Or, consider other cards for 50,000 more miles or points that transfer into United miles with additional flexibility for your everyday spending.
$1,000 toward travel or transfer to United, Southwest, and more.
Citi® Hilton HHonorsTM Visa Signature® Card - no annual fee.
If you’re hoping to stay in a Starwood or Marriott hotel in the next year, and haven’t yet snagged The Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express, read on.
Until April 5, 2017, you can earn up to 35,000 bonus Starpoints®.
So with $5,000 in spending on the card within 6 months you can earn the full 35,000 points.
Both the Personal and Business versions of the cards are in on the offer, though the Business version has a higher $8,000 spending requirement to earn the full 35,000 points:
These are the highest introductory point offers we’ve seen for these cards, last seen in March 2016, though with a lower spending requirement.
The Starwood Amex is our favorite hotel credit card, with lots of flexibility you can read about below.
Just note the terms of both offers state you won’t be eligible for the bonus if you’ve had the card before. So if you’ve had the Personal card before you can’t get that bonus again, even if you no longer have the card. But you can get the Business card’s bonus if you haven’t yet had the Business version of the card.
If you already have these cards, you can still get in on a deal by referring a friend to apply for the 35,000 point offer and getting 5,000 points for yourself if your friend opens and activates an account. You can earn a maximum of 55,000 points this way.
The Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express offers:
The Business version of the card also offers complimentary access to the Sheraton® Club lounge, though booking requirements apply. Basically, if your stay is eligible to earn Starpoints, you can use the lounge benefit.
Starwood points are some of the most family friendly around, and you can think of them as twice as valuable as hotel points from other chains. They’re worth about 2 cents each for many hotel redemptions.
35,000 Starwood points can get you…
Almost 3 nights at the low key Sheraton in Kauai, saving over $600
3 nights at the Sheraton Park Anaheim, within walking distance to Disneyland
Up to 3 nights at the Walt Disney World Swan or Dolphin, both right on the property at Walt Disney World
Almost 3 nights at the boutique town hall hotel in London
You can see a full list of hotels by point price using this tool at SPG.com to get a sense of the value you could get from the points.
If you like airline miles, you can move your Starwood points into your airline frequent flier accounts with over 20 airline mile programs anytime, including American AAdvantage and Delta SkyMiles. Most airlines have a better than even exchange rate, so your Starwood points are just as valuable as the miles in your airline account.
Unfortunately Southwest Rapid Rewards isn’t an exchange option and transfers to United MileagePlus have a bad exchange rate. It’s also a one-way street. Once you transfer points into an airline program, you can’t send them back to Starwood.
Here’s a list of all the airline mile programs you can transfer your Starwood points into:
This is a slightly more attractive offer than the 80,000 point offer for the Chase Marriott Rewards Premier Visa. Starwood points can convert into Marriott points at a rate of 3 Marriott points for every Starwood point, so 35,000 Starwood points can get you a big 105,000 Marriott points. Plus, Starwood points give you the option to turn your points into real airline miles at an attractive conversion rate.
Starwood is merging with Marriott, and the future of Starwood Preferred Guest is uncertain. For now, you can transfer points back and forth between Starwood and Marriott points anytime, which can unlock some great values at Marriott hotels. 1 Starwood point gets you 3 Marriott points, and vice versa. You can reverse these transfers anytime so it’s easy to send points back and forth.
Our sense is Starwood will remain independent as a points program for the rest of this year.
Marriott has said Starwood points are ‘safe,’ so at worst your points will get converted into Marriott Rewards points a the 3x rate if the programs merge.
In a best case scenario, Starwood Preferred Guest stays on its own, and you can continue to use points at attractive Starwood rates after the merger, and maybe even at Marriott hotels.
It’s even possible the Starwood American Express stays around in some form.
But that’s all speculation at this point. The key is American Express is really eager to get new Starwood members in the door with an attractive offer before the merger is finished, and if you can make use of 35,000 points over the course of the next year it’s a great opportunity to take advantage of the value of Starwood points.
As long is a ‘standard’ room is available, you can book it with points, and there are no change fees with hotel points, so it’s easy to to use them.
Just beware that Starwood points expire after 12 months if you don’t have any activity in your account.
It’s not hard to keep your account active, since earning or using points in any way will reset the clock another 12 months, but that expiration policy is part of why Starwood is able to offer such attractive point prices and airline transfer options.
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