Reader question – should I transfer points from Membership Rewards or SPG? + Skyclub pass

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This is a great question. There is only one time when the answer is simple and black & white. If, for whatever reason like starting your 24 month new card bonus clock, you are going to close all your Membership Rewards cards (or one going to a single account), you MUST get the points out first or they will be lost forever! End of story. Also if you are ever targeted with the AMEX Financial Review it may be wise to move the points out as if you do not “win” the review, the points will be gone, but you can move them out during the process.

If you are not going to close the card then there should be no “pressing” reason to move your points anywhere else.  Many times during each year there are good bonuses of 30-50% for sending them to many airlines. Now if you are short some miles and want to book seats right now, that is also a good reason to transfer some, but not more, than you need now. I have done very well with this card as the $200 airline incidentals credit, $100 towards GOES, lounge access and more + 25,000 points is a very good value and should be a card to include in your next card round if you are planning on one soon.

The same thing goes most of the time with the SPG points earned from either the personal or the business flavor of the cards.Your SPG points will NOT go away if you cancel your SPG AMEX card. However, SPG points do expire if you do not have activity in the account, like a stay. You can also every month take advantage of the audience reward trivia and get 10 free points to keep the account alive as now any activity counts!  The answers are even provided here at MilePoint in this thread. So no rush to get those miles out until you need them.

Lastly with SPG it is important to remember the bonus they give you. For every 20,000 you transfer to an airline, they give you 5,000 bonus miles so you net out 25,000 at the other end. This is a great value and one of the reasons SPG points are so good. So I hope that covers the question asked and feel free to shoot off any more if this is not clear. – René


Also, to end the month on a high note, let me know if you have a MR or SPG card,  plus if you want to brag, tell us your credit score, or just tell us you are working on getting it back up again to be able to apply for cards, and you will have a chance to win ONE – FREE DAY PASS to any DELTA SKYCLUB!

Neither answer will increase your chance to win btw.

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  1. I had my Amex cards closed by an FR, but insisted on keeping the points, which they allowed me to transfer.

  2. I have AMEX PRG and soon-to-be-cancelled Plat MR cards. My credit score is around 740~750 right now.

  3. Recently closed out my SPG to avoid the annual fee..thinking about whether to re-up.

    Thanks for the pass offer…fingers crossed!

  4. I have the AMEX MR PLAT and both the personal & BIZ SPG cards. My credit score last time I checked was 784

  5. I have no MR or SPG cards, but if and when I do, I will remember your advice. What about Ultimate Rewards?

  6. I’ve had a SPG card for many years – mainly to top off my accounts for reward travel (such a variety of choices!). Time to get back in the game with all the crazy bonuses thrown in by the credit card companies!

  7. I have the platinum AMEX and also love the perks, and I have the SPG personal and business cards because their points are so very useful.

  8. I have an excellent credit score!! I’ll be flying on delta today – MIA-ATL-LGA. I always appreciate a skyclub pass

  9. i have SPG cards personal and biz, and an MR on DL to PHX in feb so i could really use a club pass!

  10. Credit score high 700’s but inly have pers spg card. Concentrating on UR though currently. * only – Credit [i put all 3 into one comment – you only get one chance to win per day – rene]

  11. Seriously thinking about the SPG real soon, but do have the gold prg and zync, I’m on my first year with amex, and honestly I love them.

  12. @willrunformiles-how did you do? I finished the full just off my best time. I too will be flying today but MIA-MCO-MSP.

  13. I have the Amex MR card and both the personal & business SPG cards. My credit score is 780.

  14. I have far more cars than I’d like to admit (SPG personal and business, AmEx personal and business). But I still use most of them.

  15. I have both cards, and a credit score hovering between 760 and 770. I have a layover at JFK next week and would LOVE a free pass!

  16. Audience Rewards do not keep your SPG account active. Per their terms the only way to keep you points from expiring is at least 1 stay per year or to have the SPG AMEX with at least one charge per year. This has been verified on FT.

  17. Getting SPG points by answering the Audience Reward questions will NOT extend the life of your SPG points, be careful! Common misconception. You need either a stay or use the AMEX card and…there is a third way, forgot what it is, perhaps use pts for award?

    I have a Plat and just got the Gold Rewards OPEN amex for the 50k MR pts bonus. And have had the Hilton amex for many years. Works for me:-)

  18. I don’t have either card, but have often heard that SPG is the best and most flexible point accumulating card available.

  19. I have the personal Amex Plat and business SPG. Great cards! Credit score still in “very good” territory after several new cards and two mortgage refis in the last 12 months. 🙂

  20. I have the Amex PRG personal and business (old version). I am looking forward to the next 50% bonus transfer to Delta before I close both cards.

