Disclosure: We get a commission for links on the blog. You don’t have to use our links, but we’re very grateful when you do. American Express, Barclaycard, Capital One, Chase, and US Bank are Million Mile Secrets advertising partners. Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or endorsed by our partners. Here’s our Advertiser Disclosure.
UPDATE: The Starwood American Express credit card offers in this post are no longer available, but check Hot Deals for the latest offers!
I’ve posted a lot about this 30,000 point Starwood offer! The bonus is usually 25,000 points. So what’s the big deal about 5,000 extra Starwood points anyway?
One easy reason 5,000 additional points is important is because it increases the sign-up bonus by ~$200 worth of hotels! I’ll show you how to get a night at a great Starwood Category 4 hotel using the extra 5,000 points using the fantastic Cash & Points program.
I’ll show you highly-rated Starwood hotels where you can stay with the extra 5,000 Starwood points you’ll earn!
About the AMEX Starwood Card
Link: Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express
Link: Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express
The sign-up bonus on the AMEX Starwood card (personal and small business) is usually 25,000 Starwood points. But through September 14, 2015, you’ll earn 30,000 Starwood points after meeting minimum spending requirements.
I’ve been posting a lot about this offer because it has only come around ONCE per year for the last 4 years and has never been higher. So if you like Starwood hotels or want to use these valuable points to fly on partners like American Airlines and Delta, this is the best time to apply.
Be sure to read about how to redeem Starwood points for award stays.
Top 5 Starwood Hotels Series Index
- 5 Top European Hotels to Book With Starwood Points
- 5 Excellent Hotels in the US to Splurge on With Starwood Points
- 5 Outstanding Starwood Hotels in the Caribbean & Mexico
- 5 Luxurious Starwood Hotels in Asia & Australia
- 5 Fantastic Starwood Hotels in Central & South America
- 5 of the Best US Beaches With Starwood Hotels
The Magic of Cash & Points
Link: Starwood Cash & Points
When you book an award stay with Cash & Points, you’ll pay half the points of a regular award stay, plus a cash co-pay.
Cash & Points can save you a lot of money on the regular room rate. For example, instead of paying for a Starwood Category 4 hotel that costs $300 per night, you can pay 5,000 Starwood points + $75.
This means your 5,000 Starwood points will cover the balance of $225 ($300 room rate – $75 cash co-pay). In this case, each Starwood point is worth 4.5 cents. That’s an incredible way to redeem your Starwood points!
It also means the extra 5,000 Starwood points you’ll earn on the AMEX Starwood (personal and small business) cards are worth that much more. In fact, you can redeem for 6 nights at Starwood Category 4 hotels with 30,000 Starwood points with Cash & Points (plus a $450 cash co-pay).
The Best Starwood Category 4 Hotels for Cash & Points
Note: Examples are based on travel in November 2015 except where noted. And depending on the season, you can save even more money on your stays!
1. The Westin Fort Lauderdale Beach Resort
I found available Cash & Points nights at The Westin Fort Lauderdale Beach Resort, which is a perfect hotel for sand & sun!
The nightly room rate is $271. In this case, your 5,000 Starwood points are worth $196 ($271 room rate – $75 cash co-pay), or nearly 4 points each! That’s a terrific deal!
2. The Westin Walt Disney World Swan
Bring the family to The Westin Walt Disney World Swan for your Florida vacation, and choose between the beach or the pool, many golf courses, and Epcot Theme Park or Disney Hollywood Studios. Or pick them all!
And don’t forget Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom! 🙂
This hotel is $245 a night, so 5,000 Starwood points are worth over 3 cents each ($245 room rate – $75 cash co-pay).
Be sure to read my tips about how to get to Orlando with Small Money!
3. Le Meridien Vienna
Le Meridien Vienna is located in the historic city center, easy walking distance to St. Stephen’s Cathedral, and a short train ride to the art museums, culture, and nightlife Vienna is known for.
Regular rates are ~$229 per night. Here, your Starwood points are worth over 3 cents apiece (~$229 room rate – $75).
Folks on TripAdvisor have wonderful things to say about this hotel. And it’s a great deal with Cash & Points!
4. The Westin Turtle Bay Resort & Spa, Mauritius
The Westin Turtle Bay Resort & Spa in Mauritius fills up fast. But wow! You can really get a deal here if you’re patient!
I found dates in April 2016 you can book with Cash & Points. The regular room rate is ~$767. That means each Starwood point is worth ~14 cents!
If you’re looking for adventure, the island is located off the eastern coast of Africa in the Indian Ocean. It would make an unforgettable getaway with memories to last a lifetime!
5. Le Meridien New Orleans
Le Meridien New Orleans is located within walking distance to the world-famous French Quarter.
New Orleans is a fun town filled with culture, art museums, and delicious Cajun food.
This hotel is $289 a night in November. When you book with Cash & Points, each Starwood point is worth over 4 cents ($289 room rate – $75 cash co-pay).
There’s always something fun to do in New Orleans. If you like music, be sure to head over to Frenchmen Street to hear live performances every night!
How to Find a Room With Cash & Points
Sometimes the Cash & Points option doesn’t show up after you enter your dates.
On the right side of the page under “Rate Preferences,” select “SPG Cash & Points.”
If your dates are available to book with Cash & Points, they’ll show up. But if they don’t, you can find out which days are available.
Click “Flexible Dates” in the row of tabs above the room types. Then click “SPG Cash & Points” again. On the calendar, you’ll see which days you can book.
Keep in mind some Starwood hotels do NOT participate in Cash & Points. And certain hotels have blackout dates. But if you find dates that work for you, this can be a terrific deal!
Also remember that you are still responsible for any taxes and fees when you book with Cash & Points.
Earn Starwood Points on Regular Purchases!
Beyond the increased sign-up bonus, the AMEX Starwood cards are great for everyday spending on items that normally don’t have a category bonus.
Folks love earning 1 Starwood point per $1 spent because they can get terrific value from them! For instance, if you spend $500 and earn 500 Starwood points it’s easy to get 4 cents of value from each point, worth $20.
Compare that to other cards that earn 1 point per $1 spent in categories that typically don’t qualify for 2X, 3X, or 5X bonuses such as car and home repairs, hair cuts, liquor store purchases, manicures, etc.
If you made those particular purchases with the Chase Sapphire Preferred (my favorite card for beginners because of the great travel partners), you’d earn 500 Chase Ultimate Rewards points. That’s worth $5 in cash back, ~$6 through the Chase Travel Portal, or ~$10 toward an award flight or hotel stay with 1 of their travel transfer partners (or more, depending on how you redeem).
AMEX also has a highly-regarded return protection and extended warranty program, with a relatively quick and easy claim process. So you may decide to use the AMEX Starwood card for a big purchase to take advantage of a longer warranty period, or protection in case something happens to it.
Also remember when you’re staying at Starwood hotels, you’ll earn extra bonus points when you ride with Uber! So you can explore a new city and earn more Starwood points for the next award stay!
With the current sign-up bonus of 30,000 Starwood points on the Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card from American Express (personal and small business), you can get up to 6 award nights at Starwood Category 4 hotels with Cash & Points.
The money you’ll save, even after the $75 cash co-pay, can add up to thousands of dollars! Before you book, always make sure your cash co-pay is much less than the portion covered by your Starwood points.
What are your favorite Starwood hotels with Cash & Points?
* If you liked this post, why don’t you join the 20,000+ readers who have signed-up to receive free blog posts via email (only 1 email per day!) or in an RSS reader …because then you’ll never miss another update!