Starwood Improves The Signup Bonus Offer!

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Update: Expired

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Starwood American Express 30K Consumer Card Linky

The Starwood card is still my favorite and go-to card for general spending, with an edge over the Chase Sapphire Preferred for general spending benefits if you are spending in the US.

Starwood’s usual signup offer has always been 10,000 bonus points for spending $1 and 15,000 bonus points after spending $15,000 within 6 months.
Now you only need to spend $5,000 within 6 months (just $833 per month) to get the bonus 15,000 points.
So spend $5,000 and you’ll have 10,000 points from the first purchase, 15,000 bonus points for spending $5,000, and 5,000 points for the base spending for a total of 30,000 Starpoints!

For now it appears that this change is only for the Starwood Consumer Card and not for the Starwood Business Card.

If you’re looking for other cards to apply for simultaneously just look at this forum thread for other great options.
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There’s no fee on the Starwood card for the first year and $65 thereafter though you can often get bonus points or account credits for keeping it open for additional years. You can always cancel any American Express card within 60 days of being charged the fee on your statement and you will receive a full refund of the fee. If you cancel after 60 days you get a pro-rated refund based on how many months you had the card.

As points are deposited into your Starwood account you do not lose your points if you cancel your card like with American Express Membership Rewards points.  You do need to maintain some activity in your Starwood account every 12 months though to keep it active.

Starwood’s cash and points chart make expensive hotel stays dirt cheap.  I’ve stayed in $190/night hotels for just $30 and 1,600 Starpoints and gotten upgraded to amazing suites.  Even without the suite that makes each Starpoint worth 10 cents each.

When you redeem points for a hotel stay when using just points you also get the 5th night for free!  Plus there are no blackout dates or capacity controls on standard rooms starting at 2,000 points per night.

Of you can transfer your Starpoints into miles with dozens of airlines at great ratios.  20,000 Starpoints becomes 25,000 miles on most of those airlines.  20,000 Starpoints becomes a whopping 50,000 kilometers on LAN, a South American OneWorld carrier.  LAN is partners with AA and will book you a ticket say from New York to Montreal or Toronto for just 16,000 kilometers.  Or they can book you on BA from London to Paris for just 12,000 Starpoints.  Fly on LAN from the US to Brazil for just 48,000 kilomoters.  Plus LAN never charges any fuel surcharges!

The Starwood card is much better than other cards (Like HAS advantage) for going to Israel.
With HAS you are stuck with just the availability on El Al. Plus El Al charges hundreds of dollars in fuel surcharges on award tickets.
With Starwood you have thousands of routing possibilities for free flights to Israel for less points than with HAS. And even if you want to only go to Israel on El Al you can just transfer Starwood points to AA and they will book you on El Al without any fuel surcharges!!!

There are also often bonus miles promotions for even more miles when you transfer points to airlines.  In the past bonuses for transferring have ranged from 25% to a whopping 312% for transfers to Air Canada, AA, Delta, and USAirways.

Starwood Nights and flights option makes 5 night stays even cheaper when you transfer Starpoints to miles at the same time as when you book the stay.

When you have the Starwood card you also get other benefits like 3rd night free at Sheraton and 2/5 elite qualifying stays and nights for each card you have.

Plus the card comes with amazing return, purchase and warranty protections that are worth their weight in gold.  And of course, American Express’ top-notch dispute/chargeback resolution.

Curious about the other 29 Starwood transfer options and ratios? Here they are!  With so may different airlines to transfer to it’s just a matter of figuring out which one has the lowest rates to where you want to go.  I’ve separated them by alliance so you can know which airlines are partners and will therefore let you book award travel on partner airlines.  Of course airlines also have lots non-alliance partners, but by definition they are partners with all airlines in the same alliance.

OneWorld Alliance:
AA: 20,000 Starpoints=25,000 miles
British Airways: 20,000 Starpoints=25,000 miles
Cathay Pacific Asia Miles: 20,000 Starpoints=25,000 miles
JAL/Japan Airways: 20,000 Starpoints=25,000 miles
LAN: 20,000 Starpoints=50,000 kms
Mexicana: 20,000 Starpoints=25,000 miles

Skyteam Alliance:
Air France/KLM Flying Blue: 20,000 Starpoints=25,000 miles
Alitalia: 20,000 Starpoints=25,000 miles
Delta: 20,000 Starpoints=25,000 miles

Star Alliance:
Air Canada: 20,000 Starpoints=25,000 miles
Air China: 20,000 Starpoints=25,000 miles
Air New Zealand: 20,000 Starpoints=385 points
ANA/All Nippon: 20,000 Starpoints=25,000 miles
Asiana: 20,000 Starpoints=25,000 miles
Continental: 20,000 Starpoints=12,500 miles
Lufthansa Miles & More: 20,000 Starpoints=25,000 miles
Singapore: 20,000 Starpoints=25,000 miles
Thai: 20,000 Starpoints=25,000 miles
United: 20,000 Starpoints=12,500 miles
USAirways: 20,000 Starpoints=25,000 miles

