The Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express was created for travelers who frequently stay at SPG or Marriott properties. For an annual fee of $95 that’s waived the first year, it’s well worth it for those who enjoy perks and discounts from the brand’s line of properties.
The SPG’s rewards program also features the ability to transfer your points to many major airline frequent flyer programs. Therefore, the potential of this card may be worth much more for travelers interested in playing the points and miles game.
Cardholders earn 6 points per $1 spent on eligible purchases at participating Starwood and Marriott hotels. All other purchases earn 2 points per $1 spent.
New applicants earn 75,000 bonus points after you use your new card to make $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months.
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Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card Summary
|With the Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express:
-Earn 75,000 Bonus Points after you use your new Card to make $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months.
-Earn 6 points for each dollar of eligible purchases at participating SPG® and Marriott Rewards® hotels and 2 points on all other eligible purchases.
-No Foreign Transaction Fees on International purchases.
-Receive 1 Free Night Award every year after your Card account anniversary. Award can be used for one night (redemption level at or under 35,000 points) at a participating hotel. Select hotels have resort fees.
-Enjoy complimentary, unlimited Boingo Wi-Fi on up to four devices at more than 1,000,000 Boingo hotspots worldwide. Enrollment required.
-$0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95.
-See Rates & Fees
Earn 6X Points At SPG & Marriott Properties
The Amex Starwood Preferred Guests card follows a simple earning structure. Cardholders earn 2 points per dollar on eligible purchases at participating Starwood and Marriott hotels and 1 point per dollar on everything else.
That 2X rate is hard to beat, especially since it’s on top of any points you earn as an SPG member with your elite status bonuses.
However, the everyday spending rate is quite low. You might be better off searching for a card that earns bonus points on the categories in which you make the most purchases. Examples would be the Chase Sapphire Preferred® for travel and dining, or the Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card for supermarket and gas purchases.
Redeem your earned points with hotel reservations, airline partner point transfers, experiences, vacation packages, gift cards, and merchandise. The value of your points will vary depending on how you redeem them. The average range value is 0.8–2 cents per point.
As a side note, SPG, Marriott, and The Ritz-Carlton recently combined their rewards programs, and they’re all now covered under one program. If you had any SPG Starpoints in the previous system, they’ll be multiplied by three to give your new point value. In addition, if you had multiple accounts with these brands you should merge them. This will collect all your points and benefits together in one account.
Generally, redeeming for hotel reservations offers the most value out of your points. You can also use your points at hotels through standard room reservations, PointSavers reservations, Cash + Points reservations, fifth night free on standard award stays, room upgrades, and purchases charged to rooms.
You’ll typically find the best deals with PointSavers reservations, as they require 1,500 to 10,000 fewer points than standard reservations. These provide rooms at discounted redemption rates. Fifth night free stays are another great option. This gives you a whole night for free only on standard room reservations. Standard room reservations are generally what most people go for, and these still give you good point value.
Marriott rewards points will expire after 24 months of no account activity. You can keep your points active by making a purchase with your card once every 24 months.
Complementary Silver Status & Fast Track to Gold Status
Amex Starwood Preferred Guests cardholders earn automatic Silver Elite status. These are the benefits you earn with this card:
- Priority late checkout
- 10% bonus on Base points earned
- Free Wi-Fi
- Compensation for a hotel stay if Marriott can’t honor your reservation
- Dedicated phone lines for reservations
- Mobile key
- Exclusive member rates
If you spend more than $35,000 in qualifying purchases in a calendar year, you can qualify for Gold Elite status. This qualifies you to earns you even more perks. If you reach the spending requirement you’ll get Gold status for the remainder of the year, along with the entire following year. Thus, if you want to maximize Gold status, you should aim to hit that amount as early in the year as possible.
Gold Elite status comes with all the Silver Elite status perks, but also includes:
- 25% bonus on base points earned
- Enhanced in-room internet access
- Enhanced room upgrades, when available
- 2 p.m. late checkout
- Points welcome gift
The Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express is a strong travel card on the market due to the benefits of the SPG program. Users can enjoy some great hotel award redemption values and American Express benefits. In addition, it offers the flexibility to transfer points to many airlines.
However, if you’re not an avid traveler who stays SPG and Marriott properties enough to justify the $95 annual fee, feel free to check out our complete list of credit card promotions for more bonuses today!
Learn more about this card and its features here.
The editorial content on this page is not provided by any of the companies mentioned, and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone.