SPG Amex Sign-up Bonuses Temporarily Increased!

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Update: The limited time offer has ended.

The best Amex Starwood Preferred Guest credit card sign-up bonus that I have seen is back for a few weeks only!  The number of SPG points you can get from the sign-up bonus and meeting the spending requirements has increased from 25,000 to 30,000 through September 3rd.  This may not sound like much if you are new to SPG points, but since they are typically considered the most valuable type of point out there, this is big news!

Application link: Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express

Application link: Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express

The first 10,000 SPG points are awarded after the first use of the card, and the second 20,000 points are awarded after spending $5,000 on the card in the first six months.  $5,000 is a bunch of cash for many families, but six months is a decent length of time to get the spending done.  That comes out to just over $833 per month on average if you get one of the cards, or about $1667 per month if you get the business and personal cards (and yes, you can get both).

High Value of SPG Points

I value SPG points at 2.5 cents as a minimum, but on my own personal redemptions I usually get at least 3 and 4 cents of real redemption value per SPG point.  That makes this sign-up bonus worth between $900 – $1200 at a minimum based on how I redeem.  Even at a very conservative 2.5 cents each, 30,000 points is still worth $750!  As a quick real life example, I have a cash and points booking at the Westin Resort and Spa, Whistler for next spring break.  A room on the mountain at that hotel during a popular ski week can easily go for $450 per night, but on a cash and points rate I am paying just $110 + 6,000 SPG points per night.  That means I am getting 5.6 cents per value from each SPG point for our family trip!  Even if I was on a straight points rate of 12,000 points per night, I would still be getting 3.75 cents per point in value.  Those type of returns for points are virtually untouchable.

The Westin Whistler Resort & Spa - Exterior

The Westin Whistler Resort & Spa

SPG Points and Elite Status

Having the SPG Amex business or personal card gives you two stays and five nights toward elite status.  If you have both cards you get four stays and ten nights toward elite status.  That is a huge jump toward making elite status a reality for many folks!  SPG Gold status is achieved after ten stays in a calendar year and SPG Platinum status is achieved after 25 stays in a calendar year.  It is even better since SPG award stays count toward elite status!

SPG Points to Airline Miles

If you prefer airline miles to SPG points, you can transfer your SPG points to airline miles with a bonus of 5,000 miles per 20,000 points transferred.  That means if you wanted to transfer your SPG points to an airline like American, you would get 25,000 miles for every 20,000 points transferred.  What that means is that if you wanted to transfer the whole 30,000 point bonus to American Airlines you would receive 35,000 American miles.  If you get both the business and personal cards and transfer the miles (transfer bonuses plus the 5,000 earned from each for spending) that would give you 85,000 miles.

Why to Consider Applying Now

The SPG card only awards one point per dollar for charges not at an SPG hotel, but it is the card to use when you are just earning one point per dollar since the points are so insanely valuable.  I use it for my 1x purchases all the time.  The annual fee of $65 is waived the first year, however these cards are keepers for me beyond the first year due to the nights/stay credit.  Be aware that these cards do still charge foreign transaction fees, so I would use a different card when you head out of the country.  Also note that the terms indicate the “welcome bonus” is not available to applicants who have had this product within the last 12 months.  Regardless of your long-term plans for these cards, now is really the time to apply since this increased bonus has typically only happened for a very small number of days per summer.  It is important to pull the trigger on cards when the bonus is at the peak in order to get the biggest reward possible.  For the SPG cards, now is that time.

 

Do you have the SPG card(s)?  Do you plan on getting in on this increased bonus?

 

Disclosure: I do receive a commission if you are approved for a card using one of my affiliate links.  I also will receive a $100 Amex gift card from Amex for mentioning this limited time offer that I will give away at my spouses’ session at the Chicago Seminars (so come for a chance to win)!  As always, thanks for your support!

Comments

  1. I was recently in Whistler over the weekend and remember seeing the Westin property. Whistler is a pretty expensive place overall. There is also a Hilton property as well onsite.

    • Maury, I haven’t been yet but I have no doubt that Whistler is pretty pricey. Thank goodness for points to help keep the overall out-of-pocket trip cost down!

  2. No need to hurry, from Gary” But through September 3 they’re offering 10,000 points after first purchase and 20,000 more after $5000 spend within six months.”

    • Jim, correct, I have that in the first paragraph. 😉 I think my husband will be sitting on this one a couple weeks himself to space time between applications since he just got an Amex card. Just mark 9/3 on your calendar if you are interested.

  3. Hello Summer, with this promotion and Amex Benz Platinum card, which would be a better choice? I have the personal SPG card, I am torn between this biz version and Benz Plat. Which would you choose if you are in the same boat?

  4. How is Amex with recent inquiries? I had a 3-card AOR June 5th (Citi, Chase, Barclays) and then another Citi card July 17th. Any chance I could get both cards? My day job is my small business.

  5. Second, how’s this card compare to UR program from chase? I’m thinking using this card to transfter to AA, and UR to hyatt, what do you think?

  6. “†If you are identified as a current American Express® Cardmember, you may not be eligible for this welcome bonus offer. This offer is also not available to applicants who have had this product within the last 12 months.”

    So if you have any current Amex cards you don’t qualify for the bonus? I.e I have a Amex platinum and Delta gold amex, would but both were more than 6 months ago and I have never signed up for an SPG card. Would I qualify for this bonus?

