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American Express suspends Membership Rewards transfers to Starwood Preferred Guest

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American Express Membership Rewards has suspended transfers into Starwood Preferred Guest until 8th August.

This is inconvenient if you were hoping to pick up a Marriott Travel Package before they shoot up in price on 18th August, or indeed book a redemption at a property which is going up in cost on the same date.

Membership Rewards transfers to Starwood Preferred Guest suspended

8th August is an odd choice of date.  I would have expected transfers to be suspended until 18th August, to ensure that there is no confusion over the ratio.

I am expecting the transfer rate to move from 2:1 to 2:3 on 18th August in line with the 1:3 alignment of Starwood Preferred Guest with ‘new Marriott’ although this has not been confirmed.


Want to earn more points from credit cards? – August 2021 update

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You can see our full directory of all UK cards which earn airline or hotel points here. Here are the other top current deals:

British Airways American Express card

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BA Premium Plus American Express card BAPP

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Virgin Rewards Plus credit card

Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard

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Earning miles and points from small business cards

If you are a sole trader or run a small company, you may also want to check out these offers.

American Express Business Gold

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Amex Platinum Business American Express

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points sign-up bonus and a long list of travel benefits Read our full review

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express card

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Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

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For a non-American Express option, we also recommend the Barclaycard Select Cashback card for sole traders and small businesses. It is FREE and you receive 1% cashback on your spending:

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Comments (100)

  • Anna says:

    I read the majority of the piece on the MSE website, Rob, it made you sound very influential in Iberia’s turn around!

    OT but Hilton, how long do the points usually post after a stay?

  • Louise says:

    Regarding the Marriot points: If you prebook a future stay at the current rate now without the points, when you do pay will you be charged the points rate you booked at or the rate it is now?

    • Louise says:

      Meant to say the rate it goes up to*

      • E says:

        Should be the points you booked at but you’ll usually have to call Marriott to get the certificate issued at the lower rate as the system (to date anyway) would issue the certificate at the higher rate. You should only pay the lower rate though.

    • Rob says:

      Rate now.

  • Andrew says:

    Hmmm- I sent a big batch of Amex MR over to SPG on Thursday- had the confirmation email that it is “in progress”, but nothing yet in SPG account (they were already linked and usually pretty quick)…

    Now the points are in neither account, should I be worried here?!!

    • Darren says:

      I have a similar issue. Had an automatic transfer from my SPG Amex transfer over 11,000 points on 15th July and still haven’t appeared in my SPG account. Numerous calls to both Amex and SPG with Amex saying they’ve been sent from their end. Still waiting for a solution, very very annoying!

      • Andrew says:

        That’s very concerning…. yours was a long time ago and they say 5 day lead time! Are they doing anything to expedite it for you?

        I sent a very high amount, planning on some last min bookings at these redemption rates….

        The email I have and the screenshot of the transfer process confirms a 5 day window… surely they have to adhere to that if we made it in before this new cut off/halt process was introduced?!

        Rob – do you have any advice here please?

        • Darren says:

          Received same answer as Gill, sent to back office to investigate. Amex has confirmed the amount sent, SPG says nothing showing as presented by Amex. I wanted to cancel my SPG card to get a pro-rata refund after I hit the spend but this delay means I have to wait.

        • Rob says:

          Not really ….

      • Alan says:

        My 11k sign-up + spend posted yesterday so hopefully yours will come through soon.

      • Gill says:

        Same situation here. SPG told me last week they would pass the query to back office and expected it to be resolved in 1 week.

        Initially they were reluctant to investigate, confusing SPG amex with membership rewards. Eventually they were able to confirm SPG amex points had been sent but for some reason hadn’t hit my account. For what it’s worth this is the 1st month I’ve held the SPG card.

        Hopefully they’ll be through before the cut off for buying travel package.

    • 304degreesofbikefaff says:

      I transferred from MR to SPG on Wednesday morning and still don’t have the points. Agent on chat assured me that they’ll be there within 5 working days but I have my doubts. Very annoying!

