• SPG American Express Explained

    Posted on January 27, 2012 by in Starwood, Starwood Amex


    25,000 Starpoints for the Starwood Preferred Guest card. 10,000 Starpoints after your first purchase and an additional 15,000 bonus Starpoints when you spend $5,000 in 6 months, plus the 5,000 Starpoints earned on the $5,000 spend for a total of 30k Starpoints. $65 annual fee waived for the first year. See below the benefits of the SPG Amex and why it’s one of the top cards you should keep in your wallet.


     Benefits of the Starwood Preferred Guest American Express

    • Earn up to 5 Starpoints per dollar at participating SPG® hotels and resorts and 1 Starpoint everywhere else.
    • Credit for 5 nights and 2 stays toward SPG elite status each year
    • Spend $30,000 annually and receive Starwood Gold Elite Status
    • Starpoints won’t expire and you can redeem them at over 1,000 hotels in nearly 100 countries
    • Redeem 20,000 Starpoints for 25,000 Airline miles on nearly every major carrier. That’s a 25% bonus!
    • Introductory annual fee of $0 for the first year, then $65 thereafter.
    • World-class benefits like Fraud Protection Guarantee,Purchase Protection & Return Protection

    Starwood Hotel Brands

    • Westin
    • Le Meridien
    • Aloft
    • Four Points Sheraton
    • Sheraton
    • W Hotels
    • St. Regis
    • The Luxury Collection by Starwood
    • Element

    Free night breakdown by category:

    Cash and points breakdown by category:

    Category 1 hotels
    Category 2 hotels
    Category 3 hotels
    Category 4 hotels
    Category 5 hotels
    Category 6 hotels

    Sample Bookings

    Le Méridien Khao Lak Beach & Spa Resort in Thailand – Category 3 property – $183 per night including tax.

    Cash and Points Option5th Night Free Option

    Single Night Option


    Sheraton Keauhou Bay Resort & Spa in Kona Hawaii – Category 4 property – $180 per night including tax.

    Cash and Points Option5th Night Free OptionSingle Night Option

    Mile Monsters Top Reasons for using the Starwood American Express

    1. Starpoints are worth more – Period

    Co-branded airline cards generally get you 1 mile per $1 spent.  The cash back cards get you 1% back, maybe 2% if you are lucky. And let’s face it, if you are in the market for cash back card you aren’t too interested in travel. Take the cash back and put it in the bank.  Starpoints are THE MOST  flexible points out there and can be turned into miles on most major airline carriers as well as be used at Starwood’s own hotels and resorts.

    2. Airline cards are only good on 1 airline

    You earn 1 Starpoint per $1 spent but you can transfer Starpoints to over 30 major airlines, most at a 1:1.25 ratio when you transfer 20,000 Starpoints. That means Starwood deposits 25,000 miles to your airline frequent flyer account.  The majority of airlines cards are 1 point equals 1 dollar so you would have to spend an additional $5,000 more for the same reward. If you are currently putting your spend on a co-branded airline card, put it away and put the majority of your spend on the Starwood Amex.

    3. A 30,000 Starpoint sign-up bonus

    Get 10,000 points with your 1st purchase and an additional 15,000 after spending $5,000 within 6 months. So basically 10k points for signup, 15k after spending $5,000 and the 5k points for the spend equals the 30,000 Starpoints. See below

    4. In other words a $2,000 sign-up bonus

    Starwood points are valuable when used for their hotels. 40,000 Starpoints gets you a 5-night stay but technically it’s 4 nights plus the 5th night free at any category 4 hotel including the Westin Kierland in Phoenix, The W San Diego, Sheraton Princess Kaiulani Hawaii, the W Chicago or Seattle, the Le Méridien Tahiti or the St. Regis in Tibet.  These rooms can range from $300 to $400 per night or up to $2,000 for 5 nights.  Basically this means you’re getting around 5 cents per point!

    5. 992 properties and still growing

    Starwood owns Sheraton, Four Points Sheraton, W Hotels, Aloft, Westin, St. Regis, Le Meridien, The Luxury Collection, and Element. Over 992 properties total and still growing.

    6. Free Starwood Gold Elite status

    Spend $30,000 annually on your Starwood Amex and you will receive Gold elite status in the Starwood Preferred Guest Program. At this level, you earn 5 Starpoints per dollar spent on Starwood stays. 3 points from Starwood’s SPG Program and 2 from American Express. You will also get room upgrades as available and 4pm late checkout.

    7. AmEx Benefits & Extended Warranties

    The Starwood is a full-fledged American Express and comes with benefits such as car rental insurance, travel accident insurance, and warranty extension of up to 1-year on products purchased with the card. Think flatscreen tv’s and electronics that usually only have a 1 year warrenty.


    Chances are you will need a 720 or higher credit score to get approved.
    Check your score and credit report with the links below.

    Read all the full fine print at the AmEx and Starwood sites for full details.

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