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!
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. My goal is for you to travel on a deal! As always, thanks for your support!