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What many people do not realize, if your entire goal is to earn airline miles (and not hotel points), then the Starwood credit card is in fact better than an airline specific credit card (without taking into consideration the sign up bonuses between the two).
- Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express
- Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express OPEN
Earning Miles with the SPG Credit Card
With the Starwood credit card, you earn 1 point for every dollar spent. With an airline specific credit card (i.e., American Airlines or Delta), you also earn 1 mile for every dollar spent. Unlike other hotel programs, Starwood allows you to transfer your points to many partner airline programs. And most of them actually have a great transfer redemption – most transfer at a 1:1 ratio. Now, the real kicker is for every 20,000 point you transfer, you’ll receive a bonus of 5,000 miles – that is a 25% bonus. This is NOT a limited time promotion, but instead ALWAYS part of the Starwood program.
How Will I Earn Airline Miles with the SPG Credit Card?
Points earned from the credit card are also eligible to be transferred over to a participating airline. Let’s say you have earned 30,000 points from either of the credit cards (you can earn the points from a sign up bonus or credit card spend), that will give you a 5,000 mile bonus, thus giving you a total of 35,000 miles with your desired airline.
This transfer option is available for over 30 participating options (you can check out the entire list here), but the best options for the everyday person include: American Airlines, British Airways, Delta, LAN Airlines (1 SPG point = 1 mile), etc. For example, if you are trying to accrue more Delta miles, but are no longer eligible for any of the Delta credit card sign up bonuses, this credit card offer could help you increase your Delta miles.
Is Transferring Points Actually Worth It?
I personally value my SPG points higher then most airline programs, however, it really depends on how you like to redeem your points. I personally do not like transferring my points as I enjoy Starwood hotels and can usually get a lot for my points. So it is really up to you and is great that SPG points give you such flexibility!
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. My goal is for you to travel on a deal! As always, thanks for your support!