Unaligned:
Air Berlin (Expected to join Oneworld in 2012): 20,000 Starpoints=25,000 miles
Alaska (Partners with many various airlines): 20,000 Starpoints=25,000 miles
Emirates: 20,000 Starpoints=25,000 miles
Hawaiian: 20,000 Starpoints=25,000 miles
Kingfisher (Expected to join Oneworld later this year): 20,000 Starpoints=25,000 miles
Qatar: 20,000 Starpoints=25,000 miles
Saudi Arabian: 20,000 Starpoints=25,000 miles
Varig: 20,000 Starpoints=12,500 miles
Virgin Atlantic: 20,000 Starpoints=25,000 miles

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36 Comments on "Starwood Improves The Signup Bonus Offer!"

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thingywingy

I remember seeing on dansdeals that best tranfer is to ANA. When is LAN better? When is ANA better?

Dan

@thingywingy:
ANA is no longer the great option that it used to be as they added heavy fuel surcharges. They still have low rates with many free stopovers, but you’ll have to pay $$$ for that privilege now.

Partners like USAirways, Air Canada, American, LAN, and Delta all allow you to avoid paying fuel surcharges in most cases.

JA

Sapphire Preferred gives 2x points of dining and travel.
AND you can transfer to CO/UA at 1:1. SPG Amex offers neither. I am finding SPG card less and less useful now.

Puppydogs

Dan, Just out of curiosity why do you rate the Starwood Card higher than the Chase Sapphire Card, when the Sapphire card gives you a higher signup bonus (50k or even 100k), an annual 7% dividend etc. I know the annual fee for the Sapphire card is a little higher than the Starwood card after the inital year, but with the bonus I think it is worth it.

reader

I’m pretty sure I saw a Starwood offer on your site just a month ago that gives 15k bonus after 4.5k spent in three months… I signed up then, how do I find out what bonus schedule I’m on?

YudiG

My father just got approved for this card, two days ago. Will he be able to get the 15k bonus after the new terms or must he spend $15,000?

Any way to work this out?

Dan

@JA:
Exactly why I use Sapphire Preferred now for travel and dining. But for general spending Starwood is still best.
And you can transfer Starpoints to USAir or Air Canada for travel on Continental or Star Alliance at a 1:1.25 ratio.

@Puppydogs:
I said the Starwood card is the best for general spending.
For a signup bonus, obviously getting 56K for spending $3,000 on the Sapphire Preferred is better than getting 30K for spending $5,000 on Starwood.

But for overall spending I think SPG is still best. Although Sapphire Preferred is strong competition. Especially if you couple Sapphire Preferred with Freedom or Ink Cash. See this post for more info on that combo:
http://www.dansdeals.com/archives/16061

@reader:
Call and ask?

@YudiG:
Call or send a secure message to find out!

Yehuda

Are there any 100K Amex cards around now? Seems that most of the codes in the forum are expired.

Clevelander

I signed up for the $4500/30,000 points deal and when i got the card they said i didnt. Is there any way to prove that to them? I also applied for a business card and one for my wife which I did not activate yet- is there any way for me to get this new deal that you have listed here?

Malkie

Dose the Sapphire Preferred gives 2 points on gas? Thanks.

Puppydogs

@Dan: Thanks Dan

MIKE

Dan,I used to have a starrwood card a few month ago can I still apply. Also just applied for the amex gold card a few weeks ago do i need to wait b4 applying for this offer?

HSS

Dan,

When in the past have you gotten a “whopping 312%”?

HSS

no comment

dan, you clearly hate capital one. What is wrong with the capital 1 2% on travel card? Explain it to me. You keep talking about how you may be able to get 2 cents a mile, but capital one’s card is ALWAYS 2 cents a mile. That doesn’t include an excellent ‘earn more rewards’ plan.

No FX fees either.

I have signed up for the starwoods card to get the 30k bonus. I also did a business one. But I plan to go back to my cap1 card. I am in the arbitrage business and I often get 2 cents extra per dollar by using my Cap1 card when spending. I’ve earned over 430 dollars in travel dollars on cap1 during the last few months on 21,500. Would I have gotten to 430 on a starwoods card? Unlikely.

SG

Starwood Hotels donot allow you to book a room if you have >2 people in your group. Does this mean that you need to make 2 separate award reservations?

Dan

@Yehuda:
Nope.

@Clevelander:
Send an Secure Message via americanexpress.com/messagecenter to social media>twitter and explain that you signed up with a link for 30K for spending $4,500, which was a public, non-targeted promotion.

@Malkie:
No.

@MIKE:
You can apply again now.

@HSS:
http://www.dansdeals.com/archives/4365

@no comment:
Ask Capital One how many miles they want for a trip a round-the-world ticket in First class suites like my wife and I took earlier this year. The retail value was about $250,000. Thus you would need 25 Million Capital One “Miles” for that trip.

