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FFGuru said: DBTZ said: this card is GREAAAAAAAAAT......
you can get upgraded to gold for free, (there was a thread abt this on FW)


I remember that thread too, but I can't seem to find it anywhere. Do you remember where you saw it? I know you can get upgraded to Gold automatically by joining Ameniti (United Airlines' premier travel club) That may be an option, and when combined with the free companion travel, it may make it worth the steep Ameniti membership. For more info on Ameniti click here. Have they stopped giving out tremendous bonus miles for signing up?

How else can one upgrade to Starwood gold for the free upgrades?


your right, i cant seem to find that thread anymore
glad i got in

Dynastar454 said: bozo007 said: SoBeyondTheNorm said: I'm wondering though, is it possible to earn the additional 6K points in the first year but just eating lunch at a Starwood hotel and that would count as a stay?
Lunch is not equal to a stay.


Actually, some people have reported success buying things at the hotel. The trick is it needs to appear on your credit card as being billed by the Hotel, not the resturant. Often the resturant will allow you to pay your bill at the front desk if you ask, so give it a try.


this is true i just parked at a Sheraton once for 10 bucks and when my statement came i got an extra 1000 points for my first "stay" pretty sweet

How does this card compare to Fidelity AMEX Gold? Gold's annual fee is picked up by Fidelity (w/ 5k assets) but costs 35 for rewards network so i guess a rub in cost.

FFGuru

double (or) triple GREEN for you !

i have not seen this type of detail in the threads.
thx you very much for the efforts! this ffb thing is complicated,
yet you have given to much details which we truly appreciate.

nice to have rewards just for shopping.
thx you. will post when i getmy first reward.

Bummer, I applied for the card last week (through the AMEX website) and forgot to use cbass98's application link to get the sweet 6,000 bonus miles. I called AMEX to try and change it and the CSR said they cannot give me the cbass98 card offer.

Anybody know of a way to get my card offer changed to the one linked in this thread? I am thinking I should call the application department and maybe someboby there can help me out.

thrusty said: Bummer, I applied for the card last week (through the AMEX website) and forgot to use cbass98's application link to get the sweet 6,000 bonus miles. I called AMEX to try and change it and the CSR said they cannot give me the cbass98 card offer.

Anybody know of a way to get my card offer changed to the one linked in this thread? I am thinking I should call the application department and maybe someboby there can help me out.


Call higher-up manager... usually they will accept a faxed copy of the offer or even a reference to that web page. Good luck!

76hhma said: thrusty said: Bummer, I applied for the card last week (through the AMEX website) and forgot to use cbass98's application link to get the sweet 6,000 bonus miles. I called AMEX to try and change it and the CSR said they cannot give me the cbass98 card offer.

Anybody know of a way to get my card offer changed to the one linked in this thread? I am thinking I should call the application department and maybe someboby there can help me out.


Call higher-up manager... usually they will accept a faxed copy of the offer or even a reference to that web page. Good luck!


Yeah, that's probably what I should do. Get past the CSR and find somebody with more power, thanks for your help!

thrusty said: 76hhma said: thrusty said: Bummer, I applied for the card last week (through the AMEX website) and forgot to use cbass98's application link to get the sweet 6,000 bonus miles. I called AMEX to try and change it and the CSR said they cannot give me the cbass98 card offer.

Anybody know of a way to get my card offer changed to the one linked in this thread? I am thinking I should call the application department and maybe someboby there can help me out.


Call higher-up manager... usually they will accept a faxed copy of the offer or even a reference to that web page. Good luck!


Yeah, that's probably what I should do. Get past the CSR and find somebody with more power, thanks for your help!


when i started the card in late 2004, they werent offering any bonus points.
abt 6 months later they began offering 4,000 points so i called up and told them that i just started the card and they shouldve offered me the points. took a good hlaf hour on the phone, but i did get my points credited (like 12 weeks later or whatever)
good luck to you
dont give up!!

It worked they gave it to me! Thanks for the advice.

DBTZ said: FFGuru said: DBTZ said: this card is GREAAAAAAAAAT......
you can get upgraded to gold for free, (there was a thread abt this on FW)


I remember that thread too, but I can't seem to find it anywhere. Do you remember where you saw it? I know you can get upgraded to Gold automatically by joining Ameniti (United Airlines' premier travel club) That may be an option, and when combined with the free companion travel, it may make it worth the steep Ameniti membership. For more info on Ameniti click here. Have they stopped giving out tremendous bonus miles for signing up?

