I like the 35,000 point Starwood American Express offer better than the 30,000

Update: this offer has concluded and the links removed. Refer a friend is still available at a lower offer level.

35,000 seems bigger than 30,000.

The publicly available Starwood American Express bonus was increased today by 5,000 points, now it is 10,000 after first purchase and 20,000 more after completing $5,000 in eligible spend in the first 6 months of cardmembership.

What about the extra 5,000? That comes from American Express Refer a Friend. If you know someone with an existing Starwood American Express card, direct them to the Refer a Friend page. They will see offers on certain cards they have and can send an email referral. These offers are often not the best available, even with the referral bonus, but in the case of Starwood, they have the same 30,000 bonus plus a 5,000 referral bonus upon card approval. This is available for both personal and business cards, but unlike some other Refer a Friend offers, it seems you can only refer personal to personal and business to business. So the hitch is that you do not receive the points yourself when following the program as intended but it can be a nice multi-year rotation among those spouses/family/friends that will reliably return the favor in some form.

American Express - Refer a Friend

Yes, I have the blogger referral link that pays me a commission, it is a nice link (apply here), shiny link (apply here), welcoming link (apply here). And the business card, too. Kidding attempt at brainwashing aside, the advice I give to family and friends is to use the Refer a Friend link where feasible, so I am not going to recommend to readers anything different.

If you want to instead support this blog or others, then the recipient will certainly appreciate the gesture.

But you should have the best info, the “straight dope” as my grandmother liked to say, and make the call for yourself.

Rapid Travel Chai newsletter ¦ Twitter ¦ Facebook ¦ Instagram


  • CodeAdam10

    What a geninue post and completely different from all the spam-like blog posts today about this card. I would use your referral if I was applying for this card and I encourage others to do so as well.

  • Mike

    Whats the max referral bonus you can get?

  • @Mike – my understanding is that it violates the terms of the program to publicly disclose the referral amounts, so unfortunately I cannot publish that. Some bloggers have tried creative ways to share referrals with applicants; the affiliate companies and banks have not appreciated the creativity. This is a rare way in the online world to meaningfully monetize a blog, so I am grateful that this is possible and have no desire to violate the terms of the providers.

  • Since you can’t share what you earn per referral can you share how you monetize the bog and get affiliate links in the first place?

  • @JapanMiles – the credit card links are offered by a number of affiliate marketing companies that cover all range of products and services, anyone with a website can apply, each has its own terms for vetting applicants.

  • Pingback: ‘Round the Blogosphere | Field Of Burch()

  • Thanks for the info. I enjoy your no-nonsense blog.

  • Mike

    I think you misunderstood my question. I was asking, when I refer my friends, family, etc thru amex website to get the spg card, i get 5k pts. Whats the max amount of referral pts I can receive? Im asking because I thought I remember seeing a limit.

  • @Mike – then I did misunderstand, the Amex refer a friend terms say: “You are eligible to earn 5,000 bonus points for each approved referral, up to a total of 250,000 bonus points.Referrals must be submitted by December 31, 2012 and referred individual(s) must apply by January 10, 2013 and be approved.” Presumably you can do this for both the personal and business cards (2 x 250,000), if you have them, but I do not have a business card to verify the terms.

  • Mike