Starwood Nights & Flights Plus Airline Transfer Award Redemption Option

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In this post we’ll share two other aspects of why Starwood Preferred Guest is one of our favorite hotel loyalty programs.

Given the Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express a signup bonus offer for each of the Personal and Business cards we’ve broken down the Cash & Points redemption option as well as the fifth night free award option. Now let’s talk through two more reasons why Starwood Preferred Guest is one of our favorite hotel loyalty programs.

Link: Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express

Link: Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express

Starwood Preferred Guest Airline Transfer Partners

Starwood Preferred Guest Starpoints can be transferred to Airline programs at set conversion rates. But in addition, when you transfer 20,000 Starpoints, you’ll receive a bonus 5,000 Starpoints transfer. So you’ll get a total of 25,000 airline miles in cases where the transfer ratio is 1:1. See below for a listing of the transfer rates by airline program.

Frequent Flyer Program || Exchange Ratio (Starpoints : Miles)

  • Aeromexico – 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 MilleMiglia – 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 Air Lines SkyMiles – 1:1
  • Emirates Skywards – 1:1
  • Etihad Airways – 1:1
  • Flying Blue – 1:1
  • Gol Smiles – 2:1
  • Hawaiian Airlines – 1:1
  • Japan Airlines (JAL) Mileage Bank – 1:1
  • LAN Airlines LANPASS Kms – 1:1.5
  • Miles and More – 1:1
  • Qatar Airways – 1:1
  • Saudi Arabian Airlines Alfursan – 1:1
  • Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer – 1:1
  • Thai Airways International Royal Orchid Plus – 1:1
  • US Airways Dividend Miles – 1:1
  • United Mileage Plus – 2:1
  • Virgin Atlantic Flying Club – 1:1

There are some terms and conditions to take note of which are listed below.

  • There is no minimum Starpoint transfer requirement for Platinum members with most airlines.
  • Gold members have a minimum transfer requirement of 1,500 Starpoints, and Preferred members have a minimum transfer requirement of 2,500 Starpoints.
  • Transfer maximums are based on a combination of member Starpoints and the Starwood Preferred Guest airline transfer transaction bonus.
  • Only one airline transfer transaction per member per program per 24 hour period is allowed; multiple transfer transactions within the same 24 hour period will reject.
  • Both the Starwood Preferred Guest and airline frequent flyer program accounts must have identical member names in order to complete this request; different names will cause the transfer to reject.
  • Airline transfers are one-way, non-reversible, and non-refundable.”
  • Transfer maximums and exchange ratios vary by airline.
  • Transfer ratios, minimum and maximums transfer requirements vary by airlines.
  • Transfer maximums are a combination of member Starpoints and the airline transaction bonus.
  • The following airlines transfers vary in maximum and ratios: United and VARIG, each have a maximum transfer amount per transaction of 94,998 Starpoints (79,998 from member plus 15,000 transfer bonus) for a maximum of 47,449 miles due to their 2:1 transfer ratios.
  • Air New Zealand has a maximum transfer amount per transaction of 39,975 Starpoints (34,975 from member plus 5,000 transfer bonus) for a maximum of 615 Air Points due to its 65:1 transfer ratio.

Nights & Flights

Next time you redeem your Starpoints for 5 award nights, make sure you consider using the Nights & Flights option where you can use more points but get even more miles by doing so. This can be a great option to maximize your point value and get something more in return than just a hotel night.

The ability to redeem Starpoints for Nights & Flights depends on the category of hotel. Only category 3 and 4 hotels participate in the Nights & Flights program currently. In addition, this option can only be used with airlines that have a 1:1 transfer ratio, you can look at the above airline transfer rates to get a sense of the airlines you can use with this redemption option.

Nights & Flights Point Requirements


There are some terms and conditions that warrant a quick look. Here are the terms and conditions:

