Starwood Hotels has upped their bonus on their American Express card. The offer is now 10,000 points after first purchase and 20,000 points after you spend $4,500 in 90 days on the card. The points you earn from this card are the most flexible of all points that I know of. You can redeem for nights at Starwood Hotels (Sheraton, Westin, W, etc) or you can transfer them to a number of airline frequent flyer programs. When you transfer 20,000 to an airline, they kick in a bonus 5,000 points in the transfer. Here’s the link to the offer.
This card is the only card that I have that I am actually willing to pay the annual fee on because the points are that valuable.
One more note about yesterday’s bumping post – I mentioned that the agents weren’t asking for volunteers when I got there. I didn’t mention that they never asked for volunteers at all. I found that very strange because as the agent was processing our bump, she was telling the other agent that they were oversold by 9 people. And some of the people they were trying to get on were pilots and flight attendants who needed to get to Miami for their next assignment (they were not the pilot and flight attendants for that flight). And I heard the pilots and flight attendants saying that if they couldn’t get them on this flight, they would have to cancel the flight they were working on in Miami. The moral of the story is if you want to get bumped, ask the agent as soon as you get to the gate if they are looking for volunteers. They create a list of people who are willing to be bumped and use that list of they need people. Groups of 2 or singles are usually the first to get the bump because a lot of the time they don’t need many volunteers and they don’t want the hassle of breaking up groups.