Having just completed the process (there was a delay in starting as I was working towards a minimum Gold spend), I discovered that there were actually 34,000 Avios available. The following steps give the process for maximising this collection opportunity.
The process demands a couple with the same address to be working on this together. For the sake of argument, I have called them Rapunzel and Flynn to help get through this tangled process.
- Both Rapunzel and Flynn need to sign up for free Starwood Preferred Guest membership at www.starwoodhotels.com. Both accounts need to have the same home address. Make a note of the membership numbers as they are needed later.
- Rapunzel needs to sign up for an American Express Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card. Following this referral link earns an extra 1,000 SPG points when the minimum spend is hit. If she just signs up via the American Express website directly, she will miss out on this 1,000 points. As part of the application process, she will need to enter her SPG membership number. There is a £75 annual fee for this card which is refunded pro rata when it is cancelled.
- When Rapunzel's card arrives, she needs to spend £1,000 within the first 90 days. For this she earns the 1,000 points on the spend, and a bonus 10,000 for spending £1,000 within 90 days. (I use a combination of billhop and SumUp to ensure that the spend is as close to £1,000 as possible so as not to waste any odd points.)
- While she is spending her £1,000, Rapunzel needs to generate a referral code for Flynn via her online account.
- Flynn should then apply for his SPG card via the link he has received. Rapunzel will earn 5,000 points for having referred him.
- When Flynn's card arrives, he needs to spend £1,000 within the first 90 days. For this he earns the 1,000 points on the spend, and a bonus 10,000 for spending £1,000 within 90 days. Having been referred by Rapunzel, he also earns an additional bonus 1,000 points on the spend.
- When Rapunzel's 17,000 points have transferred to her SPG account and she has paid off her bill (which will have included the annual fee), she needs to cancel her Amex SPG card.
- When Flynn's 12,000 points have been transferred to his SPG account and he has paid off her bill (which will have included the annual fee), he needs to cancel his Amex SPG card.
- Flynn will then need to visit 'Pass the Starpoints, please' link when signed into his SPG account and transfer his 12,000 SPG points to Rapunzel's account.
- Finally, Rapunzel will need to transfer the combined 29,000 SPG points to her BA account via 'Transfer AirMiles' link when signed into her SPG account. As she is transferring over 20,000 points, she is awarded a bonus 5,000 Avios.
When you cancel an American Express card, you will receive a final statement which will have a credit balance for the pro rata refund of the annual fee. When this arrives, you will need to contact American Express and they will either arrange this to be returned to a bank account or credited to the balance of any other American Express card you may hold.
Having cancelled the Amex SPG cards, there is a minimum wait of six months from the date of cancellation before you will be entitled to earn any sign up bonuses on the cards again.
The original HfP post includes various other ways in which to use the amassed SPG points, but for Avios collectors, these are the 10 steps.