If you have a flight that you want to book, and you need serious volumes of Avios in just 3 months, follow my easy guide and you could be jetting off in Business Class on British Airways, American Airlines or other OneWorld Airlines sooner than you think.
Please note, this is a UK Guide. If you are based in the US, have a read of our US Guide which will get you a transatlantic flight (or a flight to Hawaii for that matter by taking out just one card. It is also worth getting the US Amex Gold Card which earns you 25,000 bonus points after you spend $2,000 in your first 3 months (contact me if you would like me to refer you via our Luxury Travel Concierge page).
UK GUIDE: Step 1, Take Out The Best Free Card On Available At The Moment
The FREE Amex Gold Credit Card offers 22,000 Membership Rewards points when you spend £2,000 within 3 months. To get the full 22,000 points you must apply through a referral link (contact me if you would like me to refer you via our Luxury Travel Concierge page).
If you apply without a referral you only get 20,000 points. 22,000 points is the most generous free sign-up bonus on any free UK credit card. You also receive 1 Membership Rewards point per £1 spent on the card, so after spending £2,000 you will have 24,000 Amex Rewards. More if you use your Amex for foreign currency transactions and airline transactions (which earn 2 points per £1) or make travel bookings on the American Express Travel website & paid for online (3 points per £1).
Step 2, Take Out The Amex SPG Card (Don’t worry, you can convert SPG to Avios)
The Starwood Preferred Guest American Express Credit Card costs just £75 and will earn you 11,000 Starpoints if you spend £2,000 in the first 3 months of membership along with 2,000 points for the £2,000 spend. This is 11,000 points is 1,000 more points than applying directly on the Amex website (contact me if you would like me to refer you via our Luxury Travel Concierge page). These Starpoints can be converted to Avios. You can immediately apply for both the Gold Card and the SPG card. Whether you have one does not affect whether you will be accepted for the other.
Step 3, Get your partner or a family member to do the same
This will work as long as your family member has the same address as you. Applying for both cards will net them around 24,000 American Express Rewards and 13,000 Starpoints for applying and spending £2,000 & £2,000 respectively.
Step 4, Transfer the points
American Express Rewards transfer to Avios at a rate of 1:1.
SPG Starpoints convert to Avios at a rate of 1:1. BUT if you have 20,000 SPG, a bulk transfer of 20,000 SPG will generate 25,000 Avios, so the rate is 1:125 when you include the 5,000 bonus of Avios.
How Do I Get 20,000+SPG?
You can transfer Starwood Preferred Guest points from one member to another, for free (in multiples of 1,000). No need for matching surnames but both accounts must have had the same home address.
This means that you can combine your own and your partner/family member’s SPG to total 26,000 SPG. If you transfer 20,000SPG to Avios in bulk (=25,000 Avios) and then transfer the remaining 6,000 on a 1:1 ratio, you will generate 25,000+6,000= 31,000 Avios.
24,000 Avios x 2 people + 31,000 Avios from the combined SPG Accounts = 79,000 Avios. Easy!
I am still Missing 3,000 Points?
My hot tip is: Whether you are based in the UK or the US, do not apply for a supplementary Gold Card holder when you apply for the Gold Card. You might miss out on 3000 bonus points!
Amex just emailed me (2 months after I received my card), offering me an additional 3,000 Amex Rewards for free if I made an application for a supplementary card holder. They said “Apply for a Supplementary Preferred Rewards Gold Card and earn 3,000 Membership Rewards points for your first approved Card. Even better, your first Supplementary Card is complimentary.”
Happily, I pocketed the additional 3,000 free Amex Rewards Points and my husband now has an Amex Gold card too!
79,000 Avios + 3,000 Avios = 82,000 Avios
It is also worth mentioning that you should not transfer your points into Avios until you are ready. American Express Rewards offer all sorts of redemption partners. SPG can be converted into Marriott points at a rate of 1 SPG:3 Marriott. This can often offer better value redemptions than Avios.
Equally SPG can be transferred to other airline rewards including: 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.
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