One of the best travel rewards cards out there is The Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express. This card comes with a ton of benefits and protections to ensure your purchases and travel experiences are protected.
It also provides a great way to earn additional benefits through the Starwood Preferred Guest loyalty program, which is one of the most flexible rewards programs on the market.
Benefits You Need to Know
From earning points to redeem for travel, to elite status perks, to purchase protection, the Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express has many benefits.
1. Award Flights and Hotel Stays
Using your Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express on eligible purchases at SPG® properties will earn you 2X Starpoints® per dollar plus 1X per dollar for all other purchases. This will help you earn plenty of Starpoints® in addition to the points earned from staying at SPG® properties!
In addition to having a great way to earn lots of SPG® points by using your card, you will also have tons of options to redeem your Starpoints®. Free hotel nights start at just 2,000 points, and you also have the ability to transfer your Starpoints® to one of over 30 airline partners!
The best part of their airline transfer program is that it automatically adds a 5,000-mile bonus to your select participating frequent flyer program for every 20,000 points transferred.
Hot Tip: Take advantage of the airline transfer bonus and earn up to 1.25 airline miles per dollar spent on your Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express. You’ll earn even more miles than what the airline credit cards offer!
Cardmembers can also stay connected at eligible SPG® properties with complimentary premium on-property internet access, which is usually reserved for elite members in the SPG® loyalty program.
2. Fast Track to Elite Status
Elite status with SPG® comes with some of the most rewarding loyalty benefits a hotel can offer, and it also includes an exclusive earning rate for every dollar spent on eligible stays. Some of the best perks that come with elite status are:
- Earn 3X Starpoints® per dollar on eligible stays — a 50% bonus over non-elite members (5X for cardmembers using their card!).
- 4 pm late check-out (subject to availability).
- Upgrades to an enhanced room at check-in: upper floor, room with a view, etc.
Cardmembers will earn a fast track to elite status and instantly receive 2 stay credits and 5 night credits upon account opening, as well as each year your elite status is up for renewal as long as the card is still open. Gold Preferred Guest status can be earned after completing 10 eligible stays or 25 eligible nights (which also include award stays) per calendar year.
This card also offers a way to earning elite status that doesn’t even require you to stay a single night in a hotel! After making at least $30,000 of eligible purchases on your card in a calendar year, you will be rewarded with Gold Preferred Guest status for 12 months or more.
3. Entertainment and Shopping Perks
American Express has exclusive access to many entertainment events and concerts around the country, and they offer cardmembers the opportunity to purchase presale tickets at select events with Entertainment Access®.
SPG® has its own program called “Moments by Starwood Preferred Guest®,” which can provide once-in-a-lifetime experiences by using your Starpoints®!
Cardmembers will also receive a complimentary membership to the Boingo American Express Preferred Plan, which provides free access to Wi-Fi hotspots around the world (excluding in-flight internet).
You just need to register for this special plan with Boingo, and you’ll be able to connect to the internet in a breeze in many destinations around the world.
One of the best money saving shopping benefits offered by a credit card issuer is Amex Offers. You can earn special discounts on dining, shopping, entertainment, and more from select merchants.
All you have to do is register for the specific offer that’s tied to your card, meet the terms of the offer by using your card, and you’ll start saving big in no time!
Another benefit provided by American Express for cardmembers is a free membership to ShopRunner, which offers free 2-day shipping at hundreds of popular online stores.
You will need to register for this benefit and create a ShopRunner account to take advantage of this membership, which can help speed up and simplify your online shopping experience with your favorite brands.
Purchase Protections and Travel Insurance
American Express cards are great for adding extra insurance protection to all your purchases and travel arrangements made with your card. The Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express covers the following:
4. Return Protection
This covers all purchases made using your card and guarantees that you can return eligible items within 90 days of your original purchase. This insurance comes in addition to the stores’ normal return policies, and it will cover up to $300 per item up to a total of $1,000 each calendar year.
5. Extended Warranty
This is a great benefit that adds additional warranty protection for card purchases that are covered for 5 years or less from the manufacturer. Once the manufacturer’s warranty expires, your Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express adds up to an additional year of warranty coverage for purchases, up to $10,000 per item with a $50,000 maximum per year. This is great to protect valuable purchases, especially with the high coverage limit.
6. Purchase Protection
Just in case, your card protects eligible purchases from theft and accidental damage for 90 days from your original purchase date. This covers up to $1,000 per incident and up to $50,000 per calendar year; it’s the perfect coverage for new phones and other high-value items that are most prone to these types of accidents.
7. Car Rental Loss and Damage Insurance
You never know what will happen with a rental car! This card covers eligible car rentals that are paid entirely with your Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express after you decline the collision damage waiver coverage from the car rental company. This covers your eligible car rentals from theft and damage for up to $50,000 and doesn’t increase the cost of your car rental.
Unlike the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, the coverage provided is not primary coverage. It is secondary coverage, which means it only kicks in after your own insurance.
The Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express is an excellent card to carry with you all the time to make sure you are taking advantage of all the benefits and protections when you need them.
American Express does a great job providing the coverage and services you need to ensure that your trips and purchases meet your expectations and are worry-free. This card adds extra benefits for travelers who stay at SPG® properties and are interested in taking advantage of their airline loyalty transfer program.
Overall, this card is high on our list of travel rewards cards that offer fantastic benefits and protections, which will keep you reaching for it every time you make a purchase!