I received 2 separate emails from both AA and US Airways today that they are offering a 20% bonus on Starpoints transferred through July 31, 2014 to either AA or US Airways miles.
Normally, a transfer of 20,000 Starpoints to AA or US Airways earns a 5,000 mile bonus, resulting in 25,000 AAdvantage or US Dividend miles. Through July 31, if you transfer 20,000 Starpoints, you will end up with 30,000 AA or US Airways miles.
My Thoughts on the Transfer Bonus
While I think it is great news that Starwood is offering extra limited transfer bonuses like American Express sometimes does, I personally will not take advantage of this transfer bonus as I find it much easier to earn AA or US Airways miles than Starpoints. At this point, I prefer to save my Starpoints for free hotel stays.
It is fairly easy for me to earn AA or US Airways miles through credit card sign up bonuses, online shopping, dining programs and more. Both AA and US Airways have allowed me to earn a sign up bonus on their credit cards multiple times.
Whereas, Starpoints are much harder to earn without staying at SPG hotels. Starwood does not offer a dining program or an online shopping mall. There is only one credit card-the Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express- that earns Starpoints (although there is both a personal and a business version). The sign up bonus for Starwood Preferred Guest American Express is much lower than the sign up bonuses offered by AA and US Airways co-branded credit cards, it doesn’t have any bonus categories for everyday spending and is no longer churnable. So unless I spend a lot of money or do a lot of manufactured spend, it is hard for me to earn a lot of Starpoints outside of the initial sign up bonus.
Should You Take Advantage of the Bonus?
While I think Starwood points are best used for hotel stays, the decision depends on your personal needs and spending and travel habits. If you are low on AA miles and/or US Airways miles and need them for a redemption soon, then this is a good opportunity to earn an extra 20% miles. When I first started collecting miles and points, I did transfer Starpoints to AA miles because I needed them immediately for an upcoming trip.
Readers, what do you think of the increased transfer bonus? Will the higher bonus prompt you to transfer your Starpoints to AA or US Airways miles?