Starwood AMEX up to 30,000 Point Offer Is Back (for a Limited Time)!

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Starwood AMEX up to 30,000 Point Offer Is Back (for a Limited Time)!

Million Mile SecretsStarwood AMEX up to 30,000 Point Offer Is Back (for a Limited Time)!Million Mile Secrets Team

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:   A credit card offer in this post may no longer be available, but check the Hot Deals for the latest offers!

The Starwood Preferred Guest American Express 30,000 point sign-up offer is back after completing the minimum spending!

This is a limited time offer which ends on June 30, 2014.

In the past, this offer has come out once a year for ~1 month, but usually later in the summer.  So it’s a nice surprise to see it early!

Is This a Good Deal?

Link:   Starwood Preferred Guest American Express (Personal)

Link:   Starwood Preferred Guest American Express (Business)

Link:   How to Fill Out an American Express Business Card Application

The sign-up bonus on the Starwood Preferred Guest American Express card is usually 25,000 points after you spend $5,000 in the 1st 6 months.  But in the past several years, American Express has increased the bonus by 5,000 points (with the same minimum spending) once per year.

To get the increased bonus, you have to apply before June 30, 2014.  With this card, you get:

However, there is a 2.7% foreign currency fee, so don’t use this card outside the US.  It would be great if AMEX removed this fee because I really want to use the card outside the US!

You have 6 months to meet the minimum spending requirement of $5,000.  And here are 40+ ways to meet credit card minimum spending requirements!

You can get a lot of Big Travel with Small Money with the 30,000 point sign-up bonus.  Have a look at my series on how to get the most out of your Starwood points.

Note that you can also refer others to the card for 5,000 Starwood hotel points!

Starwood Preferred Guest AMEX 30,000 Point Offer Is Back!
How About Some Big Travel at a Starwood Luxury Collection Hotel?

Note:   American Express now limits sign-up bonuses to 1 bonus per card, per person, per lifetime.   According to the card terms and conditions:

Welcome bonus offer not available to applicants who have or have had this product

That said, the Starwood Preferred Guest AMEX personal card and business card are considered 2 different products, so if you’ve had 1 version in the past, you should still be able to get the bonus on the other version.

What Can You Do With up to 30,000 Starwood Points?

Link:   My How to Earn and Use Starwood Points Series

1.   Hotel Award Nights

Starwood Preferred Guest hotels include AloftElementFour PointsLe MeredienSheratonSt RegisThe Luxury CollectionWestin and W brand hotels.  There are over 1,100 hotels and resorts in over 100 countries to choose from.

One thing I like about the Starwood award chart is that you can get hotel award nights for very few points (and even less on weekends).

For example, you can get a Category 1 hotel for only 3,000 points a night (2,000 on weekends).  And there are some quite nice Category 1 hotels on the list!  With the 30,000 point sign-up bonus, you could get 10 free weekday nights or 15 free weekend nights at a Category 1 hotel!

Starwood Preferred Guest AMEX 30,000 Point Offer Is Back!
You Can Stay at the Sheraton Luxor Resort in Egypt for 3,000 Points a Night (or 2,000 Points on Weekends)

The Sheraton Luxor Resort in Egypt can be booked for 2,000 points on the weekends.  I checked the cash rate on a Saturday in September and it was $59 plus taxes per night.

Starwood Preferred Guest AMEX 30,000 Point Offer Is Back!
You’ll Pay $59 Plus Tax or 2,000 Starwood Points for a Weekend Night at the Sheraton Luxor Resort

You’ll have even more choices with Starwood Category 2 hotels, which cost 4,000 points during the week or 3,000 points on weekends.  So with the 30,000 point sign-up bonus, you could get ~7 weekday nights or 10 weekend nights at a Category 2 hotel.

Starwood Preferred Guest AMEX 30,000 Point Offer Is Back!
The Category 2 Sheraton Lake Buena Vista Resort, Near DisneyWorld, Costs 4,000 Points per Night (3,000 on Weekends)

A paid night on a weekend in August costs $143 plus taxes or 3,000 points.  This is a great value!

Starwood Preferred Guest AMEX 30,000 Point Offer Is Back!
3,000 Starwood Points or $143 for a Weekend Night at the Sheraton Lake Buena Vista

And if you want to splurge, you could spend your sign-up bonus on a night at a Category 7 hotel, which costs 30,000 to 35,000 points per night.  But these are hotels that normally cost upwards of $700 plus taxes per night!

Starwood Preferred Guest AMEX 30,000 Point Offer Is Back!
The St. Regis Hotel in New York Costs $695 Plus Tax per Night and Comes With a Personal Butler!

2.   Cash & Points

You can stretch your Starwood points even further by redeeming them for Cash and Points award nights.  That’s because these awards are half the cost in points (compared to the regular award chart), and the amount you pay in cash tends to be much less than the value of the points you are saving.

Starwood Preferred Guest AMEX 30,000 Point Offer Is Back!
Save Half the Points for a Cash Co-Pay and Stretch Your Points Further

That said, I don’t think the upgraded rooms or suites are a great cash and points value.

