The Starwood Preferred Guest credit card, issued by American Express, has long been the darling of the miles-and-points set. But with the pending merger of Starwood with Marriott, the card’s future is in doubt.
For now at least, the SPG card looks better than ever, with a just-announced sign-up bonus that’s the highest ever offered for this card.
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Through March 30, new customers for the Starwood Preferred Guest credit card can earn a 35,000-point bonus after charging $3,000 to the card within the first three months.
Deal or No Deal
While hardly eye-popping compared to sign-up bonuses for other rewards cards, which often spike into the 50,000 – 100,000 points range, it is the most lucrative bonus ever offered for the SPG card. And the card itself is well worth having on its own merits.
- Annual fee: $95, waived the first year
- Annual percentage rate: adjustable, currently 15.49% to 19.49%, based on creditworthiness
- Earn up to 5 Starpoints per $1 at Starwood hotels, 1 Starpoint for other purchases
- No foreign transaction fees
- Annual credit for 5 nights/2 stays toward elite status
- Starpoints transferable to nearly 34 airline frequent flyer programs, mostly on a 1:1 basis
- 5,000 bonus points when transferring 20,000 points to a participating airline program
- Complimentary in-room premium WiFi at Starwood hotels
- Complimentary, unlimited WiFi at Boingo hotspots
That’s a lot of value, and a lot of utility, for a card with no annual fee in the first year.
Although the card itself may be discontinued when the Marriott and Starwood programs are combined, there’s no danger of SPG members’ points disappearing; they’ll simply be shifted into the new program. Until then, the SPG card remains among the best rewards cards available.
Reader Reality Check
What’s in your wallet?
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After 20 years working in the travel industry, and 15 years writing about it, Tim Winship knows a thing or two about travel. Follow him on Twitter @twinship.
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