Starwood points not transferring from AMEX?

UPDATE: American Express has reached out to me and has better explained the issue.

Since Starwood Preferred Guest will soon be merging with the Marriott Rewards program, it’s likely that the American Express SPG credit cards will soon be discontinued. My wisdom is to get both the personal and business cards now before they are discontinued, considering the fantastic sign-up bonus of 25,000 SPG points on both cards. However, there seems to be a (small) problem affecting some users who hold both cards.

The Problem

I hold both the personal and business SPG credit cards. Both cards were linked to the same SPG account number. I’ve held the personal card for years, and the business card was opened this summer. I’ve held both cards before without any issue. My sign-up bonus for the business card was successfully transferred to my SPG account, but my referral and spending points on the personal card, while showing as transferred on my credit card statement, were not actually being deposited into my SPG account.

Source and Copyright: American Express Canada (retrieved 2017-07-08)

After numerous escalations with American Express, it was explained to me that there is a known issue where if you hold both the personal and business SPG credit cards and they’re linked to the same SPG account number, point transfers may fail. I was told that it was SPG’s policy (though I doubt that).

The Resolution

Fortunately there’s an issue fix to this issue. All you have to do is open a new SPG account, call American Express, and change the linked SPG number on record with one of your cards. You can later merge or transfer points from the two SPG accounts.

Right now I have about 20,000 SPG points in limbo. Since I made the SPG number change after my statement closed on my personal card, the points are shown as transferred to the original SPG number, though no points were deposited into my account. I’ll have to wait until my next statement closing to see if American Express properly implemented the fix on my account. I would suggest proactively changing your linked SPG number with American Express on one card if you hold both cards. If you wait until after a statement closes, like I did, your points may get stuck in limbo.

Conclusion

SPG points are arguably the most valuable in the industry. 20,000 SPG points convert into 25,000 frequent flyer points in over a dozen airline programs. Further, with the impending Marriott merger, you can transfer SPG into Marriott at a 1:3 ratio, which is a terrific value. The following credit cards offer 25,000 SPG points after spending $1,500 in three months:

With 50,000 SPG points, you can earn 60,000 frequent flyer miles (enough for a round-trip ticket in economy to Europe with Aeroplan) or 150,000 Marriott points. Since these credit cards will be discontinued soon, if you don’t already have both cards, I’d recommend applying to both. However, you should put different SPG numbers for each application to ensure you get your points quickly, and later merge or transfer the points.

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Comments

  1. Thanks for the timely update. I applied for the personal last week and am planning to refer myself to the business as soon as it arrives in the mail tomorrow. i’ll be sure to create a new SPG account when I apply to the business.

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