In my review of the UK Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) American Express credit card I explain why I choose this card as my preferred Amex.
I use 3 credit cards:
– The Starwood card is my Amex choice for spend in the UK.
– My Curve Card which I is used for non-amex purchases in the UK and at specific retailers (largely the M&S food hall where I get 3% cashback).
– My Lloyds Avios Amex is used for purchases made outside the UK as they do NOT charge foreign transaction fees (instead of the standard 2.95%), which saves me almost £3 for every £100 spent, plus you collect Avios at a rate of 1.25 for every £1 spent. If you drop me an email I can supply you with a referral (as a referrer we both get 4,500 Avios).
– For cash machine withdrawals outside the UK I use my Curve Card. Curve cash withdrawals are subject to a £2 fee plus 1% FX fee which is a great deal. This compares to the Lloyds Avios which charges 3% (min £3) cash withdrawal fee but no FX fee.
Starwood Preferred Guest American Express Credit Card Overview
– £75 annual fee.
– Earn 1 SPG point per £1, which I value 1 SPG at $0.04 or £0.03 (see details below).
– APR is currently 36.2% variable, interest rate on purchases is 19.9% variable; these figures are high so you should pay this card off every month.
– You can apply directly on Amex and you get 10,000 point bonus when you hit £1,000 spend. My referral link will get you 11,000 Starpoints if you spend £2,000 in the first 3 months of membership (I receive 5,000 Starpoints for each referral). Please contact me for a referral.
– Starwood Preferred Guest is the loyalty scheme for Sheraton, Westin, W, aloft, Luxury Collection but crucially, you can also convert SPG or Starpoints to Marriott Reqards at a rate of 1 SPG to 3 Marriott rewards making this card an excellent way to collect Marriott Rewards too.
What is the sign-up bonus?
10,000 SPG points, when you spend £1,000 within 3 months or 11,000 (or 33,000 Marriott Rewards) on a £2,000 spend via my referral link.
– Spend £15,000 per year on the card and you will receive Gold status in Starwood Preferred Guest.
– Spend £25,000 per year and you receive a voucher for a free weekend night. However, this can only be used at Category 1-4 properties.
– The card also includes travel inconvenience insurance covering flight cancellations, and delayed baggage when flights are purchased on your card.
Why Do I Choose The SPG or Starwood Preferred Guest American Express Credit Card?
I love the JW Marriott in Venice. This is a Marriott category 8 property which means I can stay here for a week on the Marriott Reward Plus Hotel & Air Package for 290,000 Marriott rewards or 96,000 spg points (as you can transfer them over at a rate of 1=3) PLUS I get 55,000 Air Miles (in my case I collect Avios which I value at around £0.01 per point making 55,000 worth £550 to me). With the Marriott Reward Plus Hotel & Air Package, 96,000 spg points will get me a stay worth 2597€ ($2792)+ £550 ($682) of Avios. This values my SPG points at $3,474/290,000 = just under $0.04.
Alternatively if I book 5 nights (which is probably long enough at this property) I can book 4 nights and get the 5th free which costs 160,000 Marriott points (53,333 SPG) in mid August. I could book this for cash and it would cost me 1,855€ (371€ per night). This values my Marriott points at $1,855/160,000 = 0.0116€ or $0.01 and my SPG points at $0.04.
If you want to book the Reward Plus Hotel & Air Package you can collect other airline miles. Participating Airlines also include Aeromexico, Air Canada, Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, British Airways, Copa Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Frontier Airlines, GOL/Varig, Hawaiian Airlines, Iberia Airlines, Virgin Atlantic.
You can also collect airline miles on different valuation on the reward schemes of Aeroflot, airberlin, Air China, Air France/KLM, Alitalia, ANA, Asia Miles, Asiana Airlines, Avianca-TACA LifeMiles, China Eastern, China Southern, Emirates, Etihad Airways, Japan Airlines, Jet Airways, Korean Air SKYPASS, LAN, Lufthansa Miles & More, Multiplus, Qantas, Qatar Airways, Saudia Airlines, Singapore Airlines, South African Airways Voyager, TAP Air Portugal, Turkish Airlines, SouthWest, JetBlue Airways and Virgin America. See the Marriott Reward Plus Hotel & Air Package chart for more details.
What Is A SPG Starpoint (& Marriott Point) Worth?
As I outlined above, one of my preferred hotels is the JW Marriott Venice and at this property my Marriott Rewards are valued around $0.013 and my SPG are valued at around $0.04.
Now, lets compare this to The Gritti Palace, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Venice, which is a SPG redemption of 35,000. This is a great hotel and for the nights in July that I selected the rate at this hotel was £1,178€ per night. This would value SPG at $0.04 once again.