Until March 8, 2017 you can receive a 35% bonus when transferring hotel points from seven select loyalty programs to British Airways. The participating hotel programs include:
- Club Carlson
Million Mile Secrets broke down the different hotel transfer rates in an article but the one transfer rate that (always) sticks out to me is the transfer ratio from SPG.
- Starwood – minimum 2,500 points = 2,500 British Airways Avios points (3,375 points after 35% bonus)
Although most of the transfer ratios from hotels to British Airways are pretty poor, the 1:1 ratio is not bad, especially with the 5,000 point bonus that SPG grants every time you transfer points in increments of 20,000. What’s even better is that this 35% promotional bonus stacks on top of the standard SPG 5,000 point bonus.
So for example, let’s say you transfer 20,000 SPG points to British Airways. That’s automatically increased to 25,000 points because of the standard 25% SPG bonus. Then the 35% British Airways bonus kicks in, which ups the 25,000 SPG points to 33,750 Avios.
If you transfer 40,000 SPG points you’ll get 67,500 Avios!
There is a minimum for transferring points from SPG that is determined by your level of status with SPG.
For Starwood Preferred Guest members (SPG), for each StarPoint exchanged you will receive 1 Avios. There is a minimum points transfer of:
- 2,500 minimum points transfer for SPG Preferred members
- 1,500 minimum points transfer for SPG Gold members
- No minimum points transfer for SPG Platinum members
Get to Europe with this promotion
I recently wrote about the best ways to use Avios to get to Europe in business class. In that article, I discussed how you can utilize better sweet spots in business class to Europe by using Iberia Avios. Iberia is a British Airways partner and you can actually transfer Avios from British Airways to Iberia (subject to restrictions found in the article that you must read before doing this). By transferring Avios to Iberia you can get to Europe by flying from the following destinations for only 68,000 Iberia Avios roundtrip:
- Boston to Madrid
- Chicago to Madrid
- New York to Madrid
That means roughly 40,000 points get you round-trip to Europe in business class. That’s pretty incredible. Plus, fees are manageable (for Europe) at about $220 round trip.
If you’re interested in flying economy, you can take advantage of sweet spots on Aer Lingus that will only run you 26,000 Avios round trip in economy!
Using credit cards for this offer
The issue with getting new credit cards to take advantage of this bonus is that there’s only one month from today (February 8, 2017) to jump on it. By the time you receive your card and meet your minimum spend, it’s possible that the offer might already be expired. However, some report that their SPG sign-up bonuses posted the same day they met their minimum spend, so getting an SPG card could be an option.
In the past, American Express has allowed customers with an established history to receive their bonus almost instantly (at least for Membership Rewards earning cards), so if you’re a newcomer to them, this might be a gamble. Also, there’s a possibility (probably unlikely given the Marriott/SPG merger) that the current 25,000 SPG sign-up bonus might go up to 30,000 or even it’s all-time high of 35,000. Since Amex limits you to one bonus per life-time you may not want to hastily jump on a 25,000 offer.
So while it might be possible for some to receive am SPG sign-up bonus within one month, I wouldn’t recommend this to the general public and would only entertain this offer if I already had SPG points or knew for certain that I’d receive a sign-up bonus within the next couple of weeks.
Daniel Gillaspia is the Founder of UponArriving.com and creator of the credit card app, WalletFlo. He is a former attorney turned full-time travel expert covering destinations along with TSA, airline, and hotel policies. Since 2014, his content has been featured in major publications such as National Geographic, Smithsonian Magazine, Forbes, CNBC, US News, and Business Insider. Find his full bio here.