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Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available. View the current offers here – Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card from American Express, Starwood Preferred Guest Business Credit Card from American Express
Read more: http://thepointsguy.com/cards/
TPG reader Roy emailed me to ask:
“The 3:1 transfer ratio of American Express Membership Reward points to Starwood Preferred Guest points is not attractive, but I really need some SPG points soon. Do you have any strategies for quickly earning SPG points?”
First off, I agree with Roy, the 3:1 transfer ratio of Amex Membership Rewards to Starpoints is definitely not attractive. While I don’t have a crystal ball to see the future of Amex transfer bonuses, they usually run a 50% transfer bonus once or twice a year, which yields a 2:1 transfer ratio. While even 2:1 isn’t a fabulous ratio, Starpoints are extremely valuable, so the transfer may be worthwhile if you need the points.
Another strategy is to get the the Starwood Preferred Guest Amex or SPG Business Amex, each of which offer a sign-up bonus of 25,000 points. With the personal card you earn 25,000 points after $3,000 spent within the first 3 months and with the business version you earn 10,000 points after your first purchase, and 15,000 more after you spend $5,000 in the first 6 months of cardmembership. You can also buy SPG points, and Starwood just ran a 25% discount promotion for buying Starpoints. These promotions can be worthwhile, especially when you have an urgent need for the points, so keep your eyes open for more.
Starwood is offering a double points promotion through mid-April at participating properties, so if you have any upcoming vacations or trips , you could try to stay in one of these particular hotels in order to earn more points for your stays.
One of the reasons Starwood points are so valuable is because they aren’t that easy to get. So your best bet is to get the SPG credit cards and put as much spending as possible (within reason) on them to earn as many points as you can. Good luck!
With great transfer partners like United and Hyatt, 2x points on travel & dining and a 50,000 point sign up bonus, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is a great card for those looking to get into the points and miles game.
- Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
- Named Best Credit Card for Flexible Travel Redemption - Kiplinger's Personal Finance, July 2016
- 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
- Earn 5,000 bonus points after you add the first authorized user and make a purchase in the first 3 months from account opening
- No foreign transaction fees
- 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
- Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $625 toward travel
- No blackout dates or travel restrictions - as long as there's a seat on the flight, you can book it through Chase Ultimate Rewards