[Introduction] US Point-Transfer Rewards Programs: Starwood Preferred Guest Starpoints

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Introduction to US Point-Transfer Rewards Programs:

1. American Express Membership Rewards (AMEX MR)
2. Chase Ultimate Rewards (Chase UR)
3. Citi ThankYou Rewards (Citi TY)
4. Starwood Preferred Guest Starpoints (SPG)

Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG)

This is the point-transfer program I am going to introduce, which is called Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG). Unlike other point-transfer programs, this is not a bank-associated rewards program. It is a hotel rewards program. However, the best part of this program is that the point can be transferred to various of airline programs in great number of ratio!

When you saw this, you may be confused why a hotel rewards program is even worth to be mentioned. We usually know that the transfer ratio of hotel programs to airline programs is very bad, which is not worth to be mentioned. However, what makes SPG program so special is that the points can be transferred to lots of airline programs in 1 : 1 ratio! The following figure has shown the example of the transfer ratio between major hotel programs to American Airlines. As you can see, only SPG's points are worth to be transferred comparing to any other hotel programs. This rule also applies to other airline mileage programs.

The chart of point-transfer ratio of major hotel programs to American Airlines

1. Plenty of partners of airline programs for you to do the point transfer. The transfer partners has distributed in 3 major airline alliances.There are two more advantages for SPG program:

2. When transferring every 20,000 points to airline programs, you will earn additional 5000 miles. So you should transfer points in the number of 20,000, 40,000, or 60,000 in order to earn maximized additional miles. (The daily transferring limit to airline programs is 79,999 SPG points).

Available airline transfer partners and ratios of SPG

So, how do we earn SPG points? There are two ways to earn it:

1. Having a paid hotel stay in SPG's properties to earn points. However, most of SPG's properties are expensive, which is hard to be an option for earning SPG points.

2. Applying for AMEX SPG credit card, and use this card to make the purchases.

The current sign-up offer of AMEX SPG card is earning 25,000 points when making at least $3,000 dollars in first 3 months of account opening. The point-earning rate is:

  • 2x points per dollar for Starwood / Marriott hotels
  • 1x points per dollar for all other eligible purchases

However, the actual point-earning rate should be 1.25x points per dollar for all other eligible purchases since transferring every 20,000 points to airline programs can earn additional 5,000 miles. This card is the best option for non-bonus spending categories. Also, there is no foreign transaction fee for this card, so it is very useful to make purchases by using this card when traveling outside of United States. For more information, please check our credit database.

Again, SPG points is very valuable since the points can not only be used for hotel award nights, but also can be transferred to various airline programs in 1 : 1 ratio. As I have mentioned above, having a AMEX SPG card should be a great way to earn SPG points from your daily purchases.

Thank you for supporting TripPlus! Please check here to learn more about AMEX SPG card and other hotel co-branded credit cards from our partner.

Editorial Disclaimer: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any of the companies mentioned, and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone.

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