Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Last chance to get the Starwood Amex with 20,000 points bonus (= 25,000 Avios)

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This is your final reminder that July 29th is the last day to apply for the Starwood American Express card and claim a 20,000 SPG points (=25,000 Avios) sign-up bonus.

Based on historic patterns, I would expect the bonus to drop back to 10,000 points (= 10,000 Avios) after the 29th.

The key point with this card is that you can apply for it whatever other Amex cards you have.  There are no restrictions.  The only people who cannot apply (assuming you meet the income requirement) are people who have already had this card and cancelled less than 6 months ago.

My full review of the SPG Amex is here.   The Amex home page for the SPG card is here.

SPG Amex

The sign-up bonus of 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 SPG points 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, refunded pro-rate if you cancel
  • £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. 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.

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 partners20,000 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
  • 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.

If you recently applied for the American Airlines card with the 35,000 miles sign-up bonus, you could use this card to get an additional 25,000 American Airlines miles.  You need 50,000 AA miles for a Business Class return one-way ticket from the UK to US, for example, so this is a good way to get the extra.

You also have the option of using your SPG points to book a cash flight.  I wrote about the SPG Flights redemptions here.  25,000 SPG points would get you a flight selling for up to £210.

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 Amex 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 (October 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.

EDIT: Until 8th November 2022, the sign-up bonus on the Marriott Bonvoy American Express card is doubled to 40,000 points!

You can apply here.

Marriott Bonvoy American Express

40,000 bonus points (SPECIAL OFFER) 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 Gold and MeliaRewards Gold status.  We reviewed American Express Platinum in detail here and you can apply here.

EDIT: Until 25th October 2022, there is an exceptionally generous sign-up bonus on The Platinum Card. You will receive 60,000 Membership Rewards points – double the usual amount – and £200 to spend at Amex Travel. You need to spend £6,000 within six months to earn the bonus.

The Platinum Card from American Express

60,000 points (SPECIAL OFFER), £200 travel credit and unbeatable 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 (39)

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

  • mitpat474 says:

    I just referred a family member , will easily meet the 1k spend and transfer the points to the same spg account. Convert those to AA miles and add that to the AA card bonus should be nice.

    • Boi says:

      How do you transfer to the same account? I thought each card has its own SPG account to transfer points to?otherwise myself and hubby could merge our accounts if that is possible

  • Michael says:

    How long will SPG points stay valid in the acc? Are there also ways to top them up a few points without the Amex card or booking a night in one of their hotels in order not to loose them at one point?

    • Rob says:

      They do expire, but it is quite a long period. Transferring a few Amex Membership Rewards points across is probably the easiest way to keep them alive, or buy a very small number of SPG points.

  • Dave says:

    I have a SPG Amex card, and just made a schoolboy error and forgot to refer my wife when she applied (and got accepted) today (27th) Doh! I promptly rang up Amex who cancelled the application and told my wife to apply again on Monday (29th) morning, as it takes 24 hour for the application to fully wipe from their system.

    This means my wife will be applying on the 29th July. Can you confirm that applications received on the 29th July will still receive the 20,000 point bonus, as I’m a bit unsure whether it expires on 29th or last day for applications is the 29th.

    I spoke about the deadline to 3 different representatives at Amex and none of them could confirm or deny. One person did say they usually get an email a few days before a promotion ends, and that no email had been received, leading them to believe it was ongoing. Maybe they’ve extended it given the demand?

    • Rob says:

      Last time they ran this, it got extended by a few weeks. Won’t know until Monday! Spg.com still says 29th on home page.

  • Howard says:

    My daughter had a BA Amex (free) plus an Amex Gold Charge Card plus an additional Gold Card (not supplementary). The additional card came from a targeted offer which spend £500 and get 3000 points.

    She was refused a SPG card as she had to many Amex Cards. We cancelled the additional Amex Gold and now she has the SPG Card

  • Alex says:

    Got this SPG card through earlier this week.

    I linked it to my existing SPG account mid-week (which has about 12 nights of stays on it ) and today got an email giving me an upgrade from Preferred to Gold SPG status, meaning more points when I stay at their hotels plus check-in upgrades.

    Coincidence? Either way, I’m not complaining.

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

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