Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Buy Starwood Preferred Guest hotel points for 35% off and turn them into cheap airline miles

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Starwood is again offering a 35% discount when you purchase SPG Starpoints before 16th March. The link to buy is here.

The good news is that the discount is not staggered.  As long as you buy more than 5,000 points, you get the full 35% off.

At the top end, 30,000 points will cost you $682.50 (£480).  Assuming that you convert them to airline miles with the 25% uplift for moving chunks of 20,000 at a time, these can be converted to 37,500 airline miles in the majority of programmes.

This works out at 1.28p per airline mile.  This is not a great deal most of the time (you can often pick up Avios for 1.0p) but it might make sense with some other programmes.  You cannot buy Lufthansa Miles & More miles directly so being able to get them for 1.28p may well work for some people.

30,000 Starwood points would also convert into 90,000 Marriott Rewards points.  If you are working towards a Marriott Travel Package redemption – and they are great value as this article explains – then buying the full 30,000 Starwood points may well make sense.

The rules are straightforward – points post within 24 hours, maximum purchase of 30,000 points per year, your SPG account must be 14 days old to participate.  According to the comments below, you will earn 2 points per £1 instead of 1 per £1 if you pay on an SPG Amex credit card.

If you are interested, you can buy SPG points via this link.


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

How to earn Marriott Bonvoy points and status from UK credit cards (October 2021)

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 usually 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.

American Express Marriott Bonvoy credit card

Marriott Bonvoy American Express

20,000 points sign-up bonus and 15 elite night credits 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 Gold and MeliaRewards Gold status.  We reviewed American Express Platinum in detail here and you can apply here.

Until 2nd November 2021, The Platinum Card comes with a sign-up bonus of 60,000 Amex points. This converts into 90,000 Marriott Bonvoy points.

American Express Platinum card Amex

The Platinum Card from American Express

60,000 points and an unbeatable set of travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review

You can also earn American Express Membership Rewards points with American Express Gold (30,000 bonus points – special offer to 9th November 2021), the American Express Rewards Credit Card (5,000 bonus points) and – for small business owners – American Express Business Gold (20,000 bonus points) and Business Platinum (40,000 bonus points).

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 (103)

  • Peter K says:

    It is rarely worth paying this price for avois. As Rob put, there are often ways to buy for 1p per Avios. Offers come along at 1p per Avios quite frequently… Often on Iberia.

  • MarkH says:

    OT bt SPG related – has anyone received bonus SPG points for adding a supp card on the SPG amex?

    • mark2 says:

      I think that it is only BAPP and Gold/Platinum. Sadly.

      • Peter K says:

        Maybe not. My wife got bonus Nectar points for adding me as a supplementary cardholder.

        • mark2 says:

          Thanks; how many?

        • Peter K says:

          1k bonus Nectar points. I wasn’t expecting them so it was nice. I applied for supp card a couple of weeks after got main card.

  • grammer says:

    I seem to remember it being mentioned on a previous SPG promotion that you earn double Starpoints when using an SPG Amex card…is that still case and is that the best option bearing in mind you have to pay in US$ and the FX fee?

    • Stu N says:

      Starwood points come through as “Starwood by points points.com” (the “by” is their typo, not mine!) so probably won’t qualify for double points on the associated card.

      You definitely only get standard points when you buy Avios via BAEC on a BA Amex.

      • Steve-B says:

        I definitely got 2x points last year when I purchased Starwood points on my Amex SPG card.

      • Pangolin says:

        I purchased 3 tranches of points with my SPG Amex last year and got 2x points on every occasion.

        • Stu N says:

          Very interesting…wonder why BAPP/ Avios doesn’t give double points but Starpoints on the Starwood card does?

          • Rob says:

            I am assuming it goes through as points.com? In which case, buying Avios with an SPG card may also trigger double SPG points!

    • RussellH says:

      Yes, you get 100% bonus points on purchases at Starwood **properties** (and Marriott, I believe), though this is a temporary offer – presumably until the new combined Marriott+SPG scheme launches. Buying points is not a deal with Starwood, so no bonus.

      • Joan says:

        From the buy.points.com site:
        Which credit cards may I use to purchase Starpoints?
        You may use any valid American Express, Visa, MasterCard, Discover, JCB or Diners Club card. If you use the Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card from American Express to purchase Starpoints, you will earn additional Starpoints for the dollars you charge on the card.

