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SPG Amex holders now receive “SPG Preferred Guest Plus” status for free

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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 when you log in.

Starwood SPG

‘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

How to earn Marriott Bonvoy points and status from UK credit cards (September 2023)

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

30,000 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 (22)

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

  • JonP says:

    I was hoping for the 20k Bonus Starpoints offer today… I always thought November was a given! You think it may still appear?

    • Rob says:

      Not now. In 2011 and 2012 it did appear in November, however in those years they did not run it earlier in the year. Since we had the 20,000 point offer over the Summer, I don’t expect it back until January-ish at the earliest. But let’s see ….

  • Rich says:

    Worth noting that I cancelled my SPG Amex a few months ago now and retained this Preferred Guest ‘Plus’ status.

  • AviosNewbie says:

    Hi Raffles, I had the SPG card which I closed about 3-4 months ago. Now when I went to the Amex website, I don’t see the standard condition that welcome bonus will not be given if you’ve had the card less than 6 months ago – this condition is mentioned specifically for Gold/Plat.

    So if I now apply for the card again without waiting for the usual 6 months for churning, will I get the bonus?

    • Rob says:

      Good spot. That line has disappeared – it certainly used to be there.

      This could be a mistake by Amex, it would not be the first time. Personally, I wouldn’t risk it by applying again now. For a start, the 20,000 point offer will probably be back in 3-4 months and it would make more sense to wait for that.

      • thesaver79 says:

        Have you ever applied exactly 6 months after cancellation? And would the 6 months start from the cancellation date or from the date of the last statement?

        • Rob says:

          It is from the date they close your account, which will be later – not sure how later – than the day you ring to cancel. They don’t close the account until they are sure there are no transactions coming down the pipe, and obviously if you have charges to settle then your account remains open until they are paid. I would give it at least 7 months to be sure.

          • AviosNewbie says:

            They send out a letter after the card is cancelled. I suppose you can count 6 months from the date of that letter.

          • Rob says:

            That would good grounds for arguing if they tried to suggest otherwise, I agree.

  • SimonP says:

    Hmm, as a Starwood Gold Member anyway, I wonder if they will enhance the Gold status properly to differentiate us from “mere” Amex card holders !!

    • Rob says:

      I doubt it. ‘Preferred Guest Plus’ has existed in the US for years already.

  • Simon says:

    I thought as a gold you got 5 nights for the price of 4 nights when using points?

  • Matt says:

    I’ve had my Amex since August and got the 22k bonus points. They are still in my Amex card account though and haven’t moved in to my SPG account. Does this take a while or shall I put in a call to Amex?


    • M says:

      If you’re already a SPG member just ring amex and give them your membership no. If not you might as well open an account. That’s what I did which was a win win for me as for some reason I’ve been given twice the bonus. Looks like a manual and auto transfer of 21700 points with a total of over 43000 points! Not bad for £1k spend on the card 😉

      • Raffles says:

        They also cannot go across unless you have spend in a month. Even when you have given them your SPG number, you will need to have some spend, even 1 pound, on your next statement for them to go across.

      • Matt says:

        Magic! Thanks, will give them a bell and see what the craic is.

      • Matthew Hamer says:

        Ta all, it seems my Starwood Membership number didn’t match up and each month the points transfer kept failing. All sorted now!

        Great result getting a double whammy transferred over M!

  • Mummy55 says:

    Sorry this is off topic but I got an IHG credit card last week , does anyone know how long it takes for
    Gold staus to appear on rewards account ?(I have two stays booked in America next week)

    • Rob says:

      They are s-l-o-w at this, we’re talking a couple of months. If you email IHG Rewards Club, though, they can expedite it as long as they can see on your account that the card has been opened.

  • bill says:

    SPG will send a membership card if you request it on I did and got a plastic card within a few weeks. Much sooner than the time quoted on the site.

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

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