Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

American Express suspends Membership Rewards transfers to Starwood Preferred Guest

Links on Head for Points may pay us an affiliate commission. A list of partners is here.

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.

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? – May 2023 update

If you are looking to apply for a new credit card, here are our top recommendations based on the current sign-up bonuses.

In February 2022, Barclaycard launched two exciting new Barclaycard Avios Mastercard cards with a bonus of up to 25,000 Avios. You can apply here.

You qualify for the bonus on these cards even if you have a British Airways American Express card:

SPECIAL OFFER: Until 30th May, the sign-up bonus on the Barclaycard Avios Plus Mastercard is doubled to a crazy 50,000 Avios! Apply here.

SPECIAL OFFER: Until 30th May, the sign-up bonus on the free Barclaycard Avios Mastercard is doubled to 10,000 Avios. Apply here.

Barclaycard Avios Plus card

Barclaycard Avios Plus Mastercard

CRAZY 50,000 Avios for signing up (to 30th May) and an upgrade voucher at £10,000 Read our full review

Barclaycard Avios card

Barclaycard Avios Mastercard

10,000 Avios for signing up (only to 30th May) and an upgrade voucher at £20,000 Read our full review

You can see our full directory of all UK cards which earn airline or hotel points here. Here are the best of the other deals currently available.

SPECIAL OFFER: Until 13th June, the sign-up bonus on The Platinum Card is doubled to 60,000 Membership Rewards points – and you get £200 to spend at Amex Travel too! Apply here.

SPECIAL OFFER: Until 13th June, the sign-up bonus on the Virgin Atlantic Reward+ card is doubled to 30,000 Virgin Points. Apply here.

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

25,000 Avios and the famous annual 2-4-1 voucher Read our full review

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 20,000 points, FREE for a year & four airport lounge passes Read our full review

The Platinum Card from American Express

60,000 points AND a £200 Amex Travel voucher until 13th June! Read our full review

Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard

30,000 points bonus (to 13th June) and 1.5 points for every £1 you spend Read our full review

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 Platinum

40,000 points bonus and a £200 Amex Travel credit every year Read our full review

American Express Business Gold

20,000 points sign-up bonus and free for a year Read our full review

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express

30,000 Avios sign-up bonus – plus annual bonuses of up to 30,000 Avios Read our full review

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

Get a 10,000 points bonus plus an extra 500 points for our readers Read our full review

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.

Barclaycard Select Cashback credit card

1% cashback and no annual fee Read our full review

Comments (99)

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

  • @mkcol says:


  • PAL says:

    Rob, you mention at the very least 90,000 can convert to £500 hotel. Is this just spanish branded hotels couldn’t seem to find the link to book in say New York.

    • PAL says:

      90,000 Iberia plus miles*

      • Genghis says:

        There have been some reports of hotels booking link not working. I booked a hotel in Japan using the avios a few weeks ago.

  • RussellH says:

    I just found that you cannot link an SPG a/c to a new Amex Mem Rew a/c either at present

    • Davef says:

      try adding four zeros in front of your acc number

      • RussellH says:

        No, not that, which I did know. You cannot currently access the page to enter SPG details. Click on the link and you end up on the same page.

        • Davef says:

          I’ve just looked and I’d set mine on the 26th, made a 400 point transfer which is showing as pending but my acc number has been removed from the initial page and it’s telling me to add an account number.

  • Tracy says:

    My SPG to SPG transfer posted today. First requested 21st July. Redid it on 26th July, don’t know which request worked though……

  • Nick says:

    Ot: when do amex apply their annual fees? I upgraded my gold to plat a while ago but have had no 450 fee. If ive gotten away with it i will keep the card but if not i will cancel

    • Guesswho2000 says:

      From experience, on the original card’s anniversary date.

      However you’re technically liable for it straight away, so they’re within their rights to take it as soon as you upgrade. You would still be able to get a pro-rata refund though.

    • Doug M says:

      Had mine best part of a year and never paid. But this is like Fight Club, no one talks about it 🙂

    • Davef says:

      You’re lucky Mine was charged at the end of the 1st Plat statement month and the gold refunded pro-rata.

  • Doug M says:

    Hilton. Had a 6 night redemption, but prices dropped and felt it was bad value versus cash. In the end remembered a spend £500 get £100 back offer from Amex, and decided to use cash and keep points for time being. So even allowing for 3% forex on the BAPP Amex I think I’ve done the right thing. But noticed the Amex offer which is for pay on leave USA only, requires spend in GBP, is that something they don’t enforce, seems almost impossible to achieve, I never accept the offer to have the billing in GBP as it’s always a horrible rate compared to regular credit card forex rate. Sorry if this has been mentioned before, but seems to me unlike Amex to offer something so seemingly impossible.

    • Mark2 says:

      Why is it impossible?
      You say yourself that you refuse the offer to pay in GBP, so it must be possible. Amex can see whether you have paid in GBP or not.

    • Guesswho2000 says:

      If it’s with Amex, there’ll be no offer to pay in GBP, as Amex don’t allow DCC.

    • Rob says:

      Seems like a typo, this same rule is in all of the other hotel offers too.

  • David says:

    @Rob Off topic but why would a BA Avios redemption for a flight on Cathay/Qantas be double the price of the same journey on just Qantas? I’m still puzzling over the changes to Cathay Asia Miles!

  • Steve says:

    Cancelled a previously booked Avios RFS some 2 and a half weeks ago. Still waiting on the return of my points and credit card payment (less £35 fee). is that a typical timeframe..?! Seems a little strange and I’m concerned that the current/imminent closure of the Avios scheme will see these go astray.

    • Rob says:

      No. Call them, refunds can get blocked – it has happened to me before.

    • S***O says:

      Still waiting on 25,000 Avios and 75ish pound tax refund from a change on my booking from 3-4 weeks ago.

      Was blocked as I changes credit card, eventually they had to use a bank account – However still waiting… will call again in a few days.

    • New Card says:

      Just noticed a refund I’ve been due for 3-4 weeks hasn’t arrived – complaint going in now..

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

The UK's biggest frequent flyer website uses cookies, which you can block via your browser settings. Continuing implies your consent to this policy. Our privacy policy is here.