The 20,000 SPG points (=25,000 Avios) SPG Amex sign-up bonus is still alive ….

To be honest, I feel a little bit silly writing about this again.  After running a big “apply now, it’s about to go away!” post in late July, this impressive deal is still alive.

It is not a mistake, either, since it still shows on both the American Express website and the Starwood Preferred Guest home page.  I have absolutely no idea when it is going to be pulled, although I believe that some SPG members were emailed to say that there would be a modest extension.

Anyway, in case you missed out and still want to apply, here is a repeat of my rationale for getting the card.  If you have already read this a couple of times, feel free to skip to the next post and accept my apologies!

The SPG Amex card

The Starwood American Express card is currently offering  20,000 SPG points (=25,000 Avios) as a sign-up bonus.

Based on historic patterns, I would expect the bonus to drop back to 10,000 points (= 10,000 Avios) in the next few days.

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.

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 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

The application page for the SPG Amex is here.

(To see our complete list of all current credit card bonuses, click here to visit our ‘Credit Cards Update’ page or use the link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)

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About Head for Points

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  1. Nodrog says:

    Hi Raffles
    Did you ever get an answer on the comment raised on the previous post:

    “Upgrade to elite gold preferred status when you spend £15,000 within a cardmembership year, giving you at least 4 starpoints for every full £1 spent, 6 per transaction at starwood preferred guest hotels and resorts, automatic room upgrades, late check-out and more”.

    • No. But it must, surely, be nonsense (!) since the UK card doesn’t give any bonus to anyone on spending at SPG hotels and isn’t even set up to do so.

      It is also odd that no-one anywhere on Flyertalk or similar boards has ever reported this, as someone must have spent over £15k on the card!

  2. ” I feel a little bit silly writing about this again”
    Ah bless, never silly to be able to do a blog post that might get you more referrals !
    Might have been easier just to post a link to you identical article from 10 days ago, mind you.

    • I did do 2 lines of red text telling people they didn’t need to bother reading this if they’ve read it before!

      And, despite putting a note on the home page that I was dropping to 2 posts a day in August, I have done 3 posts today because a lot of people have seen this one already. Same applies tomorrow with the monthly round-up of credit card changes.

  3. I may have missed this, do the points get credited to your SPG account as soon as you have hit the £1k threshold or after 3 months? I am looking for a quick way to get points at the moment.

    • They show online at Amex as soon as you hit the £1,000 spend, and get transferred across at the end of that month.

      • They SHOULD show when you hit £1,000 although mine took eight months and many phone calls to come through!

    • I spent the £1k in the first month and only got the full points tally in month 5, again after much calling to Amex.

      HOWEVER, I rang them last week to chase up for my pro-rata refund as I’d cancelled in May, and they gave me the full membership cost of £75 back! Bonus!!

      • I got my bonus on my latest SPG card on schedule, ie with the transaction that took me over £1k

        • bobmcbob says:

          Took me the full 5 months too. They told me the bonus is only paid 3 full months after the threshold has been met. Not sure if they were fobbing me off or not.

        • oli reaction says:

          I have always had the bonus points post alongside the transaction that takes you over the spend limit. Points are then sent to SPG at the end of the month. This has always worked for me over many amex cards…

        • They were fobbing you off. 99% certainty that your account was set up incorrectly on their system.

        • I got the bonus points as soon as I hit the 1k in June, still waiting for the points to hit Starwood though, they said there was a technical glitch linking my Starwood Preferred Guest account to my Card.

        • Michael says:

          Is there anything one can do to challenge delays as of AMEX delaying things even if they have the relevant info long time already? …other than emailing or phoning them?

  4. I took the SPG Amex out in January/February having read about it on HFP. I quickly spent the £1k, received the points and cancelled the card and received a pro-rata refund meaning I made a small profit… We’ve just used the points to book 2 nights in Hamburg in a couple of weeks time, coupled with some BA flights using Avios.

