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Update 5/21/18: It’s been a year since I originally published this Transfer Bonus series, so I’ve updated all three posts with transfer bonuses over the last 12 months. Today… SPG Points.

American Express Membership Rewards, SPG Points, and Citi ThankYou Points, three of the four major transferrable point currencies, will periodically run transfer bonuses to loyalty program partners.

For example, if you transfer SPG Points to American Airlines before the end of this month, you’ll get a 25% transfer bonus.

This post is part three in a series where I will be sharing the histories of transfer bonuses from Membership Rewards, SPG Points, and ThankYou Points. I have never seen a transfer bonus offered between Ultimate Rewards and any Ultimate Reward transfer partner. If I left a transfer bonus out, please let me know in the comments and I will update the post.

When Was the Last Transfer Bonus? Series Index

Transfer Bonus History of SPG Points to Airline Partners

Information below only concerns transfer bonuses from the last three years. If a transfer partner isn’t mentioned, it’s because there have been no transfer bonuses offered in the last four years.

Note that you will always receive a 5,000 mile bonus for every increment of 20,000 SPG Points transferred to airline partners. That is a constant promotion between SPG and all airline transfer partners.

All Your SPG Points Will Convert to Marriott Points In August

No idea what I’m talking about?

Marriott bought SPG many months ago, creating not only the largest hotel portfolio in the world but also the fastest growing. August 1 of this year marks the day the loyalty programs become one (i.e. using one point currency, award chart, elite qualifying system, etc). They will keep their separate names, however, until 2019 when the loyalty program will be given just one (yet to be announced) name.

Read What August 2018 Holds For Marriott/SPG: Part II if you’re more concerned about transferring your SPG points to airline partners. Don’t worry, at least for the purpose of transferring to airline partners, your points won’t be devaluing. You’ll have all the same transfer partners as before (almost) and new ones as well.

Read What August 2018 Holds For Marriott/SPG: Part I if you also use your SPG points for redemptions on hotel rooms.

If you’re wondering how this merger will affect the future of transfer bonuses, I imagine we will continue to see them between Marriott and airline loyalty programs. Hopefully we’ll see even more with the new airline partners coming. What I can’t say with confidence is whether or not any previously established pattern will apply moving forward…perhaps with the historical bonuses described below that apply to a variety of hotel programs, many of which included Marriott.

American Airlines

  • Now: From April 15 through May 31, 2018: 25% transfer bonus (from various hotel points to AAdvantage, register here with code HTT25)
  • In September and October of 2017: 20% to 30% transfer bonus (depending on amount of points transferred)
  • In August through mid September of 2016: 20% transfer bonus
  • In August of 2015: 20% transfer bonus
  • In July of 2014: 20% transfer bonus

It appears that SPG to AAdvantage transfer bonuses happen annually. We may see one more solely SPG to AAdvantage transfer bonus before August (when SPG and Marriott’s loyalty program’s merge), as the one occurring now applies for various hotel point programs, but I wouldn’t count on it.

Air Canada (Aeroplan)

  • In mid March through mid April of 2018: 25% bonus
  • In mid November through mid December of 2017: up to a 30% bonus (tiered)
  • In mid March through mid April of 2017 (just ended a few days ago): up to a 30% bonus (tiered)
  • In mid November through mid December of 2016: up to a 30% bonus (tiered)
  • In mid July through mid August of 2016: up to a 27.5% transfer bonus (tiered)
  • In mid March through mid April of 2016: up to a 27.5% transfer bonus (tiered)
  • In mid November through mid December of 2015: up to a 27% transfer bonus (tiered)
  • In mid July through mid August of 2015: up to a 27% transfer bonus (tiered)
  • In mid March through mid April 2015: up to a 25% transfer bonus (tiered)
  • In November of 2014: up to a 25% bonus (tiered)

None of those transfers were exclusively SPG to Aeroplan, they were all hotel partners to Aeroplan bonuses. The pattern is clear here: three times a year, once in the spring (typically mid March through mid April), once in the summer (mid July through mid August), and once at the end of the year (mid November to mid December).

We will probably be able to take advantage of this transfer bonus one more time this summer (the last two weeks of July) before the merger of the SPG and Marriott programs August 1. That being said, these transfer bonuses were the kind that apply to various hotel programs, including Marriott. If you are planning on booking an Aeroplan award in July, I’d complete the transfer before August 1 just in case.

British Airways Avios

  • In February and the beginning of March 2017: 35% transfer bonus
  • In June of 2016: 35% transfer bonus
  • In May of 2015: 10% transfer bonus

None of those transfers were exclusively SPG to British Airways Avios, they were all hotel partners to British Airways Avios bonuses. Most recently, in March of 2018, there as a 35% bonus available transferring hotel points to BA Avios, but SPG was not included. Of course, you could’ve moved SPG points to Marriott at a 1:3 rate to take advantage, but it wasn’t such a good deal transferring directly from Marriott to BA Avios, thanks to a crappy standard Marriott to BA Avios rate. However, transferring SPG points to Marriott Rewards for the Hotel + Air Packages (specifically, Hotel + Air Package 1 for 270k Marriott Rewards / 90k SPG points) was an awesome deal garnering 160,000 Avios and a seven night stay at a category 1 – 5 Marriott.

Hopefully we’ll continue to see transfer bonuses offered between Marriott and Avios moving forward (if so, most likely not until the first quarter of 2019), with the new improved base transfer rates (basically transfers from Marriott to all airline partners will be at a rate of 3:1…and 3 SPG points = 1 Marriott point). While Hotel + Air packages will continue to exist post merger, their future value is still up in the air.

Cathay Pacific Asia Miles

  • In December of 2016: 30% transfer bonus

With only one SPG to Asia Miles transfer bonus in recent history, I can’t say there’s a pattern.

Bottom Line

Having a historical reference of when the last transfer bonus occurred can be valuable information if you’re trying to plan an award. Time it right and you can pay even less points.

Bookmark this page for future reference! And let me know below if there was a past transfer bonus I missed.

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