Or you can use 230,000 or 280,000 AA miles, regardless of the price of the tickets.
185,000 Starpoints become 230,000 AA miles.

185,000 Starpoints or 25 Million Capital One points. Tough call…

Or a more common redemption, a business class ticket to Israel with a cot of $5,000. With Capital One you would need 500,000 miles. With Starwood you can transfer 100,000 points into 125,000 USAir miles and have more than enough miles to fly on any Star Alliance carrier without any fuel surcharges. Or go in business class for as little as 40,000 points with some surcharges.

A Capital One point is worth a penny a piece no matter what. It can’t be worth more than that. With real airline/hotel miles and points the sky is the limit. 2 cents is the worst you should do, but 50 cents per points is entirely possible as well if you play your cards right. That’s a whole lot more fun!

Now if you just redeem for domestic coach and you always redeem months in advance you may do better with Capital One. But that last-minute ticket from NY to Cleveland will cost $1,300 or 130,000 Capital One points. With Sapphire Preferred you can transfer to Continental miles where you will need just 20,000 for the round-trip. With the 1.07 bonus that’s just 18,691.

@SG:
I’m not sure what you mean? More than 2 adults in one room?
Another really bad thing about Capital One cards-they hard pull all 3 of your credit reports instead of just one like with the other banks. 3 times the hit to your credit score!

Gabbai

Dan, surely you cannot lose your American Express Membership Rewards points if you transfer them out of MR before cancelling your card.

alce

Can I apply for a second starwood card

starwood card

elih

Dan,
I missed something, could you please explain.

“and 2/5 elite qualifying stays and nights for each card you have”

Thanks and Shana Tova,
Eli

IB

Dan,

Do you have any idea how long this offer will be available? I’m in the middle of spending for another card, but don’t want to miss this offer. Thanks!

SG

@Dan: I meant if I select 2 adults per room and 2 rooms it gives the following message:
‘Award stays limited to 1 room / 2 adults. Please change rooms / adults to see availability.’
I guess this is a bug in their system.

sml

Dan:
Since the Starwood Card is also an American Express card will Continental still accept the transfer of points after September 30? If so, can the points be used on all their partner airlines? What does Starwood charge for the transfer of points?
BTW in reading all the information that you and your readers have posted I have accumulated lots of miles for travel to Israel by following some of the suggestions. Thanks so much!

Menashe

Dan,
I had a starwoods card a few years ago. If I apply for a new one do I qualify for the 30k bonus?

MIKE

Dan I need your input! I just applied for the chase marriot 50k bonus (as well as the hyatt card). I got declined because I alredy have a marriot card. I spoke to chase reconsideration dept who agreed to alow me to open the card if I close my existing one. (I explained I needed the new card bec I wanted a different annivesary date for my annual free night). Will I still get the 50k bonus?? bec I now read the fine print that says existing or previous marriot card holders are not eligable for bonus points?

Dan

@Gabbai:
Of course not, I’m talking about if you don’t transfer them.

@alce:
I had 3 active at one point, but YMMV.

@elih:
That’s for qualifying for Starwood elite status.

@IB:
I’m not sure yet.

@SG:
Just book it separately or call or chat to book.

@sml:
I don’t follow your question.

Nothing is changing with Starwood, you can still transfer to all of their partners listed in the post.
There is no tax for transferring Starpoints into miles like there is for American Express Membership Rewards points into miles.

@Menashe:
YMMV.

@MIKE:
YMMV, but try asking on http://www.dansdeals.com/forums

jack

can i have the starwood business card and the starwood consumer card at the same time ? & which one will afeect my credit repot & score ?

Dan

@jack:
Absolutely.

The line of credit or spending on the business card won’t help or hurt you.

jack

thanks

mark

Dan, maybe you can confirm if this works.
transfer Spg to Amtrak 1:1
transfer Amtrak to CO 1:1
u then avoid the 2:1 hit

Eli

I have the Chase Saphire card is there anyway to upgrade to preffered and get the same sign on bonus?

Daniel B

Dan,
I signed up for an Amex card about 2 months ago and I’m on the $15K in 6 month spending threshold. Is there anyway for me to get them to put me on the new $5K threshold?

Harry

can i join my spg accounts from my business card with my consumer card?

steve

hi dan i got this card through your link but i never got the points i even sent a secure message and they said that i will get the points when i spend 15,000 in 6 months, is there a code that i can call them with or should i try again?

Dan

@mark:
Not easy to transfer Amtrak points.

@Eli:
Apply for the preferred card.

@Daniel B:
Try sending them a secure message.

@Harry:
Sure, just call SPG.

@steve:
Attach a screenshot of the $5K offer to the secure message.
The best secure message dept is their social media>twitter team.

steve

thanks, where can i get a screenshot cuz now the link goes to the regular offer?

Mendy

hi dan
is there a way for me to upgrade to gold without staying they nights the require?

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