How else can one upgrade to Starwood gold for the free upgrades?


your right, i cant seem to find that thread anymore
glad i got in


I got complementary Gold SPG status by having an AMEX Platinum Card. (It has the be the regular AMEX Platinum Card)

I know some of you have various cards, and if you call SPG and tell them you have the Platinum Card, they will upgrade you to Gold....

I don't know if thats just for the first year of if it's indefinately. I became Platinum with SPG shortly after that.

Thanks for all the useful information and the link for the 6000 bonus points!

Interested in getting this card but looking at the starwood page it says "Listed below are the frequent flyer programs to which Starwood Preferred Guests can transfer StarpointsŪ - up to 99,999 Starpoints per program! (Please note the 99,999 maximum includes any 5,000 per every 20,000 Starpoints transferred bonus; therefore, only a maximum of 79,999 may actually be used from your account. Also, certain airlines set their own limits, and that the exchange rate varies by airline.)"

So I am wondering if this is a lifetime transfer rate to any particular airline or if it is a yearly transfer rate or a daily transfer rate. Since it appears that quite a few people have this card I'm sure someone has tried to transfer more than 99,000 points since having the card into 1 particular airline. Because if not this card is still valuable but not nearly as valuable as it appears on the surface.

No, it's 99,999 maximum Starpoints transferred PLUS the 5,000 point bonuses, and that limit applies to _each day_. SPG says that this is an airline thing, not an SPG thing, and that it's best to break large point transfers into chunks of 60,000.

When transferring points, make sure that you look around for the best offer for your trip. This might sound obvious, but for overseas travel some foreign airlines have lower redemption rates than domestic carriers -- e.g., Air France recently ran a special 25,000-miles-to-Europe offer.

On SPG Gold: the only real bonus is a 50% elite earning bonus on Starwood stays (a total of 4 points/$ = 3/$ from SPG + 1/$ from AMEX). Otherwise, the Preferred Plus membership given with the AMEX gives you the same late checkout, auto upgrades, etc. that Gold status gets.

Yes, the "SPG stay" bonus points are available for non-room activity: just to try it out, I bought a postcard at the W Store and a pair of drinks at the bar, and all three credited as 500-point stay bonuses. AMEX classified all three as food/beverage, and didn't report any charges as originating at the front desk (the bar is leased to a third party operator). Go figure, and ymmv.

My first purchase was made on Sat. and on Monday, voila! the bonus points showed up on spg site. Really impressive.
Thanks OP for the great thread and cbass98 for the bonus link.
Now I am going to buy some postcards from Sheraton. Thanks paytonc for the tip!

I'll throw out a couple of other 'cool' things about Starwood Preferred Guest.

1) I was platinum level at one point. Best things is that you get the best room available in the hotel when you check in (I've had 1000 sf suites with dining tables for 10). They also tend to give you an in-room gift (box of cookies, something like that). They'll also kick out the reservations of non-platinum guests if there is no room available for you on short notice. Only did this once, but kind of cool.

2) They regularly have bonuses... my favorite is the 'stay with us 5 time and you get a free weekend'. The free weekend amounts to a Fri and Sat night in almost any Starwood hotel. My wife and I have used them at the Westin Essex House in NYC to take a mini-vacation and see a show.

3) While they don't have to give you any upgrades when you use your points for hotels, a lot of times they will. One example... in Auckland, New Zealand we booked a room for 2 nights at the Sheraton using points. It was fashion week and all the hotels were full. Instead of just giving us the standard room, they put us up on the penthouse concierge floor (nice room, huge chocolate sculpture, fruit basket, wine/appetizer gathering each night, internet cafe, etc.). They do then to treat their members pretty well.

4) They seem to be willing to help when the can with regards to rates. We needed about 6 rooms in the St. Francis in San Fran for a family wedding. Called up the SPG care line and they were able to give us a significantly better rate than we could have gotten online.

Happy traveling...

BigFatCat said: I'll throw out a couple of other 'cool' things about Starwood Preferred Guest.


2) They regularly have bonuses... my favorite is the 'stay with us 5 time and you get a free weekend'. The free weekend amounts to a Fri and Sat night in almost any Starwood hotel. My wife and I have used them at the Westin Essex House in NYC to take a mini-vacation and see a show.