    • pauldb says:

      I tried to transfer over the weekend and was told it was a known issue, i.e. supposedly not related to the Marriott merger. So the dates 8th/18th are unrelated … but it’s hard to believe that.

  • Roger says:

    Any news on any new AA card relaunch with any other card issuers , Rob?
    Now that MBNA has discontinued?

    • Rob says:

      No, not a sausage. Emirates, Etihad and LH are at least sniffing around their options even if they eventually say No. I don’t know anyone who has either spoken to AA or who is consulting with them.

  • guesswho2000 says:

    ” I am expecting the transfer rate to move from 2:1 to 2:3 on 18th August in line with the 1:3 alignment of Starwood Preferred Guest with ‘new Marriott’ ”

    As far as I was aware (from Pointhacks and AusBT), it’s going from 2:1 to 3:2 (as in 3x Amex to 2x Marriott), a substantial devaluation.

    I hope they’re wrong, but see here, for eg. https://www.ausbt.com.au/revised-american-express-points-transfers-rate-for-spg-marriott

    • guesswho2000 says:

      Interestingly, the Aussie Membership Rewards site has this message – “to ensure your points are processed correctly as Marriott and Starwood go through their system update, we are turning off points transfers between July 28th and August 21st”

      • Rob says:

        That is the sort of thing I expected from the UK site, not 8th August …

    • Genghis says:

      Is that not specific to AUS MR?

      • Guesswho2000 says:

        Perhaps, but that would surely be a bit odd, given (I believe) that the same rate is used worldwide, US, UK & AU (probably others) are all 2 Amex to 1 SPG, to my knowledge? If I’m wrong, that’ll make my UK MR balance more valuable to me anyway!

  • Nick says:

    Don’t forget that there is also an online IHG competition with the chance to win £250 of Love2Shop vouchers every 2 weeks and, at the end of the competition, one lucky winner will be selected to win the grand prize of 150,000 IHG Rewards Club points.

    https://competitions.ihg.com/

  • TripRep says:

    Managed a haul of 14k from my 4x €108/night sale rate at Hilton Berlin last week, Gold’s also now get 80% bonus???

    Thanks again to all those that advised staying there instead of the Waldorf. Its in an awesome location, just inside the old East Berlin. As all the basic exec rooms had been sold, I got upgraded to a great corner exec suite with views over the Cathedral and old market Square & concert halls. Breakfast in main restaurant was excellent (even had fizz), large exec lounge decent pickings and pool/spa really good too. Terrific stay would definitely recommend, especially on a sale/promo.

    • Jason says:

      Glad you enjoyed it’s a great weekend away!

    • AB says:

      Thank you for the tip Trip Rep, I am trying to decide between Hilton and Intercontinental for a Berlin stay….. sounds like Hilton it is.

      • TripRep says:

        Be sure to check out the roof top bar on the nearby Hotel De Rome, awesome evening views of the Berliner Dome & Fernsehturm. It’s located on the 4th floor under 5 mins walk from the Hilton.

        Also Checkpoint Charlie is only minutes walk away too

      • Alan says:

        Intercontinental is nice too if you’ve got an Accelerate target. Have stayed there, Waldorf, Hilton, Hotel Indigo Ku’damm – all nice, great city!!

    • @mkcol says:

      Agreed. Had a 2 night stay there last summer to see the Pet Shop Boys & it’s a great quality hotel in a very convenient location. We just wished we had longer.

    • John says:

      The 80% bonus is because they took away the option to earn miles, base is 10 HH per USD, then it was either 1 mile per USD or 5 HH. Gold had 25% bonus so 2.5 HH totalling 17.5, and they rounded it up to 18. Diamond is 50% bonus so was and still is 20.

  • AH says:

    Marriott does a book now & pay later with points to give you a chance to acquire the total..
    Does that work with the vacation package? also if you book now, will the points increase later?

    • Rob says:

      No it doesn’t, because the Travel Packages give you the miles instantly so clearly that would be open to abuse. It’s not clear if this arrangement will continue – some of us would prefer members who actually have the points to get first pick of the 60k rooms in The Maldives ….

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