Credit Card Review: AMEX Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG)

When I started to earn points using credit cards, the best all around card I could find based on my research was the Starwood Preferred Guest card from American Express. Since 2010, I’ve earned over 475,000 SPG points with ~300,000 SPG points within the 1st year of carrying the card. It’s taken a ton of spend but these points are well worth it and highly valuable.

Pros:
-Excellent customer service and website
-SPG Points redeemable for hotels or transfer to partner airlines
-2X points on Starwood hotel stays
-Apple Passbook compatible

aloft (1 of 9 SPG Hotel Brands)

aloft (1 of 9 SPG Hotel Brands)

Cons:
-No airport lounge access
-Foreign transaction fees of 2.7%
-$65 annual fee (must spend enough to justify, >$4,000 annually)
-No bonus earning categories

Conclusion:
I’ve decided to keep this card for as long as I’m in the credit card points game. There are some great values where you can even redeem points during peak times such as New Year’s, Christmas, July 4th, Oktoberfest, etc. It’s still the best overall card if you primarily intend to use your points for hotel redemptions. The 9 Starwood hotel brands offer the traveler a wide range of redemption options. I value SPG points to be worth at a minimum $0.02 each but I’ve had some redemptions cash out as high as $0.12 each.

*Tip: When traveling internationally I never use this card as the foreign transaction fees exceed the value of earning the points.*

Get 25,000 bonus SPG points with AMEX Starwood Preferred Guest when you spend $5,000 in first 6 months of opening the card: https://www304.americanexpress.com/credit-card/starwood-preferred-guest

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