AMEX Starwood Preferred Guest 30,000 Point Bonus!

AMEX Starwood Preferred Guest 30,000 Point Bonus!

Bora Bora


Update: The 30,000 point offer has expired, but you can still get 25,000 bonus points for signing up today! With Starwood hotel rooms as low as 3,000 points a night, this is still my favorite credit card sign up bonus right now.

If you’ve read iHeartBudgets for any amount of time, you’ll know that I’m all about the freebies, because WHY NOT?! I love getting deals, free stuff, coupons, discounts, and all sorts of stuff on the cheap, because I hate waste. So when I discovered the credit card churning game, I immediately dove in head first and started doing some major research to see how I could join the travel hackers. In late December, I signed up for my first pair of credit cards, and it’s been AWESOME ever since.

Look For Rare Bonuses

I’m all about the sign up bonuses, so I am always looking for something that’s better than the normal offers out there. I have figured out that most credit card companies have a push once or twice a year for more sign up, and will bump their already generous sign up bonuses to a much better amount, hoping that more people will bite. As an opportunist, I see this as the perfect time to jump in with my next round of applications, and pick up those sweet extra points to add to my collection, so I can continue my journey to a free vacation every year.

Enter: The AMEX Starwood Preferred Guest Card

This card has been my single favorite card so far, and yes, I have already signed up for 3 versions of it this year (personal and business credit cards for me, personal one for my wife). We have taken some awesome trips that otherwise WE COULD NOT AFFORD because of the awesome sign up bonus on this card. You may remember the SPG card from such great trips as:

  1. Our two nights at a luxury hotel in Portland
  2. Our two nights at a Disney hotel in Florida
  3. Our most recent romantic getaway to the big city (Seattle), with free upgrades by just being nice!

As you can see, the SPG hotel rewards card has been the star of our many vacations this year, and will probably be for years to come. I plan on churning this card for all it’s worth, and will probably even front the measly $65 annual fee when it comes due (fee is waived the first year) because how valuable these points are.

The Perks

There are TONS of perks to this card, many of which you can’t find on any other card. I love the flexibility, and just wanted to list a few of the reasons this has been my go-to card this year:

  1. Can transfer points to MANY airlines. Just check out this awesome list of partners you can transfer miles to. I recently sent over 10,000 points to Alaska airlines to book my free ticket to #FinCon13. It was easy peasy. And if I had more, I could have transferred 20,000 pts. to Alaska, and got a 5,000 mile bonus, just because SPG is awesome!
  2. Can combine points in your household. Michelle and I both have the card and got the bonuses, and it’s simple and FREE to combine our points. A lot of other programs charge to transfer and combine points, even within your own household. Starwood makes it SUPER easy.
  3. Starwood hotels are everywhere, and super nice. Have you ever heard of the Westin, Sheraton, W, or St. Regis hotels? Those are all Starwood properties. And they’re everywhere. Heck, I’m even looking at a churn to get some friend to the St. Regis in Bora, Bora. One of the nicest vacation spots in the WORLD!
  4. 5th Night Free. This is quite possibly the best perk ever. When using points, when you book 4 nights, the 5th night is free. No matter what. At ANY Starwood hotel. Even at the St. Regis in Bora Bora. MAKE THIS HAPPEN!

St. Regis, Bora Bora. | Photo cred.

There are tons of other perks, but these were enough to get me on the bandwagon. But there is one more thing that might entice you to join the clubโ€ฆ

Limited Time 30,000 Point Bonus

The Starwood bonus is normally 25,000 points (10,000 after first purchase, 15,000 more after $5k spend in 6 months). Which is awesome, because all the hotels we stayed at were 10k pts. a night, and with 3 of these cards, we’ve been able to rock some AWESOME vacations. But once a year, it seems, they up the offer to include 5,000 more points, and they just did it last night for 2013. So you can sign up for this credit card until September 3rd, 2013 and get your extra 5,000 points (after $5k spend in 6 months, for a total of 10k + 20k = 30k points!), which as I’ve shown, are extremely valuable! If you were on the fence about this card at all, I’d jump on it now, because this is usually a once-a-year deal, and then it’ll drop back down.

