Tuesday, 24 November 2020

Starwood Preferred Guest Luxury Card from American Express Review

Starwood Preferred Guest Luxury Card from American Express Review
30 Sep
5:42

The highly anticipated Starwood Preferred Guest® Luxury Card from American Express was unveiled with one of the most generous welcome offers — Limited Time Offer: Earn 100,000 Bonus Points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases within the first 3 months. Offer ends 10/31/2018. — currently on the market. It was designed to attract those who are elite members of the newly merged Starwood, Marriott and Ritz-Carlton loyalty programs.

Because the Starwood Preferred Guest® Luxury Card from American Express is in the luxury card category, it comes with a high $450 annual fee. But you’ll get enough perks with this card that will more than cover its higher fee. They include an annual $300 statement credit, automatic gold elite status, a Priority Pass Select airport lounge membership and up to a $100 credit to cover Global Entry or TSA Precheck enrollment fees.

And the Starwood Preferred Guest® Luxury Card from American Express lets cardmembers Earn 6X points on eligible purchases at participating SPG® and Marriott Rewards® hotels. Earn 3X points at U.S. restaurants and on flights booked directly with airlines. Earn 2X points on all other eligible purchases. That includes higher points per $1 spent in the popular categories of hotels, airline travel and dining. It’s also better than many cards for spending on supermarkets and gas.

You may want an alternative luxury card that gives you more flexibility for earning and redeeming points. Or you may find that the Starwood Preferred Guest® Luxury Card from American Express’s annual fee is a little too rich for your blood. So we’ll also take a look at the Chase Sapphire Reserve® and the Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express as other options.

Starwood Preferred Guest® Luxury Card from American Express

The information related to Starwood Preferred Guest® Luxury Card from American Express has been collected by MagnifyMoney and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication.

Starwood Preferred Guest® Luxury Card from American Express

Regular Purchase APR
17.74% – 26.74% Variable
Annual fee
$450
Rewards Rate
Earn 6X points on eligible purchases at participating SPG® and Marriott Rewards® hotels. Earn 3X points at U.S. restaurants and on flights booked directly with airlines. Earn 2X points on all other eligible purchases.

Redeeming rewards

With the Starwood Preferred Guest® Luxury Card from American Express, you can Earn 6X points on eligible purchases at participating SPG® and Marriott Rewards® hotels. Earn 3X points at U.S. restaurants and on flights booked directly with airlines. Earn 2X points on all other eligible purchases.. The points you earn don’t expire as long as card is active every 24 months and there are no limits on how many points you can earn.

You have plenty of ways to redeem your points. One of the best ways is transferring them to more than 40 global airline loyalty programs, at 3 points per mile. A nice side benefit is that for every 60,000 points you transfer to airline miles, you get an extra 15,000 points.

Use your points to buy or bid on exclusive member experiences like prime seats for sporting events or concerts, cooking demonstrations with celebrity chefs like Dominique Crenn, or tours and dining at top restaurants like The French Laundry. You can also use your points for vacation packages, airport lounge access or merchandise, or you can share them with friends and family or donate to charity.

Is it worth the annual fee?

If you’re concerned about the Starwood Preferred Guest® Luxury Card from American Express’s $450 annual fee, do the math. The perks that come with it more than cover that fee — if you take advantage of the ones available to you as a cardmember. You earn a $300 credit every calendar year. A one-night stay in a deluxe guest room in late October at the JW Marriott Los Cabos Beach Resort & Spa in Mexico would cost $474 at the Marriott Rewards member rate. Pair this with the Priority Pass Select Prestige plan’s $399 membership fee, the $100 Global Entry/TSA credit, and a year of global Boingo wi-fi service at a cost of $468 a year — that more than covers the Starwood Preferred Guest® Luxury Card from American Express’s annual fee.

Card advantages

Higher points in popular categories. You get top points for hotel stays and other hotel-related purchases. You also get more points for restaurants, airline tickets, supermarkets and gas.

Give me credit. For those who get the Starwood Preferred Guest® Luxury Card from American Express before the end of 2018, you’ll get up to 15 elite night credits on your Marriott Rewards®, Starwood Preferred Guest® or The Ritz-Carlton Rewards® accounts by March 1, 2019. If you open your card on or after Jan. 1, 2019, the elite night credits will be credited to your Marriott Loyalty Program within 60 days.

All the perks. This card comes with everything you’d expect with a luxury card under the American Express brand. It comes with automatic gold elite status and gives you the chance to hit platinum if you spend $75,000 on it within a calendar year. Get a free award night at a Category 6 hotel — like Mexico’s JW Marriott Los Cabos Beach Resort & Spa — on your card anniversary.

