Starwood Preferred Guest – How to Earn Airline Miles from Hotel Stays


Earn Airline Miles with Starpoints
Starwood offers Starwood Preferred Guest members 2 ways to earn airline miles. You can either earn airline miles automatically through SPG program, or you can transfer your Starwood points directly to airline miles with your frequent flyer program.

How to earn airline miles with SPG directly

SPG members can select to earn airline miles instead of Starwood points for hotel stays by enrolling in the Airline Direct Deposit Program. After switching from Starpoints to miles, you will automatically earn miles for your hotel stays at the same rate you would have earned Starpoints. The earned Starwood points will post to your account and then be deducted from your account immediately and transferred to your preferred airline frequent flyer program as miles. You will:

  • Earn 2 Air Miles for every $1 spent on eligible purchases at participating SPG hotels; Gold and Platinum members receive a 50% bonus and thus receive 3 Air Miles for every $1 spent.
  • Earn 1 Air Mile for every $1 spent on food and beverages at participating hotels.

The participating airlines and direct deposit program conversion rate are as follows:

  • Air Berlin topbonus (1:1)
  • Air Canada Aeroplan (1:1)
  • Air China PhoenixMiles (1:1.6)
  • Air France and KLM Flying Blue (1:1)
  • Air New Zealand Airpoints (a flat 40 Airpoints for stays within Australia and New Zealand,
    and a flat 20 Airpoints outside Australia and New Zealand)
  • Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan (1:1)
  • Alitalia MilleMiglia (1:1)
  • All Nippon Airways ANA Mileage Club (1:1)
  • American Airlines AAdvantage (1:1)
  • Amtrak Guest Rewards (1:1)
  • Asiana Airlines Asiana Club (1:1)
  • British Airways Executive Club (1:1)
  • Cathay Pacific Airways Asia Miles (1:1)
  • China Southern Airlines Sky Pearl Club (1:1)
  • China Eastern Airlines Eastern Miles (1:1)
  • Delta Air Lines SkyMiles (1:1)
  • El Al Matmid Club (earn a flat 12 points per stay)
  • Emirates/Sri Lankan Airlines Skywards (1:1)
  • Etihad Guest (1:1)
  • Hainan Airlines Fortune Wings Club (1:1)
  • Hawaiian Airlines HawaiianMiles (1:1)
  • Iberia Plus (1:1)
  • Japan Airlines JAL Mileage Bank (1:1)
  • JetPrivilege (1:1)
  • LATAM Airlines LANPASS (1:1.6)
  • Lufthansa Miles & More (1:1)
  • Qatar Airways Privilege Club (1:1)
  • Saudi Arabian Airlines Alfursan (1:1)
  • Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer (1:1)
  • Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards (a flat 600 Rapid Rewards Points per eligible stay at any hotel that participates in the Starwood Preferred Guest® program)
  • Thai Airways International Royal Orchid Plus (1:1)
  • United MileagePlus (1:1)
  • VARIG Smiles (2:1)
  • Virgin Atlantic Flying Club (1:1)

For example, a Preferred member who has an eligible spend of $400 at a participating Starwood hotel will earn 800 Starpoints, which are then automatically converted to 800 American Airlines AAdvantage miles(at a 1:1 ratio). A Gold or Platinum member will earn 1,200 Starpoints, which then convert to 1,200 miles.

How to convert Starwood points to airline miles

You can transfer Starpoints to 30 airline frequent flyer programs, mostly on a 1:1 basis. Not only that, but you will also receive an additional 5,000 Starpoints bonus when you transfer 20,000 Starpoints to miles. That makes the total amount of miles to 25,000, an increase of 25 percent. This is why we will strongly recommend our readers to use this method to earn airline miles.

Here is a list of SPG’s partner airlines and their Starpoint-to-Mile exchange ratio:

  • Aeromexico Club Premier (1:1)
  • Aeroplan/Air Canada (1:1)
  • Air Berlin (1:1)
  • Air China Companion (1:1)
  • Air New Zealand & Air Points (65:1)
  • Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan (1:1)
  • Alitalia MileMiglia (1:1)
  • All Nippon Airways (ANA) Mileage Club (1:1)
  • American Airlines AAdvantage (1:1)
  • Asia Miles (1:1)
  • Asiana Airlines (1:1)
  • British Airways Executive Club (1:1)
  • China Eastern Airlines (1:1)
  • China Southern Airlines Sky Pearl Club (1:1)
  • Delta Airlines SkyMiles (1:1)
  • Emirates Skywards (1:1)
  • Etihad Airways (1:1)
  • Flying Blue (1:1)
  • Gol Smiles (2:1)
  • Hainan Airlines (1:1)
  • Hawaiian Airlines (1:1)
  • Japan Airline (JAL) Mileage Bank (1:1)
  • Jet Airways (1:1)
  • Korea Air (1:1)
  • LAN Airlines LANPASS Kms (1:1.5)
  • Miles and More (1:1)
  • Qatar Airways (1:1)
  • Saudi Arabian Airlines (1:1)
  • Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer (1:1)
  • Thai Airways International Royal Orchid Plus (1:1)
  • United Mileage Plus (2:1)
  • Velocity Frequent Flier (1:1)
  • Virgin Atlantic Flying Club (1:1)

How to choose the right way to earn airline miles

As you may notice, the participating airlines from the above two methods are slightly different. The Aeromexico Club Premier exists in the second list but not in the first list. Also, when you transfer Starpoints to airline miles, the conversion rate for United Mileage Plus is 2:1, while if you choose to earn miles directly, the conversion rate is 1:1. And as we mentioned before, in order to take advantage of the second method, always make sure to transfer in increments of 20,000 Starpoints in order to receive the 5,000 miles bonus.

So, if the conversion rate of the above two earning methods are the same for your frequent flyer program, you should choose the second method and wait until you accumulate 20,000 points to convert to 25,000 airline miles. If you are not able to accumulate 20,000 points, then the above two methods are no different as long as your frequent flyer program is on both lists.

Read More: How to redeem Starwood points wisely.

The Fine Print

  • Airline transfers are non-reversible and non-refundable.
  • Points do not transfer instantly, and can take anywhere from a few days to up to 4 weeks.
  • You can only transfer up to 79,999 points per airline within 24 hours. Transferring 60,000 and transferring 79,999 both give you a bonus of 5,000 x 3 = 15,000 bonus miles, so you should transfer no more than 60,000 a day.
  • There are minimum transfer requirements. Regular members must transfer at least 2,500 Starwood points to airline miles; Gold members must transfer 1,500 Starwood points to airline miles; and Platinum members do not have a minimum.
  • Name must be the same on both the SPG account and the frequent flyer account.

Have any further questions or comments? Contact SPG Customer Care.

Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is prepared by CardBenefit staff. Opinions expressed herein are author's alone, not those of the bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotels, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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