TARGETTED: 20,000 SPG points (= 25,000 Avios) sign-up bonus for the Starwood Amex card!

Many of you have received an email from Starwood offering a sign-up bonus of 20,000 Starwood Preferred Guest points if you sign up for the SPG American Express card.

This should be a no-brainer as long as you can spend the required £2,000 within three months.

As long as you received the email – and meet the £30,000 household income requirement – you can get the bonus.   It doesn’t matter if you already have a British Airways American Express, Amex Gold, Amex Platinum etc.  You still qualify for the bonus.  The offer is scheduled to run until 6th January.

The Amex homepage for the card is here.  This does not show the 20,000 points bonus however.  For complete clarity, if you did not get the email from American Express then you cannot get the higher bonus.

I am obliged to tell you that the representative APR is 36.2% variable, including the annual fee, based on a notional £1200 credit limit.  The APR on purchases is 19.9% variable.

Who are SPG / Starwood Hotels?

Starwood Hotels is the chain behind Sheraton, Westin, W, St Regis, aloft and The Luxury Collection.  Their loyalty scheme is called Starwood Preferred Guest.

The company is currently in the process of being taken over by Marriott which makes this sign-up bonus even more bizarre.  We have not seen an offer this generous since November 2013.

Why is this credit card offer so attractive?

The obvious thing to do with your Starwood points is to use them for free nights at Sheraton, Westin, W, aloft etc hotels. Here is the SPG reward chart if you want to see how far 20,000 points will get you – there are also some examples on the Amex website if you scroll down this page. When my wife got this bonus, I redeemed them for a hotel in Greece that got me £370 of value for my sign-up bonus – see here for that story.

However, you can also convert your 20,000 SPG points into 25,000 airline miles – including 25,000 Avios.

Starwood points convert into airline miles at the rate of 1:1, which is exceedingly generous for a hotel loyalty programme.  The even better news is that when you convert 20,000 points at once, you receive an additional 5,000 airline miles as a bonus!

Your 20,000 SPG points sign-up bonus would therefore get you 25,000 Avios!

SPG has a huge number of airline partners. 20,000 SPG points will get you:

  • 25,000 Avios points
  • 25,000 Virgin Flying Club miles
  • 25,000 Miles & More miles
  • 25,000 American Airlines miles
  • 25,000 miles with Air Canada, airberlin, Air China, Alaska, Alitalia, ANA, Asia Miles, Asiana, China Eastern, China Southern, Delta, Emirates, Etihad, Flying Blue, Hawaiian, Japan Airlines, Qatar, Saudi Arabian, Singapore, Thai, US
  • 12,500 United miles
  • 37,500 LAN LANPASS miles
  • 385 Air New Zealand points

The card is especially valuable if you want to generate some miles in one of the airline partner programmes apart from Avios.  There aren’t that many easy ways to earn, for example, 25,000 Miles & More or Aeroplan miles from the UK. 

What are the terms and conditions of the card?

The most important thing to know is that there is no restriction on getting the SPG Amex if you already have a British Airways, Amex Platinum, Amex Gold or any other American Express card.  You are OK to apply.

The only people who cannot apply are those who have cancelled the SPG Amex in the last six months.

Here are the facts on the card:

  • You receive 20,000 SPG points when you spend £2,000 within 3 months
  • You earn 1 SPG point per £1 spent going forward
  • There is a £75 annual fee
  • There is a pro-rata fee refund if you cancel the card
  • £30,000 household income requirement (note household income, not personal)

What else do I need to know?

There are some other interesting benefits to bear in mind:

You receive Preferred Guest Plus status in the SPG programme, which offers you some extra benefits when you stay at any of their hotels

If you spend over £25,000 in a year, you receive a voucher for a free night in a Starwood Category 1-4 hotel.  This is not terribly exciting, to be honest, as Category 1-4 hotels are generally not the greatest.

If you spend over £15,000 in a year, you will receive Gold status in the Starwood Preferred Guest programme.  This is the mid-tier status level, and gives you bonus points on each stay plus other benefits.  (You do not receive free breakfast or free internet, however.)

Starwood points can be transferred – for free – between two members who live at the same address. If you were both targetted, you can get a card in the name of your partner, move the points to your SPG account and then redeem them into your airline account

How to apply

You MUST use the link in the email sent to you by American Express.  This is the only way to receive the 20,000 points.

Do yourself a favour.  Open a Starwood Preferred Guest account before you apply.  Do not wait for American Express to open one for you, as it generally leads to complications.  Open one now and then put the number on the application form for the credit card.

Please post below if you have any questions.  This is deal worth jumping on, especially as you can apply whatever other Amex cards you hold.

(Want to earn more miles and points from credit cards?  Click here to visit our dedicated airline and hotel travel credit cards page or use the ‘Credit Cards Update’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)

Disclaimer: Head for Points is a journalistic website. Nothing here should be construed as financial advice, and it is your own responsibility to ensure that any product is right for your circumstances. Recommendations are based primarily on the ability to earn miles and points and do not consider interest rates, service levels or any impact on your credit history.  By recommending credit cards on this site, I am – technically – acting as a credit broker.  Robert Burgess, trading as Head for Points, is regulated and authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority to act as a credit broker.

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Comments

  1. So delighted you pointed out this promo. I had deleted the e-mail thinking it was a promo to buy SPG points. Just put in my application and accepted. Hoping it arrives in time to put my annual season ticket through it and qualify there and then!

  2. Didn’t receive the targetted promotion despite being signed up for SPG emails :( Could it be something to do with Amex emails?

    Raffles – fingers crossed you manage to convince Amex to offer to HfP readers!

  3. Rodger McSalty says:

    Anyone know of a way (perhaps via a creative route) to pay off a student loan using an Amex? Got a loan that is nearly paid off so I can do the rest via credit card for a 1.5% fee but they only take Mastercard or Visa…this promotion would tie up nicely if there’s a way to generate spend on the Amex that also pays of the student loan.

    • You could buy the visa gift cards from Tesco/Argos but obviously a fee (3V have disappeared)
      Handy if you got any tesco conditional spends

    • You could be doing the Biebers like moi-même lol

      Not popular topic here but Amex Invite on Cardmember Offers was the route to get Day 1 @ O2, 2 days before the masses, which I think is usually massively popular http://www.viagogo.co.uk/Concert-Tickets/Rock-and-Pop/Justin-Bieber-Tickets/E-1384008

      No need to sling that mud folks, I know some of you don’t like it, no need for any of us to bore the others by rehashing the arguments.

      Neat way to combine MS with Amex advantages IMVHO lol. They changed max tickets from 8 to 6 after I got mine so slight concern there as they might cancel them, I don’t think I’ll be shifting mine until they actually arrive – though early shifting gets the worm, I have witnessed.

      So you might want to think about that, just pick carefully, I suggest