We jumped in early on our last churn, but I’ll be calling them up and asking for the extra 5k, and see what happens. But for those of your planning a winter getaway to find some sunshine, or even to find some snow (Westin in Whislter, anyone?), I recommend jumping on this deal now to get your extra points.

Comments: Anyone have this card? Have you enjoyed it as much as I have? If you get this card now, what kinds of vacations do you want to take? I REALLY want to go to the St. Regis in Bora, Bora. I mean, look at those pics!

Disclaimer: There are affiliate links to credit cards in this post, which have the same bonuses as any direct link to the card. We receive a commission if you sign up through our links, but don’t feel any pressure to do so. Even if you go elsewhere, I just want more people to get the sweet freebies that we do, and then come back and tell me about it!

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  1. Bora Bora is my vacation Unicorn.

    So magical, so mystical.

    But I just don’t think I’ll ever get see to in person.
    No Waste recently posted..We Killed $30,000 In Student Loans (Part I)My Profile

    • Only 104,000 pts a night….

      Or $1,000, plus like $300 for food since you can only eat and drink there…

      Let me know if it ever happens.

  2. I really want to go to Bora Bora one day…but flights are outrageously expensive! Greg says that he’ll take me to Mexico and we’ll pretend that it’s Bora Bora just for fun =)

    Sweet update on the point bonus! I guess we should’ve waited…but you never know when those things will come along!
    Holly@ClubThrifty recently posted..Secret Formula Revealed: How I Keep My Expenses LowMy Profile

  3. I jumped on this a couple days ago when SPG sent out the email. I was beginning to think they weren’t going to offer this promo this summer, but I am glad I waited (well for my wife, I just jumped on the Club Carlson card for my most recent churn).

    • I got the business card, and the Ink Bold 60k bonus. But gunna call and see if I can get my extra 5k, because I’m in the middle of the minimum spend right now.

  4. That sounds like a nifty card. I have the AMex Blue Cash Preferred and they give me cash every month which is hard to beat. Love Amex!
    Debt and the Girl recently posted..A Great Organization and Some Link LoveMy Profile

    • Just a bummer you can’t use them at a lot of small businesses. Oh well, I’m all about the sign up bonuses, and have been getting a TON from amex.

  5. thanks for the heads up on this! I was waiting for a reason to sign up for this card. I’m ready to ditch my Delta Skymiles card after mileage inflation on Delta’s part so this is a great substitute.
    Tara @ Streets Ahead Living recently posted..Too much time on my handsMy Profile

    • For sure! It’s really a great card for local trips, and even some fun when you go international. I love our weekend excursions, has been great to have a free (very nice) place to go when we want to get away.

  6. Would definitely be jumping on this is I wasn’t in the middle of taking on a mortgage. Since it’s just in my name though, I’ll have to get the wife on board.
    JC @ Passive-Income-Pursuit recently posted..Net Worth Update – July 2013My Profile

  7. This is a great card and I might consider it in my next churn. The problem is that we rarely stay at hotels or fly though lately, we mostly spend our vacation time on cruises ๐Ÿ™‚
    Lance @ Adventuring Dollars recently posted..Fighting Off The Decorating BugMy Profile

  8. I want to get this card but just got the Ink Bold for Eyes on the Dollar when they had the 60K point bonus and I’m not sure if it’s too soon. Tough call. I really like the St Regis Princeville in Kauai. It would be nice to stay there when we go to Hawaii next summer. I have to look at the spend numbers and see if this one makes sense.
    Kim@Eyesonthedollar recently posted..A Long Term Investment Plan for Future RetireesMy Profile

    • AMEX and Chase aren’t connected, so as long as you don’t have a huge amount of AMEX cards, you should be Golden. I’ve gotten the personal and business version of this card within 6 months, so I bet you’d be fine ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. Ahh I can’t wait to see what you do with these awesome vacation points! ๐Ÿ˜€
    Cat Alford (@BudgetBlonde) recently posted..Tips for Getting Your First Credit CardMy Profile

    • We’ll hopefully have about 20,000 pts. after we hit the spend, as we’ve used another 60k or so on the other vacations already. Probably going to use it for another weekend getaway ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. This sounds like a pretty nice deal, but I recently just added the Chase Sapphire and an Amex account, so I probably won’t get this one. Plus I don’t generally stay at these types of places when we travel, even if they were free. Maybe I should start!?
    Pension Retirement recently posted..Virginia State Pension Plan for Government EmployeesMy Profile

