Update: One or more card offers in this post are no longer available. Check our Hot Deals for the latest offers.
Million Mile Secrets reader, Jim, commented:
Thanks for all your help these years. My wife and I have gotten 41 cards through your links.
If I cancel my American Express Starwood Preferred Guest card, do I lose the ability to get the 5,000 mile bonus on 20,000 Starwood point transfers to airline miles?
No! You do NOT need the American Express Starwood Preferred Guest card to get the 5,000 mile bonus when you transfer 20,000 Starwood points to airline miles!
But you should be careful about WHEN you close your card. I’ll give you tips if you decide you cancel your Starwood Preferred Guest card from American Express so you don’t lose your Starwood points!
Who Gets the 5,000 Bonus Miles When Transferring Starwood Points?
For every 20,000 Starpoints transferred within the same transaction, Starwood will automatically add another 5,000 Starpoints!
Keep in mind:
- You must be enrolled in the Starwood Preferred Guest program
- The name on your Starwood account must match the name on the airline loyalty account you want to transfer to
So there is NO requirement to have elite status with Starwood. And you do NOT need to have the Starwood Preferred Guest card from American Express to make transfers. For every 20,000 Starwood points you transfer, you will get 5,000 bonus miles.
Note: Starting August 11, 2015, the AMEX Starwood Preferred Guest card will NO longer charge foreign transaction fees and will add new perks.
Other Reminders About Transferring
Starwood says you can transfer up to 79,999 Starwood points per transaction, per airline program, within a 24-hour period. This applies to airline partners where Starwood has a 1:1 transfer ratio, which is nearly all of them.
The only exceptions are United Airlines, GOL, and Air New Zealand. For United Airlines and GOL, you can transfer up to 79,998 Starwood points for a maximum of 47,449 miles because of their 2:1 transfer ratios. And for Air New Zealand, you can transfer up to 34,975 Starwood points for a maximum of 615 Air New Zealand Air Points because of its 65:1 transfer ratio.
There is also a minimum transfer requirement of 2,500 Starwood points. Unless you have elite status with Starwood.
If you have Starwood Gold status, the minimum transfer amount is 1,500 Starwood points. And if you have Starwood Platinum status, there is NO minimum transfer requirement.
The Best Way to Earn Starwood Points
Link: Starwood Preferred Guest Card from American Express
Link: Starwood Preferred Guest Business Card from American Express
The Starwood Preferred Guest card from American Express currently has a sign-up bonus of 25,000 Starwood points after spending $3,000 on purchases within the 1st 3 months of opening your account.
This is the best way to earn Starwood points quickly. If you’ve ever received the sign-up bonus on this card, you are NOT eligible to receive it again.
But you CAN receive the sign-up bonus again on the Starwood Preferred Guest Business Credit Card from American Express if it’s been 12 months since you last held the card.
For the business card, you’ll receive 25,000 Starwood points after spending $3,000 on purchases within the 1st 3 months of opening your account, if you follow these instructions.
With either card, you’ll earn an extra 2 points per $1 spent at Starwood hotels. This is in addition to the 2 points per dollar you’ll earn from being enrolled in the Starwood Preferred Guest program! And if you have Platinum status with Starwood, you’ll earn 3 points per dollar.
Remember This Before You Cancel Your Credit Cards!
When you cancel a hotel credit card, make sure you don’t lose any points. American Express can have a lag of up to 2 billing cycles before you receive ALL of your points! So be sure to ask if they’ve all posted.
And before you cancel a card, stop using it. That will cause your points to be marked as “pending.” Sometimes American Express will credit them immediately to your account if you’ve completely paid off your balance. So be sure to call and ask so you receive all your points!
If American Express can’t credit your points when you call to cancel, wait until all pending points have posted and THEN cancel your credit card.
Any miles already in your Starwood account are yours to keep, even when you cancel the Starwood Preferred Guest AMEX card.
You do NOT need to have the Starwood Preferred Guest Card from American Express to receive the 5,000 mile bonus when you transfer 20,000 Starwood points to airline partners.
Keep in mind that names must match on both your Starwood account and the airline program you want to transfer into.
Before you cancel your card, be sure to receive all of the points you’ve earned. Ask if they can be credited immediately. If not, stop spending on the card and wait until all points have posted and THEN cancel.
If you don’t already have the Starwood Preferred Guest Card from American Express, it’s the best way to boost your Starwood points balance!