One way to get miles quickly is to convert them from hotel points. You don’t get the best value for your points, but it’s an easy way to pick up some miles if you need them quickly for a reward.
Starwood points are particularly useful for converting to all airlines except United (Marriott has a partnership with United that makes them a better value.)*. While they do convert 1 for 1 (One SPG point gets you one mile), you get a bonus if you convert 20,000 or more SPG points. For every 20,000 Starwood points you convert, you get 25,000 miles, giving you an effective rate of 1.25 miles per point.**
A Bonus on American Airlines
And from now until October 15, the deal is just a bit better when you convert from SPG to American airlines. If you convert enough points to get 100,000 miles (80,000 or more SPG points), they’ll give you an additional 10,000 miles. That pushes your conversion percentage up just a bit, from 1.25 miles per SPG point to 1.38 miles per SPG point. It doesn’t sound like a lot, but 10,000 American miles could be enough to push you over the top for your next reward. I don’t advocate converting points to miles unless you have an award in mind, but if you do, this may be the time to do so.
*If you do want to transfer Starwood points into United miles, there’s an easy way to do it. First, convert your SPG points into Marriott Reward points at a ratio of 1:3 (which you can do at Starwood’s website) and then convert at the better rate from Marriott Rewards to United.
**Beginner’s Hint: If you have an airline credit card that gives you miles and all you are interested in are the miles themselves, you are better off with the Starwood American Express card than the airline card. First, one Starwood point is worth more than one airline mile but, more importantly, is that spend bonus. Spend $20,000 on an airline card and you will get 20,000 airline miles. Spend that same amount on the Starwood American Express card and your 20,000 SPG points convert to 25,000 airline miles.
In other words, if you have an airline credit card and don’t care about the other perks that come with it, get rid of it now and get the SPG American Express card.
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