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Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express

Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express

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Rated 4/5 stars by our editorial team

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3.9/5.0 from 21 Offer Ratings
Over the Past 60 Days!

(21 ) Over the Past 60 Days!

  • Regular Purchase APR 16.74%-20.74% Variable
  • Intro Purchase APR N/A
  • Intro BT APR N/A
  • Annual Fee $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95.
  • Credit Needed

    Excellent/Good

  • Card Brand American Express

Highlights

Card Fees

Expert Review of the Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express

  • 3.0

    Regular APR

  • 0.0

    Intro APR

  • 4.0

    Fees

  • 5.0

    Benefits

  • star rating 4.0 /5

    Overall Rating

Who the card is best for

The Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express is a great card for SPG® members looking to maximize their Starpoints®. You can accumulate Starpoints® quicker when you use this card for your everyday purchases.

If you’re not a current SPG® member, check to see if the hotels you stay at are among those in the program, because then you can join SPG® for free and benefit from the rewards of up to five Starpoints® per dollar spent at those hotels. People who don’t stay at participating SPG® and Marriott Rewards® hotels won’t see much value in this card because the rewards program is mainly based on those purchases — 2 Starpoints® for each dollar of eligible purchases spent on the Card at participating SPG® & Marriott Rewards® hotels. 1 Starpoint for all other purchases.

Where this card stands out in its category

This card allows SPG® members to earn Starpoints® at a faster rate, compared to using other cards. You also automatically receive credit for five nights and two stays each year, which helps you get closer to SPG® elite status (and its additional perks). Find out more about the SPG® rewards program and how to earn elite status here.

Where this card falls short in its category

There is a $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95. This isn’t the highest among travel rewards cards which can have fees up to $550, but you can find travel cards without annual fees. There also is a below-average rewards rate for purchases that aren’t made at participating SPG® and Marriott Rewards® hotels. Other cards on the market have rewards programs that can earn you a flat rate on all points like the Bank of America® Travel Rewards Credit Card.

Additional card benefits

The Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express offers numerous benefits to enhance the value of your card:

  • Free in-room, premium internet: When staying at SPG® participating hotels, you can access free in-room, premium internet service.*
  • Credits towards SPG® elite status: Get to SPG® elite status quicker — you receive credit for 5 nights and 2 stays each year toward SPG® elite status.*
  • Roadside assistance hotline: Receive emergency services for eligible vehicles, ranging from towing, changing a flat or boosting a battery in the U.S., Canada, Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands. Third-party service costs are your responsibility. For full terms and conditions, see americanexpress.com/RAterms.*
  • Car rental loss and damage insurance: You may be covered for damage or theft when renting eligible cars with your card. For full terms and conditions, see americanexpress.com/CRLDIterms.*
  • Global Assist® hotline: Traveling more than 100 miles from home qualifies you for 24/7 access to medical, legal, financial or other select emergency coordination and assistance services. You’re responsible for the costs charged by third-party service providers.*
  • Travel accident insurance: When you charge your common carrier fare to your card, you may receive coverage up to $100,000 for accidental death or dismemberment. For full terms and conditions, see americanexpress.com/TAIterms.*
  • Entertainment Access®: Exclusive access to events and presales for Broadway shows and concert tours, family and sporting events, and more in select cities.*
  • Personalized travel service: Representatives are available to assist in travel planning and questions.*
  • ShopRunner: You can receive free two-day shipping and free returns on eligible items at 140+ retailers when you enroll with your card.*
  • SPG® Moments?: Access an exclusive program where you can bid on or redeem Starpoints® for unique experiences. Events have included coveted VIP tickets to the hottest concerts of the year, championship sporting events and red carpet premieres. See spgmoments.com for more details.*

*Terms and conditions apply.

How to use it most effectively

To gain the most value from the Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express, use it for all purchases at participating Starwood and Marriott Rewards® hotels. This can allow you to earn rewards faster at a rate of 2 Starpoints® for each dollar of eligible purchases spent on the Card at participating SPG® & Marriott Rewards® hotels. 1 Starpoint for all other purchases.

If you travel abroad, this card can come in handy since some competing cards have a 2-5% foreign transaction fee and this card has none.

Stays at SPG® Participating Hotels allow you to access premium internet for free, so you can browse the web, stream and more, without spending money on Wi-Fi. Conditions apply.

Make sure you meet the requirements of the Welcome Offer: 25,000 bonus Starpoints® after you use your new Card to make $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months.

Rewards breakdown

The Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express earns 2 Starpoints® for each dollar of eligible purchases spent on the Card at participating SPG® & Marriott Rewards® hotels. 1 Starpoint for all other purchases.

This can allow you to earn up to five Starpoints® per dollar, on top of the two or three you can earn as an SPG® member when you make purchases at participating SPG® and Marriott Rewards® hotels. So, Preferred members can earn a total of four Starpoints® and Gold or Platinum members can earn a total of five Starpoints®. See terms and conditions.

Starpoints® can be redeemed in many ways: free flights on over 150 airlines with SPG® Flights (all with no blackout dates), transfers to over 30 airline frequent flyer programs (mostly on a 1:1 basis), for SPG® Moments?, gift cards, donations, free nights at Starwood's 11 brands including St. Regis, The Luxury Collection, W Hotels, Le Méridien, Westin, Sheraton, Aloft, Element Hotels, Four Points by Sheraton, Tribute Portfolio and Design Hotels, and more.

You can receive a 5,000 Starpoint® bonus when you transfer 20,000 Starpoints® to a participating frequent flyer program. Visit spg.com for a list of participating airlines. There is a Welcome Offer for you to earn 25,000 bonus Starpoints® after you use your new Card to make $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months.

Compare it with the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

The Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express and the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card are both travel rewards cards, but they have different rewards programs and perks. The Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express predominately rewards SPG® members with a rewards rate of 2 Starpoints® for each dollar of eligible purchases spent on the Card at participating SPG® & Marriott Rewards® hotels. 1 Starpoint for all other purchases. The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card can earn you Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card. Therefore, if you don’t stay at participating SPG® and Marriott Rewards® hotels, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card may be a better option due to its broader travel category and inclusion of dining purchases in the higher rewards rate.

In regards to additional card benefits, both cards allow you to transfer points, with Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card providing 1:1 transfers to participating frequent travel programs and Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express permitting you to transfer Starpoints® on a mostly 1:1 basis to select frequent flyer programs. However, a key difference with the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is its noteworthy perk — you can receive a 25% bonus when you redeem points for travel at Chase Ultimate Rewards®; allowing you to maximize your points’ worth. This can be a feature that adds significant value to your card membership. Here’s a breakdown of the key features of each card:

  Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
Annual Fee $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95. $0 Intro for the First Year, then $95
Purchase Intro Rate N/A N/A
Balance Transfer Fee Either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater. Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Regular Purchase APR 16.74%-20.74% Variable 17.49% - 24.49% Variable
Rewards 2 Starpoints® for each dollar of eligible purchases spent on the Card at participating SPG® & Marriott Rewards® hotels. 1 Starpoint for all other purchases. 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases
Sign Up Bonus 25,000 bonus Starpoints® after you use your new Card to make $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months. Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
Foreign Transaction Fee None $0

Bottom line

SPG® members can find a lot of value in the Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express which allows you to increase your Starpoints® at a faster rate compared to other cards. You have the flexibility to redeem Starpoints® in many ways and can benefit from the various perks this card offers such as credits towards SPG® elite status and personalized travel service.

Ongoing Information

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Offer Rating

3.9/5.0

21 Total Ratings

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