We devote thousands of hours of research to help you get Big Travel with Small Money. You support us by signing-up for credit cards through partner links which earn us a commission. Here’s our full Advertising Policy.
Update: One or more card offers in this post are no longer available. Check our Hot Deals for the latest offers.
Starwood’s 5th night free benefit is an excellent way to stretch your Starwood points for a longer vacation at Starwood hotels. If you book 5 or 10 consecutive award nights at the same hotel, you can use fewer Starwood points to cover the cost of the stay, so you’ll save even more money!
The current sign-up bonus on the Starwood Preferred Guest American Express personal and small business cards is a total of 35,000 Starwood points after completing the tiered minimum spending requirements. It’s the highest offer for these cards I’ve ever seen!
That’s enough for a 5-night stay at Starwood Category 3 hotels! And if you want to extend your vacation even longer, you can use your Starwood points and the 5th night free perk for 10-night award stays! With no money!
Maybe you want to escape to the beach or discover a new city? You can get a 10-night stay for free with your Starwood points! I’ll show you how!
AMEX Starwood Cards Have Highest Bonus Ever
- 2 points per $1 you spend at Starwood hotels
- 1 Starwood point per $1 you spend on everything else
- Unlimited use of Boingo Wi-Fi hotspots (excluding in-flight)
- For small business cardholders, access to Sheraton Club lounges (free breakfast and snacks) for the cardholder and 1 guest staying in the same room (you must book directly with Starwood)
- 2 stay credits or 5 night credits toward Starwood Elite Status
- No foreign transaction fees
- Terms & limitations apply
The $95 annual fee is waived the first year.
Note: American Express only allows folks to get the sign-up bonus ONCE per person, per lifetime on ALL their cards.
How to Use Starwood 5th Night Free
- Design Hotels
- Four Points
- Le Meridien
- St Regis
- The Luxury Collection
- Tribute Portfolio
If you want to get the 5th award night free, book 5 consecutive award nights. And if you make back-to-back 5-night reservations, you’ll also get the 10th night free!
Note: You do NOT need enough points for a 5-night stay in order to take advantage of this perk. When you book the 5 nights, the points cost is averaged across all nights. So for a Category 4 hotel that costs 10,000 Starwood points per night, you’ll pay 8,000 Starwood points per night for a 5-night stay.
How Do You Get Enough Starwood Points for 10 Nights?
Starwood’s 5th night free benefit applies to Starwood Category 3 through 7 hotels. And Category 3 hotels cost 7,000 Starwood points per night. So at a minimum, a 10-night stay will cost you 56,000 Starwood points.
So, how can you earn enough points for 10 free nights if the card’s bonus is only 35,000 Starwood points?
1. Apply for Both Versions of the AMEX Starwood Card
The AMEX Starwood cards are both considered different card products. So you can earn the sign-up bonus on both, and earn 70,000 bonus Starwood points!
But remember, American Express only allows folks to get the sign-up bonus ONCE per person, per lifetime on ALL their cards. So if you’ve never had either of these cards, now could be a great time to sign-up for both of them.
It’s possible to get both cards on the same day, but one of the applications may get delayed or go to reconsideration. And American Express won’t usually approve more than 2 cards in 90 days.
2. Combine Starwood Points With Your Domestic Partner
Vacationing with someone who lives with you? That person can get his or her own AMEX Starwood card, and you can combine points into 1 account.
Friends and family who have lived at the same address for the last 30 days can combine their Starwood points for free!
This is also a great idea to make sure you don’t have any “orphan” Starwood points in your account. If you don’t have enough points to use, just transfer them to another account with more points.
3. Transfer Marriott Points to Starwood
And there’s no maximum limit to the number of points you can move between accounts. So if you need extra Starwood points, you can use your Marriott points to make up the difference!
4. Put a Lot of Spending on the Card
One way to earn more Starwood points is to spend more using your AMEX Starwood Preferred Guest card. Remember, you’ll earn 2 points per $1 you spend at Starwood hotels and 1 point per $1 you spend on everything else.
However, do NOT make lots of purchases just to get Starwood points!! Instead, check out these 40 ways to put lots of spending on your credit cards with everyday purchases.
