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One of the best parts about the Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) program is that although they are a hotel chain, there are a wide variety of SPG airline partners, where you can do an SPG transfer between Starwood or SPG points to a variety of airlines. Whereas most points transfers between different frequent flyer programs are at a fairly un-advantageous rate, you can transfer Starpoints 1:1 to 30 different airlines.
SPG transfer partners chart
There are actually 34 different SPG airline partners, and the majority of them transfer 1:1. That is to say that 1 Starwood point equals 1 airline mile. You do have to do the SPG transfer in 1,000 point increments and it is also subject to the SPG transfer bonus (see below).
Here is the complete SPG transfer partners chart
You can see that just about every airline out there are SPG airline transfer partners. In case the image is having trouble loading, here is the full list of Starwood airline transfer partners, in alphabetical order
Aegean Airlines, Aeromexico, Aeroplan / Air Canada, Air China, Air New Zealand Air Points, Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan, Alitalia MileMiglia, All Nippon Airways (ANA), American Airlines AAdvantage, Asia Miles (Cathay Pacific), Asiana Airlines, British Airways Executive Club, China Eastern, China Southern, Delta Airlines Skymiles, Emirates, Eithad, Flying Blue (Air France / KLM), Gol Smiles, Hainan Airlines, Hawaiian Airlines, Japan Airlines (JAL), Jet Airways, Korean Air, Lan Airlines, Miles and More (Lufthansa), Qatar Airlines, Saudi Arabian Airlines, Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer, Thai Airways, United Airlines Mileage Plus, Virgin Atlantic, Virgin Australia
Remember too that you can transfer 3 Marriott points to 1 Starwood point (and vice versa)
Which SPG airline partners do you NOT want to use?
You will notice that you can transfer Starpoints to the majority of the SPG transfer partners in 1:1 increments, with 4 exceptions
- LAN Airlines LANPass program, 1:1.5 LAN calls their frequent flier program “kilometers” which makes sense I suppose since they’re on the metric system, so if you transfer Starpoints to LAN, you’ll actually end up with 1.5 times MORE points (miles? kilometers?)
- Air New Zealand Air Points, 65:1. Air New Zealand has an odd award chart, where a flight from the US to Europe costs 565 points. With the 65:1 transfer from Starwood it doesn’t make it a horrible redemption, but it isn’t one I would typically recommend
- United Airlines and GOL Smiles, 2:1. If you transfer Starpoints to one of these Starwood airline partners, you are essentially halving your miles. I would not recommend this at all
It’s easy to fall under the misconception that because nearly every airline are Starwood transfer partners that you can also use your SPG points to transfer to United Airlines (which is one of the most common frequent flier programs of interest for most US-based travelers), but this is a mistake – you do NOT want to transfer SPG points to United.
Getting the SPG transfer bonus
The one nice thing about taking advantage of the SPG airline partners is the SPG transfer bonus. If you transfer your Starpoints in 20,000 point increments, you receive a 5,000 point bonus. So 20,000 points to American miles yields 25,000 American Airlines AAdvantage miles. 20,000 SPG points to United only earns 15,000 United miles though (which is why you shouldn’t do it!)
Note that the SPG transfer bonus is limited to 79,999 points per day, so in practice, you really only want to transfer 60,000 points per day to make sure you don’t lose any of the SPG transfer bonus.
Hope that helps and happy transferring out there!