I receive compensation for many links on this blog. You don’t have to use these links, but I am grateful to you if you do. American Express, Citibank, Chase, and other banks are advertising partners of this site. I do not write about all credit cards that are available — instead focusing on miles, points, and cash back (and currencies that can be converted into the same).
Instead of requiring $5000 spend within 6 months to earn the full 25,000 point signup bonus on the Starwood American Express cards, there’s a limited-time offer that requires $3000 within 3 months instead.
Travel With Grant has the links for both the personal and business cards.
This card has been in my wallet since 2001, I signed up with no bonus at all, and there has never been an offer of more points than this with a $3000 spend level (the 30,000 point offers require the usual spend). (In 2006 at the same time they brought out their small business card they bumped the signup bonus offer to 10,000 points. The standard bonus had been 4000 points, but there were also 6000 point offers.)
Starwood points are the single most valuable currency there is. When transferring points into 20,000 miles you get 5000 bonus miles.
They’re flexible with more airline mileage transfer options than anyone else and with ways to stretch points on hotel stays with cash and points awards.
(Westin Diplomat, Hollywood Florida)
Way back in May 2002 when I first started this blog I wrote, “the credit card I recommend most often for earning miles is the Starwood American Express, because points transfer 1:1 into most airline programs and you get a 5k mile bonus for transferring 20k points — equivalent to earning 1.25 miles per dollar on all purchases.”
My Starwood Amex has gotten me an overwater bungalow on Bora Bora and an ocean pool villa in Phuket. It’s gotten me stays at the W hotels in Hong Kong, Seoul, New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, and Seattle. And free stays at the Le Meridien in Chiang Rai, the Sheraton on the river in Bangkok, the Parker Meridien in New York. Not to mention the St. Regis in DC, the Diplomat in Hollywood, Florida, the Westin Beijing, and the Le Meridien Barcelona. And many, many more stays over the years.
(View from my deck, points redemption in Bora Bora… at a property that’s now a Hilton, hah!)
The bonus isn’t huge. Spend on the card is the best way to earn Starpoints.
I hate how it can take quite awhile for points transfers to airlines, but they do offer airlines that are hard to get points with otherwise (like Japan Airlines, which is great for redemptions on Emirates).
Editorial note: any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer. Comments made in response to this post are not provided or commissioned nor have they been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any bank. It is not the responsibility of any advertiser to ensure that questions are answered, either.
- You can join the 40,000+ people who see these deals and analysis every day — sign up to receive posts by email (just one e-mail per day) or subscribe to the RSS feed. It’s free. You can also follow me on Twitter for the latest deals. Don’t miss out!