Summary of the Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express

Last Updated: 11/7/2011

The Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express often occupies the top spot in our GetDebit Ranking Engine for cards offering bonus points for hotel spend.   Not only that, but it leaves it’s next closest competitor, the Hilton HHonors™ Card from American Express in the dust (picture Roadrunner versus Wiley Coyote).  Of course, you should still use the ranking engine yourself (with your own spending profile) for extra insurance.

This high level of performance by this credit card isn’t due to the number of points you earn, per se, but rather the extremely high dollar value per point-a whopping 2.26 cents per Starpoint®-as calculated by GetDebit. You can learn more about the details of this calculation by reading our post, What is the Value of Starpoints® from the Starwood Preferred Guest® Program?.

Starwood Brands includes a the following properties: Meridien, Four Points, Westin, Loft, Sheraton, Element, St. Regis, W Hotels.

One last note: GetDebit never factors in the additional points and rewards that are earned just by being a member of a specific loyalty program-in this case, the Starwood Preferred Guest® Program. Our belief is that since we are only ranking credit cards, and since individuals garner loyalty rewards whether or not they have the credit card, it would not be accurate to factor these in.

Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express Details

The table below summarizes some of the key aspects of this card’s rewards program:

Click here for Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express application and program details.

What can Starwood Starpoints® Be Redeemed For?

Starpoints® can be redeemed for various rewards, including: hotel rooms at Starwood brand hotels, airline flights, airline mileage transfers, gift certificates, unique experiences, train trips, and instant awards.

Redeeming for Starwood Hotel Rooms

The SPG program allows you to redeem your Starpoints® for free hotel night stays at Starwood brand hotels with no blackout dates. We’ve only provided the table below, which shows redemption requirements for free hotel stays, but you can also examine in more detail the full array of Starwood redemption options.

Comparison of SPG Redemption Options for Free Hotel Stays
Type of Reward Cat 1 Cat 2 Cat 3 Cat 4 Cat 5 Cat 6 Cat 7
Free night-weekdays 3,000 4,000 7,000 10,000 12,000-16,000 20,000-25,000 30,000-35,000
Free night-weekends 2,000 3,000 7,000 10,000 12,000-16,000 20,000-25,000 30,000-35,000
Cash & Points 1,200 Starpoints + $25 1,600 Starpoints + $30 2,800 Starpoints + $45 4,000 Starpoints + $60 4,800 Starpoints + $90 8,000 Starpoints + $150 n/a
5th night free n/a n/a 28,000 40,000 48,000-64,000 80,000-100,000 120,000-140,000
Room Upgrade 1,000-1,500 1,000-1,500 1,000-1,500 1,000-1,500 1,500-2,750 1,500-2,750 1,500-2,750
Suite Upgrade 3,000 4,000 7,000 10,000 12,000-16,000 20,000-25,000 30,000-35,000
50% off regular rack rates 1,000 1,000 1,000 1,000 1,000 1,000 1,000
Nights and Flights n/a n/a 60,000 70,000 n/a n/a n/a

GetDebit’s Final Assessment of the Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express

There can be no doubt that the Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express is the King Kong of plastic when it comes to redeeming rewards for hotel stays. At an impressive $0.0226 per Starpoint®, and with the very legitimate potential to earn 30K bonus Starpoints within the 1st 6 months of card ownership, it’s no wonder this card comfortably at or near the top of the ranking pack.

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