The Starwood American Express card is one of my favorite cards. I use it for almost all non-bonus spending since I value an SPG point higher than any other point currency (my value is minimum of 2.5 cents/point). The normal bonus is 25K points after $5K spending in 6 months, but @RobertDwyer tweeted to me that the bonus is increased to 30K around August/September. The deal is supposed to “officially” be available tomorrow, but there are already applications available today. The first year fee is waived, but then it’s a reasonable $65 a year.
Personal Starwood American Express Application via Credit Karma (click on show all and scroll down)
Business Starwood American Express Application via Credit Karma (click on show all and scroll down)
Note that the above links are my affiliate links. I would greatly appreciate it if you applied through my links!
SPG points transfer to dozens of airlines at a 1:1 ratio, and can be very useful for topping off airline accounts. You also get a 5K bonus when you transfer 20K SPG points to an airline partner. One of my other favorite uses is the Cash & Points feature for Starwood hotels, even despite a recent devaluation. If you chase elite status, this card also provides 2 stay/5 night credits towards elite status. If you have both the personal and business version, you get 4 stay/10 night credits.
This card is not a good choice if you’re looking for “aspirational” or top-end properties. For those, go with the Chase Hyatt card or the Citi Hilton Reserve card. Don’t use the SPG card abroad either since foreign transaction fees are not waived.
A Recommendation: Take screen shots during your application. A reader of mine recently reported that Amex messed up one of their bonuses and it took a few weeks to get it corrected. Going forward, I’m going to always recommend to save screen shots just in case you have trouble down the road.