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How to transfer Starwood points to airline miles

by on Wed September 7, 2016 • 17 Comments

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Starwood Preferred Guest is one of the most beloved hotel loyalty programs. One of its strong features is the program’s incredible versatility, as you can transfer Starwood Preferred Guest points to dozens of airline mile programs at a 1:1 ratio, rare for a hotel program.

Even more so, when you transfer 20,000 points, you get a 5,000 mile bonus, and you can get this bonus for every 20,000 points you transfer – it’s not limited to the first 20,000 points you transfer.

The downside is Starwood transfers aren’t instant, so you’ll want to be very sure you can make use of the mileage program before you transfer. Some programs like American AAdvantage and Korean Skypass will let you put awards on hold, but some of the most lucrative transfer partners like Alaska Mileage Plan and ANA Mileage Club won’t hold awards while you wait for the transfer to complete.

And while Marriott plans to acquire Starwood, it will be a while before this feature changes if that happens.

Starwood Preferred Guest Airline Transfer Partners

Here is the full list of SPG partner airlines with approximate transfer times. Please note, these transfer times are not guaranteed; the only thing that is guaranteed  is that transfers will not be instant. For more on SPG and other programs transfer times read this post.

ProgramRatio / Transfer time
Aegean Airlines1:1 (9-12 days)
Aeromexico Club Premier1:1 (1-2 days)
Aeroplan/Air Canada1:1 (4 days)
Air Berlin1:1 (7 days)
Air China Companion1:1 (1-2 days)
Air New Zealand Airpoints65:1 (2 days)
Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan1:1 (1-2 days)
Alitalia MileMiglia1:1 unknown
All Nippon Airways (ANA) Mileage Club1:1 (at least 7 days, completes once a week)
American Airlines AAdvantage1:1 (1-4 days)
Asia Miles Cathay Pacific1:1 (2 days)
Asiana Airlines1:1 (9-10 days)
British Airways Executive Club1:1 (4-5 days)
China Eastern Airlines1:1 unknown
China Southern Airlines Sky Pearl Club1:1 (3 days)
Delta Air Lines SkyMiles1:1 (2 days)
Emirates Skywards1:1 (4-7 days)
Etihad Airways1:1 (4-7 days)
Flying Blue Air France/KLM1:1 (1-13 days)
Gol Smiles2:1 unknown
Hainan Airlines1:1 (7 days)
Hawaiian Airlines1:1 (1-2 days)
Japan Airlines (JAL) Mileage Bank1:1 (3-6 days)
Jet Airways1:1 unknown
Korean Air1:1 (7 days)
LATAM Airlines LATAM Pass1:1.5 (2 days)
Lufthansa Miles and More1:1 (4 days)
Qatar Airways1:1 (3 weeks)
Saudi Arabian Airlines1:1 unknown
Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer1:1 (at least 7 days, completes on Mondays)
Thai Airways International Royal Orchid Plus1:1 (10 days)
United Mileage Plus2:1 (2-3 days)
Virgin America Elevate1:1 (1-2 days)
Virgin Atlantic Flying Club1:1 (within 24 hours)
Virgin Australia1:1 (2 days)

Sources: 1234

How to Transfer SPG Points to Airline Mile Programs

You can follow this link and enter your SPG username and password to go directly to the airline mile transfer page.

If you’re navigating the site, you can find it via the following steps:

1. After you log on to your SPG account click “Redeem Starpoints.”


2. Click “Travel”, under the suitcase icon.


3. Scroll half-page down until you see “Transfer Air Miles” and click on it.


4. Click “Transfer Starpoints to Air Miles.”


5. Select your airline, enter the FF# and the amount of points you want to transfer, tick the T&C box and click “Go.”

starwood airline transfer partners


Pay attention to the following SPG rule, as it might be confusing.

Starwood Preferred Guests can transfer up to 79,999 of their Starpoints® per transaction per program within a 24-hour period to the frequent flyer programs listed below. Plus, for every 20,000 Starpoints transferred within the same transaction, Starwood will automatically add another 5,000 Starpoints! This means that up to 94,999 Starpoints can be transferred into your frequent flyer account.

What it really means is there’s a 24 hour limit of 79,999 points transferred to any given program.

