Update 2: The current signup and spending threshold bonus for the Canadian Starwood Mastercard is slated to expire on 08/31! Be sure to sign up before then to take advantage of the current offer!
Update: Some interesting things to point out from tipster up North:
-You only need to spend $40CAD in a Starwood hotel to qualify for the first stay bonus. So if you have a cash and points stay where the cash portion is at least $40 and charge it to your Starwood MBNA card you will get a 5,000 Starpoint bonus. You can also qualify by adding other incidentals to your hotel bill even on an award stay as long as they hit $40CAD.
-You are able to have more than one Starwood MBNA card and they can credit all to the same Starwood account, so that if you reach $30,000CAD in annual spending you can switch to the 2nd card, as the 5,000 Starpoint threshold bonuses for hitting 10K in spending ends once you hit $30,000 in a year on a card.
Originally posted on 03/09/09:
Canadians rejoice-You too can collect Starwood points via credit card spending, plus there is no annual fee for the Canadian Starwood credit card.
The Canadian version of the Starwood credit card is a Mastercard and offers 5,000 Starpoints after your first purchase.
You earn 1 Starpoint for every 2 Canadian dollars spent, and there are threshold spend bonuses. You get a bonus 5,000 Starpoints for every $10,000 CAD in spending, up to 15,000 Starpoints for threshold spending annually.
You will also get a bonus 5,000 Starpoints after your first stay in a Starwood hotel. (Would be interesting to know if a purchase from the hotel bar would qualify as well…)
Besides for the obvious appeal of being able to transfer Starpoints into miles of dozens of airlines at favorable ratios, there are also some great values at Canadian hotels.
Take the Westin Harbour Castle in downtown Toronto. (Side note: I have the best memories of this hotel as a 10 year old getting the autographs of the ’95 World Series bound Indians that I described a couple years ago in a post titled “Manny being Manny.” I believe that most visiting teams still stay at this hotel) A random date check (06/07) on spg.com shows a rate of $279. Using points, which have no capacity controls, it is available for 7,000 Starpoints, or a value of about 4 cents per Starpoint. Better yet, it is also available using Cash & Points for just 2,800 Starpoints and $45, or a value of a whopping 8.4 cents per Starpoint! It would take a solid Nights & Flights Starpoint redemption to beat that kind of valuation!