for converting Starpoints to AAdvantage miles. Rather than the standard 1:1 transfer ratio, you’ll get a 20% bonus when you transfer Starpoints to AAdvantage miles now through September 14.

You’ll earn this 20% bonus on top of the typical Starwood bonus of an extra 5,000 miles for every 20,000 Starpoints transferred. This means you’ll get a total of 30,000 AAdvantage miles for every 20,000 Starpoints you transfer — Starwood will add its standard 5,000 bonus and American Airlines will add another 5,000 miles (25,000 x 20%).

Don’t worry if you don’t see the miles post immediately in your AAdvantage account, as the typical transfer time from Starpoints to AAdvantage miles is two days. American Airlines’ Terms and Conditions for this promotion note that the 20% bonus miles might take up to seven days to post. If you’re looking at a particular award flight, American Airlines will let you hold an award flight for up to five days. Since the five-day hold might run out before the 20% bonus posts, you might not want to count on the 20% bonus miles if award availability is tight.

This AA transfer promotion is better suited for booking Cathay Pacific economy awards than business-class flights.

The best uses for promotion are likely going to be economy flights and AA awards that decreased as of March 22. If you’re looking for business/first-class flights, transferring Starpoints to Alaska might be a better option — even without the 20% bonus. For example, if you’re looking to book a round-trip on Cathay Pacific business class, you’ll need to redeem just 100,000 Alaska Mileage Plan miles (80,000 Starpoints before the transfer bonus) vs. 140,000 AAdvantage miles (97,000 Starpoints before both bonuses).

Bottom Line

As long as you can transfer multiples of 20,000 Starpoints, this is effectively a 50% bonus for transferring Starpoints to AAdvantage. As of the most recent valuations, TPG values Starpoints at 2.5 cents per point — while 1.5 AAdvantage miles would be valued at 2.25 cents. So, we certainly wouldn’t recommend making a speculative transfer during this promotion. But, if you’ve got a specific AAdvantage award redemption in mind, this is a great opportunity to leverage your Starpoints to earn extra AA miles.

Are you planning on taking advantage of this transfer promotion?

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