Starwood Preferred Guest(R) Credit Card from American Express – ReviewSeptember 11, 2011 - 8:06 am
The Starwood Preferred Guest(R) Credit Card from American Express lets you earn free stays at hotels and rewards all over the country. Not only that, the points you earn can also be redeemed for free flights. You earn points for nearly every dollar you spend on your card and extra points for booking Starwood hotel stays on your card.
Get a signup bonus of 10,000 Starpoints after you make your first purchase. You can earn additional 15,000 Starpoints if you spend $15,000 in the first six months. Those 25,000 points are enough to earn 6 free nights at a Category 1 or 2 hotel. Hotel stays range from 2,000 per night at a Category 1 hotel to 35,000 points at a Category 7 hotel.
You can redeem Starpoints for free nights at hotels in different countries. Points can also be used to book free flights on several major airlines with no blackout dates. You can transfer points to other frequent flier programs. Many points transfer on a one-to-one basis, so you don’t lose points in the transfer process. You even get a 5,000 point bonus for transferring 20,000 Starpoints to another frequent flier program.
How to Earn Points
You earn up to 5 points for every dollar you spend at Starwood hotels and resorts. You’ll get 2 points for booking the hotel stay on your credit card, 2 points for being a Starwood Preferred Guest member, and the final 1 point comes from being a Gold or Platinum member. Even if you’re not a Gold or Platinum member, you can easily get 4 points. You earn 1 point for every dollar you spend on other purchases.
Reach Gold status by staying at a Starwood hotel 10 times or 25 nights in a calendar year and reach Platinum status by staying 25 times or 50 nights in a calendar year. You’ll have to keep up your frequent stays to maintain your Gold or Platinum preferred status from year to year.
Starwood Preferred Guest hotels include: Sheraton Hotels and Resorts, Four Points by Sheraton, W Hotel, Westin Hotels & Resorts, and several more.
Since this is a credit card, you get the ability to pay your balance over time plus the benefit of having an American Express card. Of course, since this is an American Express, you’ll need excellent credit to qualify.
Interest Rate and Fees
The Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card from American Express comes with a 2.90% introductory rate on purchases and balance transfers for 6 months. After that the regular APR for purchases and balance transfers is 15.24% variable based on the Prime Rate.
The cash advance APR is 25.24% variable based on the Prime Rate.
The $65 annual fee is waived in the first year. That means you get to use the card and earn rewards for free for the first 12 months.
The balance transfer fee and cash advance fee are either $5 or 3% of the transfer/advance, whichever is greater. You’ll be charged a foreign transaction fee of 2.7% of the transaction after it’s converted to US dollars.