Editorial Disclosure: Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities.
Update: The Starwood small business AMEX 35,000 point offer expired as of 3/28/18. It is NO LONGER available.
- I Got the SPG AMEX with 35,000 SPG Points – Here’s Why
- Last Chance for AMEX SPG 35,000 Point Offers (and Why I Got Both Cards)
- My Experience Getting the Southwest Companion Pass With Starwood Points
Well would ya lookit that. I wasn’t expecting to *ever* see a limited-time offer on the Amex Starwood cards again. But now, you can earn 35,000 Starwood points on the personal and small business cards after meeting tiered minimum spending requirements through April 5th, 2017.
Marriott has agreed to leave SPG alone until 2018, but then get ready for a butchering. Realistically, Marriott has no incentive to keep the program as it currently is. But, I’m pleased Amex is giving peeps one more stab at this terrific offer.
Little did I know I’d hoard the points like a squirrel or ferret until such a time as I’d use them for a Southwest Companion Pass. The hammer drops on that method on March 31st, 2017. But if you applied like *now* and met the minimum spending in short order before the statement closes, you could probably squeak by.
The huge caveat is the bonus on both cards is once per person, per lifetime (AKA 7 years). But if you’ve never had it… I highly doubt this offer will ever come back.
Highest-ever offer returns. If you’ve never had the card, this is probably your last chance to get it.
- Link: Honest Reviews
If you’re in the lucky position to pick either, I’d go with the small business version of the card. Because you get everything that comes with the personal version for the same price, plus:
- Sheraton Club Room access
- AMEX OPEN discounts
- Doesn’t appear on personal credit report, so won’t count for Chase 5/24
However, it has a higher minimum spending requirement. You’ll earn 25,000 Starwood points after you make $5,000 in purchases within the first 3 months. And an extra 10,000 Starwood points after you make an additional $3,000 in purchases within the first 6 months. For a total of $8,000 in spending.
You can use the card to pay bills like mortgages, rent, and student loans with Plastiq. Or, pay your tax bill (’tis the season), ugh.
The personal version requires $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months to earn 25,000 Starwood points. And $2,000 more within the first 6 months to earn 10,000 more Starwood points. For a total of $5,000 in spending.
With both cards, the $95 annual fee is waived the 1st year.
How to use the points
35,000 Starwood points plus the minimum spending is 40,00 points (or more, if you get the business card). Considering you get 5,000 bonus miles when you transfer to airlines with a 1:1 transfer ratio, that’s easily 50,000 Alaska, American, Asiana (and many other airlines’) miles.
Or you could use them for:
Of course, you can also use them to stay at Starwood (or Marriott!) hotels, too. 😉
I want my 35,000 Starpoints to be worth at least 4 cents each, or $1,400. At that rate, it‘s worth signing up for. And, it’s easy to get that kind of value from any of the methods above.
If you’ve never had the card, now is the time to apply. This is probably Amex’s last big push to get the card into new hands before they lose the portfolio to Chase. Or else both issuers get the card and have to compete with each other. In which case, game on. I love it when banks compete!
As it stands, Starwood points are difficult to earn aside from stays at Starwood hotels (which is why I still sorta can’t stand them). Even then, the return is paltry. The best way, by far, to quickly get more is with these cards.
For ongoing spending, it’s easy to get 4% back assuming each point is worth about 4 cents. (More on that in a later post.)
So it ticks off the boxes for sign-up bonuses, regular spending, and ongoing perks assuming you use the Sheraton lounge access with the business version of the card.
Even if you go for the personal version, it’s $0 for the first year so there’s little risk.
But again, don’t even bother if you’ve had either card before.
Keep or DTMFA: Keep.
Keep it at least until we see the future of the combined Marriott/Starwood program. And if Amex gets to keep their card portfolio, there might be some nice spending incentives.
I’m curious to see how this will play out. And that curiosity is enough to keep these cards for a while still… But ask me again in 2018 and I may have a different answer… I do think the small business version of the card is worth keeping long-term for Sheraton Club Room access – if you use it.
If you’ve never had either card, definitely consider them. Remember, the small business version will NOT count against your Chase 5/24 status because it won’t show up on your personal credit report. And, it IS possible to have both of them at the same time (I have both).
Glad to see Amex is stepping it up one last time!* If you liked this post, consider signing up to receive free blog posts in an RSS reader and you’ll never miss an update! And thanks for using my links to apply for new card offers!
Out and Out has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Out and Out and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers.
- Track your net worth with Personal Capital
- Start a blog and learn how to monetize it
- Get a travel rewards card
- Open a SoFi Money account to distribute your funds and get a $25 bonus - it's the best checking account out there right now (here's my review)
The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.