Note: You can also add a TRUSTED friend or family member as an authorized user to help you earn more Starwood points. Even if they aren’t a miles & points enthusiast, it’s easy to explain, “Please use this purple card for everything these next few months.” 🙂
Just know, you’re ultimately responsible for paying off all the purchases they make. So don’t make someone an authorized user if you don’t think they’ll pay you back!
Stay 10 Nights for Absolutely Free!
1. Sheraton Samoa Aggie Grey’s Hotel & Bungalows
Sheraton Samoa Aggie Grey’s Hotel & Bungalows is located on the Island of Upolu in American Samoa. Upolu is known for having one of the most beautiful cenotes (natural pool of water) on earth, the To Sua Ocean Trench! It looks absolutely magical.
This is a Category 3 hotel. Nights here cost ~$150, or 7,000 Starwood points. But you can book 10 consecutive nights here for just 56,000 Starwood points, because you’ll get 2 of the nights free with Starwood’s 5th night free perk! That means you’ll save $1,500, and get a value of 2.6 cents per point ($1,500 cost of a paid stay / 56,000 Starwood points).
2. Sheraton Porto Hotel & Spa, Portugal
The Sheraton Porto Hotel & Spa is a little removed from the city, so there aren’t many things within walking distance. But the metro station is only half a mile away. However, if you’re in town for an event at the Estadio do Bessa Seculo XXI (soccer stadium), it’s just a 7-minute walk from the hotel.
Emily really enjoys shopping in Porto. It’s much cheaper than countries like France and Italy, and you can get practically the same items.
Porto is famous for its port wine. It’s a sweet fortified red wine. You might give it a taste!
This is a Category 3 hotel. Rooms at this hotel sell for ~$150 (and can be MUCH higher, depending on your dates), or 7,000 Starwood points. But you can book 10 consecutive nights here for just 56,000 Starwood points, because you’ll get 2 of the nights free with Starwood’s 5th night free perk! That means you’ll save $1,500, and get a value of 2.6 cents per point ($1,500 cost of a paid stay / 56,000 Starwood points).
3. The Westin Cape Town
There is a free shuttle to Victoria & Alfred Waterfront from the hotel twice per hour, where you’ll have plenty of shops, bars, and restaurants to keep you busy. And, of course, the ocean!
Several folks have told me that Cape Town is their favorite city on earth! Million Mile Secrets Team Member Keith said Cape Town was his and his wife’s favorite destination of their multiple-destination honeymoon. He recommends visiting the Delaire Graff Estate, because of the stunning views of the region and great wine tasting.
This is a Category 4 hotel. Rooms here sell for ~$360, or 10,000 Starwood points. But you can book 10 consecutive nights here for just 80,000 Starwood points, because you’ll get each 5th night free! That means you’ll save $3,600, and get a value of 4.5 cents per point ($3,600 cost of a paid stay / 80,000 Starwood points).
4. The Westin Grand, Berlin
The hotel is also close to Gendarmenmarkt, known as one of the greatest Christmas markets in Berlin. And if you’ve never been to Germany around Christmas time, you might be overwhelmed with all the festivities!
Parking at this hotel is very expensive, so park somewhere else if you decide to rent a car!
This is a Category 4 hotel. Rooms at this hotel cost ~$170, or 10,000 Starwood points. But you can book 10 consecutive nights for just 80,000 Starwood points, because you’ll get 2 of the nights free with Starwood’s 5th night free perk! That means you’ll save $1,700, and get a value of ~2.1 cents per point ($1,700 cost of a paid stay / 80,000 Starwood points).
When you book 5 consecutive award nights at a Starwood Category 3 to 7 hotel, you’ll get the 5th night for free! You can even book 2 back-to-back 5 night stays to get the 5th and 10th night for free!
You’ll need a minimum of 56,000 Starwood points for a 10-night stay at a Category 3 hotel. And there are a few ways to earn enough Starwood points for your trip, like adding an authorized user to your card, or signing-up for both the personal and small business card.
Starwood’s 5th night free perk is a great way to stretch your Starwood points for longer stays and more award nights!