You could get a room at the Sheraton Kauai for 6,000 points and $110 per night.  Normally, this room costs 12,000 points, or $199 plus taxes per night.

Starwood Preferred Guest AMEX 30,000 Point Offer Is Back!
Stay at the Sheraton Kauai for 6,000 Points and $110 per Night Using Cash + Points

3.   Transfer to Airlines and Earn Bonus Points

You can transfer Starwood points to 30 airline partners like American Airlines, British Airways, and Alaska Airlines.  Most of the transfers are in a 1:1 ratio.

You’ll get a 5,000 mile bonus when you transfer 20,000 Starwood points.  So 20,000 Starwood points becomes 25,000 airline miles.

Starwood Preferred Guest AMEX 30,000 Point Offer Is Back!
You Can Transfer Starwood Points to 30 Airlines, Including American Airlines

You will get 85,000 air miles if you apply for both the business and personal card, complete the minimum spending, and transfer the points to airlines.

This means that you earn 1.25 miles per $1 for regular spending (assuming you’re not taking advantage of category bonuses on other cards) if you spend enough to transfer 20,000 Starwood points to airlines.

4.   Nights & Flights

Starwood Nights & Flights is a great redemption for longer Category 3 and Category 4 hotel stays.  You need to call Starwood to redeem a Nights & Flights award – it can’t be done online.

Starwood Preferred Guest AMEX 30,000 Point Offer Is Back!
You Can Use Starwood Points for Both Airfare and Hotel With Nights and Flights

5 free hotel nights AND 50,000 airline miles cost:

This is a really great deal if you’re staying 5 nights or more.  50,000 airline miles is enough for 2 round-trip domestic coach tickets, and you’ll get a 5 night hotel stay!  

5.   Flight Awards and Gift Cards

You can redeem Starwood points for paid flights on many airlines with no blackout dates.  While you’re not getting the most value of your points, you get the flexibility of taking any flight and earning miles for those flights.

30,000 points gets you $345 to $410 in airfare with NO blackout dates.

Starwood Preferred Guest AMEX 30,000 Point Offer Is Back!
You Can Redeem Starwood Points for Paid Flights With No Blackout Dates

You can also redeem Starwood points for gift cards, so 30,000 points will get you $300 in Amazon (or other) gift cards.  This isn’t a great value, but if you’re not interested in traveling it’s another way to redeem your points.

Starwood Preferred Guest AMEX 30,000 Point Offer Is Back!
You Can Redeem Starwood Points for Gift Cards, but That’s NOT a Good Value

Bottom Line

American Express has increased the sign-up bonus on the Starwood personal & business card up to 30,000 points after you spend $5,000 in the 1st 6 months.  But only until June 30, 2014.

Usually, the sign-up bonus is up to 25,000 points after the same minimum spending.  So this is a good deal!

Starwood points can be used for free hotel nights, airline miles, cash & points redemptions, gift cards, and paid airline tickets without blackout dates.  They’re a great way to have flexibility in your travel redemptions!

What’s your favorite way to use Starwood points?

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Editorial Note: We're the Million Mile Secrets team. And we're proud of our content, opinions and analysis, and of our reader's comments. These haven’t been reviewed, approved or endorsed by any of the airlines, hotels, or credit card issuers which we often write about. And that’s just how we like it! :)

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I missed this offer earlier this summer. Do you have a guesstimation as to when or if it will come back anytime soon? Od love to get the 30k, but the 25k may suffice if it won’t be back for another year.

Author
Million Mile Secrets

@LucyM – Sorry to hear about that!

@Connie – It should be back next summer!

I applied for the SPG before May 1st. I had an SPG in the past. I called twice about not receiving my initial bonus after the first spend. Both agents assured me it would show up within 8-12 weeks after the first purchase. I told the last agent that I was hesitant to spend anymore to reach the second bonus, since they haven’t given me the first. She assured me this wasn’t a problem and I should feel confident in spending more since the bonus was valid on my account.

Fast forward to the present and both the CSR and supervisor tell me that “NO,” I am not eligible for ANY bonus, since I previously had the card and that the other agents were “misinformed.”

I have AMEX Delta Gold card, does it mean I will not have $30,000 sign up bonus based on the following sentence: “If we identify you as currently having an American Express® Card account, you may not be eligible for this welcome bonus offer.” ?

Thank you, Million Mile Secrets!

Author
Million Mile Secrets

@BenC – It really depends, and could be best to call to clarify.

Thanks Darius. I applied through your link and got approved for a personal SPG. Anyone need a referral, please send a note to nycdpj(at)gmail.com for the personal SPG with your name and email. Would greatly appreciate it.

Author
Million Mile Secrets

@Dj – Thanks for using our link!

I just got approved for the Amex Premier Business a few days ago.

How strict is Amex in approving another Business card?

Author
Million Mile Secrets

@Tiger – In my experience, they aren’t that strict. But I can’t comment more specifically.

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