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The Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express: The Top Hotel Rewards Card

The Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express: The Top Hotel Rewards Card

The absolute best hotel rewards credit card, as well as one of the best travel cards around.
Editor's Rating: 5.0/5.0

Editor's Rating

5.0/5.0

The Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express rates as one of our top hotel credit cards and also one of the best rewards card offers. The card comes with outstanding rewards, and the points that you earn with the card are highly flexible, giving you several options when you redeem them. The card has has a business version that shares many of the same basic benefits, but with some additional features specific to business clients.

Highlights
Rewards Rate1.8%+
Bonus OfferEarn 75,000 bonus points after you use your new card to make $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months.
Notable FeaturesNo foreign transaction fees and a free night award.

Review: One Of Our Favorite Rewards Credit Cards

For travelers that are on the road often and frequently finding themselves staying at an SPG or Marriott Rewards property we're positive that the Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express and its rewards program are must haves. The points you earn with this card are highly flexible, also making this card a great everyday option, with cardholders getting at least a 1.8% rewards rate on all their spending. Considering that the best cash back credit cards average around 1.5%, this card is a significantly better value proposition.

Who This Card Is Great For

If you use a personal card for business expenses. For people that may be putting work expenses on a personal credit card and are later reimbursed by their company, the Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express is a great way to earn rewards on your company's dime.

Rewards value optimizers. If you're all about making every penny count and care less about where you stay than you do how much you're saving, this is also the card for you. Given the card's high rewards, there are very few other credit card options that can get you more on every dollar you spend.

How It Compares To Other Top Travel Cards

The question most prospective cardholders ask is whether the Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express is worth it? In that context it's important to compare it to other options and see how it performs against other great travel cards like the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card and Chase Sapphire Preferred. These two cards act as general travel cards with rewards that have more flexibility, so would it make sense to still choose the Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express?

Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express vs Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card

Let's first look at how the Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express compares to the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card. One of the major pluses of the Venture card offering is the category neutral rewards structure, 2 miles on everything equating to a flat 2% rewards rate. In most card comparisons this makes the Venture come out favorably since it takes how you spend out of the equation. However, if most of your spending is at SPG or Marriott Rewards properties, the Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express is the clear winner since it'll net you greater rewards.

While the Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express has a broad array of redemption options, the Venture card lets you use the miles earned as statement credits on any travel expense. The company also has an expanded list of categories that fall under travel, making it one of the easiest rewards programs to use. As a primary card the Venture Card fares a little better if you value choice..

Features and Benefits of The Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express

Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express
Annual Fee
$0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95.
Purchase APR
17.49%-26.49% Variable
Credit Needed Excellent/Good
Details
  • Earn 75,000 Bonus Points after you use your new Card to make $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months.
  • Earn 6 points for each dollar of eligible purchases at participating SPG® and Marriott Rewards® hotels and 2 points on all other eligible purchases.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on International purchases.
  • Receive 1 Free Night Award every year after your Card account anniversary. Award can be used for one night (redemption level at or under 35,000 points) at a participating hotel. Select hotels have resort fees.
  • Enjoy complimentary, unlimited Boingo Wi-Fi on up to four devices at more than 1,000,000 Boingo hotspots worldwide. Enrollment required.
  • $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees

Using Rewards

As we mentioned early, one of the unique characteristics of the card is the flexibility that cardholders can enjoy when it comes to spending accrued rewards. SPG and Marriott boast a broad selection of hotel and resort brands eligible for rewards redemption. In addition to booking award nights at related properties, points can be transferred to a number of airline partner loyalty programs. This extra feature can enable you to shop around for the best use of your points, choosing between a hotel stay or using points to top off a mileage award flight.

Comments and Questions

Opinions, analyses, reviews, or recommendations expressed here are the author's alone, and have not been reviewed or endorsed by the issuer. We may be compensated through the issuer's Affiliate Program. For a full list of our advertisers see our disclosure page

* See the online credit card application for details about terms and conditions. Reasonable efforts are made to maintain accurate information. However all credit card information is presented without warranty. When you click on the "Apply Now" button, you can review the credit card terms and conditions on the issuer's website.

Info about the following cards: American Express® Gold Card, Delta Reserve® Credit Card from American Express, Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express, Hilton Honors Surpass® Credit Card, American Express® Blue Sky, American Express® Green Card, The Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card from American Express, The Plenti® Credit Card from Amex, Blue from American Express®, Platinum Card® from American Express Exclusively for Mercedes-Benz, Bluebird, Centurion® Card from American Express, Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card, and Starwood Preferred Guest® American Express Luxury Card has been collected independently by ValuePenguin. The issuer did not provide the details, nor is it responsible for their accuracy.

Disclaimer: This content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuer. Opinions expressed here are author's alone, not those of the credit card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. This site may be compensated through the credit card issuer Affiliate Program.

These responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

How We Calculate Rewards: ValuePenguin calculates the value of rewards by estimating the dollar value of any points, miles or bonuses earned using the card less any associated annual fees. These estimates here are ValuePenguin's alone, not those of the card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer.

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