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?

About Holly

Holly Johnson is a wife, mother of two, and frugal lifestyle enthusiast. She is the co-founder of Club Thrifty and a staff writer at Get Rich Slowly, Frugal Travel Guy, and U.S. News and World Report's "My Money Blog." Holly has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Kiplinger Personal Finance, Fox Business, and Daily Finance.


  1. Sounds like a great deal! We have thought about signing up for this one, I’ll let you know if we decide to go with it next. That air kiss is a pretty big incentive :-)
    Dee @ Color Me Frugal recently posted..Is It Harder For Parents to Achieve Financial Independence?My Profile

  2. I’m a Mariott whore although I do have the need to diversify. Came to the realization that earning free stays through my work travel is for suckers, its all about the CC bonuses. recently posted..Are You Getting Paid What You’re Worth?My Profile

  3. 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.
    Clarisse @ Make Money Your Way recently posted..How the Investment Advisor Game is PlayedMy Profile

  4. 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.
    John @ Wise Dollar recently posted..Three Frugal Ways to Save Money and Still Have a LifeMy Profile

  5. 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.
    Aldo R @ MDN recently posted..My Friend, The ArtistMy Profile

  6. 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!
    Lauren recently posted..Was it Worth it? Buyer’s Remorse or Money Well SpentMy Profile

  7. I stick with just a couple rewards cards to accumulate miles/points. I think that is important.
    krantcents recently posted..If You Were BossMy Profile

  8. 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.
    Tonya@Budget and the Beach recently posted..Fierce DeterminationMy Profile

  9. 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 :/
    Raquel@Practical Cents recently posted..What the FIFA World Cup™ Taught Me About PassionMy Profile

  10. 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?
    Done by Forty recently posted..Vaca’s Over…Back to RealityMy Profile

    • 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.

  11. 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!

  12. I do like to churn credit cards, but I stay away from AmEx because of their annual fees. So, unfortunately, I haven’t earned any starpoints…:(
    Josh R @ recently posted..I Finally Met Jeremy From Modest MoneyMy Profile

  13. 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
    Ben L @ The Wealth Gospel recently posted..3 Reasons Why I Love FreelancingMy Profile

  14. 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.
    Andrew@LivingRichCheaply recently posted..Should Everyone Make Out a Will?My Profile

  15. 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 :D
    Kali @ Common Sense Millennial recently posted..Holy Sh!t, I’m Self-Employed as a Solopreneur!My Profile

  16. 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 :D 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!
    Poor Student recently posted..Part Time Jobs that Fit the College ScheduleMy Profile

  17. I just might have to pull the trigger on this! We churned the Barclaycard and we might as well look into doing this card as well. Thanks for letting me know it’s back!
    DC @ Young Adult Money recently posted..How Complaining Saved Me Thousands of DollarsMy Profile

  18. How is the business version of the card different? I’m in the process of shopping for my next card, would love to throw some goodness your way, feel free to send over the link.
    Stefanie @ The Broke and Beautiful Life recently posted..Survival Job Series: Employer Abuses and Employee EmpowermentMy Profile

  19. 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.
    No Nonsense Landlord recently posted..How to Collect Rent On TimeMy Profile

  20. 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
    Dan @ Our Big Fat Wallet recently posted..Ikea: 11 Things You Didn’t KnowMy Profile

  21. I would be more then happy to business or personal SPG 30k referrals. Just email me at and let me know which card referral you want, your first name, last name and email address. Thanks!

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