UPDATE – OCTOBER 2023: This article is now out of date, but don’t worry. We produce a monthly directory of the top UK travel credit card offers – please click HERE or use the ‘Credit Cards’ menu above. Thank you.
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It’s my birthday today, you’ll be pleased to know. And what better way to celebrate than another great way to earn a pile of Avios points or Virgin miles from a credit card sign-up.
There are actually two offers being launched today. This article covers the new deal on the Starwood Amex, and my 2nd post today covers the new offer on the British Airways American Express cards.
At some point today, American Express will relaunch the 20,000 points sign-up offer on the SPG American Express card – good for 25,000 Avios points!
Remember that anyone can apply for this card if they meet the £30,000 household income requirement – it doesn’t matter if you already have a BA Amex, Amex Gold, Amex Platinum etc. You still qualify for the bonus. The offer is scheduled to run until 30th January.
Who are Starwood Hotels?
Starwood Hotels is the chain behind Sheraton, Westin, W, St Regis, aloft and The Luxury Collection. Their loyalty scheme is called Starwood Preferred Guest.
Why is this credit card offer so attractive?
The obvious thing to do with your Starwood points is to use them for free nights at Sheraton, Westin, W, aloft etc hotels. Here is the SPG reward chart if you want to see how far 20,000 points will get you – there are also some examples on the Amex website if you scroll down this page.
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.
However, you can also convert your 20,000 SPG points into 25,000 airline miles.
Starwood points convert into airline miles at the rate of 1:1, which is exceedingly generous for a hotel loyalty programme. The even better news is that when you convert 20,000 points at once, you receive an additional 5,000 airline miles as a bonus!
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.
SPG has a huge number of airline partners. 20,000 SPG points will get you:
- 25,000 Avios points
- 25,000 Virgin Flying Club miles
- 25,000 Miles & More miles
- 25,000 American Airlines miles
- 25,000 miles with Air Canada, airberlin, Air China, Alaska, Alitalia, ANA, 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. This is also a good way of topping up an American Airlines account, if you got the MBNA AA card earlier this year.
What are the terms and conditions of the card?
The most important thing to know is that there is no restriction on getting the SPG Amex if you already have a British Airways, Amex Platinum, Amex Gold or any other American Express card. You are OK to apply.
The only people who cannot apply are those who have cancelled the SPG Amex in the last six months.
Here are the facts on the card:
- You receive 20,000 SPG points when you spend £2,000 within 3 months
- You earn 1 SPG point per £1 spent going forward
- There is a £75 annual fee
- There is a pro-rata fee refund if you cancel the card
- £30,000 household income requirement (note household income, not personal)
What else do I need to know?
There are some other interesting benefits to bear in mind:
You receive Preferred Guest Plus status in the SPG programme, which offers you some extra benefits when you stay at any of their hotels
If you spend over £25,000 in a year, you receive a voucher for a free night in a Starwood Category 1-4 hotel. This is not terribly exciting, to be honest, as Category 1-4 hotels are generally not the greatest.
If you spend over £15,000 in a year, you will receive Gold status in the Starwood Preferred Guest programme. This is the mid-tier status level, and gives you bonus points on each stay plus other benefits. (You do not receive free breakfast or free internet, however.)
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
First, please do yourself a favour. Open a Starwood Preferred Guest account before you apply. Do not wait for American Express to open one for you, as it generally leads to complications. Open one now and then put the number on the application form for the credit card.
Please post below if you have any questions. This is deal worth jumping on, especially as you can apply whatever other Amex cards you hold.
How to earn Marriott Bonvoy points and status from UK credit cards (October 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.
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.
You can also earn Marriott Bonvoy points indirectly:
- American Express Gold (20,000 bonus Amex points)
- American Express Rewards Credit Card (10,000 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.)