  • Nights & Flights awards must be made by calling your local Customer Contact Center.
  • Nights & Flights Awards must be ordered at least 14 business days prior to the arrival date for a U.S. airline and at least 30 business days prior to arrival for a non-U.S. Airline. This will allow for processing of the airline transfer portion of the award.
  • This Award is only offered with airlines with a 1 Starpoint to 1 Airline mile transfer ratio. The maximum transfer to the airline offered in this award is 50,000 miles, so it is each member’s responsibility to verify with their desired airline the value of these miles for air travel awards. Any additional miles required are the responsibility of the member.
  • It is the member’s responsibility to make his/her own flight arrangements pertaining to the Nights & Flights award. These awards are not for sale without the airline transfer.
  • Free Night Award reservations must be confirmed and the Nights & Flights award must be ordered on the same day the Starpoint to airline transfer award is ordered.
  • Free Night Award reservations for Nights & Flights awards must never be less than five nights. Any additional free nights must be ordered separately.
  • It is the member’s responsibility to change or cancel any flight arrangements made for this award.
  • If hotel availability allows a date change on the Free Night Award reservation for a Nights & Flights award, the Nights & Flights award dates may be changed.
  • No Starpoints will be refunded for any portion of the Nights & Flights award’s free nights not stayed at the property. Members who elect to stay fewer nights than the required 5 nights stay for the Nights & Flights award offer should advise the hotel at check-in to avoid any early departure charges.
  • Nights & Flights awards may be canceled. If a Nights & Flights award is canceled, the member will only receive a Starpoint credit of 20,000 for a Category 3 and 30,000 for a Category 4 Travel Award. The 40,000-point airline transfer, plus the 10,000-point bonus from Starwood Preferred Guest, will remain as airline miles and cannot be returned to the member’s Starwood Preferred Guest account.
  • Guest will not receive Starpoints or airline miles for their reservation; however, the hotel stay portion is a Free Night Award and as of October 1, 2011 will now qualify as an eligible stay toward earning elite or Lifetime nights. It is still ineligible for any promotions requiring stays or nights.

Example Booking Nights & Flights

In this example, I’ll use a sample booking to compare the Nights & Flights option in a category 3 hotel. For this example, we’ll use the Sheraton Rhodes Resort in Greece.

  • Nights & Flights Starpoints Required = 60,000 Starpoints


  • Get 5 Nights Free = 28,000 Points Normally
  • Get Airline Miles = 50,000 Miles
  • 78,000 in Points & Miles for only 60,000 Starpoints!

Since the Sheraton Rhodes Resort is a category 3 hotel, you’d normally spend 7,000 points per night, and using the fifth night free option, would spend 28,000 points for a 5 night stay. With the nights and flights option, you’ll spend 32,000 more points to get the same 5 nights, but you’ll also get 50,000 Starpoints.

Normally, with the airline transfer option, you could transfer that additional 32,000 Starpoints into airline miles and get 37,000 airline miles (20,000 = 25,000 + 12,000 = 37,000), but with the Nights & Flights option, your 32,000 “extra” Starpoints convert into 50,000 airline miles, earning an additional 13,000 airline miles over the normal transfer option. That is a bonus 13,000 airline miles!

Bottom Line

Let’s recap. Starpoints can convert into a large number of airline miles, making them a great program if you like to transfer points into miles. Better yet, if you take advantage of the Nights & Flights option to redeem Starpoints for category 3 or 4 hotels, you’ll get bonus airline miles over the normal transfer rates, making the hotel redemption and transfer option an even better value.

If you are looking for Starpoints, Starwood is offering a limited time promotional offer for Starpoints for each of the Personal and Business cards.

Link: Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express

Link: Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express

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About The Weekly Flyer

The Weekly Flyer writes about travel from a business traveler perspective. He travels the world every week accumulating points and miles along the way.

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  1. I think the nights and flights is a good deal, but it can take a long time to get to the number of points you need. And it is less flexible.

    But your comparison is misleading.

    Get 5 Nights Free = 28,000 Points Normally
    Get Airline Miles = 50,000 Miles

    This would normally cost 68000 star points(40000 for the airline miles + 28000 for the hotel), so you are saving 8000 star points. To me this makes more sense.

  2. I really took advantage of this for this upcoming Oktoberfest in Munich. The downside of nights and flights is finding category 3 or 4 hotels that you want to stay in, but there’s a Four Points one block from the beer tents that was pushing $400 a night during the Oktoberfest dates or 10k points per night as a cat 4 hotel.

    We were a group of 3 adults staying for 4 nights which posed a minor problem. Free nights can only be booked for 2 people per room, and the nights & flights are for 5-night stays. We ended up being able to book nights & flights giving me 50k American miles and the 5 nights in the hotel. I then emailed the hotel directly to inform them we would only be staying 4 of the nights, that we would have 3 people in the room, and wanted to upgrade to a studio room. It was all no problem as we paid a 45 euro per night to upgrade to the studio room, and 30 euro per night for the extra person. A paid night would have been over $500 for that room!

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