Related: Credit Cards
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.
My 5 Credit Cards
I now use 5 credit cards:
A Starwood Preferred Guest American Express Credit Card which is my Amex choice for spend in the UK. If you want to apply for this card and drop me an email and I can supply you with a referral to get you 11,000 Starpoints if you spend £1,000 in the first 3 months of membership (I receive 5,000 Starpoints for each referral).
A BA Premium Plus American Express Card which I also in the UK. I spend exactly £10,000 on this card to spark a 2-4-1 voucher plus I get 1.5 Avios per £1 spent. If you drop me an email I can supply you with a referral to get an additional 1,000 Avios when you apply (which is currently 26,000 for the Premium Plus card including the 1,000 bonus and 6,000 for the standard free card).
My Curve Card which I use for non-amex purchases in the UK and at specific retailers (largely the M&S food hall where I get 3% cashback). Apply on the link and you get £5 free money for applying. I also use my Curve Card for cash machine withdrawals outside the UK. 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.
My Lloyds Avios Amex which I use 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 I collect Avios at a rate of 1.25 for every £1 spent.
My Lloyds Avios MasterCard (partnering with the Lloyds Avios Amex above). I also use my Lloyds Avios Mastercard to purchase Bitcoin on coinbase and any other MasterCard purchases where I can’t use my Amex.
Starwood Preferred Guest American Express Credit Card Overview
£75 annual fee.
Earn 1 SPG point per £1 spent. I value 1 SPG at $0.04 or £0.03 (see details below).
APR is high and varies month by month 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).
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 I Choose The SPG or Starwood Preferred Guest 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.