Happy traveling...


yea, this bonus was nice, but now they took the essex house off of the starwood program

DBTZ said: BigFatCat said: I'll throw out a couple of other 'cool' things about Starwood Preferred Guest.


2) They regularly have bonuses... my favorite is the 'stay with us 5 time and you get a free weekend'. The free weekend amounts to a Fri and Sat night in almost any Starwood hotel. My wife and I have used them at the Westin Essex House in NYC to take a mini-vacation and see a show.

Happy traveling...


yea, this bonus was nice, but now they took the essex house off of the starwood program


Yeah, I noticed that... we stayed at the W instead one time... it was pretty cool.

Ordered lunch at the Westin in St John last week and I got the 1,000 bonus points as it counted as a stay.. thanks OP!


they seem to have added another hotel chain to the starwood family "LA meridian" or something like that
anyone ever heard of them?

Thanks for the heads up DBTZ. I have heard of Le Meridien....They are superb! There are some pictures of them here. I personally have never stayed with them, I do know that Oprah or some talk show host puts their guest up with them though. Maybe another FWer has stayed there? Let us know what you thought.

NCA77 said: Ordered lunch at the Westin in St John last week and I got the 1,000 bonus points as it counted as a stay.. thanks OP!



I am going to be about 0.5 miles away from the Sheraton San Diego Hotel in Mission Valley (San Diego, California) next week for a meeting. Looks like I will be having lunch there.

NCA77 said: Ordered lunch at the Westin in St John last week and I got the 1,000 bonus points as it counted as a stay.. thanks OP!



Did you use your AMEX card & present give them your starwood number to get the points?

I got 500 "stay bonus" points for buying a soda at the Westin Waltham lobby bar with my Starwood AMEX.

heathriel said: I got 500 "stay bonus" points for buying a soda at the Westin Waltham lobby bar with my Starwood AMEX.

That is close to us, will try it; thanks.

If I signup for a AMEX Small Business card to get the 250.00 signup bonus, can I have them switch the card over to this Starwood with little headache? Anyone with prior experience please send me a private message or post here.

Thanks

No, you can only switch an OPEN Biz card to a similar product. the SPG card is a personal credit card. No possible way to transfer. You'd need to just apply for it as a new card.

daveland said: No, you can only switch an OPEN Biz card to a similar product. the SPG card is a personal credit card. No possible way to transfer. You'd need to just apply for it as a new card.

ok, thanks daveland

DBTZ said:
when i started the card in late 2004, they werent offering any bonus points.
abt 6 months later they began offering 4,000 points so i called up and told them that i just started the card and they shouldve offered me the points. took a good hlaf hour on the phone, but i did get my points credited (like 12 weeks later or whatever)
good luck to you
dont give up!!


Thanks. Its like pulling teeth trying to get them to cough up the points. My "first charge" was in
November 2005, waited the full 12 weeks, bugged them again for the points, no go.

Spent 20 minutes and finally got a manager. Got the manager to open a "case" and they will have another CSR/manager
call me within the next 8 weeks.

For sure.

Thanks OP ! nice work.

Hey party people,

I have a question about the ability to earn bonus points with the Starwood AMEX. I'm getting married in a Sheraton, and I'm thinking of using this card. You normally get 1 pt for every $3 spent on the wedding/catering bill. By using the card, I'm hoping to get the typical 3 points per dollar, too.

However, I've now talked to a few people about it. The more knowledgable sounding ones are saying that I wouldn't get the "2 points for being SPG" bonus for spending my money at the hotel (though I'd still get the normal 1 pt per dollar). They are saying only charges that can be attributed to the room are eligible for the 2 extra points per dollar. They pointed to the terms and conditions, but I can find nothing on the website that says this. Does anyone here have a copy of these conditions or have they heard of this? Any tips for talking to the management about it?

Considering I'm about to drop $30K on my wedding, it's worth 60000 points to me!

(BTW, based on the previous threads, I'll try to get upgraded to SPG Platinum ASAP for more bonus!)

