Currently, Australian Amex Membership Rewards points can be converted to Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) Starpoints at a rate of 1:0.5. That is, one Amex point is equal to 0.5 Starpoints. This is a good deal because Starpoints are valuable. They can be coverted to frequent flyer miles with over 30 different airlines, and you’ll get 25,000 airline miles for every 20,000 Starpoints transferred. This means that 40,000 Amex points will eventually convert to 25,000 miles with airlines including American Airlines, Alaska Airlines, Virgin Atlantic, British Airways and Korean Air.
Unfortunately, there is a massive devaluation coming after SPG merges with the new Marriott Rewards program on 1 August. On this date, existing SPG points will be automatically converted to Marriott Rewards points at a 1:3 rate. In other words, one SPG point is worth 3 Marriott Rewards points. But Amex transfers to the new Marriott program from August will take place at a new rate of 3 Amex points to 2 Marriott points. That’s effectively a 125% devaluation and makes this now a very unattractive option!
At the new rate, your 40,000 Amex Membership Rewards points will be worth 26,667 Marriott Rewards points. Those points would then convert to just 8,889 airline miles. That’s around a third of what you would get before the devaluation! Considering those same 40,000 Amex points could be transferred to 40,000 Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer miles, it would no longer make sense to transfer Amex points to the new Marriott Rewards program.
A Marriott spokesperson confirmed that American Express Membership Rewards points transferred to the new combined SPG, Marriott Rewards & Ritz-Carlton Rewards program will be subject to the new rate from August. The spokesperson added that “if current members choose to maintain their SPG account separately, they will still be able to transfer points to their SPG account.”
As you would expect, AFF members are not happy about the changes…
While the current transfer rate is fairly generous (IMO), this new rate is complete trash. It’s now effectively $2.25 per SPG point verse the old $1 per SPG point, a 125% devaluation.
Wow that is significant devaluation. The question is whether to transfer everything from my Amex account to SPG/Marriott now …… I have already redeemed 4 Travel Packages and they have been good value but that too will get devalued …..
Thankfully, around a month’s notice has been provided. Amex transfers to SPG are still possible at the current rate until the end of July. Get in quick!
The exact date that Amex transfers to the new Marriott program will become possible has not been set.
Last week, Marriott revealed the new hotel category listings for the combined SPG-Marriott Rewards program. Many of these particular changes are positive, although a large devaluation to Travel Packages is on the way.
Join the discussion on the Australian Frequent Flyer forum: AMEX – SPG Transfer option after August 2018