Read through this review of the American Express Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card to decide if this is the best hotel credit card for you. If you like what you see then be sure to apply for the Starwood credit card by clicking on the apply button above or if you want to compare other hotel credit cards or travel credit cards or just all types of credit cards then be sure to check out our FREE credit card finder on our home page.
There are pros and cons to every type of credit card, whether you choose to use a Visa, MasterCard or an American Express. With the many options that are available from different lenders, it can be overwhelming trying to determine which one is right for you. That is where we are here to help.
If you are considering a new credit card, then you may want to consider the American Express Starwood Preferred Guest credit card. This is an option with many features and benefits that are especially great for those individuals who love to travel, both personally and professionally. Read on and learn what this preferred guest card has to offer you.
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Earn Starpoints & Earn Free Travel Options
The American Express Starwood Preferred Guest credit card offers an outstanding reward program for its users. Rather than cash back for purchases, you earn a starpoint for every dollar of a qualifying purchase that you make. There are thousands of stores, restaurants, hotels and airlines where you can use this card in order to achieve a qualifying purchase. In fact, American Express claims that virtually every purchase that you make using this card will be a qualifying purchase. If you use your credit card for many purchases, you can quickly earn starpoints.
There is potential for you to earn additional starpoints for your purchases as well. If you stay in any of the over 800 Starwood resorts (located in a whopping 95 countries), you will automatically earn two points for every dollar you spend on your hotel room. For example, if you spend $195 a night, then your starpoints earned will be 390. If you become a Preferred Member, by staying more than five nights in a qualifying hotel or resort, you then receive four points for every dollar spent on your hotel room. This translates into 780 points for a $195 room, stay for five days and you have earned 3,900 starpoints. If you reach Gold Preferred Status level (this occurs once you have spent a total of $30,000 on your card), you then receive five points for each dollar spent at a hotel.
Once you have earned 2,000 starpoints, you can use them to retrieve free rooms at Starwood Resorts or free services if you desire (such as massages or eating in the hotel restaurants). Plus, 2,000 points will earn you a free night, including a weekend, at any Starwood facility. The more points that you receive the longer you can stay at a hotel free. Additionally, as a preferred member, once a year Starwood Resorts offers all members five consecutive days of 50% off their rates.
If you do not want to use your starpoints for staying in a hotel, you can trade them for traveling via airplane, with 30 major airlines, or via train with Amtrak. Most travel options have no black out dates, which is another great benefit to using this specific rewards card.
Other Options for Spending Your Starpoints
There are other options for those who want to spend their starpoints on something else. Firstly, if you want to donate them to charity, American Express will transfer your starpoints to one of the six charities that they sponsor: Camp Sunshine, Special Olympics, The American Red Cross, The Juvenile Diabetes Foundation, The Make-A-Wish Foundation or UNICEF. You get to choose who your starpoints go to if you choose this option.
If you want to spend your starpoints on items such as things for your home or clothing, then you will be glad to know that this card is partnered with companies like Amazon, Gap, and iTunes. You can spend your starpoints much like cash; however, there will be a conversion rate, which will be displayed at the time of purchase (for example 100 points could equal $1).
Warranty, Purchase Protection & More
Starpoints are not the only benefit to using the Starwood American Express card. You get benefits such as free Car Rental Loss and Damage Insurance if you use your card to reserve and pay for your car rental. The Global Assist Hotline is available if you are lost or sick in another country. You will be guided to the closest help that speaks English, whether you need medical care, legal help or something else. You will also receive a free $10,000 travel insurance policy if you pay for your conveyance with your credit card (this applies to all people for whom a ticket is purchased).
As with many American Express credit cards, American Express also offers extended warranty coverage for any purchases made on the card. The warranty protects the item for the same amount of time as the initial manufactures warranty. For example, if you purchase an item with a one year warranty, when that warranty expires your American Express coverage starts and will continue for an additional year. This coverage applies for up to five years of coverage and up to $10,000 for an item. The coverage only pays for the original cost of the item and does not take into account appreciation, such as for something made of gold.
You will also receive Purchase Protection for any items that you purchase on your credit card. This protection protects against theft of breakage for 90 days. During this timeframe, you will receive the total purchase amount if the item is stolen or damaged. In addition, you will receive what is called Return Protection. If you want to return an item within 90 days of purchase and the company you purchased it from will not allow the return, American Express will give you that refund. The purchase price must be less than $300.
You will receive the quality customer service that American Express is known for when you use the Starwood Preferred Guest Card. With 24/7 help, whether you are lost and need directions or you want to find the nearest ATM, American Express customer service has got it covered. You can also pay your bill online as well as check the status of your account by phone or online anytime that you want or need to. Have a problem; American Express is there to help you resolve it.
Determining if the Starwood Card is the Right Credit Card for You
As you can see, the American Express Starwood Preferred Guest credit card is an excellent hotel credit card that offers many benefits to its users; however, this card is not for everyone. In order to qualify for this credit card you have to have excellent credit. In addition, like any credit card, if you choose to carry a balance, you will have to pay monthly payments and there will be interest rates. Those rates will vary depending on your credit score and other risk factors.
If you think that the American Express Starwood Preferred Guest credit card is right for you, then you can apply for it right now online. If you want a different type of credit card with other options for a reward program, or you simply feel that you will not qualify for this card, you do have plenty of other options.
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