Review of American Express Starwood Preferred Guest



The American Express Starwood Preferred Guest was last reviewed on 13th May 2005

Summary - We have awarded the Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express american express starwood preferred guest Editor's Choice status. It has been voted the second best travel credit card in the 17th Freddie Awards. The Starwood Preferred Guest frequent guest program is probably the best hotel reward program today.

Let us look at this credit card in more detail.

Reward Formula - You to earn 3 points for every dollar you spend at an eligible Starwood hotel. You earn 1 point from using the credit card and 2 points from being a Starwood Preferred Guest member. Hence, you will earn 3 points rather than 2 if you use the credit card. Gold Starwood Preferred Guest members will earn 4 points (3 points from Starwood and 1 point from using the card). You will earn 1 point for every dollar you spend on other purchases. Points will not expire as long as your account is active within 12 months.

Earn up to 10,000 additional in the first year - As a signing bonus, you will earn 4,000 points after you first purchase. You also stand to earn up to 6,000 additional points during your first year as a cardholder. This is how it works. You will receive an additonal 1,000 bonus points on your first use of your card at Starwood hotel and resorts. You will earn an additonal 500 points whenever you use your card at Starwood during the first year for up to 10 stays (5,000 points). To put it in context, you only need 2,000 points to redeem a free nights stay at Starwood. 10,000 points can get you 5 free nights stay.

Annual 50% off for future Starwood stays - You will also get an annual 50% discount on future Starwood stays for up to 5 nights.

Annual Fee and APR - There is no annual fee for the first year. After the first year, the annual fee is $30.00. The apr is prime rate plus 9.99%. The average daily balance (including new purchase) method is used to calculate monthly balances. You also get a 2.9% fixed rate introductory apr on both purchases and balance transfers for 6 months. There is no balance transfer fee charged during this period.

Award won by Starwood Preferred Guest in the 17th Freddie Awards.

The Starwood Preferred Guest program dominated the 17th Freddie Awards. This was how they placed in the various categories.

Best Affinity Card - 2nd Place
Best Award - 1st Place for Americas, Europe, Middle East, Africas and Asia
Best Award Redemption - 1st Place for Americas, Europe, Middle East, Africas and Asia
Best Customer Service - 1st Place for Americas, Europe, Middle East, Africas and Asia
Best Elite Level - 1st Place for Americas, Europe, Middle East, Africas and Asia
Best Member Communications - 1st for Europe, Middle East, Africas. 2nd Place for Americas.
Best Web Site - 1st for Europe, Middle East, Africas
Best Program of the Year - 1st Place for Americas, Europe, Middle East, Africas and Asia


Key Features of Starwood Preferred Guest Program - The Starwood Preferred Guest program has the least restricitve award redemption policy. There are no blackout dates, unlike most other hotel reward programs. Starwood Preferred Guest also allow members to exchange points for airmiles on a one-to-one ratio. You even get an additional 5,000 points if you transfer 20,000 points into airmiles.

Conclusion - The Starwood Preferred Guest credit card will help the Starwood Preferred Guest program member earn faster reward points. Even those who do not stay often at Starwood hotels may find this card appealing if they want to use reward points just for hotel stay because the Starwood program has no blackout dates.

Positives
  • Signing bonus of 4,000 points and potential to earn an additional 6,000 points
  • No annual fee for first year
  • Best hotel reward program


Negatives
  • Annual fee of $30.00 after first year



American Express Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card
Reward Benefits
Signing Bonus 4,000 points after first purchases
1000 points on first stay with Starwood Hotel, resort or spa
500 points to be charged each stay for 10 subsequent stays at Starwood Hotels, resorts or spas within 12 months of card membership
ie you an earn up to 6000 points if you stay 11 times at a Starwood outlet during your first year of membership
Point Accumulation 3 points for every $1 spent at 750 Starwood hotels (2 from preferred guest, 1 from paying with card)
1 point for every $1 spent on every other purchase
Gold or Platinum Starwood Preferred Guest members earn 4 points per eligible $1 spent at Starwood hotels or resort (3 from preferred guest, 1 from paying with card)
Earn points when you use your amex card for automatic bill payments on items like phone bills, health club memberships
Anniversary Bonus 50% off regular rate for up to 5 nights at Starwood Hotels and resorts
$100 credit for once a year vacation booked through Amex Travel valued at $2000 or more
Blackout Dates none
Transfer Points to Airmiles Yes. Over 30 partners at ratio of 1 Starpoint to 1 airline mile
Earn 5000 Starpoint bonus for transfering 20,000 starpoints to miles
Points Expiration none - but account must be active within 12 months
Credit Limits Up to $100,000
Travel and Insurance Benefits
Up to $100,000 Travel Insurance
Auto rental insurance
24 hour worldwide medical and legal referrals assistance at over 17-- Tavel Service location worldwide
Amex Guarantee hotel room reservation
Door delivery for travellers checks and foreign currencies
Other Benefits
Extended warranty
purchase protection plan
Return Protection plan
Online fraud protection
24/7 Concierge service
Year-end account summary
Best Value Guarantee
Discounts from ticket master for popular events
one free consultation with American Express Financial Advisor and recieve a free $50 Gift Cheque
Cost/Fees/Interest rates
Introductory rate 2.9% fixed APR for first 6 billing cycles
Annual Fees Free for first year, thereafter $30.00
Purchase APR Prime Rate plus 9.99%
Balance Transfer APR Prime Rate plus 9.99%
Cash Advance APR Prime Rate plus 14.99%
Penalty/Default Rate APR Prime Rate plus 12.99% or 21.99%
Min Finance Charge $0.50
Grace Period 20 days
Balance Calculation Method Average Daily Balance (including new purchases)
Balance Transfer Fee No balance transfer fee during introductory offer
Cash Advance fee 3% min $5.00
Over-the-credit-limit fee $35.00
Late Payment fee $15.00 - less than $100
$29.00 - $100-$1000
$35.00 - greater than $1000



Apply for the Starwood Preferred Guest credit card

If you already have the American Express Starwood Preferred Guest credit card, we would appreciate your reviews and comments as this will help our readers make better informed credit card decisions. You can post your review here.





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