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It’s been an annual tradition for American to offer a bonus moving Starwood points to AAdvantage miles. And Starwood has occasionally offered a 35% discount buying points. But the two offers don’t usually happen at the same time.
Right now thought,
- You can buy Starwood points at 35% off through May 31.
- You can earn 25% bonus miles converting Starwood points to AAdvantage also through May 31.
A 35% discount lets you buy Starwood Starpoints for 2.275 cents apiece which is what I consider the points to be worth. Starwood only lets you buy 30,000 points per year for your account.
You can transfer your Starpoints to Marriott at 1 to 3, and then use Marriott Rewards for travel packages. That’s great, though we don’t yet know how travel packages will change exactly under the new Marriott program.
If you transfer Starpoints into airline miles, 20,000 Starpoints gets you 25,000 miles which means with the 35% offer you’d be buying miles in most airline programs for 1.82 cents apiece.
Convert those points to American, adding in the 25% transfer bonus running concurrently, and you get that cost down to 1.46 cents apiece. That’s a much better price than American ever sells miles for directly (through April 28 they’re offering a deal of 1.8 cents). And indeed 1.5 is about what I value American miles at.
Note that Starwood points purchases are processed by Points.com – not by Starwood directly – yet they do offer bonus points as though you were buying from Starwood when paying with an SPG co-brand Amex.
And that while American AAdvantage offers 5 day holds when booking most awards, less time than the transfer from Starwood to American usually takes, American isn’t promising that the 25% bonus will show up in your account for 7 days from when the initial points transfer does. So while this is a good offer to top off an account, it’s not likely once where you can put an award on hold to lock in space before doing so.
(HT: One Mile at a Time)