Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

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

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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.

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 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.


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

How to earn Marriott Bonvoy points and status from UK credit cards (February 2024)

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 points sign-up bonus and 15 elite night credits each year 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

40,000 bonus points and a huge range of valuable 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 (27)

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

  • 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”.

    • Rob says:

      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!

  • CT says:

    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.

    • Rob says:

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

      • Dev says:

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

    • Ben E says:

      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!!

      • Rob says:

        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…

          • Rob says:

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

          • Simon says:

            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?

  • Rob says:

    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.

  • MBX says:

    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!!!

  • 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.

    • Rob says:

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

  • louie-m says:

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

    • Rob says:

      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.

      • Rob says:

        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.

  • Barry says:

    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.

  • Rob says:

    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!

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

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