50% Bonus on Amex Points Transferred to Starwood in March

As reported by The Points Guy and Lucky, American Express Membership Rewards points (US program) transfer with a 50% bonus to Starwood Preferred Guest through March 31.

Normally 3 Amex points transfer to a single Starpoint.

With this bonus the ratio is 2:1. That’s not necessarily a good deal. Membership Rewards points, by a wide margin, are best used (1) transferring to airline miles (2) during a bonus promotion (3) for low-level premium cabin award redemptions.

Hotel redemption are generally not even close in terms of value. In most cases, even with this promotion, they’re still not. It takes 24,000 – 32,000 Amex points for a single night’s stay at one of the full service brand hotels in many major cities in the U.S. (“category 5”), for instance.

Still, it’s a better deal than many other Amex hotel redemptions, so if you’re strong-willed enough about using your Amex points this way, it’s a good time. It’s also reasonable for topping off towards a specific award, you have almost enough Starpoints for what you want and are going to use Amex points just to make up the difference. Then, your relevant comparison is the cost to buy Starpoints.

Alternatively, this does represent an opportunity with some devaluation to transfer points from American Express Membership Rewards to airline programs that Membership Rewards doesn’t partner with. Using this promotion, 40,000 Membership Rewards points become 20,000 Starpoints. Starwood Preferred Guest has a huge range of partners. You could transfer to American AAdvantage for instance, those 20,000 points become 25,000 miles. So 40,000 Amex points to 25,000 AAdvantage miles. The Starpoints should post quickly from Amex, and Amex transfers to airlines can take awhile, in my experience they post on Wednesdays to American as long as you get the request in by Friday. 9American will allow you under normal circumstances to hold an award for 5 days, so you could do your transfers on a Friday after putting an award on hold and odds on that means you can secure your American award in advance of making these trasnfers.)

Again, not useful in most circumstances or even close to the best use of Membership Rewards points, but strategically useful for some. I bet that a lot of folks would have taken advantage of this before December 1 when American stopped counting miles from any source, including transferred-in miles, towards lifetime status.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community Milepoint.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. I cant find the promotion neither on AMEX nor SPG website. When I try to transfer, it gives me standard calculation. Can you help pls

  2. @Fernando this is an American Express MEMBERSHIP REWARDS bonus, it is on transfers of Membership Rewards points, not on transfers of Starwood points.

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