Whilst I have a Starwood Preferred Guest American Express card, I also have Gold status in the SPG programme via my Amex Platinum card. This development had therefore passed me by until a reader flagged it to me.
If you have an SPG Amex, your status with Starwood Preferred Guest should be upgraded from ‘Preferred Guest’ (the basic level) to ‘Preferred Guest Plus’. This should show on spg.com when you log in.
‘Preferred Guest Plus’ is a special membership tier which Starwood gives to members who have not yet achieved Gold status. You receive ‘Plus’ automatically if you hold a Starwood credit card or if you are associated with certain other Starwood commercial partners.
There are two benefits to being ‘Preferred Guest Plus’:
4pm late check-out – this is GUARANTEED unless you are at a resort or convention centre property, although reports online suggest that hotels often need reminding that this is not an optional benefit
‘Enhanced’ room, which generally means the best room available inside the category you booked
These are actually two of the four benefits of being SPG Gold. The only other things you would get as a Gold are:
50% higher base points
A welcome gift
‘Preferred Guest Plus’ is not going to make a massive difference to your next stay at a Sheraton, Westin, W, aloft etc, but it is certainly better than nothing. Late check-out can be especially valuable on ‘long weekend’ trips when you have a late flight back.
If you are interested in getting a Starwood Amex, my full review is here. The current sign-up bonus is 10,000 SPG points (convertible to 10,000 Avios points). There is no restriction on getting this card – it doesn’t matter what other Amex cards you currently hold.
How to earn Marriott Bonvoy points and status from UK credit cards (August 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.
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.
You can also earn Marriott Bonvoy points indirectly:
- American Express Gold (20,000 bonus Amex points)
- American Express Rewards Credit Card (5,000 bonus Amex points)
and for small business owners:
- American Express Business Gold (20,000 bonus Amex points)
- American Express Business Platinum (40,000 bonus Amex points)
The conversion rate from American Express to Marriott Bonvoy points is 2:3.
(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.)