If you need a quiet space to relax while traveling, the Starwood Preferred Guest® Luxury Card from American Express comes with a free Priority Pass Select membership, which gives you and two guests access to more than 1,200 airport lounges around the globe. You get free in-room premium Internet access when you stay at one of 6,700 participating hotels across 29 brands worldwide. You also get free Boingo land-based Wi-Fi on up to four devices.

Bountiful benefits. The Starwood Preferred Guest® Luxury Card from American Express card comes with plenty of benefits under the American Express banner including: roadside assistance; car rental loss and damage insurance; travel accident insurance; baggage insurance plan that covers eligible lost, damaged, or stolen baggage; premium Global Assist hotline; extended warranty; return and purchase protection; and access to ticket presales and cardmember-only events.

What could be better

Fine print on welcome offer. As of Aug. 26, 2018, you may not be able to get the new cardmember welcome offer for the Starwood Preferred Guest® Luxury Card from American Express if you have or have had The Ritz-Carlton Rewards® Credit Card in the last 30 days; had Marriott Rewards® Premier Plus Credit Card or Marriott Rewards® Premier Business credit card in the past 90 days; or received a welcome or upgrade offer for Marriott Rewards® Premier Plus Credit Card or Marriott Rewards® Premier Business credit card in the last 24 months.

The banks won’t be sharing customer data with each other since their card agreements are with Marriott individually, said a company spokesman via email. Marriott has set up an automated process to determine the eligibility of card applicants for welcome bonuses.

Time limit. You must apply for the card by Oct. 31, 2018, in order to get the welcome offer’s bonus points. There’s no telling what the permanent welcome offer will be going forward.

Hey big spender. You may not want to spend what it takes to get the welcome offer bonus points. While platinum status at Marriott- and Starwood-branded hotels may be nice, you do need to spend at least $75,000 a year on the card to get it.

Points restrictions. Not all points are created equally on this card. The higher points you earn for restaurant spending doesn’t include those located in places like nightclubs, convenience stores, supermarkets or those inside a hotel, casino or event venue.

Lounge limits. Your Priority Pass Select membership covers two guests, but others will be charged $27 each. And while you have access to more than 1,200 global lounges, your membership doesn’t include entry into U.S. airline-branded lounges.

Where are the travel perks? If you’re a regular traveler used to the perks of a luxury credit card, you may be put off that the Marriott Rewards® Premier Plus Credit Card doesn’t come with trip delay or cancellation insurance like competing cards.

Card alternatives

  Starwood Preferred Guest® Luxury Card from American Express Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express Chase Sapphire Reserve®

Annual Fee

$450

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

$450

Regular Purchase APR

17.74% – 26.74% Variable

17.49%-26.49% Variable

17.74% – 24.74% Variable

Rewards

Earn 6X points on eligible purchases at participating SPG® and Marriott Rewards® hotels. Earn 3X points at U.S. restaurants and on flights booked directly with airlines. Earn 2X points on all other eligible purchases.

6 points for each dollar of eligible purchases at participating SPG® and Marriott Rewards® hotels and 2 points on all other eligible purchases.

3X points on travel immediately after earning your $300 travel credit. 3X points on dining at restaurants & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases. $0 foreign transaction fees.

Welcome Offer/Sign-up Bonus

Limited Time Offer: Earn 100,000 Bonus Points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases within the first 3 months. Offer ends 10/31/2018.

75,000 Bonus Points after you use your new Card to make $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months.

Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.

Foreign Transaction Fee

None

None

$0

The Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express

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on American Express’s secure website

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Rates & Fees

The Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express

Regular Purchase APR
17.49%-26.49% Variable
Annual fee
$0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95.
Rewards Rate
6 points for each dollar of eligible purchases at participating SPG® and Marriott Rewards® hotels and 2 points on all other eligible purchases.
Credit required
good-credit

Excellent/Good

Excellent/Good

The Starwood Preferred Guest® Luxury Card from American Express’s $450 annual fee may be too high for you. Or you may not want or need all the perks that come with it, but you’re attached to the new Marriott Rewards® program. The Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express gives you a lot of the benefits of the more expensive card, but at a $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95.

The welcome offer — 75,000 Bonus Points after you use your new Card to make $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months. — isn’t as high as what’s being offered by the Starwood Preferred Guest® Luxury Card from American Express. But it’s still enough to book a weekend stay at the AC Hotel Beverly Hills, a Category 5 property, on Oct. 19-21, 2018, at the time of writing.

You earn 6 points for each dollar of eligible purchases at participating SPG® and Marriott Rewards® hotels and 2 points on all other eligible purchases. Points per $1 spent at Starwood and Marriott hotels are the same as the Starwood Preferred Guest® Luxury Card from American Express, but they’re lower on all other purchases.