But you shouldn’t be transferring exactly 79,999 points in one transaction or you will miss out on the 5,000 mile bonus at the 80,000 point level (since 80,000 is a multiple of 20,000 points). It’s always best to transfer Starpoints in 20,000 point chunks, so the maximum you should transfer any given day is 60,000 points, which will get you 75,000 points (3x 5,000 point bonuses).

And beware, transfers are not reversible. Once you transfer out, you can’t transfer back into SPG.

Best Partners 

  • Alaska Mileage Plan has better prices for American Airlines flights than American’s own AAdvantage miles, as well as excellent rates on Cathay Pacific. It also has fantastic routing rules allowing you a free stopover on a one-way flight.
  • Cathay Pacific Asia Miles gives you prime access to its own premium class award space and great Premium Economy rates from the West Coast (72,000 miles between LAX and HKG per roundtrip). It also has good stopover opportunities, and lets you book any OneWorld carrier, including American Airlines and Japan Airlines.
  • ANA Mileage Club is one of the best programs, especially for business class flights to Asia (from 75,000 miles per roundtrip between the U.S. and Japan in Business!). ANA is a Star Alliance member, so you can book United, Lufthansa, and more.
  • British Airways Avios has great levels for short hops in Europe and on partners all over the world, including American Airlines and Cathay Pacific.
  • Etihad Guest offers pre-devaluation award charts for American and some weird and unexpected bargains for other partner airlines like Brussels Airways. A roundtrip flight between JFK and Brussels costs less than 22,000 miles in Economy and less than 36,000 miles in Business (with no fuel charges), though getting agents to book awards can be a challenge.
  • Flying Blue has excellent levels for flights between the U.S. and Israel in Economy — only 50,000 miles per roundtrip.
  • JAL Mileage Bank is the only program you can reasonably use to book a flight on Emirates without huge fuel surcharges (only 85,000 miles in Business and 135,000 in first between the U.S. and U.A.E per roundtrip). It currently doesn’t add fuel surcharges, although it did in the past.
  • Lufthansa Miles and More has excellent levels for United flights in the U.S. in business class — only 35,000 miles per roundtrip. However, it usually adds huge fuel surcharges on its own metal and other partners.
  • Singapore KrisFlyer is the only place to park your points if you want its celebrated First or Business Class award seats, as Singapore doesn’t share its premium class award space with partners.

Worst Partners 

Some SPG partners are better to avoid. Transferring valuable SPG points to United and Gol at 2:1 ratio is not a good idea, and there is little in these programs that can justify this ratio.

Instead you can transfer to Air Canada or other Star Alliance partners like Singapore or Lufthansa to book United in the Americas, or to Delta to book Gol.

You might also avoid transferring points to airlines that add huge fuel surcharges if you intend to redeem miles on their own flights, like Emirates, Virgin Atlantic, and a few others, as well.


The following two tabs change content below.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Miles dont expireas long as card is open
Learn more

Partner Offer

50,000 bonus points

Intro Offer

$0 introductory annual fee the first year, then $95

Annual Fee


Foreign Transaction Fee Waived

Yes - transfer to United MileagePlus, Southwest Rapid Rewards, Marriott Rewards, and more

Points Can Transfer to Airline Miles ?

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17 thoughts on How to transfer Starwood points to airline miles

  1. JULIE

    If I need around 255,000 points to redeem for award flights in my ANA club, that means I need to transfer from my SPG account 60k points (plus 45k bonus)in the first 3 days. Then on the 4th day, transfer another 20k(plus 15k bonus). This will get me the total of 260k in my ANA account?


    Glad i found this blog. I have 65000 SPG points. I would like to transfer 60,000 to Singapore Krisflyer.
    My question is, should i transfer 60,000 Directly where i can get 15,000 points by spg or in a box of 20,000 for 3 times to get the 5000 extra points from spg?

    Thank u.

