Update: This offer is has expired.
The Starwood American Express credit card offer of 30,000 points will end on Monday August 22, 2011. The current offer is 10,000 points after your first purchase on the card then another 20,000 points with $4,500 spend within 3 months. The annual fee of $65 is waived for the first year. Also, after your first year, you can typically call the retention department and they will give you some offer to stay as a card member (I receive 3,000 points this year). I wrote more about this here.
Although this offer is not as good as some of the other 50,000 point promotions out there, it is the best offer you will see from Starwood. Their typical offer is 10,000 points, and usually there is a promotion on top of that giving you 15,000 points after $15,000 in spend (for a total of 25,000 points).
Aside from the promotion, I personally believe the Starwood credit card is the best one out there for your every day spend. While you earn 1 point/$1 spend, which is similar to other credit cards, it takes a lot less points to redeem at an SPG hotel than another hotel or an airline free flight. Additionally, Starwood has some of the nicest, luxury hotels out there (especially internationally). And, if you decide you would prefer the airline miles instead of the hotel points, you can transfer your points to any participating airline at a 1:1 ratio (for the most part) and receive an additional 5,000 miles for every 20,000 points transferred over. This is my personal credit card that I use for my every day spend – and I love the Starwood brand!
Starwood Credit Card Benefits:
- One (1) SPG points for every $1 spent on every day purchases
- One (1) additional SPG points for every $1 spent at participating Starwood properties — a total of four (4) points will be earned on every Starwood stay when using your Starwood American Express credit card
- Get your 3rd night free when you stay 2 consecutive nights at participating Sheraton hotels and resorts worldwide
- Receive 5 nights and 2 stay credits toward SPG elite status each year
Check out a previous post on this topic to see best redemption opportunities. Note that you can no longer refer friends to the offer and receive the 5,000 bonus points.
Do not forget to apply if you intend to do so, as I do not foresee a similar promotion coming out again till next summer (they seem to offer this promotion yearly during the summer months).