20,000 SPG points (=25,000 Avios points) sign-up bonus back on the Starwood Amex!

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 post 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.

The Amex homepage for the card, where you will find full details, is here.

Who are SPG / 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.

(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.)

3 x £15 iTunes gift cards in Tesco for £35, plus 150 Clubcard points
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  1. bag lady says:

    HaPpY birthday to you 🙂 have a great day.

  2. James67 says:

    Happy birthday Rob, have a great day.

    Do you think if a 20k referral link is sent out that it will remain valid even after the prmo ends? How many cards are amex prepared to let somebody have? IIRC 2 was mentioned somrtime in past?

    • No. The referral link always directs you to a page which shows the current offer plus 1,000 points, so you can’t use it to get this offer at a future date.

  3. Happy birthday Rob! What’s the best way to cancel the card? Ring or post?

    • AviosNewbie says:

      Doesn’t matter – Calling them up is convenient and takes just a few minutes. I have always called to cancel

  4. Happy Birthday Rob! And thanks for the heads up on this and BA PP

  5. Happy Birthday, Raffles. Wonder if you could, please, find amoment to suggest what my best miles-earning offer is for taking out a new card that will accept a hefty balance transfer at 0% interest for a term? Many thanks in advance.

    • The new Lloyds cards have a 0% offer, and – more interestingly – they give you 1,500 Avios for every £1,000 you transfer as well.

      • Andrew (@andrewseftel) says:

        But don’t spend on it if you do use it for a BT! Factoring in the AMF, it becomes an expensive balance transfer.

        Of course, you could spend on it for a couple months to make the most of the intro bonus before you BT (within the first 90 days). If you’re a heavy spender, you could even unlock the upgrade voucher before you BT’d.

  6. I cancelled recently and have other Amex cards. Is the refund put on one of the other cards, or if not how do you claim it?

    • It goes back on the account you cancelled. You then need to ring Amex and ask to move the balance to one of your other cards.

  7. Happy birthday raffles

  8. A shame Amex and Starwood don’t speak to each other – the UK SPG site still says 10,000!

  9. Thanks for your referral mate. The 6 month thing is stated when applying. just in time for buying xmas presents I reckon.

  10. Happy birthday Rob, mine was yesterday and spent in Hell(Sinki) which wasn’t that much fun. Finnair lounge was quite nice though.

  11. Happy birthday Rob, and thanks for the info. I might be late to a party that has been over for a while, but is it still possible to get your sign up bonus by buying currency from amex foreign currency exchange?

  12. A late Happy Birthday to you Rob!

  13. AviosNewbie says:

    Hi Raffles, do you know if applying for an Amex card hits your credit score as a check if I already have 2 other Amex cards? I have applied for the Lloyds and Hilton cards this month, and if I now also apply for SPG and BA, that’ll take the count to 4 in a single month…..don’t think that’ll look good in my credit report.

    • HI, I think it also depends on the timing. However, for your ref, i applied to 2 accounts (1 July +1 August) and my report even improved.
      By the way, yes they do check. though, this info might hit the report a bit later.
      Ie. i applied in May, the info was written on the report some 45-60 days after. What I do not now is if agencies have real time monitoring so they can red flag a dual application in such a short time.
      It also depends on your credit line, your situation, your financial exposure your risk profile etc. so you need to assess that. I would check my credit report, if I were you. I did it and am fully satisfied. even identified a couple of errors on that!

    • No it won’t. It makes you look like someone who is about to lose their job and is desperate to maximise credit whilst they can get it! This SPG will run for a bit and will no doubt return next year anyway.

  14. William Hughes says:

    Does anyone know if you can get supplementary cards on this or the Preferred Gold card? Just like you can on the BA cards? That’d help a lot if you can.

  15. Jeremy I says:

    Happy birthday Rob and sorry for coming a little late to the party.

    I think I plan to sign up with my partner (same address). Never had a card with them before.

    Question is if I hate fuel surcharges (ie want to pay least actual cash (and dont have benefit of the exclusive bird strike rubbish that everyone shows off about on FT forums) and starting from scratch with a programme (with UA MP and BAEC currently but dont think i want to do the transfer), which programme do i sign up for if i want to get furthest for cheapest from LHR. I reckon American – great to get a 40k off peak just for signing up for both cards with minimal fuel surcharge on American metal, but do you guys (infinately more experiecned) have any other programme suggestions from the remaining partners mentioned in Rob’s post ?

    • Jeremy I says:

      * without having to do much further earning on the programe – i try and focus car hire points and other points on UA MP as desperate to get something in return all these months of effort!”

    • American is a good choice. No fuel surcharge on American planes (and plenty of US destinations ex London) plus also Etihad down to the Middle East for 30k each-way in business, plus the other oneworld partners.

      AA do one-way redemptions as well, which makes it easier to use smaller amounts of miles.

      MBNA may also do another massive promo on the AA credit card – they offered a whopping 35,000 as a sign-up bonus earlier this year.

  16. How long do these bonuses tend to hang around for?

    Would there be enough time, to apply, then refer friends etc?

    • The BA one runs until mid February. No idea about the SPG promotion but I’d guess at least two months.

      • Dear Raffles,
        Could you please do me a favour and let me know the AmEx address to which you send your cut-up credit cards whenever you wish to notify AmEx in writing that you want to close a credit card account? Does a simple handwritten note suffice?

        • thesaver79 says:

          You can just call them and you’ll have to destroy your cards

        • I’ve also contacted them by secure message – sometimes they just cancel, sometimes they say to call, one time I was offered more SPG points to keep it open 😉

        • It is in the T&C’s that they sent you when you opened the card. If you threw yours away, the latest version is on the Amex website on the SPG application page under ‘View Important Information’

  17. Yes, search for American Express and click the first link in the results that will bring up the list of AMEX cards and Starwood is 3rd from bottom.

    • Thunderbirds says:

      Thanks, Yes shortly after writing that post I found it. I thought it slightly odd that it wasn’t at the top level of the list.

  18. Has anyone else had this problem?…
    I want to retain my existing SPG membership number when applying online for the AmEx SPG credit card… however my SPG membership number is 11 digits long, but the AmEx website will only accept SPG numbers up to 8 digits long!

  19. I just received the refer a friend email from my partner. Part of the email refers to the 21,000 bonus. However, the email is inconsistant and also refers to 11,000 bonus. When you cluck on the apply link in the email, the lunk shows 21,000. Is it safe to assume that the bonus will be 21,000?

    • Yes, it is 21,000. They simply haven’t updated the cover email. There is only 1 referral rate anyway, it is not the case that older links would give 11k whilst a newer link gives 21k. All would give 21k.