  7. Kevin, you can always ask, but very sorry to say Amex usually isn’t very good about matching.
    Jonathan, I’m assuming you don’t want me to say get both? 😉 If you only want to go for one, I would say consider two things. First, which one is best aligned with the travel goals you are earning points toward. Second, I would give the edge to the SPG only because this is a limited time deal that has been coming around just once a year and the MB deal has been pretty constant since it came out.
    Ken, I haven’t experienced or heard of too much trouble with Amex if your other cards aren’t all recent Amex cards. Never any guarantees, but if you overall have good credit I think you have a shot at both cards. You could also wait until closer to the 9/3 deadline.
    Frank, so glad to hear the email was helpful. I personally use all of my SPG points for hotel stays as I get the most value from them that way, but I know many do transfer them to airlines. If that is how you will get the best value out of them then that is a good use for you. I love UR points to Hyatt, but SPG points are right up there for me for SPG stays.

  8. A word of caution about applying for both personal and business cards: Don’t do it on the same day. I opened 2 browser windows, one personal and one business, and applied for both cards just 5 minutes apart.

    Got instant approval on the personal, but delayed decision on the business with a tracking number and on-screen instructions to phone in “now.” When I called, the CSR said that the system had gotten confused by the two applications…the tracking number seemed to cover them both.

    She said to wait 3 to 5 days, then phone in (to the same number, 800-582-6471) to see about the biz card.

  9. Hi MP, I just got approved for the business card with your link! I applied last year for the personal card with the increased 30,000 point bonus (used the points for a lovely stay at the Sheraton Maui) Is it correct for me to assume I can cancel my personal card when my annual fee becomes due within the next few weeks and then could apply for the personal card again in 12 months and would be eligible for the sign-up bonus again after the year passes? Thanks!

  10. Hi summer, sorry, another quick question.
    When I transfter the points to airline, can I transfer to someone else airline acct? For example, my gf’s Starwood to my AA acct?
    Thanx

  11. I’ve the same question as #10 (Nick A.), will I qualify for both personal & biz bonus if I have American Express® Premier personal since Feb and Gold Biz since May this year? Thx.

  12. Miles, I have heard different reports on two apps the same day with Amex. The second may get auto-flagged and require manual approval. However, yours is the most recent report I have so maybe that is SOP now. Either way, thanks for sharing!
    AMC, first thanks for using my link. The terms seem to indicate you are eligible if you haven’t hard the card for 12 months, so your interpretation seems correct.
    Frank, you can transfer SPG points to someone else who has the same household address as you (and has with SPG for at least 30 days). They could then transfer to their own airline accounts. The terms of airline transfers say that “Both the Starwood Preferred Guest and airline frequent flyer program accounts must have identical member names in order to complete this request; different names will cause the transfer to reject.”
    ktn, having those accounts should not interfere with you being eligible for the SPG accounts. They have added that existing cardmember wording, but I haven’t heard any reports of it being a problem if you don’t have that specific product already. Of course, the game is always changing, but I haven’t heard any issues with that to date.

    • Will, sadly points for referring friends seems to have diminished with Amex recently and I do not see that option with the SPG card this time around. That could always change in the future, but I don’t think it is currently available.

  13. Hi MP, I had a personal card last in Sep, can I apply for a Bus card this time around & get the 30k bonus? I seemed to remember somewhere these 2 are separate products. thx!

  14. Just tried getting the extra 5k from Amex. Secure message and chat didn’t work for me. I decided to call the # on the back of my card. The rep wasn’t able to give me the extra 5k, however, she was able to get me 3k. I’ll take what I can get. Applied in April, have met my spend requirement and have been a Amex member since ’08.

  15. I know this is about SPG, but in the past week I have gotten again the Citi American Air Visa 50,000 miles (already have it from two years ago)and just today got their Mastercard 40,000 miles.

  16. DJ, the biz and personal are treated as totally different products, so should be just fine!
    p, thanks for sharing. Good proof that it is always worth a shot!
    ih, during the summer that can be very true. The winter ski season is a whole different ballgame. Great deals at ski resorts in Colorado in summer months as well. I would pay cash at that rate.

  17. Used your link and got approved! This is our second household SPG 30k bonus in two years. We may keep the SPG points for a future trip or may transfer to an airline partner. Thanks for writing such a great blog!

  18. Well, I just cancelled the Business card back in January, so I’ve got to wait until January 2014 before I can apply again. I guess the question when January rolls around will be whether I should apply then or not… applying then could mean I have both cards on the date in early January (I think) that they give me either 5 or 10 nights towards re-earning Platinum depending on whether I’ve got one or two cards. If I wait, I could get an increased bonus of 5,000 more Starpoints. I guess the question is which is more valuable to me…

  19. What does this mean? There’s two conditions, Amex card member and having the product within the last 12 mos??

    If you are identified as a current American Express® Cardmember, you may not be eligible for this welcome bonus offer. This offer is also not available to applicants who have had this product within the last 12 months.

    Juan

  20. I just chatted with an AmEx rep and she confirmed that while you can still refer a friend, they are no longer offering points. Such a shame!

  21. Glenn, if they brought the 30k bonus back again next summer you could get it then and still have the night/stays count toward next year. Best of both worlds!
    JC, from all reports it seems the 12 months is the key part. If you are applying on a screen that displays 30k points and haven’t had the card for 12 months you should be good. If I hear any reports to the contrary I’ll be sure to share.
    Rachel, that is a bummer. Thanks for sharing though.

  22. Hi summer, sorry, another quick question. Can I use miles to redeem flights for a foreigner and flight to US. For example, can I fly my dad from Taiwan to US? He doesn’t have spg program or airline program cuz he is foreigner

    • Frank, you could book a flight for him from your airline frequent flyer account that you transferred your SPG points into.

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