New (Better!) Way to Use Starwood Points to Fly United Airlines

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With the new way to transfer points between Starwood and Marriott accounts, folks can get a better ratio converting Starwood points to United Airlines miles by first transferring to Marriott points.

For example, if you transfer 10,000 Starwood points directly to United Airlines, you’ll only get 5,000 United Airlines miles because there’s a 2:1 ratio.

Instead, you could convert 10,000 Starwood points to 30,000 Marriott points (1:3 ratio).  Then, transfer the Marriott points to United Airlines and you’ll get a much better deal for your points.

Transfer Starwood Points To United Airlines

Now You Can Get a Better Ratio Converting Starwood Points to United Airlines Miles!

I’ll explain the math behind the points conversion and why United Airlines miles are great for Big Travel!

Transfer Starwood Points to United Airlines via Marriott

Link:   Transfer Marriott Points to Airline Miles

Starwood and Marriott each have the options of converting points to airline miles.  But the transfer ratios to each airline are not the same for both programs.

For example, when you transfer points directly from Starwood, you’ll get 1 United Airlines mile for every 2 Starwood points you transfer.

Transfer Starwood Points To United Airlines

The Transfer Ratio of Starwood Points to United Airlines Miles Is NOT Favorable. Because You’ll Only Get 1 United Airlines Mile for Every 2 Starwood Points You Transfer

I typically don’t recommend converting Starwood points directly to United Airlines miles.  Because the ratio is NOT good.

But now you can convert Starwood points to Marriott points.  Then, transfer Marriott points to United Airlines miles.

For every 1 Starwood point you transfer, you’ll get 3 Marriott points (1:3 ratio).

For example, you could convert 8,000 Starwood points to 24,000 Marriott points.  Then, convert the Marriott points to 10,000 United Airlines miles.

Transfer Starwood Points To United Airlines

The Transfer Ratio Between Marriott Points and United Airlines Miles Depends on the Number of Marriott Points You Convert

If you initially transferred the 8,000 Starwood points directly to United Airlines miles, you’d only get 4,000 United Airlines miles.

But adding the step of converting to Marriott points results in getting a better than 1:1 ratio for your Starwood points.

Note:   There are only 5 options for converting Marriott points to United Airlines miles.  This means you can’t transfer Marriott points to United Airlines in increments of 1,000 points like you can with Starwood.

Hotel + Air Packages

Link:   Marriott Hotel + Air Packages

Marriott also offers 7-night Hotel + Air Packages, which is an alternative way to convert your points to airline miles.

For example, you could transfer 90,000 Starwood points to 270,000 Marriott points (1:3 ratio).  Then, book a 7-night stay at a Category 1 to 5 Marriott hotel, like the Renaissance Malmo Hotel in Sweden.

Transfer Starwood Points To United Airlines

Book a Marriott Hotel + Air Package & You Could Spend 7 Nights at the Renaissance Malmo Hotel in Sweden

With this package, you’ll also get 132,000 United Airlines miles.  That’s enough for 2 round-trip coach tickets to Europe!

Transfer Starwood Points To United Airlines

You Could Transfer Starwood Points to Marriott Points and Then Book a Marriott Hotel + Air Package

And you don’t have to book a hotel stay right away!  You could use the 132,000 United Airlines miles for a different trip.  Then use your 7-night stay 1 year from the date of issue.

Use United Airlines Miles for Big Travel

United Airlines miles are very useful because:

Transfer Starwood Points To United Airlines

With United Airlines Miles, You Can Book Award Flights on Any of Their Partner Airlines

Also, United Airlines lets you book one-way award seats.  This means you could fly to one city and leave from another, or fly there using United Airlines miles and come home using another airline’s miles.

Earn Starwood Points

Link:   Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express

You can earn 25,000 Starwood points after completing the minimum spending requirements on the Starwood Preferred Guest personal card.

This means you could convert the sign-up bonus to 75,000 Marriott points (1:3 ratio).  That’s enough to get 25,000 United Airlines miles and you’ll still have 19,000 Marriott points remaining.

