I’ve been using the Starwood Preferred Guest card from American Express for more than eight years. For the first couple of years, in fact, it was the only mileage-earning card I had. Back then, there was no sign-up bonus. It was simply a great card for overall use, especially due to its ability to earn a 20% bonus on all earned points when transferring to most major airline programs.
The card is also ideal for getting free stays at Starwood hotels, including Sheraton, Le Meridian, Aloft, St. Regis, and W brands.
If you didn’t get the card eight years ago like me, you don’t have to forego the signup bonus. The card now offers a bonus of 25,000 points after completing a minimum spend. Once a year, however, AmEx increases the bonus to 30,000 points—and that time is now!
With the Starwood Preferred Guest card, you’ll receive:
- 30,000 points signup bonus when you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months
- No annual fee during the first year
- No foreign transaction fees on international purchases
- Free nights at over 1,200 hotels and resorts in nearly 100 countries
They’ve also added a lot of benefits to the card, including free Boingo internet access (worldwide + unlimited) and—for the first time—no foreign transaction fees.
Oh, and you may be able to get more than one signup bonus. AmEx is offering this deal not once but twice, since you can also apply for the Business version of this card and receive another bonus, for another 30,000 Starwood points after completing the minimum spend.
If you’ve never applied for a Starwood card before, it’s best to do so now while the bonus is higher. And if you already have either the personal or business version, now might be a good time to pick up the other one. I have both of them myself and they’re “front of wallet” for a lot of my regular spending.