As it has the last two summers, Starwood is upping the bonus for new Starwood Preferred Guest credit card customers.
Through September 4, new applicants for the Starwood Preferred Guest credit card from American Express can earn up to 30,000 points: 10,000 points after the first purchase, and an additional 20,000 points after charging at least $5,000 within the first six months.
The $65 annual fee is waived the first year.
The Starwood card, which has been called the Swiss Army knife of travel-rewards credit cards, isn’t just a hotel-points generator.
In addition to being redeemable for free hotel nights, either alone or in combination with cash, Starwood points can be converted into miles in more than 30 airline programs, including those of Aeroplan, Alaska, American, British Airways, Delta, Hawaiian, United, and US Airways. Points generally transfer 1:1 for airline miles, although it’s a disappointing 2:1 conversion rate for United miles.
Adding value to that flexibility, there’s a 5,000-point bonus when transferring 20,000 points. So transferring 20,000 Starwood points to American, for example, nets 25,000 AAdvantage miles. With the bonus, then, one dollar charged to the Starwood card is worth 1.25 miles in many airline programs. That’s more than the one-mile-per-dollar earning rate for charges on the airlines’ own co-branded cards. And miles earned with those cards can’t be readily converted into other programs.
Deal or No Deal
With sign-up bonuses of 40,000 and 50,000 points routinely on offer from other travel-rewards cards, a 30,000-point bonus may seem like a yawner. But in the case of the Starwood card, it’s the best bonus you’re likely to see, for one of the best cards on the market.
Reader Reality Check
What’s your favorite travel rewards credit card?
Other Posts of Interest
- Who’s in Favor of a US Airways-American Merger?
- Is the Credit Card Rewards Bubble Set to Burst?
- Flights to Hong Kong for 4 Frequent Flyer Miles? C’mon!
- Are Taxable Frequent Flyer Miles in Your Future?
- Which Airline Programs Are the Most (and Least) Generous?
Stay in Touch