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On Monday I received an email from SPG informing me that they have increased the referral bonus from the standard 5,000 Starpoints to 7,500 Starpoints. The increased referral bonus applies to both the business card and the personal card products.

The total bonus you can earn in a year is still subject to an annual limit of 55,000 Starpoints (for each version of the card). Although I have referred several people for credit cards over the years, I have never come close to approaching that cap. But still keep it in mind.

Best uses of Starpoints

Starpoints are one of my favorite currencies to collect. When I can’t decide what other card to use on non-bonus spend, and I don’t have any minimum spend to meet (fairly rare), I default to using my SPG card. I’ve also used my Starwood business card heavily for gift card reselling (SEE: How to get started in gift card reselling).

In my opinion, the best uses of Starpoints are in transfers to airlines at the 1:1 rate with the 25% transfer bonus (best for miles you can’t get from other transferable currencies, like Alaska, AA, Avianca, JAL). Or simply for stays at Starwood hotels. You could also do the “nights & flights” package, but you’re probably better off saving a bit more for one of Marriott’s packages.

Is this the best time to refer?

Yes and no. Or maybe it depends how much of a bonus you want your friend to receive. 🙂 In my opinion now is the time to refer. The future of the Starwood Preferred Guest credit cards is unknown at this point. Due to Marriott’s purchase of Starwood, the product may be going away soon.

However, we have also recently seen the bonus increase to a whopping 35,000 points! The current referral bonus will net the referrer more points, but the referred applicant might still be able to hold out for a bigger bonus. But who knows what we are going to see!

Conclusion

If you haven’t yet held both SPG Amex cards, I would highly suggest getting them sooner rather than later. Yes, we may see the 35,000 Starpoint bonus again, but we could just as likely see the product pulled entirely.

Referrals are valid through 10/31/18. Which does give me some hope the card will be sticking around through most of next year.

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