How To Transfer SPG Points To Their Airline Partners & Earn A Bonus!

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Why Transfer SPG Points To Miles?

The other day I had a situation.  When I called the American Airlines Platinum Desk to book a ticket home from Asia for my family and I, they wanted to charge me a close-in booking fee.  Usually that fee is waived for Platinum members, but since I was using miles from my wife’s account, the fee is charged.

When I looked at my account, I saw that I was about 4,000 miles short of what I needed to book three tickets.  The agent on the phone was one of the rudest I have ever encountered (more on that in a later post), so I decided to hang up and weigh my options.  This site is all about getting the most travel for the least money, so I decided to find a way to get more miles.

Long story short, I decided to transfer SPG points into my AA account.  For those that don’t know, SPG has quite a few airline transfer partners.  Most of them transfer at a 1:1 ratio.  The kicker though is that if you transfer points in increments of 20,000, SPG kicks in a 5,000 point bonus.

Here is a step by step guide to doing the transfer.  By utilizing this option, I was able to turn 20,000 SPG points earned from the bonus on the Amex SPG card into 25,000 AAdvantage miles so that I could book the award from my account and avoid the close-in ticketing fee.

How To Transfer SPG Points To Miles

1. Login to your account on SPG.com.  After logging in, click on the “My Account” link.

2. Scroll through the options and find the “StarPoints Awards” Section.  One of the options in this section is “Redeem/Transfer Starpoints”.  Click on it.

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Click “Redeem/Transfer Starpoints”.

3. On the next page you will see several transfer options.  Scroll down and find “Transfer to Miles”.

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4. You will now see a full list of SPG’s airline transfer partners along with the 5,000 point bonus information. Scroll through the list to find the partner you are looking for and to make sure the ratio works for you.

Most of the airlines transfer at a 1:1 ratio, but a few don’t. United for example is 2:1 which is a terrible ratio! When you are ready to move on to the next step, click the “Transfer Now” button.

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5. On this next screen you will select the airline that you wish to transfer to and enter your frequent flyer number with that airline.  When this is complete. click “Continue”.

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6. Now it is time to enter the number of points you would like to transfer.  In this scenario we will transfer 20,000 points which will turn into 25,000 miles.  Once you have entered the amount of points to transfer, click “Continue”.

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7. On this final screen you will review the transaction.  It shows how many points you are transferring, how many miles you will receive and the transfer ratio.  If everything is up to your satisfaction, click “Complete Transfer” and you are done!

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How Long Does It Take?

The confirmation email says that it can take up to 4 weeks for the miles to post.  In my situation this would have been disastrous, thus forcing me to pay the dreaded fee.  I had read that others had received the miles within a couple of days, so I wasn’t too worried.

Imagine my surprise when I checked my account after a day of sightseeing to find 25,000 brand spanking new AAdvantage miles had posted.  I checked about 20 hours after doing the transfer, so I am not sure how long they took to post, but it was less than that!

From the confirmation email.
From the confirmation email.

Conclusion

Part of maximizing your travel/dollar ratio is learning all of the different avenues you have to earn and utilize your points. SPG’s mileage transfer program is fantastic because it has great transfer ratios for most carriers and awards bonuses on transfers in 20,000 point increments

While $75 isn’t that much considering the cash cost of the tickets, there was no need for me to pay it when I had an abundance of SPG points sitting around. Now that my AAdvantage mileage balance is so low, it is time to build it back up. Luckily I have the Citi Executive bonus posting soon and Jasmine still has a significant balance as well!


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