Updated on September 28, 2015
How long does it take to transfer Starwood SPG points to Miles & More?
Answer: It depends.
Background: One of the gems of using Miles & More miles is it only costs 17,000 miles for a 1 way flight to Central America or the Caribbean. I was trying to book 2 round trip tickets to Cuba for a total of 4 x 17 = 68k miles. Mrs Rewardboss earned the miles through a credit card bonus a couple years ago but was short almost 4,000 miles (link to a more recent, but expired, version of the offer).
She didn't have any Starwood SPG points so I transferred enough points to her SPG account and then she transferred those to Miles & More. SPG points transfer 1:1 to Miles & More. We ran into problems because the names on the account must match…and match exactly. The things we go through to travel free…
SAME DAY, 2 WEEKS, OR MORE?
The SPG website says it can take 10-14 business days. Our transfer was in limbo for 30 days due to the last last letter of the last name being different on the Miles & More account. After the name was updated and a new transfer initiated, the transfer happened the SAME DAY. I was pleasantly surprised after waiting so long! Unfortunately the return flight from Cuba was no longer available so we only have one way booked.
When we initially did the transfer, the SPG rep said one letter being off should not be a problem, but if it is, it will reject right away. Not true! Each time we called, Miles & More and SPG would point fingers towards the other party. SPG said the transfer went through on their end and it's up to Miles & More to either accept or reject the miles. Miles and More didn't see the miles at all. Convenient.
HOW TO MAKE SURE YOUR TRANSFER HAPPENS AS FAST AS POSSIBLE
- Make sure that the name on your Miles & More and SPG accounts match EXACTLY. No exceptions. Don't listen to the rep if they tell you “it should be ok”. And by the way, if you do need to change a name on one account, you may be required to send a copy of identification for the change to happen. That process can take a week or two.
- Name mismatch? If your transfer gets stuck and you realize the names do not match, ask SPG customer service to start an investigation. Give them a week and if the transfer has not been cancelled/rejected, ask them to escalate it. Ours didn't reject until we asked for an investigation the 2nd time.
DO THE NAMES NEED TO MATCH ON BOTH ACCOUNTS?
Yes. Exact match to the letter.
From the SPG website: “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.” (They should add that the rejection process can take up to ONE MONTH).
SPG FAMILY TRANSFERS
Did you know that Starwood allows you to move points between family accounts? Just make sure you have the same address on both accounts for at least 30 days. The easiest way to do this it is to call customer service (888)-625-4988 and ask them to transfer it.
SPG POINT TO AIRLINE TRANSFER RATIOS
I generally don't like to transfer my Starwood points because they are very valuable when I redeem them for hotel stays. In some cases I will make an exception. Also, for every 20,000 Starpoints transferred within the same transaction, Starwood will automatically add another 5,000 Starpoints.
You can transfer up to 79,999 Starpoints per transaction per program within a 24-hour period to the frequent flyer programs listed below. BUT DON'T transfer more than 60,000! Why? Because you won't get the 5,000 bonus on the last 19,999 points. Here's an example if you were to transfer to American Airlines:
- Transfer 20,000 SPG Starpoints = 25,000 AA miles
- Transfer 40,000 SPG Starpoints = 50,000 AA miles
- Transfer 60,000 SPG Starpoints = 75,000 AA miles
- Transfer > 60,000 SPG Starpoints = DON'T DO IT. Instead wait 24 hours and do another transfer in increments of 20,000!
Minimum Transfer Amounts
- SPG Platinum members can transfer any number of miles they want
- SPG Gold members must transfer a minimum of 1,500 SPG points
- Preferred members must transfer a minimum of 2,500 SPG points
How long did it take for you to transfer your SPG points to Miles & More?