^^^ Surely you or someone in the wedding party will need a room for the night. Book a room and then talk to management and see if they can bill you at once for the rooms and the wedding stuff. Personally, I'd just come out and explain why you want to do this. For a $30K wedding, I'm sure a hotel like the Sheraton would be willing to bend over backwards to please you. Of course, the more rooms you book, the easier time they'd have with this, but I'd be surprised if they were unwilling to do this even if you had only one room.

asteinb said: ^^^ Surely you or someone in the wedding party will need a room for the night. Book a room and then talk to management and see if they can bill you at once for the rooms and the wedding stuff. Personally, I'd just come out and explain why you want to do this. For a $30K wedding, I'm sure a hotel like the Sheraton would be willing to bend over backwards to please you. Of course, the more rooms you book, the easier time they'd have with this, but I'd be surprised if they were unwilling to do this even if you had only one room.

The question is about the money spent on the wedding reception - catering, ceremony, room fees, bar, service, etc... - billed in an all-inclusive "wedding package". The amount of money and points in the wedding reception is at least 10X the money and points in the rooms.

FYI, it's not a problem for the rooms. They have a rate for us, and if our guests aren't SPG, we can get the points for their stays.

squatch6 said: The question is about the money spent on the wedding reception
I understand that. My suggestion was to explain to the manager what you are trying to accomplish, and have him bill you for the reception stuff along with the rooms, at the "front desk" or whatever it is. All Starwood needs is to have the charge pass through whatever they consider to be an approved point of sale, and the points are automatic. They don't care what the charge was for or how much it is, as long as your card gets swiped through a computer or register authorized to give points. That's how some people have been getting stay points for buying a Coke at the bar.

If you have to pay some amount in advance as a deposit, or make several installments, maybe you can prepay one or two of the rooms. Or hell, just ask the manager to check you out at the reception desk so your card gets swiped through one of those registers. For 30 grand, there's a way for the event planning manager to get this done.

i applied for the starwood today and I was approved with a Credit Line of 3K

just 3K ??? what happened?

You will only get 1 point per $3 spent on the wedding if you are a Preferred Planner. Make sure it's all spelled out in your agreement with the Sheraton.

You will absolutey NOT get bonus points for using the SPG AMEX other than the standard 1pt/$ you get for using that card anywhere. The 2 bonus points is fancy wording for "you earn 2 points per dollar spent at the hotel". But that does NOT ever apply to events. You can get Preferred Planner points or yu can sometimes negotiate for a better points ratio with the hotel directly.

Be sure to have that in the contract as there have been reports in the past of people being promised points for an affair and having teh hotel reneg later saying they don't do that. Nothing in writing = no points.

SleekWallet said: i applied for the starwood today and I was approved with a Credit Line of 3K

just 3K ??? what happened?

When you get it, enroll for the online system, and hit the Request Credit Line Increase link. I got only $2K when I was approved, but got that doubled the day I got it by doing that. Remember that if it asks you for a form, you will get a hard pull. When I did it the first time, it just gave me the higher limit.

What's better this or Hilton?

asteinb said: SleekWallet said: i applied for the starwood today and I was approved with a Credit Line of 3K

just 3K ??? what happened?

When you get it, enroll for the online system, and hit the Request Credit Line Increase link. I got only $2K when I was approved, but got that doubled the day I got it by doing that. Remember that if it asks you for a form, you will get a hard pull. When I did it the first time, it just gave me the higher limit.


hey thanks for the hint

jkimcpa said: What's better this or Hilton?

I would have to say Starwood. The fact that you can transfer points to airline miles at an excellent rate is pretty much unbeatable.

Hilton offers some good bonus point categories which is nice, but you are pretty much limited to hotel stays for rewards.

If you are not interested in the miles option with Starwood, then you'll have to do some research as to the value of a point in the two programs. Unfortunately, I don't have that info. Maybe some others can help.

FFGuru said: jkimcpa said: What's better this or Hilton?

I would have to say Starwood. The fact that you can transfer points to airline miles at an excellent rate is pretty much unbeatable.

Hilton offers some good bonus point categories which is nice, but you are pretty much limited to hotel stays for rewards.

If you are not interested in the miles option with Starwood, then you'll have to do some research as to the value of a point in the two programs. Unfortunately, I don't have that info. Maybe some others can help.


Also, I think Starwood redemptions are generally easier.

Just received 50% bonus miles offer for transferring AMEX Plat points to Starwood (or a few other Hotel chains) points.

new reward for starwoods points

American Express branded reward card worth $50 USD - 5000 STARPOINTS
American Express branded reward card worth $100 USD - 9500 STARPOINTS
American Express branded reward card worth $150 USD - 14000 STARPOINTS



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