Bottom Line

Folks looking to book United Airlines award flights with Starwood points will get more for their points by first transferring to Marriott points.

Because the Marriott transfer ratio to United Airlines is more favorable than the Starwood ratio at 2:1.  And remember you’ll get 3 Marriott points for every 1 Starwood point you transfer.

You can also transfer Starwood points to Marriott points to book Hotel + Air packages.

Will you book United Airlines award flights using this transfer method?

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16 responses to “New (Better!) Way to Use Starwood Points to Fly United Airlines

  1. This sounds pretty great for some situations. How exactly is it that I can book the Marriott hotel, but yet use the air miles at any other time? If I chose United, the miles are just added to my MileagePlus account for me to do whatever I want separate from the hotel award reservation?

  2. Pingback: New (Better!) Way to Use Starwood Points to Fly United Airlines – Travel Points Guide

  3. @Ricardo – That’s correct. The miles will be deposited in your United Airlines account after purchasing a Marriott Hotel + Air Package. Separately, you’ll get a certificate to stay at the hotel category of your choice, valid for 1 year.

  4. I am curious to know if this would apply to earning the Companion Pass too. So, if I transfer points from Starwood to Marriott and then applied them to the “Hotel & Air Package” would that count towards the Companion Pass?

  5. what about the 5,000 transfer bonus from Starwood when transferring 20K in points directly to United? would this improve the ratio so one doesn’t haven’t to go through Marriott Hotel+Air package; when you wouldn’t want a week Marriott stay anyhow?

  6. @scott: yes it would (SW companion pass is what you’re asking about i presume)

  7. @Scott Swinson – Yes! The points will count toward the Southwest Companion Pass. I wrote more about using Marriott points to earn the Companion Pass here: http://millionmilesecrets.com/2016/08/07/can-you-transfer-110000-marriott-points-to-southwest-to-earn-the-companion-pass/

    @Damon – The 5,000 bonus miles you receive when transferring 20,000 Starwood points improves the ratio. But it’s still better to first transfer your Starwood points to Marriott. For example, 20,000 Starwood points gets you 15,000 United Airlines miles (including the 5,000 mile bonus). You would get 25,000 United Airlines miles if you first transferred 20,000 Starwood points to Marriott. And you’d have 4,000 Marriott points remaining!

    @stacey – thanks for helping out!

  8. If you transfer to the 7 night + AIr package, do you have to use all 7 nights consecutively?

    If yes, is it possible to use it with different hotel :
    example :Night 1 -3 @ hotel A then Night 4-7 @hotel B in the same city/country?

  9. If i opted for the Hotel + Air package do I have to use the 7 nights hotel consecutively?

    Or can i use it multiple time within the year?

    Thanks

  10. @Nickk – Yes, you’ll have to use the 7 nights consecutively at the same hotel.

  11. Does Marriott also have stay 4 nights get 5th night free for rewards night stay like SPG?

  12. Correct me plz. So with Marriott 7day + air package I can get both southwest CP & 132000 United miles?

    • @Cindy – They do!

      @leah – Not both Southwest AND United miles. You can pick one of the two airlines, and if you pick Southwest, you will have enough airline miles for the Companion Pass.

      @Ed – It depends how you’ll redeem the United miles or Starwood points. For some folks, United may be a better choice if they will redeem for first or business class awards.

  13. Isn’t the better ratio described here (1:1.25) offset by the decrease in value from Starwood points worth 2.5 cents to United miles worth 1.7 cents? For example, 24,000 Starwood points can be easily redeemed foe $600 worth of hotel stays, while the same points converted to 30,000 United points are worth $450-$525 worth of airfare…and don’t cover airline taxes and fees.

  14. All things considered, which route gives the best bang….Starwood to AA, Alaska, etc. or United via SPG? Nights with Air packages or straight miles…which program? I know there are many variables. If one has adequate points to go any direction, what are the top 2 recommendations? Your advice is always great.
    Thanks, Darius.