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Starwood points can get you much more than free hotel nights at wonderful hotels around the world! For example, you can transfer Starwood points to many great airline partners at a 1:1 ratio, including Alaska Airlines and British Airways. So you can save on flights too!
And Starwood points are relatively hard to earn. That’s why lots of folks apply for the Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express. Team member Joseph says he uses this card when making a purchase that’s not in a bonus category on any of his other cards.
Plus, with the Marriott-Starwood merger, you can benefit from having the AMEX Starwood card, even if you NEVER stay at Starwood brand hotels. Because you can earn Starwood points and instantly convert them to Marriott points at a favorable ratio.
Besides earning valuable points, the AMEX Starwood card has a few other great perks that can save you money! I’ll share my review of the current offer and help you decide if it’s worth applying.
AMEX Starwood Card Review
When you apply for the AMEX Starwood card, you can earn 25,000 Starwood points after making $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening.
Some folks report receiving a targeted offer with a larger welcome bonus. So keep an eye out to see if you can take advantage of a better deal!
With the AMEX Starwood card, you’ll also get:
- 2 Starwood points per $1 you spend at Starwood hotels (includes Aloft, Design Hotels, Element, Four Points, Le Meridien, Sheraton, St Regis, The Luxury Collection, Tribute Portfolio, Westin and W brand hotels) and Marriott hotels
- 1 Starwood point per $1 you spend on everything else
- 2 stay credits or 5 night credits toward Starwood Elite Status
- Free in-room internet at participating Starwood hotels
- Automatic Starwood Gold elite status after spending $30,000 or more in a calendar year
- Access to AMEX Offers, which can save you money on purchases you’re already planning
- Complimentary ShopRunner membership for free 2-day shipping at 140+ online retailers
- Free Boingo Wi-Fi access (excluding flights)
- Purchase protections, including extended warranty benefits
- No foreign transaction fees
- Terms & limitations apply
The stay and night credits are valuable for folks looking to earn or keep elite status. For example, this AMEX Starwood perk has helped team member Keith keep Starwood Platinum elite status the past few years, which means he gets:
- Bonus points on eligible paid stays
- Welcome gift (like extra points or free breakfast) at check-in
- Complimentary room upgrades (when available)
Note: You’re only eligible to earn AMEX bonuses once per card per lifetime. Keep in mind, if you only have had the Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express, you can still earn the welcome bonus on the AMEX Starwood personal card, or vice versa. Because the personal and small business versions of the card are considered different card products.
There Are SEVERAL Excellent Ways to Redeem Starwood Points!
With Starwood points, you get more redemption options than you do with most other hotel points. Here are some examples:
- Book free award stays at amazing hotels all over the world and potentially get a 5th night free depending on the category of the hotel
- Use the Cash + Points benefit to stretch your points
- Redeem points for Nights & Flights packages, even at Disney World!
- SPG Flights – use points to book flights on 150+ airlines with no blackout dates
- Transfer Starwood points directly to ~30 airline transfer partners
- SPG Moments – attend unforgettable experiences (like concerts or sporting events)
You can also instantly convert Starwood points to Marriott points at a 1:3 ratio. So the AMEX Starwood card 25,000-point bonus can get you 75,000 Marriott points! That’s enough for 5 free nights at Category 3 Marriott hotels. Or a free night at luxurious Ritz-Carlton hotels.
One of my favorite ways to use Starwood points is to transfer them to airlines! Besides having lots of great Starwood airline partners, you get a 5,000 mile bonus for every 20,000 Starwood points you transfer to airlines with a 1:1 transfer ratio!
For example, you can transfer 20,000 Starwood points to Singapore Airlines. With the transfer bonus, you’ll have 25,000 Singapore Airlines miles. If you book a flight on partner Alaska Airlines, you’ll have more than enough miles book a round-trip coach award flight to Hawaii from West Coast cities like Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Seattle.
Using Starwood points for free stays at their wonderful hotels isn’t a bad option either! Check out these posts with top Starwood hotels where you can stay for free using points!
- 5 Best US Beaches to Enjoy With Limited-Time AMEX Starwood Bonus
- 5 Fantastic US Marriott Hotels to Book Using Starwood Points
- 7 Best US Starwood Hotels to Book With Points
- 5 Top Hotels in Europe to Book With Starwood Points
- 5 Top Hotels in Caribbean & Mexico to Book With Starwood Points
- Readers Love These Starwood Hotels and You Might Too!
The Clock Might Be Ticking for the AMEX Starwood Card!
There’s been a lot of speculation in the miles & points hobby about what’s next for the AMEX Starwood card? Following the Marriott-Starwood merger, I said it’s likely the AMEX Starwood card could eventually be discontinued.
And recently, I shared that AMEX signed a deal with Marriott to begin issuing new co-branded cards (“AMEX Marriott cards”) some time in 2018.
So with uncertainty around the AMEX Starwood card, you might consider applying soon. Because you can boost your Starwood points balance now and still be eligible to apply and earn the bonus on new AMEX card products in the future!
Starwood points are extremely valuable because you can redeem them for much more than just free hotel nights. For example, you can save money on flights by transferring Starwood points to airline partners. Or use points to book once-in-a-lifetime experiences through SPG Moments.
Although the current bonus isn’t the highest it’s ever been, it’s possible the AMEX Starwood card could eventually be discontinued because of the Marriott-Starwood merger. So it’s a good idea to take advantage of the offer while it’s still available if you’re looking to boost your Starwood points balance!