Bits: good Accor / Amex cashback deal, other Amex offers, 20% bonus on SPG to AA conversions

News in brief:

Accor and Amex launch new cashback deal

Accor Hotels, which operates Sofitel, Novotel, Mercure, Ibis, M Gallery, Pullman etc, is running a new cashback deal with American Express.

There are two variants – £30 back on £250 spend and £50 back on £500 spend.

You need to log into your American Express account and look under ‘Offers’ on each of your card statement pages.  The offer may be there under one of them – if it is, save it to your card.

These offers are especially valuable if you pay for your business trips yourself and reclaim the money later …..!

You need to complete a stay at a Sofitel, Pullman or M Gallery hotel by 21st October.  A list of participating hotels is on the Amex site but pretty much every hotel globally under those brands is included.  Ibis, Novotel, Mecure etc arr NOT included.  If you stay outside the UK, the converted bill must be over £250.

You might not be aware of which hotels fall under M Gallery as these are generally local hotels which kept their original branding.  In the UK, participating hotels are:

Castle Hotel, Windsor

Francis Hotel, Bath

Queens Hotel, Cheltenham

The Sofitel properties at Heathrow and Gatwick as well as the St James’s flagship pictured below are also included as are the Pullman hotels in Liverpool (brand new, see the article here) and Kings Cross.

This offer would combine with the current Accor promotion which lets you earn 9+ Avios per £1you can read my article on that offer here.

The Accor booking page is here.

Sofitel St James 350

Other Amex hotel deals launched

You should also take a look at your Amex accounts for other hotel and package deals.  I have:

£50 back on £500 easyJet holidays spend

£100 back on £400 Rocco Forte Hotels spend (Amigo Brussels pictured below)

£75 back on £200 spend at Landmark Hotel Group (London-based)

£100 back on £300 spend at One Fine Stay (apartment rentals)

I also have 10% cashback on bmi regional flights on one card.

Hotel Amigo Brussels review exterior

20% bonus on Starwood Preferred Guest transfers to American Airlines

Finally, American Airlines is running another transfer bonus from Starwood Preferred Guest.

Full details are here.  The bonus applies to the total amount transferred, so if you transfer 20,000 points and get the usual 5,000 mile bonus, you actually receive 30,000 AA miles (20,000 + 5,000 + 20%).

In general hotel points are best used for hotel stays but this is a generous bonus and I think either option offers good value.  I value an SPG point at 1.5p so, if you value an AA mile at 1p, you won’t lose any value in making a transfer as you should value 20,000 SPG points equally to 30,000 American miles.

The last day to convert is 14th September.

(Want to earn more hotel points?  Click here to see our complete list of promotions from the major hotel chains or use the ‘Hotel Promos’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)

New Qatar business class sale from £680 - from Helsinki
Big airberlin US expansion means LOTS of new low-tax Avios redemptions
About Head for Points

We help business and leisure travellers maximise their Avios, frequent flyer miles and hotel loyalty points. Visit every day for three new articles or sign up for our FREE emails via this page or the box to your right.


  1. James A says:

    Unfortunately the happy times are over for SPG-> AA. The hike in redemption cost and the USD – GBP rates have put paid to the ~£650 one way etihad first redemptions when buying points :(

  2. They get lots more points for credit card sign-ups too.
    I am hoping for Amex travel offer since we have to pay a lot of money by next Feb. We did have 13 cards between us but this week my wife cancelled Gold and Gold credit so four fewer now.
    I keep a record of the offers and for us there has been nothing so far this year, compared with lots last year. But we have had lots of Cash back from Lloyds.

    • Indeed :( Sadly they get so much more money in interchange fees and have so much competition between card issuers I can’t see us getting anything like as good deals here!

  3. Can I ask you about Amex referral bonus? If my husband already has Amex gold and I refer him to become Platinum, will he and I get the referrel bonus? Or we won’t get it as he has Gold now? Many thanks.

