Update: This bonus ends today.
Originally posted on 4/28:
-Earn 60K AA miles with the Citi AA Consumer and Business Mastercard.
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“To qualify for this AAdvantage 25% bonus mile offer, member must initiate the AAdvantage mileage conversions with participating eligible AAdvantage program hotel participants between 12:00 am Central time on April 28, 2017 and 11:59 pm Central time on June 15, 2017, and must be in good standing in the AAdvantage program. Members can convert multiple times with multiple Hotel Partners. Conversions for hotel and air packages from Hotel Partners are included for this offer.”
Back in 2010 when these SPG-AA bonuses started you were able to rack up hundreds of thousands of Starpoints thanks to the US Mint, miles transferred to AA counted for million miler status, and AA had an awesome round-the-world award chart. I took advantage of all of those, but they no longer exist.
During 2015’s bonus I cautioned that American’s award chart was “so much better than their competition’s award charts that you can’t help but wonder when the devaluation will come…”
The devaluation came and it made their award chart downright terrible. Then the other shoe fell when American made their saver awards far more difficult to find than on any other airline. I wrote last July that their lack of award space could even be construed as a scAAm and even some of the biggest AA AApologist bloggers are now starting to call them out on it as well.
So why would you transfer valuable Starpoints to American?
Despite the dearth and American award space and the fuel surcharges to redeem miles for travel on British Airways there are still some good uses. You’ll have to hunt for them as many partner awards are only bookable over the phone, such as Air Tahiti Nui, Cathay Pacific, Etihad, JAL, Qatar, and more.
For example I used 105K American miles to fly last month in an apartment on Etihad Shower Class from the Maldives to Cleveland via Abu Dhabi and JFK.
Though because of the #ElectronicsBan, I was stuck having to take pictures with my GoPro:
And my phone:
Sample transfer options:
-With this promotion 20K Starpoints will convert into 31,250 American miles with the 25% bonus. That 1.5625 AA miles per Starpoint transferred.
-You are able to do a Starwood Nights and Flights redemption for 60K Starpoints in exchange for 60K AA miles and 5 nights in a category 3 property (normally 40K+28K Starpoints), or 70K Starpoints in exchange for 60K AA miles and 5 nights in a category 4 property (normally 40K+40K Starpoints).
-90K Starpoints will convert into 270K Marriott points which will convert into 150,000 American miles with the 25% bonus plus 7 nights at a Marriott category 1-5 hotel. That 1.67 AA miles per Starpoint transferred plus you’ll get a free 7 night hotel stay. You must call Marriott at 800-321-7396 if you want to book a miles+nights package.
Some agents will refund 45K Marriott points (15K Starpoints) if you return the 7 night stay certificate, but not all agents will do that. If you get it refunded you’ll have used an effective 75K Starpoints for 150K AA miles or a whopping 2 AA miles per Starpoint.
-The 7 night electronic hotel certificate expires in 1 year, though Marriott currently will extend them for 1 additional year if you contact them.
-You don’t need to choose the hotel at the time of a nights+miles redemption.
-The certificate must be used at one property for 7 consecutive nights.
-You can have the certificate issued in anyone’s name.
-You can use more Marriott points to get a higher hotel category certificate.
-You can upgrade your hotel certificate by paying the difference in points later on.
Here is the miles+nights award chart from Marriott to American before the 25% bonus miles that American will award:
Just be sure to compare American’s requirements with other airlines before transferring.
Just for example, I flew last August from JFK to Vancouver in Cathay Pacific First Class for 35K Alaska miles. That same flight would have cost 55K AA miles. Non-elites would also have paid American a $75 last-minute fee which Alaska doesn’t charge, so be sure to do your research before you transfer.
-The names on the Starwood account and the AA account must match or the transfer will be rejected. You are able to transfer Starpoints for free between people living at the same address, though if you are changing the address on one of the accounts you’ll have to wait 30 days before transferring Starpoints to someone else’s Starwood account.
-The 25% bonus miles fulfilled by American will be posted within 7 business days after the initial conversion activity has been posted by Starwood Preferred Guest. The initial transfer usually takes a couple of days. You can hold an AA award for 5 days which is enough time for the transfer to process.