Do You Really Have to Get APPROVED for the Starwood 30,000 Point Sign-Up Bonus Before September 4, 2012 [Expired]

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Update:  This offer is no longer available.  Check our Hot Deals for the latest offers.

Link:  American Express Starwood Refer a Friend 5,000 Point Business & Personal Referral

Link:  American Express Starwood 30,000 Point Personal Credit Card

Link:  American Express Starwood 30,000 Point Business Credit Card

You usually only have to apply for limited-time offers (such as the American Express Starwood 30,000 point offer) before the last date of the offer.

It is only fair to me, that if you apply before the offer end date, you should get the sign-up bonus you applied for!

That’s because it could take a while for the bank to process the application.  And consumers shouldn’t be denied the full sign-up bonus just because the bank took longer than usual to approve their application.

Starwood Personal 30,000 Points Application

Does it Matter When You Get Approved for the Starwood 30,000 Point Offer?

However, footnote 3 of the American Express Starwood *personal* credit card offer reads (bolding mine):

If your application is approved after 9/4/2012, you will not be eligible for the Starpoints offer.

The terms appear to suggest that you will not get the full 30,000 point sign-up bonus if your application is not approved before September 4, 2012 which is only 8 days away.

I applied for both the business and personal Starwood card on August 8 ,2012 and it took 7 phone calls and 15 days to be approved for both of them.  I would be very upset if I didn’t get the full sign-up bonus if I was approved after September 4, 2012!

But the terms on the Starwood *business* credit card with the same 30,000 point sign-up bonus say:

“To be eligible for this Limited Time Offer, you must apply by September 4, 2012.”

It appears that you only have to apply for the Starwood business card by September 4, 2012 to get the full sign-up bonus.

I was curious about the contradictory terms in the personal and business card application, since the terms of the personal card require you to be approved for the card before September 4, 2012, but the business card only requires you to apply for the card by September 4, 2012.

So I reached out to my affiliate marketing company who reached out to American Express.  The team knows that the terms are contradictory, but suggest folks who apply before September 4, 2012 will get the 30,000 point sign-up bonus.

But the language in the terms and conditions is *still* contradictory on the Starwood personal and business card applications on the American Express website a few days after pointing out the differences to American Express. Make what you will out of that.

Bottom Line:  As I wrote earlier, I don’t think the American Express Starwood card is worth keeping and paying the $65 annual fee for, unless you’re a Big Spender or value the nights and stays towards elite status.

But I did get the personal and business credit card for the 30,000 point sign-up bonus.  If you do decide to apply for the American Express Starwood card, don’t forget to see if you can refer someone or get referred for an extra 5,000 Starwood points!  If you have a personal Starwood card, you can only refer for a personal Starwood card and if you have a business Starwood card, you can only refer for the business card.

I’ll be traveling today, so I won’t be able to get to the comments quickly.

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Editorial Disclaimer: Neither the responses below nor the editorial content on this page are provided or commissioned by the bank advertisers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertisers. Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of the bank advertisers. It is not the bank advertisers’ responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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25 responses to “Do You Really Have to Get APPROVED for the Starwood 30,000 Point Sign-Up Bonus Before September 4, 2012 [Expired]

  1. Hi Daraius,
    why did you have to call 7 times?
    I have just received a denial from Chase for the Hyatt card because of ‘too many inquiries’ My report showed 10 inquiries this year.
    My credit score went down from 822 to 746 since June.
    I made one call to the reconsideration line and was denied again. Shall I keep trying or wait a few months as the agent recommended?

  2. I have the personal SPG card and want to apply for the business version. I tried sending myself a referral but it didn’t allow me to send it for the business card (is that bc I don’t have it?). How do I get the 5k points on the business card for referring myself?

  3. @MissMiles
    you can’t. if you only have the personal card, you can only refer someone for a personal card…
    if you’d like i’ll gladly refer you for the business card… 😉

  4. Newbie question: what is the likelihood of this deal coming back? I know it is impossible to know, but I’ll feel better about missing out on this one if I know the promotion is likely to come back over the next year or so.

  5. @Ryne – Starwood usually does a 30k point promo every summer.

  6. @missmiles Thanks so much!

    • Thanks for helping out in the comments!

      @Maria – I called 7 times to get the cards approved and to figure out how to get them expedited to me. You already have got the credit inquiry for the application, so it doesn’t hurt to call the reconsideration line a few times to see if a different agent will approve the application if you cancel an existing card or offer to move a part of your credit line.

      @MissMiles – Unfortunately, you can only refer for the version you have.

      @Ryne – AMEX has had a similar promotion for a month around this time since 2010.

  7. Thanks Lantean and Daraius.

    In that case, anyone here who has a business card that wants a personal card? We could refer each other and each get the 5k points for the respective cards. 🙂

  8. I got the personal version less than two months ago (for only 25,000 points). What do you think are the chances of me getting approved for the business version before this offer ends?

  9. Is this the highest offer that they have had in the recent past?

  10. Hi Daraius,
    I was approved for the Hyatt card today (I offered to close another card I have with them). Thanks for all the great information you give in your website.

  11. Hi Daraius,

    I applied and got approved the personal SPG card via your link on Jun 8. Do you think AMEX will match the current 30K offer?

  12. FYI….I applied today for the Business card and received instant approval. I don’t have a business and this is my first business card approval. It isn’t as hard as it seems. I won’t do this often but I look for ways to obtain more SPG points.

  13. refer a friend link dead for additional 5,000 miles

  14. These are the terms & conditions when I go on after I log in to me Amex SPG PERSONAL card account:

    Terms and Conditions

    1. You understand and agree that the referred individual(s) must apply through an e-mailed link (provided by American Express) by September 4, 2012 and be approved for you to receive the bonus. Your friend(s) may not receive this e-mail if they have previously “opted out” of receiving e-mail marketing communications from American Express. Due to the confidential nature of the credit approval process, you will not be notified of whether we approve or decline any application(s) from individual(s) you refer.

    2. You are eligible to earn 5,000 Starpoints for each approval. Please allow 6–8 weeks for bonus points to post to your account after each referred prospect is approved for the Card. Due to the confidential nature of the credit approval process, you will not be notified of whether we approve or decline any application(s) from individual(s) you refer.

    3. Welcome bonus offer not available to applicants who have had this product within the last 12 months. To be eligible to receive 10,000 bonus Starpoints, referred individual(s) must make their first purchase with the Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card within one year of Card approval. Bonus points will appear on their Starwood Preferred Guest statement 8-12 weeks after their first purchase. Your friend must use their Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card to complete $5,000 of eligible spending by the end of their first six months of Cardmembership, based on the date of their Card approval. 20,000 Starpoints will be credited to their account 8 to 12 weeks after they reach the spend threshold.
    It seems based on this that if I refer someone, they have until September 4th, 2012 to APPLY!!

  15. Just received the business card today. Oddly, there is no mention of the 30K points. There is a bullet point for 10K after first purchase but no mention of the other 20K. Did everyone get the same letter?

  16. I was able to apply and get it approved within in 2 days! I just called and they were able to expedite the card out to me withint a few days. Good luck to everyone! Thanks for the blog post!!

  17. If I already have a SPG card is there anything I can do or say to earn bonus points since this promo wasn’t going on when I got my card?

  18. @ tony – I just sent you a referral for the personal card!

  19. @John just send you a referral for the SPG personal. Good luck