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American Airlines AAdvantage and Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) have teamed up to offer a bonus when transferring Starpoints to AAdvantage, which means you can get 30,000 American Airlines AAdvantage Miles for 20,000 SPG Starpoints.
Technically the bonus is only 20%, which doesn’t sound terribly generous – but due to a great SPG quirk, if you transfer in blocks of 20,000 Points it ends up being more like 50%!
Whenever you transfer 20,000 Starpoints to (most) of SPG’s airline partners you get 5,000 bonus Miles – so 25,000 Miles in total. AA are applying the 20% bonus to that 25,000 figure, which means that you will currently end up with 30,000 AA Miles for just 20,000 Starpoints.
Should I transfer?
AA has devalued some of the brightest spots on their award chart from a European perspective over the last couple of years, but I still find AA Miles to be a lot more valuable than Avios, for example, if used smartly.
I also value Starpoints very highly too though, for their flexibility and because you can transfer them to programmes with very generous award charts like Virgin America Elevate and Alaska Mileage Plan.
Flying one way to the Middle East in Business Class now requires 42,500 AA Miles, or 62,500 in First Class, so ~ 30,000 Starpoints or ~ 42,000 Starpoints respectively.
Bearing in mind that you can redeem AA Miles on Etihad and experience what are probably the best premium cabins in the sky (at least in terms of the hard product) on their Airbus A380s, without any ‘surcharges’, that’s not a bad deal at all for a special trip.
I have a reasonable AA balance at the moment so am not transferring speculatively, but otherwise I might have been tempted.
Can I buy Starpoints to transfer?
Yes, you can buy Starpoints here for ~2.63p each (3.5 US cents), but don’t.
If you bought enough to transfer to AA in blocks of 20,000, it works out as essentially buying AA Miles for about 1.75 pence each.
I wouldn’t recommend purchasing AA Miles at that price, but there are occasions when it might make sense – particularly if you just need to top your Starpoint balance up a little bit to get to a multiple of 20,000.
Otherwise, AA are offering bonuses on Miles purchased directly with them at the moment, which can bring the cost per Mile as low as 1.43p each. There will be a full article about that tomorrow, but if you’re in the market for AA Miles, it’s an ‘ok’ price.
No need to hurry
You don’t need to make any hasty decisions because the transfer bonus is on until 14th September.
It’s also worth pointing out that you can put AAdvantage awards on hold for up to 5 days even if you don’t have any Miles in your account. That said, transferring from SPG can take up to 4 working days and the bonus Miles can take up to 7 additional days to post according to the Ts & Cs (I suspect they will post faster than that, and probably with standard Miles, but I can’t say for certain).
This a decent promotion and definitely one worth considering if you have lots of Starpoints. Just make sure that you have a specific purpose in mind for the AA Miles.
Anyone tempted to jump on this one?