Between September 1 and September 15, you will receive a 25% bonus on all American Express Membership Reward point transfers to the Starwood Preferred Guest program. For every 1,000 MR points transferred over, you will now receive 417 SPG points (points can only be transferred in increments of 1,000)
To redeem for each category hotel, you will need to transfer the following MR points:
- Category 1 (2,000/3,000 SPG points) = 4,797/7,195 MR points
- Category 2 (3,000/4,000 SPG points) = 7,195/9.593 MR points
- Category 3 (7,000 SPG points) = 16,787 MR points
- 5 night redemption with the 5th night free (28,000 SPG points) = 67,147 MR points
- Category 4 (10,000 SPG points) =23,981 MR points
- 5 night redemption with the 5th night free (40,000 SPG points) = 95,924 MR points
- Category 5 (12,000/16,000 SPG points) = 28,777/38,370 MR points
- 5 night redemption with the 5th night free (48,000/64,000 SPG points = 115,108/153,478 MR points
- Category 6 (20,000/25,000 SPG points) = 47,962/59,953 MR points
- 5 night redemption with the 5th night free (80,000/100,000 SPG points = 191,847/239,809 MR points
- Category 7 (30,000/35,000 SPG points) = 71,943/83,933 MR points
- 5 night redemption with the 5th night free (120,000/140,000 SPG points) = 287,770/335,732 MR points
Now, while this is a limited time promotion that I haven’t seen before with American Express/SPG, I still think you get the best value when transferring to a participating airline. However, if you are set on redeeming for a Starwood hotel, do not miss this opportunity, as I do not think you will see it again (at least for awhile!).
From my math above, let’s say you were planning on redeeming your MR points for a 5 night redemption at a category 5 hotel during a low level award that would have cost you $300/night (48,000 points). This would require you to transfer 115,108 MR points over to your SPG account. This is a savings of $1,500+tax, a redemption slightly over 1%. This is a low redemption opportunity. The same 115,000 MR points could instead be transferred to a participating airline, and get you close to 2 round-trip coach tickets to Europe (savings of about $2,000). For example, I was able to transfer 65,000 MR points to Continental Airlines (reminder – their partnership ends at the end of this month!) and redeem for 2 one-way tickets from JFK to Bangkok. This was a savings of $2,000 and it only utilized 65,000 AMEX points.
My one advise: Make sure you are getting the best value of your American Express Membership Reward points. They hold such value, so it is important to use them on the highest redemption value that works for you and your travel situation. If the only way you are going to be able to stay at that SPG hotel that you have been dreaming of is by redeeming your AMEX points, then go for it!
Also, if redeeming for SPG hotels is your main choice, I would instead recommend switching over to the Starwood American Express branded credit card. Check out a previous post on this topic to see best redemption opportunities with your SPG points.