  4. I have £50 back on £300 spend, rather than £500…

  5. Yes, managed to bag a Happy Mondays deal when the Castle was still a Mercure – as a Platinum, got upgraded to an amazing room with views of the Castle and a four-poster bed. Incredible value for £40!

    • Dis the same with queens hotel in cheltenham when it was a mercure, which has the ecxact same wallpaper lining the stairs as the Houses of Parliament (with accompanying plaque to explain)

  6. No offers on my card.

    Fairly new card, so not sure how long they take to appear?

  7. Stephen C says:

    Yep, got that one too

  8. MoNkEyMaN says:

    Slightly off topic, but does anyone have any experience of the Amex Platinum Business card?
    Can I get the sign up bonus if I have had a personal plat card within the last six months?
    Is the priority pass offering the same as the personal card, where you have access for the card holder and one guest?

    • Raffles says:

      Priority Pass is worse – no guest.

      Insurance is better – covers you to 80, no requirement to pay with an Amex.

      In theory you cannot get the bonus if you’ve had a personal Plat or Gold in the last 6 months. I know some readers have managed it but others have note.

  9. Sadly no Accor offer on either of my BA Premium Plus’s (primary & additional cardholder), nor Easyjet Hols. Any chance they may be added in due course, or they can be signed up for on the generic offers site?

    • EJ is available to 20,000 applicants – which normally means it will turn up on the Connect site. Not sure you can sign up there with BA Amex cards though – I thought it was just for non-Amex Amex cards (eg MBNA)? Has that changed?

      • I don’t think so; I assumed it had when the cardmembers? site started redirecting to it but I have had no success.

  10. I have 3 Amex cards and haven’t had a single offer in months. Any idea why?

    • Mine have started to show under offers when previously the only ones were when I clicked rewards then offers, I have started to get a lot more on some since I stopped using the cards.

  11. O/T We’re going to need a tougher response to the Black Lives Matter protests. Completely disruptive to LHR and elsewhere – ruining people’s lives & holidays for a cause that people were already largely sympathetic to in the UK, even if the protests belong in the USA. I simply can’t understand why the police don’t just bodily cart them away and open up the M4 within minutes.

    Anyway – allow extra time if you’re flying out of LHR.

    • (politics)
      If you read up the background, it is the latest SWP front group exploiting useful idiots – eg some recycled Occupy people.

      Agree on the need for a firmer response – I’d like to see civil action against the individuals.


  12. rams1981 says:

    OT did people get their iberia plus store bonuses following the groupon purchase?

    • Not yet. Anyone else?

    • Not yet, but I had an email detailing what I would receive.

      • O/T but need some advice. I have BA Amex premium card and am about £900 from qualifying for my 2-4-1 voucher which I understand lasts for two years. Upon completing the spend target, should I downgrade the card to a free Amex card or are there any advantages in keeping it? I’m six months of the way through the annual fee period. If I downgrade it, what other card should I now get.

        • Genghis says:

          Conventional wisdom seems to be that if you don’t want to use the BAPP after triggering 241, downgrade to BA Blue by calling them up. I did that and then cancelled the BA blue card after I’d applied the 241 voucher to a booking. You’ll receive a pro rata refund of around £75 as well from the BAPP.

          What card next depend on what you’ve already had and what your targets are. Have you had Amex Gold / Plat or SPG Amex (these are convertible into many other schemes)? Virgin cards don’t have a higher sign up bonus on and not sure we’ll see one. Have you had the Hilton Barclaycard?

          • Thank you Genghis for your advice which I will follow regarding downgrading the BA Amex card once I’ve triggered the voucher. Can you only earn one 2-4-1 per subscription year?

            Re other cards, I’ve had the Hilton Barclaycard visa for many years but do not and have not had any other Amex cards. The platinum card is appealing, I’m just not sure whether I could justify the £450 fee. I’d value your advice on whether you think it’s a good deal or not.

            • Genghis says:

              Only one 241 per year. You could refer your partner (if possible) for the BAPP and they’d get the sign up bonus (currently 18k avios) and you a referral bonus (9k avios) and then go for another 241.

