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.
Through April 5, 2017, you can earn up to 35,000 bonus Starwood points on the AMEX Starwood personal and small business cards after you meet tiered minimum spending requirements. And you’ll have at least 40,000 Starwood points after you complete minimum spending! That’s because you’ll get at least 1 Starwood points per $1 you spend.
You can transfer Starwood points directly to American Airlines at a 1:1 ratio. Plus, you’ll get a bonus 5,000 miles for every increment of 20,000 Starwood points you transfer! So you’ll earn 50,000 American Airlines miles with this new offer (40,000 Starwood points transferred to American Airlines = 40,000 American Airlines miles + 10,000 bonus American Airlines miles for transferring 2 increments of 20,000 Starwood points).
You can fly round-trip in Business Class within the US, and to the Caribbean, Mexico, and Central America for just 50,000 American Airlines miles!
Earn 35,000 Starwood Points With the AMEX Starwood Cards
When you apply for the AMEX Starwood personal or small business cards by April 5, 2017, you’ll earn an increased bonus of a total of 35,000 Starwood points after meeting minimum spending requirements!
With the personal AMEX Starwood card, you’ll earn 25,000 Starwood points after spending $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months of account opening. And 10,000 more Starwood points for spending another $2,000 on purchases within the first 6 months.
And with the AMEX Starwood small business card, you’ll earn 25,000 Starwood points after spending $5,000 on purchases within the first 3 months of account opening. And 10,000 more Starwood points for spending another $3,000 on purchases within the first 6 months.
With either offer, you’ll earn a total of 35,000 Starwood points after meeting the tiered minimum spending requirements!
You’ll also get:
- 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.
40,000 Starwood Points = Big Travel on American Airlines
Starwood points transfer to ~30 airline partners, including American Airlines.
And when you transfer 20,000 Starwood points to an airline with a 1:1 ratio (like American Airlines), you’ll get 5,000 bonus miles. So your 20,000 Starwood points become 25,000 American Airlines miles!
You’ll have at least 40,000 Starwood points after completing the minimum spending requirements. So when you transfer 40,000 Starwood points, you’ll end up with 50,000 American Airlines miles. Because you’ll earn 5,000 bonus miles for every 20,000 point increment you transfer. That’s enough for a round-trip Business Class award seat:
- Within the US
- To the Caribbean
- To Mexico
- To Central America
For example, I was able to find flights from Dallas to Cancun, with a fair amount of Business Class seats. Check out my guide on how to book award travel on American Airlines.
You can also book 2 round-trip coach seats to these areas for 50,000 American Airlines miles during off-peak seasons, which are from September 7 to November 14, and April 27 to May 20.
Double Your Free Flights by Signing-Up for Both AMEX Starwood Cards
If you want more free flights, you can sign-up for BOTH the AMEX Starwood personal and small business cards. That’s because they are considered different credit card “products”.
Signing-up for both cards would get you 83,000 Starwood points (after meeting minimum spending requirements). And transferring 80,000 Starwood points to American Airlines would give you 100,000 American Airlines miles (80,000 Starwood points + 20,000 bonus miles for transferring 4 increments of 20,000 points)!
Note: You can only transfer 79,999 Starwood points per day. So if you want to transfer 80,000 Starwood points, make sure you only transfer 60,000 points the first day, and 20,000 points the second day. That way you’ll still have a 20,000 point increment to transfer the next day, and receive your 5,000 bonus miles!
That means you’ll have enough for 2 round-trip Business Class tickets, or 4 round-trip coach tickets, within the US, or to the Caribbean, Central America, and Mexico.
Other Ways to Earn Free American Airlines Flights
If you already have the AMEX Starwood cards, there are still plenty of other cards that earn American Airlines miles:
- Barclaycard Aviator Red – 40,000 American Airlines miles after your first purchase and payment of the $95 annual fee.
- Citi American Airlines Platinum Select card – 50,000 American Airlines miles after spending $3,000 within 3 months of opening your account
- CitiBusiness American Airlines Select card – 50,000 American Airlines miles after spending $3,000 within 3 months of opening your account
- Citi American Airlines Executive Card – 50,000 American Airlines miles after spending $5,000 within 3 months of opening your account
Note: Citi has recently tightened their sign-up bonus rules. You can’t receive the bonus if you’ve opened or closed a card under the same family of cards in 24 months. So, for example, if you’ve opened or closed a Citi American Airlines Platinum Select card in the past 2 years, you won’t be able to get the sign-up bonus for the Citi American Airlines Executive.
Through April 5, 2017, the AMEX Starwood personal and small business cards have an increased sign-up bonus of 35,000 Starwood points after meeting tiered minimum spending requirements! You can transfer those points to American Airlines for Big Travel. And you’ll have at least 40,000 total Starwood points after you complete minimum spending.
For every 20,000 points you transfer to American Airlines (or other airlines), you’ll receive a bonus 5,000 miles. So when you transfer 40,000 Starwood points, you’ll end up with 50,000 American Airlines miles!
That’s enough for 1 round-trip Business Class ticket within the US, or to the Caribbean, Central America, or Mexico! Or 2 round-trips in coach during off-peak seasons (from September 7 to November 14, and April 27 to May 20).
How do you like to use Starwood points?