  21. I’m thinking of getting the SPG card in March, and transferring some generic AMEX points over to the card for redemption at a Hawaii hotel this summer.

  22. I have the platinum AMEX. Probably will get SPG (and some others this year when the time is right. Credit score is 750+.

  23. I have 5 MR cards. I was required to close my SPG card when I took out the Delta Platinum; I didn’t want to close the Delta Gold at the time because I was waiting on promotion miles for spending $100 on the card at Delta Sky mall. I intend to reapply for the card when an appropriate time has passed. I closed the SPG card 9/14/11.

  24. I’m waiting for a Delta promotion (50% I’m hoping 😉 before I transfer my 77k MR points to Sky Miles.

  25. SPG in next 60 days and get a new AMEX when a bonus offer over 50K comes out. Mid 7’s

  26. Credit Karma tells me my credit score is a 770, rated as excellent. Not sure as of this moment in time what each of the 3 agencies reports. We’ll see how things are in a month.

  27. I have the Amex PRG. Got the 75K MR bonus last year. lowest score (most inquiries) is mid 740s.

  28. Amex SPG and MR Gold from a while back. I don’t know my credit score, but something over 700 would be very nice.

  29. Have both SPG and Gold MR ,but will go for the Plat next. Need those points to visit family!

  30. I use plat only. BTW, you “officially” have 90 days to transfer out any points even if you “lose” the AmEx FR. Thought you may want to correct your post.

  31. The only MR earning card I have is a Zync card…but that’s only MR express. :/ I would love to have the real deal though! Rene, any idea if those points I am earning now can be combined with the regular MR points once I’m able to get a different AMEX, like the Gold card for example?

  32. @AJK – this is not totally correct. Here is why. You have a very limited time, just days, to get them the forms to allow them to look 3 years of you tax returns. Now, if they do not get them, of if the irs does not get them what they want fast enough, you are DONE! I would get your points out FAST if I were in this situation! – Rene

  33. I’ve had SPG for a few years now, but to be honest, I’m actually not a fan of the Starwood Hotels! I’d rather pay the same amount and stay in a more boutique spot.

  34. amex blue just to have for the sake of having an amex. not on the MR program just yet… waiting for a huge deal. 780. i love the chase sapphire.

  35. I have the amex blue for cash, just for the sake of having an AMEX. I have not gotten on the MR program band wagon… not yet b/c i love the chase sapphire but would sign up if theres a deal to be had… ie 50k sign up.

  36. Glad to see everyone posting around my score too – hovering in the 750 range. Love Amex so MR for me!

  37. Have SPG Amex as well as Amex MR. At the moment the prefer the SPG because of their versatility.

  38. I have the SPG, Am Ex PRG, and Am Ex Biz Gold. Only use the SPG at SPG properties though.

  39. I don’t have either one at the moment, but I have had both in the past and probably will again in the future.

  40. I have both spg and mr. I’m traveling with a baby from NY to south Africa on Klm (almost 24 hours of travel!) and would love a lounge pass so the baby can crawl during the stopover!

  41. I have both the SPG and MR card (although the MR is a corporate card that I paid the $75 to earn the points on).

  42. I don’t have either, but I have been looking hard at the SPG Amex, hoping they’ll come out with a higher initial bonus. Last I looked my score was 700+

  43. SPG only. My score’s taken a hit recently from taking advantage of 0% offers…utilization is too high it seems. Working on getting it back down, eventually 🙂

  44. I have both cards and like them both. I like the spg for spg points for hotels though and like the amex plat benefits and occasional transfer bonuses.

  45. have amer mr card and just got the delta platinum card. would love a delta pass for a long layover I have coming up!

  46. @Rene — Again, even if you DO lose your FR (no matter if it was because you didn’t sign the forms or the IRS was slow in producing them), the terms allow you 90 days to liquidate your MR account.

  47. @AJK – I agree that the T&C state that but the reality is very different. I have readers who were Centurion card holders who lost tens of thousands of points and could not get them back no matter what. YMMV but my advice to readers if you get targeted with the “Spanish Inquisition” AKA the FR, get your POINTS OUT ASAP! – Rene

  48. I have Amex Plat & Gold perosnal and SPG business. Probably will close Amex Plat and get a portion of the annual fee refunded.

  49. I have the Amex PRG and love it! Working my credit back up after some big items last year (including a house and car…)!

  50. I have both the AmEx Plat and SPG card, but will probably be closing them when the fees come around. Credit score is 749 as of today!

  51. I have the AmEx Premier Rewards Gold card, and a 759 credit score. Probably getting the SPG card soon as well.

  52. I currently have neither card, but will be getting the SPG Amex once I get rid of my BA Visa (since you can transfer points to keep the BA account active).

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