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Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available. View the current offers here – Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card from American Express, Starwood Preferred Guest Business Credit Card from American Express
TPG reader Jonathan wrote in to ask about Starwood and the co-branded Amex card:
“I just started staying at Starwood hotels — should I get the Amex SPG with the 30,000 bonus points?”
Every August for the last several years, Starwood and American Express have increased the sign-up bonus for the Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card, and this year, we’re seeing the same thing. Last Tuesday, Amex released a limited-time offer for 30,000 points after you spend $3,000 in the first three months.
My answer to Johnathan is yes, absolutely get that card! Even though Amex has raised the annual fee, it’s waived the first year, and in my opinion those 30,000 points are worth well over $600. You can transfer Starpoints to more than 30 airlines, many at an attractive ratio. And of course, you can redeem them for Starwood stays as well as SPG Moments.
I actually recommend the Starwood Preferred Guest Business Credit Card as well, because you get Sheraton Club lounge access as well as OPEN Savings discounts, which can save you a ton of money, and usually get taken off your statement automatically. However, note that the business card has a higher spending requirement of $5,000 in three months to earn the 30,000 points.
I’ve had both the personal and business SPG Amex cards since 2012. They’ve helped me re-qualify for Starwood Elite status every year, since I get two stays and five nights of elite credit for each card. That means I start January of each year with four stays and ten nights — that’s 10 percent of the way toward SPG Platinum Ambassador status, which you get once you reach 100 nights.
These cards now also waive foreign transaction fees, so you can use them for your Starwood stays abroad and not get nickel-and-dimed. In my opinion, Starpoints are the most valuable loyalty currency out there. Earning those points while getting Amex purchase protection is one of the ways that I continuously beef up my SPG account.
While this premium card has one of the highest annual fees on the market, it has several valuable perks that could make it worthwhile, depending on your travel patterns. These include a $200 annual airline rebate, lounge access, free Hilton Gold status and free Starwood Preferred Guest Gold status.
- Earn 40,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new Card to make $3,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.
- 5X points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel.
- $200 Airline Fee Credit, up to $200 a year for baggage fees and more at one airline. Terms Apply.
- As a Platinum Card Member, you can enjoy access to the Global Lounge Collection, the only credit card airport lounge access program that includes proprietary lounge locations worldwide. Terms Apply.
- Enroll to enjoy the benefits of complimentary Hilton HHonors™ Gold Status with your Platinum Card.®
- No interest charges because you pay your balance in full each month.
- Terms and Conditions apply.
- See Rates & Fees