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Starwood Amex 30,000 Point Offers Are Back

by on June 3, 2014 · 39 comments

in American Express, Credit Cards, Starwood

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Update: The offers mentioned below for the Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Cards from American Express have expired. View the current offers here –personalbusiness.

This past weekend Amex announced a limited-time, increased bonus offer for the Starwood American Express personal and business OPEN credit cards.  The signup bonus for this card is typically 25,000 points, but through June 30, 2014, new cardmembers can earn 30,000 Starwood points after spending $5,000 in the first 6 months.

Here are the details:

  • 30,000 points - 10,000 after your first purchase, and an additional 20,000 when you spend $5,000 within 6 months.
  • Get up to 5 Starpoints for every $1 of eligible spend charged directly with Starwood hotels & resorts – that’s 2 Starpoints per dollar spent on the Card in addition to the Starpoints you get as a Starwood Preferred Guest member.
  • Get 1 Starpoint for every dollar of eligible purchases.
  • $65 annual fee, waived for the first year.

For the last several years, SPG has been my top hotel program because the points are extremely valuable and Starwood has a lot of aspirational properties that I love- like the St. Regis Princeville and the W Paris Opera, where I just stayed a few weeks ago.

While an extra 5,000 points may not seem like a monumental increase, I value Starpoints at 2.1 cents a piece, so those 5,000 points is a nice little bump in value- especially since the annual fee is waived the first year.

Flexibility

That added value comes not only from pure hotel redemptions, but also from the flexibility to book with points and cash. Starwood points also transfer to 32 airline partners, including many that give a 25% bonus for transfers of 20,000 points.

Starwood's 32 airline transfer partners offer great flexibility, though transfer can take weeks to process

Starwood’s 32 airline transfer partners offer great flexibility, though transfer can take weeks to process

Key partners: American Airlines, US Airways, Alaska Airlines
Others: Aeromexico, Aeroplan (Air Canada), Air Berlin, Air China, Air New Zealand, Alitalia, ANA, Asia Miles (Cathay Pacific), Asiana, British Airways, China Eastern, China Southern, Delta, Emirates, Etihad, Flying Blue (Air France, KLM, Air Europa), GOL, Hainan, Hawaiian Airlines, LAN, Lufthansa, JAL, Qatar Airways, Saudia, Singapore Airlines, Thai Airways, United, Virgin Atlantic, Virgin Australia.

Double Bonus + Referrals
I have both the Personal SPG Amex and Business SPG Amex cards, and current cardholders can refer friends for a 5,000 Starpoint bonus. I applied for both in 2012 and was able to get both bonuses after a relatively painless process.

How to earn Amex Starwood referral

The Amex Starwood card offers a 5,000 point referral bonus.

Other Benefits
- 2 stays and 5 nights towards elite status per card- so if you have both personal and business cards, you start the year with 4 stays/10 nights. 
- Gold status with $30,000 in spend per calendar year
- Chip and Signature technology for better acceptance abroad
- Starwood allows families living at the same address to pool points in one central account for free

Key Negatives
Sadly, this card still charges foreign transaction fees, which bewilders me- especially since Amex lifted these bogus fees from the Delta cards in May of this year. I suspect the same will happen to these cards, but until then I do not recommend using them for any foreign transactions. I leave mine safely locked up when I travel abroad and I use my Sapphire Preferred, even at Starwood properties, because I still get 2x points, plus a 7% yearly dividend, making it a 2.14 point per dollar spent haul on all travel and dining.

The other key downside to this card is that airline transfers can take weeks to process. So in this day and age of award availability coming and going in the blink of an eye and many airlines restricting their award hold policies, it is really annoying that you need to transfer your SPG to airline miles in advance of booking an award in many circumstances. I really hope they change this, but until then, the utility of these transferable points takes a hit, especially compared to the instantaneous transferability of most American Express Membership Rewards and Chase Ultimate Rewards transfer partners.

Who Is Eligible?
In terms of qualification, Amex specifies that the welcome bonus is not available to applicants who have or have had this product in the past. This is a pretty blanket policy and is in line with what we heard about American Express not allowing for multiple bonuses on the same card products as of May 1, 2014. However, you are still eligible if you’ve never had the personal, but have had the business or vice versa.

The Ultimate Guide To Starwood Preferred Guest Airline Transfer Partners
Starwood “Enhances” Cash & Points Awards
Major Starwood Preferred Guest Elite Enhancements
Spotlight on Starwood Preferred Guest Elite Status and Why I Continue To Qualify For Platinum
Maximizing Starwood Preferred Guest Airline Transfers

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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  • Ravi

    I signed up for the Business SPG card 3 months ago with a lower sign up bonus. Called Amex today to see if they could apply this offer to my signup since it was still within the first 6 months and they did it with no issues at all. Thanks for the heads up!

  • thepointsguy

    Nice! Nothing like dialing for free points!

  • Joshua G

    Curious, If I already have the Personal, can I refer myself for the Business and get the 5K points?

  • Geoff Wells
  • DubZ

    Can you transfer SPG points to someone elses frequent flyer account?

  • thepointsguy

    Technically no, but you can transfer SPG to SPG with anyone in your household (has the same address) and then they can transfer to whichever program they’d like

  • guyver2077

    Signed up for the personal card last year during the last promotion. (I believe it was 30k as well)

    I guess I need to know what to do since my personal card is probably about to hit the year mark and the annual fee will kick in. Does applying for the business card now make sense? (no business but I see people doing it)
    Should I just close the personal card after one year?

  • DubZ

    How do they know? Do they check for a name match if say you’re transferring SPG to AA miles?

