60,000 Starwood Point Giveaway – and the Return of the 30,000 Point Starwood Amex Signup Bonus

I got word that American Express would be bringing back the 30,000 point signup bonus for the Starwood co-branded credit card beginning Tuesday, August 7th.

Two summers ago American Express introduced a 30,000 point signup bonus on their Starwood cards for the first time. They repeated it in 2011.

30,000 points may not seem like a ton in a world of 50,000 and 100,000 point bonuses. But Starwood points are the single most valuable currency there is, in large measure due to their flexibility.

And historically the available bonuses were quite low. In 2006 at the same time they brought out their small business card they bumped the signup bonus offer to 10,000 points. The standard bonus had been 4000 points, but there were also 6000 point offers.

In fact, when I first got the Starwood Amex card I actually received no signup bonus at all.

My first American Express card was, believe it or not, the Delta product. This was back in 2000, and I suppose I was impressed by the signup bonus offer I received. But I realized that not all points were created equal, and had Amex convert my account to the Starwood product back in 2001.

I’ve had the card ever since, and it still has a place front of wallet.

American Express is going to be providing me with Starpoints to give away. Since the signup bonus will be 30,000 points, guess how many points they offered…?

Well, 30,000 points is great. But that’s the bonus on the personal and the small business card. Since it’s possible to get 30,000 points for each of two different credit card products, I will be giving away 30,000 points to each of two different blog readers.

Starting tomorrow the 30,000 point signup bonus will be back. And I’ll be bringing out an opportunity for two readers to each win 30,000 points.

As it happens, 60,000 points is how many I won for naming the Sheraton Checkin kiosk. But this time all of the points go to you, I’ll have to bump up my Starpoint balance some other way. Maybe W Hotels needs to name something?

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. I heard from American Express that they do not allow double sign up bonus for both SPG personal cards and business cards. You can get both cards but the sign up bonus will be only for 1 card.

  2. @audisfo – what do you mean that you heard this from Amex, can you point to any online discussions/data points where anyone was denied a bonus for the business card because they had the personal? I haven’t heard that anywhere.

  3. Hello,

    I spent 2 hrs reading your blog last night. I am a newcomer to the points play and have a longg way to go but hoping to stick around and learn.

  4. Any word about the referral bonus ala post #1? I called Amex, but they said they’d talk to marketing and get back to me..

  5. Gary,

    I called American Express couple weeks ago and tried to open an SPG Business account as I already have had my SPG Personal account for 1 year. The rep told they could help me apply for the business version but I would not be applicable to the sign up bonus 25K. At that time, both SPG business and personal cards only have 25K sign up bonus.

  6. I currently have a SPG personal card. I’m probably going to go for a business card for the sign up bonus. I just hope AMX loves me enough to give it to me.

  7. Yesterday I used secure messaging to request that my recently accepted 25K application be upgraded to the 30K one. The response:

    “Dear Gary Steiger,

    I understand your concern regarding the offer.

    While we appreciate your interest in this offer, we are unable to apply it to your account, as it was not available at the time you applied for the card. I understand that this may be disappointing to you, however you can expect to see various promotions throughout the year for which you may be eligible.

    We regret the inconvenience this may cause.

    Raashi Semwal
    Email Servicing Team
    American Express Interactive Services”

    I replied:

    “I am very disappointed with American Express for this response. I assume American Express knew that a better offer was coming when I accepted the lesser offer, but still accepted my application for the letter offer. When this type of situation arises with a Chase card, they do the right thing. It’s your reputation at stake.

    “Please forward this comment to management.

    “Thank you.”

    I suggest others to do the same. Perhaps we can get management’s attention on this.

  8. My wife got the Starwood AMEX card in mid 2010 with 30K bonus, and I got the same card in early 2011 after the application was turned down 6 months before. This card is just great with the conversion ratio to most airlines. A bit drawback is the foreign exchange fee of 2.7% as I travel a lot out of the States, but that doesn’t hold it being one of the greatest cards out there.

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