Amex Increases the SPG Credit Card Bonus Offer to the Highest Ever!

Disclaimer: I’m not an American Express marketing partner. The links below are my personal refer-a-friend links.

 

Update: This offer is expired! 

Last week, American Express announced an increased sign up bonus offer for the Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) personal credit card. After spending $3,000 in the first 3 months of card membership, you will receive 25,000 SPG points. Further, you will receive 10,000 more SPG points for spending an additional $2,000 ($5,000 total) in the first six months. The offer is also included on the SPG Business card as well (with slightly higher spend). This matches their highest offer ever for both cards!

It’s no secret that both Mr. TT and I are huge fan of the Starwood program as SPG points are arguably the most valuable points currency there is. In October of 2016, Marriott’s acquisition of Starwood was completed, but the future of the SPG points program still remains a big question mark. At this point, it is not known how much longer the co-branded American Express Starwood credit card will be available nor what the future of both the Marriott Rewards and Starwood Preferred Guest programs will be. It is expected that the Marriott and SPG programs will be combined in 2018. Now is the time to take advantage of this increased offer before it is too late, and the card is possibly removed from Amex’s lineup. Below is a list of our favorite ways to use SPG points.

Thrifty Tip #1: If you’ve never had the SPG Business card it is easy to be approved for. Even if you only sell items on eBay or craigslist, all you need to do is select sole proprietorship and enter your SSN where it asks for an EIN number. This almost always results in instant approval!

 

Transfer SPG Points to Marriott at a 1:3 Transfer Ratio

Alongside the announcement of the merger, Marriott & Starwood introduced the ability to link your Marriott/Ritz-Carlton rewards account with your Starwood Preferred Guest account which allows you to transfer points back and forth between the programs at a 1:3 ratio. This means that you will get 3 Marriott Rewards points for every 1 Starwood Preferred Guest point that is transferred into Marriott. There is plenty of short term value to be had with transfers from SPG to Marriott. Marriott Category 1 Properties only require 7,500 Marriott Rewards points per night. Being you can now transfer SPG points to Marriott at a ratio of 1:3, you can book a Marriott Category 1 night by transferring only 2,500 SPG points! Although Category 1 properties are typically going to be lower tier, it’s hard to beat the value. Marriott Category 9 properties costing 45,000 points per night can also be booked for only 15,000 SPG points per night!

Thrifty Tip #1: Since Marriott provides a complimentary fifth night (SPG does as well) on all of their award bookings, you can book a five night stay at any Marriott Category 1 property by transferring only 10,000 SPG points!

 

Transfers to Starwood Airline Partners

The main reason I have historically placed so much value on SPG points is because of how much flexibility they have. Not only can they be used to book stays at SPG (and now Marriott) hotels all over the world, they can also be transferred to over 30 airlines (including United, American, Delta, Southwest, Emirates, etc.) at a 1:1 transfer ratio! What makes this deal even sweeter? For every 20,000 SPG point airline transfer, Starwood will give you a 5,000 point bonus! If you have a pile of Marriott points, you can now transfer to almost any airline at a much more reasonable conversion.

Thrifty Tip #2: There is no limit to the amount of bonus miles you can earn. Transferring 60,000 SPG points? You will earn 75,000 airline miles!

 

 

Bottom Line

It’s great to see increased offers for the Starwood Amex credit card, and there is no telling how much longer the card will be available in the marketplace. Long term, it will be interesting to see what the future of the loyalty programs and co-branded credit cards look like. In the short term, this offer represents a great opportunity to grab SPG points before you will no longer be able to get them. Don’t wait! The offer is available until April 5th.

 

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Starwood Preferred Guest by American Express  – TOP STARTER CARDSPG Card thrifty traveler

  • 35k bonus after $3k spend in 3 months & $2k spend more in 6 months (ENDS 4/5/17)
  • No annual fee the first year, then $95
  • If you transfer over 20k miles to an airline program you receive a 5k bonus (25% points bonus)
  • Spending over $30k per year will earn you SPG Gold Status
  • New: No Foreign Transaction Fees
  • New: Receive free in-room, premium internet access
  • New: Free unlimited Boingo Wi-Fi on up to four devices at more than 1 million Boingo hotspots worldwide
  • Provides 5 nights towards status per year
  • This is my everyday spending card when I’m not working towards a spending bonus

Starwood Preferred Guest Business by American Express SPG Card Thrifty traveler

  • 35k bonus after $5,000 spend in 3 months & $3,000 more spend in 6 months (ENDS 4/5/17)
  • No annual fee the first year, then $95
  • If you transfer over 20k miles to an airline program you receive a 5k bonus (25% points bonus)
  • Spending over $30k per year will earn you SPG Gold Status
  • New: No Foreign Transaction Fees
  • New: Receive free in-room, premium internet access
  • New: Free unlimited Boingo Wi-Fi on up to four devices at more than 1,000,000 Boingo hotspots worldwide
  • New: Free access to the Sheraton Lounges
  • Provides 5 nights towards status per year

 

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