A bonus on top of a bonus?!?
When it comes to co-branded hotel loyalty credit cards, the Starwood Preferred Guest American Express is the most lucrative program to get involved with by far. And, for a limited time, you can earn a 30,000 starpoint signup bonus instead of the typical 25,000 bonus.
The deal is this: Earn 10,000 starpoints after your first purchase on the card and another 20,000 points after spending $5,000 on the card within the first 6 months of card ownership. You also earn up to 5 starpoints/$1 spent at eligible Starwood properties and 1 point/$1 spent on all purchases.
Not sure you’ll be able to spend enough money in the first 6 months to meet the minimum spending requirements? Here are some tips on how to meet the minimum spend required.
So, if you sign up for the card and hit the minimum spending requirement, you should net 35,000 starpoints at minimum. If you and your spouse do it, you’ll be rocking 70K points. Not bad. But, what does that get you?
Starpoints Rock as Hotel Loyalty Points
If you’re solely interested in earning points for free hotel stays, the SPG program is absolutely top notch. That’s because Starwood hotels are nearly everywhere in the world and come in all shapes and sizes- from very basic all the way to high-class luxury. The SPG program splits its hotels into 7 different categories that require varying levels of points required for a free room redemption. Here are a few of some of the most interesting hotels in each category:
Category 1 (2,000 points weekend, 3,000 points weekday)
- Le Meridien Pyramids Hotel and Spa- Cairo, Egypt
- Four Points by Sheraton Punta Cana Village- Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
Category 2 (3,000 points weekend, 4,000 points weekday)
- The Westin Zagreb- Zagreb, Croatia
- Le Meridian N’Fis- Marrakech, Morocco
Category 3 (7,000 points)
- Four Points by Sheraton, Brussels- Brussels, Belgium
- The Westin Siray Bay Resort and Spa- Phuket, Thailand
Category 4 (10,000 points)
- Walt Disney World Swan- Orlando, Florida
- Sheraton Mar del Plata Hotel- Buenos Aires, Argentina
Category 5 (12,000 points off-peak, 16,000 points peak)
- W Hollywood- Hollywood, California
- Hotel Pulitzer- Amsterdam, Netherlands
Category 6 (20,000 points off-peak, 25,000 points peak)
- W New York, Times Square- New York City, USA
- The Westin Paris- Paris, France
Category 7 (30,000 points off-peak, 35,000 peak)
- W Retreat and Spa- Maldives
- Hotel President Wilson- Geneva, Switzerland
Keep in mind, these are only a handful of the hotels offered through the SPG program. There are literally hundreds of other hotels and resorts all over the world you can choose from. If you want to browse other SPG resorts, you can do so here.
Your 5th Night is Free
Another perk currently offered by SPG is that your 5th night is free when you book any four consecutive nights at any hotel category 3-7. That means that you could book four nights at the Walt Disney World Swan, for instance, for 40,000 points then get an additional 5th night for free. This perk can be especially helpful when you’re trying to stretch your points as far as possible and plan on spending more than four nights in one area. When the fifth night is free, you might as well stay another day, right?
Nights & Flights
As if these perks weren’t already enough, SPG also offers another program called Nights & Flights. It works like this:
- With Nights & Flights, you can redeem 60,000 Starpoints for 50,000 airline miles and five free nights at a Category 3 hotel or resort.
- With Nights & Flights II, you can redeem 70,000 Starpoints and receive 50,000 airline miles and five free nights at a Category 4 hotel or resort.
That means that you could cash in 70,000 starpoints for five nights at the LeMeridien Phuket Beach Resort in Thailand (a Category 4 hotel) and also gain 50,000 airline miles to use toward your flights. Sounds good, doesn’t it?
Starpoints Become Valuable Airline Miles
Even if you have no plans to stay in a Starwood property, it makes a ton of sense to sign up for the current SPG 30,000 point bonus offer. That’s because starpoints are fully transferable to a wide range of airline loyalty programs. In other words, starpoints become airline miles if you want.
Even better, the SPG program offers a 5,000 mile bonus any time you transfer starpoints to an airline in increments of 20,000. So, for instance, if you transfer 20,000 starpoints to American Airlines, you end up with 25,000 AA miles. This works for all of the airline transfer partners that allow starpoints to transfer at a 1:1 ratio.
|Frequent Flyer Program||Exchange Ratio (Starpoints : Miles)|
|Aeromexico Club Premier||1:1|
|Air China Companion||1:1|
|Air New Zealand & Air Points||65:1|
|Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan||1:1|
|All Nippon Airways (ANA) Mileage Club||1:1|
|American Airlines AAdvantage||1:1|
|British Airways Executive Club||1:1|
|China Eastern Airlines||1:1|
|China Southern Airlines’ Sky Pearl Club||1:1|
|Delta Air Lines SkyMiles||1:1|
|Japan Airlines (JAL) Mileage Bank||1:1|
|LAN Airlines LANPASS Kms||1:1.5|
|Miles and More||1:1|
|Saudi Arabian Airlines Alfursan||1:1|
|Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer||1:1|
|Thai Airways International Royal Orchid Plus||1:1|
|US Airways Dividend Miles||1:1|
|United Mileage Plus||2:1|
|Virgin Atlantic Flying Club||1:1|
If you haven’t signed up for the Starwood Preferred Guest American Express 30K point offer, you’ve still got time. The offer is reportedly good until June 30th, but will likely not return until next year. And if you’re interested in earning free hotel stays or free flights, or both, it doesn’t get any better than this.
Do you have the Starwood Preferred Guest American Express card? What have you redeemed your points for?