Why get the American Express Starwood Credit Card now?

Posted on December 21, 2015 by in Best use American Express Membership Rewards, Starwood Hotels

Find out more about this card here.

The American Express Starwood Personal Credit Card

The American Express Starwood Personal Credit Card has been a long-standing American Express product. We show you why it makes more sense then ever to get this card now.

Apply here for the American Express Starwood Credit Card

What do you get with the American Express Starwood Personal Credit Card?

The current offer now gets you 25,000 Starpoints after spending $3,000 within the first 3 months.

The annual fee is waived for the first year of card membership and it’s $95 annually after that.

Keep in mind that Starwood and Marriott have agreed to merge both companies and, while details have not yet been outlined, the loyalty programs will more likely be dominated by the existing Marriott Rewards and not Starwood.

The card benefits recently changed and it now comes with no foreign transaction fees. Also American Express now includes unlimited Boingo Premium Membership.

Starwood Preferred Guest also allows free transfers between members as long as they are registered at the same address. If you live with another person in the same household, then this is a great way to combine your accounts.

You also get 2 stay credits and 5 night credits with the annual re-qualification for Starwood Preferred Guest status.

Find out more about this card here.

Apply here for the American Express Starwood Credit Card

Now what would I use the bounty for?

Round-trip flights to Brazil

As we outlined before, 25,250 Starpoints will give you a free round-trip to Brazil with LANPASS (when transferred over).

This is an economy round-trip ticket and you will be restricted to flights operated by LAN only (but you may be able to use TAM in the near future too for the same price).

So you can plan an itinerary from anywhere LAN flies in the US to Sao Paulo or Rio de Janeiro via Lima.

As outlined in our post, as long as you stay on LAN flights only, you will be able to redeem for 48,000 LANPASS kilometers.

There are no fuel surcharges when flying LAN, so this is a great redemption, given that Brazil flights are rarely on sale.

Find out more about this card here.

Apply here for the American Express Starwood Credit Card

Find luxurious, low category hotels in the Starwood award chart

The higher categories (think above 4) at Starwood Preferred Guest do NOT usually represent good redemption value.

However, hotels in Category 1, Category 2 and Category 3 can be great value.

Keep in mind that the 5th night is free when redeeming for points (not for cash and points redemptions).

Here are some of my favorites:

Category 1 or 3,000 per night (2,000 for a weekend night)

Four Points by Sheraton Puntacana Village – this great hotel allows free access to the much nicer (and more expensive) Westin in Puntacana – it’s an awesome redemption!

The Sheraton Mustika Yogyakarta Resort & Spa is a great hotel that I visited in 2014, and has a fantastic pool and lounge.

Some other hotels that you can get for this rate are the Aloft San Jose Hotel, Costa Rica, Four Points by Sheraton Penang or the Sheraton Luxor Resort.

25,000 + 3,000 points from the spending requirement will give you almost two weeks at any of these beautiful resorts!

Apply here for the American Express Starwood Credit Card

Category 2 or 4,000 per night (3,000 for a weekend night)

Within this category my favorites include:

Aloft Cancun
Le Méridien Ile Maurice, Mauritius
Le Méridien N’Fis
Sheraton Lima Hotel & Convention Center
Aloft Abu Dhabi
Le Méridien Angkor
Le Méridien Chiang Mai
Aloft Kuala Lumpur Sentral

With 28,000 points you should have no issue getting a full week for free at any of these awesome locations.

Find out more about this card here.

How can I complete the minimum spend?

Put all your regular spend on it and read our guide for ‘manufactured spending‘. $3,000 within 3 months should be really easy!

What if my application was denied?

Did you know that almost all my credit card applications get initially denied and almost always approved when calling the respective credit card reconsideration numbers?

Find out more about this card here.

Apply here for the American Express Starwood Credit Card

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