Feb 10

This is fairly important, so take 5 min and read it.

I’m a Credit Card Snob

(or so I thought)

I’ve always sorta “secretly” prided myself on my credit card perks obsession.  Due to personal experience, I know most of the good and bad out there.  However, recently, I discovered that I was really missing out.  Enter the Starwood American Express Card…

Before I start, I want to make it clear that you should only have a credit card if you can pay it off fully each month.  Set it up to automatically pay the balance in full each month.  Never spend more than you have.  Always remember to spend responsibly.  Got it?

Why The Starwood AMEX Card Rules The School

If you want a plain old rebate card, there are better ones out there.  However, I like building up travel rewards.  In the end, I think it pays off better and rewards you in a much more enthralling way than just getting a .67% rebate back or something.   Let’s face it, you will need to travel at some point – and the Starwood card is likely your dream come true.

The main perks that matter the most:

  • Points:  Dollars spent = points directly (which you can redeem for flights (almost any airline) and Starwood hotels)
  • Hotels: It doesn’t take many points to get free nights at hotels.  For example, you get 10K for signing up and another 15K soon after if you spend $25K.  At 2K-3K points a night, that’s a lot of free hotel nights. Edit: I can’t keep up with signing bonuses any more (they seem to be constantly changing), so you’ll have to read what the “special” is at the time you sign up.
  • Flights:  There is a hugely important 25% bonus on airline point redemption.  It basically means you will earn a lot of extra miles just for redeeming miles – awesome.

Other cool stuff:

  • Starwood has around 1,000 resorts/hotels in ~100 countries
  • Flights redeemable on more than 350 airlines with no blackout dates (which means schedule any day of the year)
  • If you have other Frequent Flyer programs, you can transfer points into most of them without losing points
  • AMEX has awesome purchase protection for stuff you buy and break/lose
  • Concierge service for getting special access to concerts and other events (hot ticket events)
  • Never again get rental car insurance, it’s built-in if you use this card to reserve the car
  • AMEX offers amazing travel assistance when you are away from home
  • ATM Cash access all over the world
  • Really really easy charge disputing, extended warranty coverage and fraud protection
  • Annual fee waived first year

What Others Have To Say

A well-known financial guru I follow religiously (Ramit Sethi) had this to say about the Starwood Card:

My final test was this: The world’s best consumers of credit cards are management consultants at firms like McKinsey, Bain, and BCG. That’s because basically the only thing these consultants care about is points. Many of my friends have over a million points and are anal — even more than I am — about their choice of cards.

They love their credit cards more than their girlfriends! True.

I know a bunch of friends who work at these places, and every one uses this card. DONE!

You should always do your own research. Here are 2 places to see what others have said, as well as understand the perks/rewards in great detail.

FatWallet forums – Discussion about Starwood AMEX (do not sign up here)

Read This!!!!

I wrote this post and plastered it all over the interwebs for three main reasons:

  1. I thought it was cool
  2. I wanted to help my friends & family
  3. I wanted some referral points if you sign up

By using the link below, you will get up to 25,000 free points and the annual fee waived.

If you want to sign up, PLEASE PLEASE use this link and fill out the 20 second form – you will receive the referral in your email within 24-48 hours.

It is very important that you have a sense of urgency, this referral program is set to expire any moment.  I will remove the link above when it expires.

*** If you are worried than not many places accept AMEX, I’m happy to report that that old rumor seems to be mostly untrue nowadays.   I’ve been using this card (and other AMEX cards) for a long time now and have only run into a few places that don’t take it.  Keep another Visa or Mastercard in your wallet and you’ll be covered for the 3% of the times you’ll need it.

3 Responses to “Starwood American Express Card Review”

  1. Donnie Says:

    I already was considering this card, your article convinced me to go ahead and do it.

  2. adam schwerin Says:

    I am not sure how well it compares to Alaska Airlines Visa Signature. I have been using this for some time now and the $99 companion fare to Alaska and Hawaii really add hundreds of dollards of value from the start. My wife and I just saved $600 in the first year by using this card.

    They also partner with the Starwood Hotels and Resorts along with many others- although maybe not with the same amount of value as the Amex.

    I feel I would have to research more details and get more examples before I would leave the Alaska Signature card .

    In “Executive Travel” magazine it is listed as #1 for its mileage plan.

    I will check out the Starwood Amex.

  3. Dustin Weber Says:

    @ adam schwerin

    The only advantage to that card is that it’s a VISA, thus it’s more widely accepted. If you bear down and look at the facts, the Starwood AMEX is better.

    For the pure fact that you can transfer miles into any Frequent Flyer program is worth it. I guess if you like good deals on fares to only Alaska and Hawaii that’s cool, but this humble author likes to experience new places.

    Walk-in with this card to any Starwood hotel and see the difference. I was impressed and continue to be.

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