    So I’m feeling pretty good and just wanted to say thanks to Raffles as I wouldn’t have taken the SPG out had I not read about it on here. I try to payback by using the Amazon links religiously!!!

  5. BA-Flyer says:

    Despite cancelling my last UK issued Amex 6 months ago, I have to wait up to 10 days for a decision. Even though Amex are sure to have my details on file, they need to do the credit checks again. (The person I spoke to at Amex said “hardly anyone” gets instant approval.

    • I didn’t get instant approval and I’ve had a Plat since 1999 and a BA Amex since they launched in, what, 2002?

  6. SPG is now 10,000 signup. Looks like it changed today (07-Aug)

    • Yes, it changed yesterday lunchtime. My referral links still works ( but you might be pushing your luck to use that today.

      • louie-m says:

        If you sent someone a referral showing 20k a few days ago, is that still valid?

        • Good question. The link will still take you a page showing 21k as the bonus. During the process it will show 10k in places, but that is because the system is programmed to show the default offer number – it used to show 20k in places, but you still got 21k.

          The question is whether you would either a) apply, take the risk of getting just 11k and then fighting it out with Amex for a while over whether you should get 21k as the referral link shows or b) you wait 6 months or so when this offer will probably come back.

        • Update: I just had an email from Amex saying that the bonus on the SPG card changed “today”. Clearly bits of the site moved yesterday, but as I have an email from them dated today, saying it changed today, anyone who applied yesterday can assume they are going to be OK. I will keep the email just in case.

  7. I applied last night using the link that Raffles kindly supplied in referring me.
    The link said I would get 21000 points but during the application it was saying 10000.
    Got instantly accepted!
    Called new card department this morning who assured me I would got 21000 as I was referred.
    Rep said it was 10000 if not referred but was still 21000 if you were.
    The wonders of Amex marketing!
    Thanks again Raffles and in reply to Tangey’s sarkie comment above I for one am glad you reposted this.Maybe you should offer Tangey his subscription fee back.

  8. The referral link is still showing 21K for the referree on the amex website this morning. However whilst applying for my partner last night, towards the end of the application it did say in the right hand panel, she would get 10K plus an extra 1K for being referred. I phoned and the guy in brighton said it was 10K signup, and on looking at the generic website, it does say 10K. I didn’t mention coming via a referral link mind you.

    I wonder how Amex will deal with this. I’m guessing legally 11K is what you agree to when you hit “apply”, as that’s what is on the screen, but not good for Amex to be seen to do, what our american friends would call “bait and switch”

    • As the offer switched during the day, without notice, anyone who applied yesterday should be fine. I also know people at Amex who can get involved if last minute referrals done yesterday do come through at 11k and not 21k.

      Anyone who applies today via my old link is doing so at their own risk, though!

  9. Someone with an SPG should send a dummy referral email to themselves. The referral section of the amex website is still showing 21K for a referred application. I’m wondering does the referral email arrive with 21K or 11K. ?

  10. I’m approaching the £1k spend and plan to cancel. The terms say it can take up to two months to get the points and theat i will get auto enrolled into the hotel programme.
    Whats the advice: when to cancel the amex ? and how do i get to know my spg membership number?

    • blindman says:

      Send the a secure message with the Q’s Then it’s in writing. It took Mrs B 6 months to get her points and 2 months to get the SPG number. Total farce really. We then cancelled as soon as her points had been transferred.

    • Big mistake not to sign up to SPG first! If the first set of points have not yet gone, you may have time. Join now, ring Amex and give them the number.

      If your account was set up OK, the points will appear alongside the qualifying transaction. Amex told me last week that problems with setting up accounts were now a thing of the past …..

      • I just phoned amex and they have added my spg number to their loyalty system. thanks for the advice

  11. I will hit the £1k spend threshold about 3 weeks after account opening. How soon can I cancel the Amex and still get the sign-up bonus?