spgThe Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) program is highly attractive as Starpoints can be transferred to over 30 different airline frequent flyer programs! The vast majority of transfers are completed at a 1:1 conversion rate. Plus, SPG will throw in 5,000 bonus points for every 20,000 points transferred. This means that 20,000 SPG points are worth 25,000 airline miles.

SPG points are very versatile. With a wide variety of transfer partner, the 30,000 points for $120 is well worth it. Be it airline transfer, 20K Starpoints to 25K airline award points (you could get up to 30K award points depending on the promotion from time to time. There was an additional 50% Starpoint transfer promotion to AA that ends a few days ago) or hotel award stay.

SPG airline partners include many of the well-known frequent flyer programs, such as Virgin Australia Velocity, Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer and Cathay Pacific Asia Miles. But the SPG program is especially useful as points can be transferred to a wide range of left-field but highly valuable airline programs. These include American Airlines AAdvantage, Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan, Virgin America Elevate and British Airways Executive Club.

One member recently managed to score a First class award from Tokyo to Sydney using just 40,000 SPG points! This was booked by transferring points to the American Airlines AAdvantage program during a recent promotion.

I just booked one way NRT-SYD in JAL F for 40,000 SPG points which I thought was an amazing deal..!!

Naturally, SPG points can also be redeemed for free hotel nights, as well as room upgrades and gift vouchers.

To give you an idea – earlier this year we stayed at the Sheraton at Iguazu Falls and used 12,000 points per night (incl breakfast). The going rate was over US$400 so a great saving.

There can be some great value in hotel night redemptions, although some are better value than others. You’ll often get more value by transferring the points to an airline frequent flyer program and redeeming them for flights.

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SPG points can be earned by staying at any Starwood hotel brand, including Sheraton, Westin, Four Points and St Regis hotels. Amex Membership Rewards points can also be transferred to the SPG program.

Starwood recently merged with Marriott hotels. While the Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) and Marriott Rewards programs will remain separate until at least 2018, there are some unique advantages in the interim. Both hotel loyalty programs now recognise status earned through either program. Points can also now be transferred between the two programs at a rate of 3:1, opening the door to even more redemption possibilities!

Very happy being a [SPG] gold from the amex platinum card and now being gifted marriot gold. The 3 to 1 rate seems pretty even with good value properties in both portfolios at that level.

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Matt Graham
The editor of Australian Frequent Flyer, Matt's passion for travel has taken him to over 60 countries… with the help of frequent flyer points, of course!
Matt's favourite destinations (so far) are Germany, Brazil, New Zealand & Kazakhstan. His interests include economics, aviation & foreign languages, and he has a soft spot for good food and red wine.

You can contact Matt at [email protected]