Premise of Airline Direct Deposit
Starwood’s flexibility and recent merger with Marriott make it the preferred choice for me. However, the little known program of Airline Direct Deposit (ADD) allows travelers to earn airline miles instead of Starpoints for every stay. Most convert at a 1:1 rate, which means instead of earning base and elite bonus Starpoints, you would earn the total equal amount of airline miles deposited into your account.
Note: three airlines convert at different rates, and another three give a flat amount of points or miles.
Why would you want to do this?
This type of conversion makes sense if you value the miles higher than Starpoints, which is unlikely. More realistically, it would make sense if you needed miles for a flight and had upcoming stays.
Why would you not want to do this?
For most travelers, you could convert the Starpoints into miles at a more favorable rate, with their generous offering of 5,000 Starpoints when converting 25,000 Starpoints to miles. Thus, it ends up being 20,000 Starpoints for 25,000 miles.
Or, if it makes sense to convert more than once. For example, you could convert Starpoints to United miles at 2:1, or through ADD earn them at 1:1. However, if you transferred the points to Marriott first at 1 Starpoint for 3 Marriott Rewards points, you could then convert those Marriott points to United at 56,000 Marriott for 25,000 United miles.
Simplified, it looks like this: 18,667 Starpoints : 56,000 Marriott Rewards: 25,000 United miles. Thus, each Starpoint earns roughly 1.34 United miles, which is significantly better than the 1 for 1 through Airline Direct Deposit.
Alternatively, if it is cheaper to purchase the miles needed, or if you value Starpoints more, as I do, ADD is a nice option, but not one to take advantage of.
Members registered for Crossover RewardsSM with SPG and the Delta SkyMiles® program are not eligible to register for Airline Direct Deposit with an airline other than Delta.
My recommendation is to keep them as Starpoints, unless you’re earning small enough amounts for paid stays that you don’t plan to use them for hotel stays. Even so, Starpoints conversion is pretty generous, with some conversion minimums as low as one Starpoint! For miles, usually it is most beneficial to convert 20,000 SPG for 25,000 miles. However, you also can do 1, 5, 500, or 1,000 at a time!
Featured image from Michael Gaida on Pixabay.
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