Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

20,000 SPG points (=25,000 Avios points) sign-up bonus is back on the Starwood Amex

Links on Head for Points may pay us an affiliate commission. A list of partners is here.

Another great way to earn a pile of Avios points from a credit card sign-up has appeared.

I was very surprised last night to see that the sign-up bonus on the SPG / Starwood American Express card had jumped back up to 20,000 SPG points.

Amex has historically only run this offer once a year, and that is in Autumn. It is only three months since the last promotion finished. Perhaps Amex is getting rattled by the aggressive promotions being run by MBNA?

SPG Amex

The Starwood Amex card usually comes with 10,000 SPG points as a sign-up bonus. For now, though, it is offering 20,000 SPG pointsclick here for full details from the Amex website.

20,000 SPG points is a good deal if you redeem for hotel stays at Sheraton, Westin, W, St Regis, Luxury Collection etc. You can also convert 20,000 SPG points into airline miles. The great news here is that 20,000 is the trigger required to get a 5,000 mile bonus. Whilst the standard bonus of 10,000 SPG points only gets you 10,000 airline miles, when you convert 20,000 you get 20,000 airline miles plus 5,000 extra!

Your 20,000 SPG points sign-up bonus would therefore get you 25,000 airline miles! You can convert to Avios, of course, but also to a lot of other airlines. There are over 30 airline partners in total.

Now, here are the facts on the card:

  • 20,000 SPG points when you spend £1,000 within 3 months (£1,000 is a very modest target for such a good deal)
  • 1 SPG point per £1 spent going forward
  • £75 annual fee
  • £30,000 household income requirement
  • No problem getting the bonus even if you have a BA, Platinum, Gold or any other Amex

Now, the obvious thing to do with Starwood points is to use them for Sheraton, Westin, W, aloft etc hotel stays. Here is the 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 bonussee here for that story.

For many people, though, they are more valuable as airline miles. This is especially true when you have 20,000 of them – as you will – since Starwood gives you a 5,000 mile bonus when you convert 20,000.

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 miles with Air Canada, airberlin, Air China, Alaska, Alitalia, ANA, American, 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
  • 50,000 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. If you recently applied for the American Airlines card under their amazing 35,000 miles promotion, you could use this card to get an additional 25,000 American Airlines miles.

There are two other perks to the Starwood card which are not clearly mentioned on the application form:

  • If you cancel, you get a pro-rata refund of your £75 fee
  • Starwood points can be transferred – for free – between two members who live at the same address. You can therefore 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 can apply directly from the American Express website.

How to earn Marriott Bonvoy points and status from UK credit cards

How to earn Marriott Bonvoy points and status from UK credit cards (December 2022)

There are various ways of earning Marriott Bonvoy points from UK credit cards.  Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses.

The official Marriott Bonvoy American Express card comes with 20,000 points for signing up, 2 points for every £1 you spend and 15 elite night credits per year.

You can apply here.

Marriott Bonvoy American Express

20,000 bonus points and 15 elite night credits Read our full review

You can also earn Marriott Bonvoy points by converting American Express Membership Rewards points at the rate of 2:3.

Do you know that holders of The Platinum Card from American Express receive FREE Marriott Bonvoy Gold status for as long as they hold the card?  It also comes with Hilton Honors Gold, Radisson Rewards Premium and MeliaRewards Gold status.  We reviewed American Express Platinum in detail here and you can apply here.

The Platinum Card from American Express

30,000 points and unbeatable travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review

You can also earn Marriott Bonvoy points indirectly:

and for small business owners:

The conversion rate from American Express to Marriott Bonvoy points is 2:3.

Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which can be used to earn Marriott Bonvoy points

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

Comments (42)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • Geoggy says:

    So I got this card last autumn and got bonus . Hit spend and bailed within a month.

    If I apply again will I get bonus?

    • Rob says:

      6 month gap is usually ok with Amex, so depends what you mean by Autumn

      • xcalx says:

        I got the SPG in Jan this year . I cancelled my Amex Plat last November , will I have to wait 6 months after cancelling the SPG before I can re-apply for the Plat/Gold. If so I may have slipped up here.


  • Cliff says:

    Well I cancelled the card last christmas and after many phone calls, have still not received my pro rata refund !

  • mrtibbs1999 says:

    Would you elaborate, please. This sounds very interesting. Especially for an old spammer like me 😉

  • Gordon says:

    Just cancelled my spg card 6 weeks ago hoping to get a new sign up at christmas so too esrly for me

  • Rob says:

    What a weird feature?! How many people are seriously going to bypass taking the commission themselves when it is clearly flagged up on screen that they can choose between taking it for themselves or giving it to someone else?!

  • Flyersj18 says:

    How long has it taken for the bonus points to post for most people? I signed up in January and ran 2k through it in just over a month. Emailed Amex two weeks ago to query why the points had not posted and received a reply stating that they would be posted up to two months after the third month of holding the card, which sounds like BS to me…

    • Dev says:

      I got the card last December and hit the target within a few weeks. Nothing yet on my account but I did email them in march. They confirmed that I would receive the 20k points in my April statement. Of course, April has come and gone but no points. I have put through a small purchase which will generate a statement for May and hopefully this will also mean that I get my bonus points.

    • jai says:

      this is what i was told too. had to chase them a few times to ensure it did post.

    • Bubbat says:

      Strange. The 20,000 points posted in my aacount just one day after the transaction that took me over the 1K spend.

      • Rob says:

        It normally does, same with the charge cards and BA cards. When it doesn’t I think it is an IT issue with Amex.

  • Jens Moller says:

    Any ideas on how to improve my chances of getting acceptance for this card (I was rejected in December 2012).

    I got Amex Gold (8 months history). Typical monthly spend of £1k.
    +£50k income
    No loans
    (but have only lived in UK for 18 months)


    • Rob says:

      With 8 months of credit history with Amex you should be OK.

    • Haiku says:

      Hi Jens,

      I had a similar issue. I applied and was rejected for the SPG. I waited 10m and re applied and got it. Its probaby a matter of when you applied i.e. were you applying for multiple cards across a short period of time. Now with 8 months history you should be fine to try again

  • mitpat474 says:

    Thanks for the mention Raffles 😀 happy to help your extremely helpful blog!!

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

The UK's biggest frequent flyer website uses cookies, which you can block via your browser settings. Continuing implies your consent to this policy. Our privacy policy is here.