  3. Marcos

    Today I tried to transfer 4500 SPG points to LATAM (1:1.5). Despite all my efforts in filling up my frequent flyer information, I am getting an annoying error. From the form itself:


    So I called the given number and a very polite attendant (and patient I must say) got my call and asked for my issue. He then tried to make the transfer but also had no success. According to him the frequent flyer number was not matching in the system or something like that (of course I double checked my FFN and it is correct). He suggested me to call LATAM and ask them how they report on my FFN abroad (?) but I am kind of skeptic now about transferring these points. Does anybody had this error message before? Were you able to complete the online process? What about FFN? Is there any format I should care about? Thanks!

  4. Maria

    I just began a job for which I fly American Airlines a LOT. I will quickly rank up points, and want to maximize this work benefit by adding to the pot with personal spending/credit card points. Of note, I am also getting married next July 2018 and would love to be able to use the points for a free/cheap flight to Hawaii 🙂

    Anyway… my question. Can you please help me understand if the SPG card may be better for me in terms of earning the most miles for AA? I have reviewed all of the AA cards through Citi bank, Barclaycard, etc, but besides for offering additional AA benefits (such as free checked luggage, preferred boarding, etc) they don’t appear to help me in earning more miles than SPG. Most of my spending will NOT be on AA flights (work pays for those), but on everyday spending, wedding costs, etc.

    It seems to me as if the SPG card offers more value due to the 5,000 bonus point offering. Plus, if I got stuck and couldn’t find an AA flight, I could transfer the points to another airline. What do you think?

    Thanks so much!



      For your base spending, yes, that will be the most value.

      But the best strategy to really ramp up is to try to get the Citi AA card and the Barclays Aviator Red for their respective sign on bonuses. Then get the SPG card once you’ve met the requirements for those and use it going forward.

      There’s no intro annual fee on the Citi AA card, and the Aviator Red is $95, but you get 50k miles upfront with no minimum spending requirement.

  5. Itprof

    Hi there.
    1. Can I purchase 300,000 SPG points when a good deal is there??
    2. How much is the fuel surcharge and other costs in emirates flying businews using SPG points. (Unlike in singapore which is huge and rather limited in cathay). Thx


      @itprof – You can buy up to 30,000 points.

      As for Emirates, they have substantial surcharges. Around $1,400 for a roundtrip in biz from the US to DXB.

      Using miles to upgrade is the better value with Emirates – you pay the surcharge difference for Economy to Business, but you get to pay fewer miles, and you earn miles on the Economy fare.

  6. Candace Nicholas

    So I transferred my SPG points to Qatar today, and this is a really dumb question, but how do I actually use them now? They never ask you for an account number for Qatar membership. For all I can tell, my points are just gone. Help!!


      @Candace – The form you fill out when you initiate the transfer asks for a ‘frequent flyer number.’ That’s where you’d put in your Qatar number, and that’s the Qatar account to look up.

      Might be worth a call to SPG on 1-888-625-4990.

      Also know transfers can take several days, so you might not see them in your Qatar account yet.

  7. Renee

    I fly internationally a fair amount, but I’m new to collecting my miles. I signed up this year with ANA Mileage club since ANA was the first international flight in January, and I managed to collect a few more miles on Turkish and other flights. My total premium points balance is now around 25k for the year, and I would really like to reach Star Alliance Gold Status for next year so that I can use the Star Alliance lounges when I travel next year. To get Gold Status I need 50k premium points, and half of them need to be earned on ANA flights. I have 23k points on non ANA, and only 3k on ANA. I have another flight at the end of the month on Turkish, so I’m not going to make it to 25k on ANA group flights.

    My question is if I should use my SPG points to transfer to ANA to make up the difference. I have over 100k SPG points and I don’t use them very often. I can transfer 20k SPG points and get the 5k bonus, but if I do this will the SPG points transfer to my ANA mileage club as ANA group flights points, or will they transfer as non-ANA group flights points and therefore be useless in meeting my goal of attaining SPG Gold status?

    Is SPG Gold status even worth trying to redeem my SPG points for? I’m not even thinking far enough ahead about redeeming points for flights.


      @Renee – Only flight activity can earn you Premium points, so a transfer to ANA won’t help you earn Gold status. The miles you transfer from SPG to ANA are just for flight awards, not earning status. But ANA awards are a great way to use SPG points.

  8. Zed

    Is there a minimum amount of spg points one needs to transfer to an airline partner? can one transfer as little as say 650 points?


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