  • dee seiffer

    Yes

  • dee seiffer

    Good to know. Hubby just got the personal card with 25K sign-up bonus. (I got the 5K referral bonus.) Hopefully, they’ll up his to 30K and we’ll do it again with a business card. Yay.

  • Amanda

    I just tried to refer my husband (for the $5k bonus) and it is saying my card (SPG Business) is not eligible to refer. Anyone else have this happen?

  • Tony

    I just signed up for SPG Amex personal card several days ago(25k bonus), I called in to see if they would apply the new offer, but said they couldn’t. Is there a direct number I could call or contact?

  • Robert
  • Traderlatino

    Got it!

  • August

    I just chatted with Amex online. They declined to apply this offer to my account. They said I only qualify for the one I signed up for (25k) in March. Said offers change from time to time and referred me to the terms and conditions. sigh ;/

  • yourPFpro

    Wow, that’s awesome. I know most people might balk at 30k pts but I usually redeem for 3 cents/pt + at hotels using cash and points option. I’ve got two stays booked this summer at the Rome Excelsior and Athens Grande Bretagne :)

    I already have the biz and just signed up for the personal so I’ll ping Amex and see if they’ll bump up my personal from 25k to 30k. If anyone needs a referral for either card, just let me know on my site or via twitter!

  • TJBFan

    Just got approved for 3k limit :) Looks like this will be my only AMEX card though, as the wording leads me to believe I wouldn’t be able to get in on points for Delta or Jet Blue bonus offers. It’s too bad they don’t offer a yearly bonus similar to Chase cards (free night stay or bonus points to account).

  • Ryan Prillman

    Man I just tried to get Amex to apply the 30k bonus to my recently opened SPG amex account. They denied me stating that was a targeted bonus offer for new accounts.

  • jay mt

    I apply for Hilton Surpass card and I was denied bonus of 60000 points
    because I had a card in 2009. Keep in mind before you apply. They go all
    the way back 7 years.

  • raygine

    5K point can stay for how many more night?

  • dee seiffer

    The rep said she couldn’t up Hubby’s 25K to 30K retroactively. So, Ravi, you scored!

  • LAKnight

    A month ago, there is a rumor AMEX SPG may bring new benefits to cardholders by asking AMEX SPG cardholders to fill out a survey. Thought we could benefit from it.

  • Holly Johnson

    Apply for the business card using your current SPG number. Then, once it is in hand, cancel the personal card.

  • theRideshareGuy

    Try calling

  • DubZ

    Never heard of that before…should just be one offer per person.

  • guyver2077

    Thanks for the tip. I’ll give it a shot.

  • Jake from MSP

    That’s only 5 years…

  • Holly Johnson

    That’s what I did =) I hope it worked for you!

  • guyver2077

    Im still debating. This would be the first time applying for a ‘business’ card. From what I’ve read on here, my credit will take a hard hit this first time. Should that worry me?

  • Steven

    I have the Personal and Business versions of the SPG cards. Would be willing to help with award booking or general questions you may have if using my referral link up to 10 people max. Email me if interested wishwell85 at hotmail.com

  • Ernest Thany

    I do have a questions. Right now, I already have Amex premier Gold as my first Amex, and I get a sign up bonus from it about 3 months ago. If I apply this card, Will I get the signup bonus of 30,000 points? Because I’ve read some article that mention American Express only give 1 signup bonus for each customer no matter how many cards they apply. I also read the review that mention many people disappointed that they are not eligible to get the Amex SPG sign up bonus after they spend $5,000 in the 6months, which I don’t want to happen to me. can you please explain it to me? Thank you

  • ocscorpio

    The only thing I would like to see with this card is a higher SPG status. It seems like everyone and their mother have SPG gold status, to the point where I’ve only really gotten good upgrades when I’m overseas. Being AMEX platinum offers you gold status just for having their card, it would be nice if SPG’s branded card offered you the opportunity to earn a higher status, even if it meant an increased spend beyond $ 30k to reach it.

  • John

    I never have AMEX card before. Will this be a great start for my first AMEX card to keep (since the first card always crucial for credit history with the bank and you should never cancel it).

    Can I apply BOTH personal and business SPG in a same day? if so, which one should I apply first in order not to lessen my chance of being approved (personal or business first)?

  • Joel G.

    So I applied and was approved about a month ago for the 25k bonus. When I saw this I called AMEX to try and up the bonus. I was told that the bonus could not be changed. Undeterred, I called back a 2nd time and was denied again, this time even by a supervisor.

    I was friendly, and clear about what the issue was. Anyone else have the same experience or know what i did wrong?

  • guyver2077

    I’m having trouble maximizing some of these SPG points i’ve built up. My problem is that cash+points is rarely offered the times i’ve been looking for something. When it is offered, it’s usually for the most basic standard room which is not what i’m looking for. If I’m taking a vacation, I usually tend to look at the nicer room options. Same thing when I try to use my starpoints to book a room. Any suggestions?

  • Tintin

    Will I get the full 30,000 points if I already have an Amex Platinum card?
    I got an email offer from SPG that only mentions you won’t get the bonus points if you already had this particular card, but in the Amex website they say you may not be eligible if they identify you as an Amex cardholder. Thanks

  • guyver2077

    I realized that keeping the personal still gives you a year credit of 2 stays/5nights so it’s worth the fee to just keep them as I build toward gold.

  • Jason Plaster

    I have a question about the SPG card – I know I have had this card at one point, probably 8 years ago, but I can’t remember if it was the personal card or the business card – (since you can’t get bonus points 2nd time for the same card), is there a way to tell if you will be eligible before you apply and make the 5K spend?

  • yourPFpro

    Is the 5k referral dead? I just tried to send it to someone from my personal SPG and it won’t let me.

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