If you’re looking for a solid hotel rewards credit card, the Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card is the winner for racking up flexible reward points. With versatile redemption options and a continuous flow of point earnings, this card is your gateway to free hotel stays and air miles.
Card Benefits and Features
If you spend at least $3,000 with the card within your first three months of becoming a card member, you receive a bonus of 25,000 Starpoints. This can be redeemed for 12 nights at a category 1 hotel (2,000 points/night), 8 nights at a category 2 hotel (3,000 points/night), 3 nights at a category 3 hotel (7,000 points/night), 3 nights at a category 4 hotel (10,000 points/night), or 2 nights at a category 5 hotel (12,000 – 16,000 points/night). Plus, when you redeem 4 nights, you get the 5th night FREE. You can refer to How to Redeem Starpoints section below for a listing of all the categories.
Free in-room Premium Internet
With the Starwood Preferred Guest Card, you will now have complimentary premium in-room Internet access at participating Starwood hotels. You will also get complimentary, unlimited Wi-Fi access when you enroll in the Boingo American Express preferred Plan. This gives access to Wi-Fi on up to four devices to more than a million hotspots in the world.
No Foreign Transaction Fee
This is a new feature, and a great one if you often travel outside of the U.S. or make international online purchases.
Earn More Starpoints
As a Starwood member, you earn 2 Starpoints for every $1 spent on eligible stays and purchases at participating SPG hotels; Gold and Platinum members receive a 50% bonus and thus receive 3 Starpoints for every $1 spent. With the Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card, you can earn an additional 2 Starpoints for every $1 of eligible purchases and stays charged on the card at participating SPG hotels, meaning you will be earning 4-5 points per $1 spent at Starwood hotels. You also earn 1 Starpoint for every $1 spent on all other purchases.
The SPG program has two Elite levels: Gold Preferred Guest and Platinum Preferred Guest. You can reach Gold status with 10 eligible stays or 25 eligible nights in a calendar year, and Platinum with 25 stays or 50 nights in a calendar year. And with the Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express, you’ll receive credit for 2 stays and 5 nights each year, plus automatic Gold status if you spend at least $30,000 per year.
How to Redeem Starpoints
Starpoints can be redeemed for free hotel nights, hotel upgrades, airline miles, and other rewards such as transportation, travel packages, and gift cards. Hotels in higher categories require more points to redeem, and When you redeem points for 4 nights at a Category 3 or higher property, you’ll receive the 5th consecutive night free. Hotel nights can be redeemed for as little as 2,000 Starpoints a night to 35,000 a night for the highest-quality luxury hotels.
- Category 1 Hotels: 2,000 – 3,000 Starpoints per room, for a standard room
- Category 2 Hotels: 3,000 – 4,000 Starpoints per night, for a standard room
- Category 3 Hotels: 7,000 Starpoints per night, for a standard room
- Category 4 Hotels: 10,000 Starpoints per night, for a standard room
- Category 5 Hotels: 12,000 – 16,000 Starpoints per night, for a standard room
- Category 6 Hotels: 20,000 – 25,000 Starpoints per night, for a standard room
- Category 7 Hotels: 30,000 – 35,000 Starpoints per night, for a standard room
It can takes 6-8 weeks for bonus points, e-certificates, and rewards to be added to your account, so don’t count on instant redemption. Plan ahead when considering how you want to use your bonus points.
Transfer Starpoints into Airline Miles mostly on a 1:1 ratio
Starwood Preferred Guest members can earn miles with the frequent flyer program of their choice by enrolling in the Airline Direct Deposit Program. After switching from points to miles, you will automatically earn miles for your hotel stays at the same rate you would have earned Starpoints.
In addition, you can transfer Starpoints to 30 airline frequent flyer programs, mostly on a 1:1 basis. Not only that, but you will also receive an additional 5,000 Starpoints bonus when you transfer 20,000 Starpoints to miles. That makes the total amount of miles to 25,000, an increase of 25 percent. The participating airlines are as follows:
- Aeromexico Club Premier (1:1)
- Aeroplan/Air Canada (1:1)
- Air Berlin (1:1)
- Air China Companion (1:1)
- Air New Zealand & Air Points (65:1)
- Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan (1:1)
- Alitalia MileMiglia (1:1)
- All Nippon Airways (ANA) Mileage Club (1:1)
- American Airlines AAdvantage (1:1)
- Asia Miles (1:1)
- Asiana Airlines (1:1)
- British Airways Executive Club (1:1)
- China Eastern Airlines (1:1)
- China Southern Airlines Sky Pearl Club (1:1)
- Delta Airlines SkyMiles (1:1)
- Emirates Skywards (1:1)
- Etihad Airways (1:1)
- Flying Blue (1:1)
- Gol Smiles (2:1)
- Hainan Airlines (1:1)
- Hawaiian Airlines (1:1)
- Japan Airline (JAL) Mileage Bank (1:1)
- Jet Airways (1:1)
- Korea Air (1:1)
- LAN Airlines LANPASS Kms (1:1.5)
- Miles and More (1:1)
- Qatar Airways (1:1)
- Saudi Arabian Airlines (1:1)
- Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer (1:1)
- Thai Airways International Royal Orchid Plus (1:1)
- United Mileage Plus (2:1)
- Velocity Frequent Flier (1:1)
- Virgin Atlantic Flying Club (1:1)
Is this the right card for you?
If you frequent Starwood hotels, then this card will get you valuable points quickly. The more you use the card, the more rewards it returns to you. It also offers a wide redemption range and allow you to convert points into airline miles. So the key to maximizing the card would be make more purchases on the card to earn more points, to accumulate nights in order to reach elite status and gain benefits, to redeem over 20,000 miles to lock in that additional 5,000 bonus miles.
Compared to other credit cards, the Starwood Preferred Guest credit card lets you redeem hotel stays faster. It earns you 1 Starpoint for every $1 spent on non-hotel purchases, just like most other hotel credit cards, but to redeem a night at Starwood is from between 2,000 to 35,000 a night, while at other places the redemption rate could from 7,500 or 10,000 to as high as 85,000. If you are a frequent traveler, but not necessarily at Starwood locations, then you might want to consider other rewards cards, whether they be from your most frequently visited hotel chain, or a general travel card.
About the Starwood Preferred Guest® Program
The Starwood Preferred Guest Program gives members an opportunity to earn and redeem quality hotel nights and rewards around the world, with 9 distinct brands ranging in price and style. You can also transfer your points into 30 airline miles mostly at a 1:1 ratio.