Deal of the Month: Starwood Preferred Guest Card from AmEx
April 1, 2012
By: Joe Taylor Jr.
More than half of Americans would change their summer vacation plans if gas prices rise by more than 26 cents, according to a survey by the U.S. Travel Association. Instead of scaling down your own holiday plans, consider boosting your travel budget with help from a rewards credit card. A hefty signup bonus from the Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card from American Express can shave a few hundred dollars from the cost of your next hotel visit.
Your first purchase with a new American Express SPG card earns you 10,000 Starpoints. Spend another $5,000 on the card over your first six months, and you'll enjoy an additional 15,000 Starpoints. Starwood also gives SPG members a jump start on earning Gold or Platinum status, plus perks like late checkout and enhanced rooms, when available.
Meanwhile, American Express brings its own reputation for customer service to its partnership with Starwood. The SPG card includes access to American Express Travel experts who can book reservations and manage last minute changes to your itinerary. Purchase protection and extended warranty coverage come standard, offering assurance if your souvenirs or your credit cards go missing during your trip.
Earning Starwood rewards points
Your everyday purchases earn 1 Starpoint for every dollar you spend on eligible purchases on the American Express SPG card. Starwood doubles your Starpoints when you pay with the card at an eligible property, while crediting the 2 Starpoints per dollar that all SPG members receive from their hotel stays.
SPG Gold or Platinum status earns you a bonus point per dollar, for a potential 5 Starpoints per dollar. As with other rewards credit cards, consolidating all your purchasing onto the SPG card will help you earn free travel fastest and make good on the $65 annual fee. This credit card deal offers an introductory annual fee of $0 for the first year, then the annual fee will be $65.
Getting the best rate on your Starwood rewards points
Although you have the option of redeeming your Starpoints for airfare or other travel rewards, you'll get the biggest value when you scan Starwood's website for bargain hotel rates. The company often lets SPG members preview newly opened or renovated properties for fewer Starpoints than usual. If you don't have enough Starpoints in your balance, the SPG reservation system lets you cover some of the cost in cash.
Starwood's hotel brands include Sheraton, St. Regis, W Hotels, Le Meridien, Four Points and Westin. That collection makes it easy for you to find a hotel that fits your budget and your personality, with over a thousand participating properties in key locations across the country. With no blackout dates or restrictions, you can reserve a room at a participating resort as long as it's not already sold out. And, if gas prices happen to spike again, buying gas with your new American Express card will help you earn more Starpoints for your next road trip.