Earn Airline Miles with the Starwood Credit Card

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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 welcome bonuses between the two). 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’ll also earn 1 mile for every dollar spent. Unlike other hotel programs, Starwood allows you to transfer your points to many partner airline programs at a really good ratio – most (not all) 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?

All points earned on the credit card are also eligible to be transferred to an airline of your choice. If you’ve earned 30,000 SPG points, for example, with the credit card (doesn’t matter if the points were earned during a welcome offer or through regular credit card spend), you can transfer all 30,000 points, earn the 5,000 bonus miles, and get a total of 35,000 airline miles!

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, KLM (Flying Blue), Singapore Airlines, etc. For example, if you are trying to accrue more Delta miles, but are no longer eligible for any of the Delta credit card welcome bonuses, this credit card could help you increase your account balance.

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. I also do not typically redeem my airline miles for business or first class (I am totally content with the back of the plane!), and typically you can get the biggest bang for your buck when you sit at the front of the cabin! So it is really up to you and is great that SPG points give you such flexibility!

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The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.


  1. Maybe it’s early where you live and you haven’t had coffee yet…..

    25k +3k +10k +2k = 40k for the personal card (not 45k). Therefore it’s only 50k airline miles.

    I’m a little disappointed b/c I clicked on this article thinking, “wow, I must’ve missed something about the personal version”. Instead you just got a free click.

    • @Ben – Well my 3 year old has been having night terrors the past three nights and my 9 month old still doesn’t sleep through the night, so you are spot on thinking I am sleep deprived! I’ve updated the article. Thanks for pointing it out.

  2. Am I missing something? Don’t you have 90 days to spend 3K and then another 2 months to spend another 2k? You don’t have to spend 5K in 90 days.

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