              My wife and I each churn the Amex plat every 6 months or so. So I get a referral from someone else for the Amex plat (you could ask Raffles), spend £2k on it, refer my wife and then she spends 2k on it. This is over the course of a month or so. So for around £80 (the cost of two cards for one month – you get pro-rata refund), and spending £4k, we accumulate 35k + 2k + 18k + 35k + 2k = 92k MR points between us.

              The spend can be quite easy to achieve provided you have the cash. E.g. You can pay your council tax for the year on Amex at Co Op, buy Tesco gift cards for future spend, buy a train season ticket etc.

              While you have the cards also apply for all the hotel statuses that come with the Amex Plat (which continue long after you cancel). You can time the cards with an up coming trip to get some use out of the Priority Passes.

              Hope this helps.

              Alternatively, Amex Golds are available for free but using the same approach you’d only get 22k + 2k + 9k + 22k + 2k = 57k MR points. IMO spending £80 is worth it to get the extra 35k MR points.

            • Thanks for such an informative and detailed response Genghis – I think I might do the same when I know I have got £4k to spend in a month or so. In your calculation of the 92,000 MR, does the 18k relate to 2 times 9k referral fees for referring your partner. Can you keep doing this churn on an ongoing basis and still earn the referrals?

            • Genghis says:

              Referring an Amex Plat gets you 18k MR points. Only 9k for a Gold.

              We leave it around 7 months between cancelling and applying and have done it quite a few times now without any problems.

              We do the same thing with BAPP and SPG.

  13. If you have a company incentive scheme powered by “NextJump”, they may find they are currently offering 14% points back on Hilton and a staggering 25% points back on Marriott.

    “Points” can be exchanged for cash on a 1point = 1p basis.

  14. OT – Has anyone received their points from Iberia/Economist subscription as yet?

  15. OT
    My Moneycard has now arrived, but I cannot change the PIN.
    Has anyone managed to do this please?

  16. O/t – anyone received the 3k/5k membership rewards for taking a supplementary card? Called today & just had t’s & c’s quoted to me. Platinum CS used to be SO much better, but recently gone down hill…

  17. O/T the kids are going crazy about LHR —> AKL with Thai through Skyscanner

    I checked a few and they are coming out very cheap – economy rtn c. £400 or even lower.

    Dates suggested
    04.09 – 25.09
    02.11 – 11.11
    02.11 – 16.11
    09.11 – 23.11
    16.02 – 28.02
    01.03 – 22.03
    02.03 – 17.03
    05.03 – 18.03
    05.04 – 19.04
    28.04 – 12.05
    01.06 – 16.06

    I daresay ex-EU would find you something even ‘dirter cheaper’.

    Makes you wish you could be a student again :) & Thai are such a good airline as well

    • Dirty cheap but in Y 😕

      • Don’t know about you Genghis but I am going to be 54 next year, there we go, I’m an old frat.

        I personally would be very happy to slum it in economy to NZ to save a few quid, not sure my beloved would be quite as happy as she has got accustomed to the high life. Long journey & I guess after all I can find a way to do it economically.

    • already booked @ may half term next year.

      • I envy your flexibility! I’d love to go @ that price! I’d take all 5 of us @ that price if a) work allowed b) schools (3) allowed

        And we are IRRV holders for NZ!

  18. Both of our accounts suddenly show on AwardWallet as going from 1100 points to 20000.
    Has this happened to anyone else?
    I am unable to see the entries on my account for some reason.

  19. OT, I am just transferring Amex reward points to virgin before cancelling the card. I realised they only allow transfers in increments of 500 points. That leaves me with 300 points in the account. Any idea how to make use of these 300 points or do I just have to cancel the card and lose it?

  20. Hi Raffles
    Thanks for the great info.
    Would anyone know whether the £250 or £500 spend required is cumulative or must be a one-off payment ?

    • Good question. Sometimes these promos are cumulative, even when they don’t say it in the rules, but you should assume if must be a one-off unless written otherwise.