        So YES there is a bonus for using your SPG Amex!

        • Rob says:

          Would be keen to see if this works especially as that Q&A presumably is meant for US SPG Amex holders.

      • xcalx says:

        Just had a couple of stays at Marriott hotels used the SPG card but no double points.

      • Pangolin says:

        My experience directly contradicts this – I’ve always received double points from Starpoints purchases made via the SPG card, using the same link as Rob gives above.

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Yep you’ll get 2x points

      • David2910 says:

        So what are all-in maths if i buy 30k SPG points today using my spg card, assuming 2x ? In pence per point? Do i just get an extra c.900 points on top of 30k x 1.35?

  • Clive says:

    Can the hotel certificate element of a Marriott travel package be redeemed online or do you have to call? Do people tend to have many/any problems using them re availability?

    • Peter K says:

      I’m just dealing with this now. If you have say a category 1-5 certificate and you want to use it on a category 1-5 hotel then you can do it online.
      If you want to upgrade it with extra points to a certificate that you can use on say a category 8 hotel then you need to ring to do so.
      Use the number for the UK call centre, I find them much more helpful than the US one.

      • Clive says:

        Thanks. Good to know you can upgrade with extra points – I guess this means it always makes sense to get the 1-5 package first, until you know where you would use it?

        • Peter K says:

          Definitely. As a side point, when my cat 1-5 certificate was cancelled and the new cat 8 issued, the expiry date was extended to a year from the date I called and upgraded it. Maybe that will only happen once and not every time you upgrade it but it’s good to know.

        • Roger says:

          That is precisely I want to try in 3 months time.
          I have yet to use my certificate (Cat 1-5), so will call and beg to extend validity of my certificate, if not will try extending to Category 6 hotel and hope the expiry is extended by another year.

        • Clive says:

          Can the cert only be used at Marriott hotels or also at SPG? Do their hotel categories line up?

        • Peter K says:

          To Clive at 15:35. Only Marriott AFAIK. And if Ritz-Carlton if you pay a huge supplement of Marriott Points.

  • Talay says:

    Re Etihad and business / first class.

    These baggage changes are actually far worse than they appear to be, especially for the single traveller. In business, going from 2 x 32kg to 40kg essentially means losing a bag as if you fill one and are say 30kg, why would you bother with the other or you would have to fly with half empty bags at 20kg each.

    No, this is matching other mean airlines for sure but assuming they are at least as clever as me (and we’re not convinced by this 🙂 ) then they too will have worked this 2 into 1 bag issue.

    Just to recap, until last year or so, BA was allowing you 96kg at 3 x 32kg !

  • Mark says:

    I now have Hilton diamond. I’m checking into double tree Victoria tonight on a room only with my partner. Will we both get free breakfast?

  • Andy S says:

    OT. My Tesco clubcard points have auto converted to Virgin miles (because I forgot to cancel it after last quarters bonus for auto convert), and to my surprise I’ve had some bonus points added too . “Award Feb bonus”. (Additional 20%) So maybe it is not such a bad idea leaving auto convert on, particularly for me as that’s all I want to do with clubcard points.

    • Roger says:

      Some one who has never converted Tesco CC to Avios or VS FC, what should I convert to?
      Avios is more preferred.
      Have some CC points expiring at the end of the month.

      • Rob says:

        Uber is better value if you use it or perhaps Hotels.com – you are paying over 1p per Avios compared to those.

        • Nick says:

          Yup, IF you regularly use Uber it’s a no brainer to me, and, to be honest, I’m surprised that it’s still available on the same terms. For that reason I’ll max out on it as long as it’s still there. 🙂

  • Stephan says:

    OT if you booked a reward flight using the companion voucher and you want to change the dates. Do you have to cancel and then book a new one? Or can you call and ask BA to transfer to new dates and pay the £70?

    • Polly says:

      Afaik you can do the change on line once the availability is there. I did this for an CE once. Try it see how you go. It will give you chances to review etc before paying. Ba will charge you,the handling fee also if you call to change, but say it wouldn’t let you. Best be safe than sorry.

    • Rob says:

      Latter, you keep the same booking reference.

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