That brings us to the topic of this post. We still are constantly asked whether applying for the Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card from American Express is still worthwhile. And the simple answer is yes! That is why we still ranked the card as the number 1 hotel card in Canada in our 2017 Top Travel Rewards Credit Card rankings! Seeing that you have nearly two years to use the points before an integration or amalgamation there is more than enough time to make use of the very valuable currency.
Here are the details of the card:
• Earn 1 Starpoint for every $1 in purchases charged to the Card
• You can earn 2 Starpoints for every dollar of eligible purchases charged to the Card at participating SPG®* and Marriott Rewards®* hotels hrough November 15, 2017
• Enjoy a Free Weekend Night Award when you reach $40,000 in purchases each year
• Experience Starwood Gold Preferred Guest status when you reach $30,000 in purchases each year
• Redeem Starpoints for Free Nights with no blackout dates at over 1,200 of the world's most desired hotels in nearly 100 countries
• Use Starpoints for flights on over 150 airlines with no blackout dates with SPG Flights
• Experience once-in-a-lifetime events with SPG Moments
• American Express Invites™ opens the door to great music, theatre, dining, film, fashion and shopping experiences. Be among the first to know, and among the first to go!
• Add a Supplementary Card and the first year’s annual fee is on us. That’s a value of $50.
· You can use Apple Pay on your eligible device to pay for goods and services at participating American Express contactless merchants
• Annual interest rate 19.99% on purchases and 21.99% on funds advances
• American Express is not responsible for maintaining or monitoring the accuracy of information on this website. For full details and current product information click the Apply now link.
• Conditions apply
And here are just some examples of why this card still represents a great value and why you should still consider grabbing it:
Use the points for Starwood stays of course! We value Starpoints at well over 2 cents each so the sign up bonus is worth $400 at a minimum. If you apply for the card and put your $1,500 spending on it as soon as you can you'll get the 20,000 Starpoints on your first statement date and those will post to SPG within a day or two after that. Now the questions is what can those 20,000 Starpoints get you?
Here are some ideas:
How about a night at The St. Regis Mauritius Resort in June:
Only 20,000 Starpoints for a Junior Suite with ocean view. If you pay cash, the non-refundable, prepaid rate is EUR755 or about $1074CDN!! That's almost a 5.4% return on your points. Go for two night with points + cash for 20,000 Starpoints and $360 USD (C$485) versus C$2,148 in outright costs. That's a savings of C$1663 or a value of 8.3 cents per point (16% when you earn 2 points/$ at Starwood & Marriott hotels) THAT'S HUGE!!!
How about a little closer to home? The Westin Grand Vancouver in August
Another amazing benefit from SPG is the ability to transfer the Starpoints to well over 30 airlines from around the globe including Aeroplan. What is even better is that SPG will bonus you 5,000 miles each time you transfer 20,000 Starpoints to any of their airline partners. This means the sign up bonus with the card is actually the equivalent of 25,000 miles with all but a couple of partners. Aeroplan is one those that you would get 25,000 miles. For most of us Aeroplan is the obvious choice but some other front runners are British Airways, Alaska Airlines, American AAdvantage, Cathay Pacific Asia Miles or Air France KLM Flying Blue.
Here is the full of transfer partners:
|FREQUENT FLYER PROGRAM||EXCHANGE RATIO (STARPOINTS:MILES)|
|Aeromexico Club Premier||1:1|
|Air China Companion||1:1|
|Air New Zealand Airpoints||65:1|
|Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan||1:1|
|All Nippon Airways (ANA) Mileage Club||1:1|
|American Airlines AAdvantage||1:1|
|British Airways Executive Club||1:1|
|China Eastern Airlines||1:1|
|China Southern Airlines Sky Pearl Club||1:1|
|Delta Air Lines SkyMiles||1:1|
|Japan Airlines (JAL) Mileage Bank||1:1|
|LATAM Airlines LATAM Pass||1:1.5|
|LifeMiles® of Avianca||1:1|
|Miles and More||1:1|
|Saudi Arabian Airlines||1:1|
|Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer||1:1|
|Thai Airways International Royal Orchid Plus||1:1|
|United Mileage Plus||2:1|
|Virgin Atlantic Flying Club||1:1|
If airline miles and Starpoints don't appeal to you but Marriott Rewards points do, then this card is still for you. You can convert Starpoints to Marriott at a rate of 1 Starpoint to 3 Marriott Rewards Points which means the 20,000 Starpoint bonus is worth 60,000 Marriott Rewards points. This is in fact higher than any bonus out there for Marriott's own card in Canada. Another reason you may want to consider moving points over to Marriott are their Hotel + Air Packages. Granted you have to rack up more points than 60,000 but it is well known that these packages can provide amazing value as they give you 7 nights at a Marriott Hotel PLUS airline miles on top of that. Here is an example of the points requirements and what you get for them if you choose a program like Aeroplan:
You can find out more about Marriott's Hotel+Air Packages here.
Finally you could just hold onto the points and keep collecting as you spend on the card and redeem for higher end hotels before 2018 or keep going for multiples of 20,000 Starpoints to transfer to an airline partner. Ultimately if you don't do any of that the points that you are holding onto will transfer into the newly merged program sometime in 2018.
Clich here to find out more or to apply for the Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card!