Per Canadian Kilometres, the AMEX SPG sign-up bonus is back up to 20,000 SPG Points (this is a referral). It used to be 21,000 with a referral, however, it was brought down to 10,000 for awhile. You can see my review of the SPG AMEX card, where I explain why it’s one of my favourite cards:
Starwood Preferred Guest (“SPG”) points are extremely valuable. They transfer 1:1 to a number of airline partners, which provides extreme flexibility, and if you transfer 20,000 points at a time, you get a 5,000 point bonus, which means an effective 1:1.25 transfer rate. Further, SPG points can be used at thousands of Starwood properties, which includes some great budget options at 2,000 points per night, and some extremely luxurious properties that would be otherwise unaffordable. Further, if you redeem four nights on points, the fifth night is free. All in all, SPG points are one of the most valuable points options out there.
The SPG Amex card is my main credit card. Why? First of all, I place a high value on SPG points, and I want to collect them to redeem on hard to obtain flight redemptions. Second, though the dollar-to-point ratio on this card is 1:1, with the 5,000 bonus on transferring 20,000 points, the purchase ratio is effectively 1:1.25. Third, after spending $30,000 on the card in a year, I’ll receive complimentary SPG Gold Status, which has a number of benefits. Fourth, after spending $40,000 in a year, I’ll get a Free Weekend Night certificate for a category 1-4 hotel. Last, you get a number of other benefits, such as extra product warranty, travel/car rental insurance, baggage insurance, etc.