Starwood Preferred 30K Bonus is Back, You In?

DSCF2981Sometimes a credit card offer is so exciting that I literally want to shout it from the rooftops.  Usually, I just call Greg at work when that happens.  He typically listens for a while and feigns interest while simultaneously asking me what’s for dinner.  He’s not all that into it, folks.  Nope, not at all.

But he’s busy today, so instead I’m going to lay it on you- right here and right now.  Are you ready?  Please don’t go.  I just want to talk.  I swear it’s an amazing deal!!!!! Don’t hang up…..


Anyway, I’m ecstatic to report that the Starwood Preferred American Express 30K offer is back after sitting at 25K since last summer.  The deal is this:

  • Earn 10,000 after your first purchase and another 20,000 when you spend $5,000 within 6 months of card ownership
  • Earn 1 Starpoint for every dollar of eligible purchases (and more on eligible Starwood purchases)
  • The $65 annual fee is waived for the first year
  • This signup bonus is not available to those who have earned it in the past

So, after meeting the minimum spending requirement, you’ll have at least 35K starpoints to burn.  But what does that get ya?

What Can You Get with the Starwood Preferred 30K Bonus?

Well, it depends.  The Starwood program lumps hotels into 7 different categories with different amounts required for a free night.  Here are a few super cool options from each category:

Category 1 (2,000-3,000 points per night):

  • Four Points by Sheraton Punta Cana Village- Dominican Republic
  • Le Meridian Heliopolis- Egypt

Category 2 (3,000-4,000 points per night):

  • The Westin Zagreb- Croatia
  • The Great Wall Sheraton Hotel- Beijing, China

Category 3 (7,000 points):

  • The Westin Novia Scotian- Canada
  • Sheraton at the Falls Hotel- Niagra Falls, New York
  • Four Points by Sheraton- Brussels
  • Sheraton Golf Parco de’ Medici Hotel & Resort, Roma- Rome, Italy

Category 4 (10,000 points):

  • Sheraton Sand Key Resort- Florida
  • The Westin Grand- Berlin, Germany
  • Sheraton Buenos Aires Hotel & Convention Center- Argentina

Category 5 (12,000-16,000 points):

  • The Westin Grand Cayman Seven Mile Beach Resort & Spa- Cayman Islands
  • The Westin Dawn Beach Resort & Spa- St. Maarten
  • The Park Lane Hotel- London

Category 6 (20,000-25,000 points):

  • The St. Regis Atlanta
  • The Royal Hawaiian- Honolulu, Hawaii
  • The Westin Europa & Regina- Venice, Italy

Category 7 (30,000-350,00 points):

  • The St. Regis Residence Club, Aspen
  • W Paris Opera- Paris, France
  • Hotel President Wilson- Geneva, Switzerland
  • Le Meridien Bora Bora- French Polynesia

There are literally hundreds of Starwood properties to choose from all over the world, so there is no way I could list them all here.  If you want to browse Starwood properties, just go hereNote: You can change the category in the right corner of the page.

But….Is the Starwood Preferred 30K Bonus is a Good Deal?

Wow, you’re really asking stupid questions today.  Of course it is.  Unless, of course, you hate vacationing and free hotel stays.  If that’s the case, get the hell off of my website, capiche?

Why I love this card:

  • We plan to travel abroad again next year and Starwood has properties nearly everywhere we want to go.  Those free stays will definitely come in handy.
  • When you book 4 consecutive nights at a category 3-7 hotel, you get the fifth night free.  Winning!
  • The $5,000 minimum spending requirement sounds like a lot, but they do give you six months to get the job done.  That’s enough time for most people.
  • There is no annual fee the first year.
  • They offer a personal and business version, and you can get both!

I don’t have a affiliate link for this card.  However, if you plan on getting the business version, I get 5,000 bonus starpoints for referring you.  If want an email with a referral link for the business version of this card, I can send it to you right away.  Just let me know in the comments!

Have you ever earned or redeemed starpoints?  If so, how do you plan to use them?


  1. says

    I think it’s really a great deal! I haven’t owned a credit card before, but since I’m planning to sign up my very first credit card. My hubs travel a lot because of his work, so I think having a credit card would totally help us a lot.

  2. says

    I saw this the other day I believe. I literally just finished churning the personal version like two weeks ago. I’d have my wife apply, who is the same as Greg and could give a flip most days, but we just got a few new cards for her last week. That said, I could always go the business card route – did they say when this is good til by chance? I can’t remember.

    • says

      I’m not sure. I don’t think it lasts all that long and they only do it once in the summer. Remember, you have 6 months to spend the 5K. Easy!

      Let me know if you want a referral email for the business version!!!

  3. says

    Sounds like a pretty good deal. Maybe I’ll get in on it.

    I was trying to stay away from credit cards until I got a hold of my finances, but I’ve been pretty good for over a year now and I know I can control my spending. Maybe now it’s the right time.

  4. says

    I saw Croatia on the list and my wheels started turning… but my husband works for another hotel brand, and we get pretty sweet discounts. Might have to consider this card in the future, though!

  5. says

    Thanks for the tip. I’m going back and forth between this and the club carlson card per someone’s suggestion that croatia had more hotels for that card, which is what I plan on using the points for. There is only one hotel on the coast for starwood in croatia. Something to look into! But I like how there is no annual fee the first year.

  6. says

    I’m so pissed about this increase. I’m currently churning this card but at the 25k sign up bonus. I chatted with Amex online and they declined to upgrade me to this offer. So I’m stuck with the old one. Sigh :/

  7. says

    Hey Holly, since my wife & I each signed up to get the 25,000 bonus, does that mean we can’t do these for the 30k bonus? Or are they ‘different’ enough to give it a go?

    Any options with trying a business card?

    • says

      You can’t get the bonus on the personal card more than once. However, you can get the business card. Just sign up for one for website spending! I emailed you.

  8. Kaity says

    If I already have the personal SPG card, will I still get the bonus if I sign up for the business version? If so, send me your link!

  9. says

    My father-in-law sent me a referral email at the beginning of the month with the 25k bonus. Do you think if I do it now it will switch to the 30k? I guess either way I should go with his since we’ve used way more of his hotel points than he’d get on the referral

  10. says

    I definitely have to sign up for this card in the future. Thanks for listing the options to stay and the category levels. I hate it when some hotel chains require a ridiculous amount of points for crappy hotels…it really devalues the points. Sheraton seems pretty reasonable.

  11. says

    Sah-weet! I was already eyeballing this card after your post on Richmond Savers, and I think this just sealed the deal for me. Could you email me the biz referral link? Not positive I’ll sign up for that one, but I DO need a card specifically for business expenses now so I’ll certainly be thinking about it 😀

  12. says

    I agree that the deal sounds awesome! I’ve been following the news about SPG credit card recently and it seems like the blogosphere is really happy that the 30k sign up bonus is back 😀 Considering that SPG credit card is one of the most valuable rewards out there, it’s also worth to keep. I’m planning to apply for it once I get a full time job, hopefully they’ll have at least 30k sign up bonus by then!

  13. says

    I generally prefer cash back cards. I can use the cash to buy the hotel at a discount, on my terms, and get more dash back.

    I did just get an airline card, which I will be discarding once I take my trip with the miles. Plus I got $100 back just by charging the airline ticket on it. And the bonus miles gave me two more round trips.

  14. says

    I hardly ever stay at Starwood resorts but if I did, I’d totally be into this deal as it sounds great. Like a few others who commented above, I prefer cash back. I’m currently getting 4% cash back on all gas and groceries so it really starts to add up after a while

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