While you do earn a free hotel award night every year after your card anniversary, you can only use it at hotels at Category 6’s 35,000 points or under rate.

The Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express gives you instant silver status, but you have a chance to move up to gold by spending at least $30,000 per calendar year on the card ($35,000, effective Jan. 1, 2019). Silver status also gets you free premium in-room Wi-Fi at participating hotels.

A common perk that comes with both cards are the ability to transfer your points to more than 40 global airlines or redeem them for experiences, vacations, airport lounges or merchandise or share them with family, friends and charities.

The Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express also comes with the same perks as the Starwood Preferred Guest® Luxury Card from American Express, including roadside assistance, car rental loss and damage insurance, travel accident insurance, a baggage insurance plan, access to the Global Assist hotline, an extended warranty, return protection, purchase protection and access to ticket presales and cardmember-only events. But like that card, it also doesn’t have trip delay or trip cancellation insurance.

Chase Sapphire Reserve®

Chase Sapphire Reserve®

Regular Purchase APR
17.74% – 24.74% Variable
Annual fee
$450
Rewards Rate
3X points on travel immediately after earning your $300 travel credit. 3X points on dining at restaurants & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases. $0 foreign transaction fees.
Credit required
excellent-credit

You’re not scared off by the high annual fee that comes with a luxury card. But you want one that gives you even more flexibility and perks than the Starwood Preferred Guest® Luxury Card from American Express. A viable option is the Chase Sapphire Reserve®, which also has a $450 annual fee.

The Chase Sapphire Reserve® allows new cardmembers to Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. While it’s lower than the welcome offer of the Starwood Preferred Guest® Luxury Card from American Express, you do receive 50% more value on the points you earn. That puts the value of the sign-up bonus at $750, which you can spend at the Chase Ultimate Rewards® website for things like airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises.

Earn 3X points on travel immediately after earning your $300 travel credit. 3X points on dining at restaurants & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases. $0 foreign transaction fees. For hotel stays, this is lower than what’s offered by the Starwood Preferred Guest® Luxury Card from American Express. But you do earn the same number of points for restaurants and travel — and you also get the 50% more value for your points to spend on travel at Chase Ultimate Rewards®.

While the Chase Sapphire Reserve® also comes with a yearly $300 annual travel credit, you must spend it before you earn the higher points for travel, which includes airline tickets/fees, ridesharing, public transportation, tolls, car rentals, lodging and cruises.

If airport lounge access is important to you, this card, like the Starwood Preferred Guest® Luxury Card from American Express, also comes with a Priority Pass™ Select membership. You also get the same credit to cover Global Entry or TSA Precheck enrollment fees.

Your points can be transferred 1:1 toward major airline and hotel loyalty programs including United Airlines, Southwest Airlines, Aer Lingus, Air France, British Airways, Iberia, JetBlue, Virgin Atlantic, Singapore Airlines, Hyatt, Marriott, IHG Hotels and Ritz-Carlton. This is fewer partners than offered by the Starwood Preferred Guest® Luxury Card from American Express, but the points transfer rate is better with the Chase Sapphire Reserve®.

The Chase Sapphire Reserve® comes with more extensive perks: trip delay/trip cancellation insurance; travel accident insurance; lost luggage reimbursement; trip delay reimbursement; emergency evacuation & transportation; rental car insurance and discounts; purchase protection; return protection; and extended warranty protection.

The bottom line

The Starwood Preferred Guest® Luxury Card from American Express came roaring out of the gate with a very generous welcome offer designed to attract those looking for a luxury card to add to their wallet. The card also piled on the perks that have become almost standard in the luxury card segment: higher points per $1 spent in key categories, credits for fees, the ability to transfer points to airline partners, automatic elite status and airport lounge access. The value of these perks more than covers the card’s $450 annual fee.

The Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express comes with many of the same benefits of the Starwood Preferred Guest® Luxury Card from American Express without the higher price tag. That makes it a good option, with its $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95.

The Chase Sapphire Reserve® comes with many of the perks and benefits of the Starwood Preferred Guest® Luxury Card from American Express, but gives you more value for the points you earn — if you redeem them at the Chase Ultimate Rewards® website.

These three cards have and pluses and minuses to consider. Now that they’ve been laid out, it’s up to you to balance the annual fee with the points per $1 spent, along with the perks and fine print, and make your final decision.

Advertiser Disclosure: The card offers that appear on this site are from companies from which MagnifyMoney receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). MagnifyMoney does not include all card companies or all card offers available in the marketplace.

Benét J. Wilson

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Source: https://www.magnifymoney.com/blog/credit-cards-2/amex-spg-express-luxury-review/

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