    • If it’s not your style, I probably wouldn’t change it. But the transfer rates to airlines are VERY attractive using these points (see the Alaska example). So maybe use it for that? There are a TON of other partners, I only listed a few ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. A lot of bloggers are posting about this deal. I’m thinking about getting this card but I’ll probably wait until next year. They should have another bonus deal eventually.
    Andy Hough recently posted..July Saings Rate โ€“ 10.46%My Profile

  12. We recently got the Ink card so we are going to hold off on this one. No major vacations for us in the next year but lot of expected expenses so I am hoarding GCs and cash.

    (Off topic: How do I sign up for Credit karma cc affiliate program?)
    Suba @ Wealth Informatics recently posted..Would you (or should you) work for free?My Profile

  13. Great post! Having like this card such as AMEX in which you can enjoy the perks…tons of exciting perks!
    SuburbanFinance recently posted..How to Improve Your Credit ScoreMy Profile

  14. Mike Carlson says:

    The place is really amazing. Hope to visit this myself as well.
    Mike Carlson recently posted..Help with Setting up a BusinessMy Profile

  15. We were looking at Bora Bora for our honeymoon, then we saw what it would cost and quickly changed courses. I want one of those places with the glass floor though. That would be so sick! Still haven’t gotten into the churning game. Glad it’s working out for your though.
    Matt Becker recently posted..5 Tips For Traveling With a BabyMy Profile

    • Bora Bora is CRAY-CRAY expensive. One day….

      But yeah, churning has been fun, and haven’t even churned out a card yet, except my Alaska card. Will be getting another really soon ๐Ÿ™‚

  16. I used starwood points a few years ago to finance most of the lodging on a disney vacation.. This year, I have been trying to pull the same trick with the chase Ink card ๐Ÿ™‚

    Gotta love the freebies!
    jefferson @SeeDebtRun recently posted..What is Disc Golf? โ€“ A Frugal Hobby For EveryoneMy Profile

    • Nice work! We did two nights at the “Dolphin”, and it was awesome. I am definitely going to churn a full week Disney vaca when our little ones are a bit older. That’ll be some work!

  17. I’m starting to get more into this but it’s hard to keep track of which ones I need most (cash back like on my chase card or miles like on southwest, or points for hotels like yours) How do you keep track of it all? Oh, and I just got an amazon one for points too.
    Budget and the Beach recently posted..First World ProblemsMy Profile

  18. I don’t have this card, but I have a Hilton Honors car. I used my vouchers for a free weekend at the beach.
    krantcents recently posted..Most asked Job Interview Questions and How to Answer themMy Profile

    • Hilton is something I’m looking at for some international travel. I can get 4 cards and a few hundred thousand points very quickly.

  19. Thank you very much for the update. This would definitely help me out with my vacation plans!
    Daisy @ Add Vodka recently posted..Are Your Planning Tendencies Costing You Money?My Profile

  20. I have a friend that plays the credit card churning game and I never quite knew how he did it. It was almost like he didnt want to share his little secret on how he got rooms and airline tickets at good prices. Thanks for explaining to me how it works. One question, since you are canceling your cards before the annual fee is due, does that mean you sign up for a different card every year? Would you cancel your Starwood card and find a new card to get rewards from next year? Thanks for the info!
    Ron recently posted..5 Simple Actions To Get You Started In RunningMy Profile

  21. I hope other people are able to get this to work for them. When we got our card it only listed the 10,000 pts. for the first purchase. I called AMEX and mentioned these offers and they said there was nothing they could do and wouldn’t honor either of the other bonuses mentioned. Looks like my hotel charges for a trip in Oct. will not be covered. BUMMER!!

    • Hey Brittany,
      There is a spending requirement for the next 20,000 points (as listed in the card features on the site, “Limited Time Offer: earn up to 30K bonus Starpointยฎ: 10K after your first purchase and another 20K after you spend $5K in purchases on the card within the first 6 months”).

      If you can hit the $5,000 minimum spend on this card, you will get the other 20,000 points. If you don’t get the points, call AMEX and escalate, because this is what is listed on their site!

      Sorry to hear about the troubles ๐Ÿ™

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