Fly to Europe or South America for 20,000 Starwood Points, Roundtrip!

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Utilizing the 50% bonus with hotel transfers to US Airways promotion, you can get a pretty good value with transferring your SPG hotel points. Through the end of month (March 31, 2012), each SPG point transferred to US Airways will equal 1.5 miles. Additionally, with every 20,000 points transferred, you’ll get a 5,000 point bonus. For example, with both bonuses:

  • 20,000 SPG points = 37,500 US Airways miles
  • 40,000 SPG points = 75,000 US Airways miles
  • 60,000 SPG points = 112,500 US Airways miles
  • 80,000 SPG points = 150,000 US Airways miles
While there are many redemption options from a domestic flight (which I would not recommend) to a first class ticket to Thailand, I wanted to point out to awesome opportunities for only 20,000 SPG points roundtrip!
South America: You can fly from North America/Hawaii for 35,000 miles roundtrip between March 1-31 and May 1-31. This is an off-peak reward, however, eligible dates to change from year to year. Just keep in mind that with the off-peak awards, it must be US Airways operated flights, not a partner flight. These awards are extremely limited and US Airways only flies direct from Charlotte (CLT) to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Europe:  You can fly from North America/Hawaii for 35,000 miles roundtrip between January 15-February 28. These dates are pretty set year to year.
*North America includes the continental U.S., Canada, Bermuda, the Caribbean, Central America, and Mexico.
So, with the bonus opportunity, you can get 37.5k US Airways miles (enough for an off-peak award to South America or Europe) for just 20,000 Starwood points – and still have 2.5k left over! An average value of 20,000 SPG points is about $500-$600, however, a round-trip ticket to South America or Europe during that off-peak time could be about $$900-1,000. Just keep in mind though, redeeming for a free hotel is typically easier than redeeming for an airline ticket (due to availability). Additionally, you will need to pay taxes/fees (although minimal) with your airline redemption and there are NO taxes/fees with hotel redemptions.
So take a look at how you value your SPG points compared to your US Airways miles and see if a free flight is up your alley.

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Comments

  1. Good write up. Do we get 50% more on the 5,000 bonus for each 20,000 transfer too (which is assumed in your article)? or we get 50% more only on the base 20,000 transfer but not the 5,000 bonus?

    • @WT – I actually assumed one would not get the 50% bonus on the 5k points as it comes in as a bonus already, but others believe that you would. I am not 100% sure either way, but once I find out definitely will let you know.

  2. If you use the us airways mastercard to book the off peak reward do they take off an additional 10K miles to make it 25K round trip? I am talking about the promotion for 5000 miles discount for booking award travel witht us airways mastercard. Thanks for any helpful info.

    • @Indra – I am not sure where you see 10k miles? If you have the US Airways Mastercard you get 5k miles off. I do not see anything in the terms that an off-peak award is not included. Per the T&C:

      5,000 Miles Award Discount: The Primary Cardmember only will receive a 5,000 miles discount off of each Eligible Award Ticket provided all “Dividend Miles Select Eligibility Criteria” below are met. By example, if 25,000 Dividend Miles are required to redeem an award ticket, then the Primary Cardmember will only need to redeem 20,000 miles instead.

      Dividend Miles Select Eligibility Criteria: The Primary Cardmember is eligible to receive the 5,000 Miles Award Discount when each of the following conditions have been met: (a) the applicable Account remains open and in good standing (c) you have made at least one purchase or balance transfer in the last twelve months; (d) you are redeeming miles from the Dividend Miles account linked to your Account; (e) you are using the Primary Cardmember’s card to purchase the ticket directly from US Airways; and (f) your award ticket(s) are booked for either a roundtrip or open-jaw itinerary solely on flight segments operated by US Airways and/or US Airways Express (“Eligible Award Tickets”). In the event any portion of the award itinerary is not operated by US Airways/US Airways Express, or is not a valid roundtrip or open-jaw routing, these benefits will not apply and will not be pro rated. If you close your Account or change from an Account with an annual fee to an Account with no-annual fee, you are no longer eligible to receive this benefit.

  3. Thanks for the info, however, I was under the impression Starwood points transfer at a rate of 2:1 to Dividend Miles. I would be happy to hear that I am mistaken though.

    • @Danny – US Airways transfers at a 1:1 rate, it is Continental/United that transfers at a 2:1 rate. Hope that helps!

    • @JA – For South America, US Airways operated flights are very limited. Seems like CLT to Rio is the direct flight. The award savers are limited as well, so just be cautious.

  4. The USAir off peak awards are only on USAir metal. My wife and I went to Paris in mid Feb for 55K each since I have the USAir MC. For 110K USAir miles we went in Envoy class. I recommend Envoy since the seats were very comfortable- lie flat. The only negative, it snowed two days in Paris………………

  5. I think a better option (for South America) is to tranfer SPG points to LAN, which has an transfer ratio of 1SPG point: 2LAN miles. I just transferred 20K SPG to LAN & got 50K LAN (that includes the bonus 5k after 20K transfer). I’m using the 50K to fly r/t SCL-IPC in Dec. AA charges 75K for the same routing during peak season. I saved 55K miles. Downside, it takes up to 14 days for SPG points to get transferred,so I’m currently on day 4 of waiting. I hope the 50K seats are still available when transfer is completed.

  6. So, 60,000 SPG points should get you 2 r/t tickets in First class from U.S. to Europe, as long as you fly during non-peak time and you have the U.S. Airways MasterCard and you fly in U.S. Airways metal (Envoy seats). Right?

    If that is the case, assuming that each ticket is about $3,000, well that’s worth close to 10 cents per SPG point. Wow!

    Cheers,

    PedroNY

  7. You probably already know this but there is a limit of 79,999 SPG points for the transaction. So if you want the 5K bonus you are limited to a max of 60K SPG points which will giveyou 112.5K USDM miles.

  8. Hi there. You indicated in a previous response that you didn’t think that the 50% USAir bonus included the built-in 5,000 mile bonus for transferring 20k points. But I notice that your post appears to imply that with your ratio (20k = 37.5k). Did you verify this is true?

    Thanks!

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