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Limited time offer: Starwood AmEx Cards Offer Biggest Bonuses Yet

March 3, 2016
Credit Cards, Travel Credit Cards
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This page is out of date

With Marriott combining the Marriott Rewards and Starwood Preferred Guest loyalty programs, this page is out of date. See our details pages for the Marriott Rewards® Premier Plus Credit Card and the Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express for updated offers on these cards.

The Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express and the Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express are favorites at NerdWallet. For frequent travelers, the cards not only offer great redemption rates on free hotel stays but also give you the flexibility to transfer your points to more than 30 airlines.

With some Starwood Preferred Guest loyalists worried about the recently announced merger with Marriott International, American Express is making it difficult to stay on the fence as it offers the highest welcome offer ever on these cards: 35,000 bonus Starpoints if you meet certain spending requirements. Offer ends March 30, 2016. NerdWallet values Starpoints at 2.3 cents each on average, making the welcome offer worth $805.

The perks add up

Between the value of Starpoints and other benefits, the limited-time offer on these cards isn’t the only reason to jump on the deal:

Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express

  • Earn up to 5 Starpoints per dollar on purchases at participating SPG hotels, 2 Starpoints per dollar at Marriott Rewards properties, and 1 Starpoint per dollar on all other purchases.
  • Free in-room premium Internet access.
  • Complimentary, unlimited Boingo Wi-Fi on up to four devices at more than 1 million Boingo hot spots worldwide.
  • No foreign transaction fees.
  • Annual fee is $0 for the first year, then $95.

Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express

  • Earn up to five Starpoints per $1 spent on eligible purchases at participating SPG hotels — two points as a cardholder and an additional two or three points depending on your elite status. Earn one Starpoint per $1 spent elsewhere.
  • Free in-room premium Internet access.
  • Complimentary, unlimited Boingo Wi-Fi on up to four devices at more than 1 million Boingo hot spots worldwide.
  • No foreign transaction fees.
  • Free access to the Sheraton Club lounge.
  • Extra discounts and benefits as a member of American Express OPEN.
  • Annual fee is $0 for the first year, then $95.

Should you jump on the limited-time offer?

Considering this is the best welcome bonus these cards have offered and there’s no promise we’ll see it again, this limited-time offer is hard to ignore. If you’ve shown interest in either card before but haven’t applied for whatever reason, now’s the time.

If you’re still worried about the potential ramifications of the Starwood-Marriott merger, Marriott’s CEO Arne Sorenson recently addressed the concern:

“We’ve heard from SPG members loud and clear when they say ‘Tell me I’ll be OK,’ ” Sorenson said. “You’ll be OK. I want to make sure we continue to earn that loyalty.”

While that reassurance doesn’t provide any specifics about what’s going to happen, speculation won’t earn you any rewards points. Check out our full review on each card before making your decision:

Ben Luthi is a staff writer at NerdWallet, a personal finance website. Email: bluthi@nerdwallet.com. Twitter: @benluthi.


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