A Quick Overview of SPG AMEX Credit Card

By Kevin / April 30, 2017

For the time challenged modern traveler, we’ve compiled a quick reference list of benefits and costs of the SPG AMEX Credit Card here for you.   While Starwood Preferred Guest Program is very competitive to begin, combining the Starwood's loyalty program with their SPG AMEX Credit Card turbocharges the perks and benefits quickly under the SPG program.  For how Starwood Preferred Guest Program compares to other hotel membership programs, please see our page here. CreditShout.com created this SPG AMEX Credit Card review to help you learn more about the benefits.

I. SPG AMEX Credit Card Benefits

Earn 25,000 Starpoints when you spend $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months after opening the account

Earn up to 5 Starpoints for every dollar of eligible spend when you stay at one of the 1,300+ Starwood properties in nearly 100 countries

Earn up to 2 Starpoints for every dollar of eligible spend when you stay at one of the 4,000+ Marriott affiliated hotels in 70+ counties

Earn 1 Starpoint for all other purchases. This can be used as an everyday life card

No Blackout Dates to redeem your free nights even during holidays, as long as they have a standard room available

No Foreign Transaction Fees

Purchase Protection for accidental damage and theft, on eligible purchases up to 90 days

Transfer your Starpoints for free flights on over 150 airlines with no blackout dates. Starpoint conversion ratio varies from airline to airline and may vary with seasonality, so check with airline before booking

Transfer your Starpoints to over 30 airline Frequent Flyer Program Partners for mostly 1 to 1 conversion of your Starpoints with no blackout dates. Receive a 5,000 bonus Starpoints when you transfer 20,000 Starpoints to a participating Frequent Flyer Program.

$0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95 annually

For those who are curious about how to achieve SPG Gold or SPG Platinum Status, you can:

  • Spend $30,000 a year on your credit card OR
  • Stay 25 nights for SPG Gold Status OR
  • Stay 50 nights for SPG Platinum Status.

But as a SPG AMEX Card holder and member, you automatically get credit for 5 nights towards achieving your SPG Gold status when you open an account.  So, you are really only 20 nights away from reaching SPG Gold status when you sign up for the credit card.  **SPG Gold and SPG Platinum membership status must be renewed every year.

II. SPG AMEX Credit Card Costs

$0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95 annually  (this one is on both Benefits and Cost section)

Transfer your Starpoints for free flights on over 150 airlines with no blackout dates.  Starpoint conversion ratio varies from airline to airline and may vary with seasonality, so check with airline before booking   (this one is also on both Benefits and Cost section because it depends on airline and time of travel)

15.99% to 19.99% APR on new and balance transfers. $5 or 3% of balance transfer fee apply.  Needless to say, if you are NOT good at paying off your ENTIRE Credit Card balance timely, think hard before applying for this card.  

25.99% on Cash Advance. $5 or 3% of cash advance fee apply.  Same warning as above.

III. What you can do with your earned Starpoints:

The redemption benefits on Starwood website are exhaustive and spans over several pages, but here are the highlights.

Free Night Award - Get Free Nights

Fifth Night Free Award - Redeem 5 Free Nights, and the Fifth Night is Free and they will give you back the Starpoints you used to book the 5th Night (score!)

Cash & Points Award - Combine a little cash with your Starpoints to upgrade your room or get additional room nights.

Room Upgrade Award - Get Room Upgrades (subject to availability)

Nights & Flights Award - Refund of up to 20,000 Starpoints if you redeem 5 Free Nights and 50,000 airline miles TOGETHER (Nights must be redeemed at Category 3 – 4 hotels and on any airline with a 1:1 Starpoints-to-miles exchange rate)

50% off Regular Rack Rate Award – 50% Discount on regular room rate for up to 5 nights (subject to availability)

Indulgences Award – Redeem points for in-hotel indulgences like restaurants, spas and other luxury experiences.

Just for fun, I used Starwood’s points calculator to see how many nights I can earn under the following scenario:

Spend approximately $1,560/year ($130/month) in a Starwood hotel or participating properties +

Spend approximately $360/year ($30/month) in a Marriott Rewards hotel +

Spend approximately $2,400/year ($200/month) on all other purchases.

Under this scenario, I can earn up to 3 Free Nights at a Category 4 Starwood property with the initial 25,000 sign up bonus reward. Not too bad for modest spend throughout the year. Fees and taxes may apply.

In short, if you do any moderate level of traveling throughout the year for work or for personal reasons, the SPG AMEX card may be a very good option for accumulating points that can be used for free nights at premier hotels or for free flights on SPG’s 150 airline travel partners around the world.

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