Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card review | finder.com

Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express review

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Please note: All information about Marriott Bonvoy™ American Express® Card, previously Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express, has been collected independently by Finder. Marriott Bonvoy™ American Express® Card is no longer available through Finder as American Express is no longer accepting applications for the card.

An alternative hotel credit card

Hilton Honors American Express Card

  • Earn 75,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points with the Hilton Honors American Express Card after you use your new card to make $1,000 in eligible purchases within the first 3 months of card membership.
  • Earn 7x Hilton Honors Bonus Points for each dollar of eligible purchases charged directly with a hotel or resort within the Hilton Honors portfolio of brands.
  • Earn 5x Hilton Honors Bonus Points for each dollar of eligible purchases at U.S. restaurants, U.S. supermarkets, and U.S. gas stations.
  • Earn 3x Hilton Honors Bonus Points for all other eligible purchases on your card.
  • No foreign transaction fees. Enjoy international travel without additional fees on purchases made abroad.
  • Enjoy complimentary Hilton Honors Silver status with your card. Plus, spend $20,000 on eligible purchases on your card in a calendar year and you can earn an upgrade to Hilton Honors Gold status through the end of the next calendar year.
  • No annual fee.
  • Terms apply.
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The basics

If you’re a regular with brands like Westin and Sheraton, you’ll find a lot to like in Marriott Bonvoy™ American Express® Card, formerly the Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express. The card’s 6x points at Starwood Preferred Guest® (SPG®) and Marriott Rewards® properties means you’ll quickly accumulate rewards, which you can redeem for complimentary hotel stays. As of August 18, 2018, you can book standard SPG® and Marriott Rewards® rooms starting from 7,500 points.

Marriott Bonvoy™ American Express® Card won’t just bring you resort stays — it also lets you redeem points for airfare and car rentals through Marriott’s Air+Car program. Furthermore, you can transfer your points to over 40 airlines. These are valuable perks that elevate Marriott Bonvoy™ American Express® Card.

You’ll receive complimentary Silver Elite status in the upgraded SPG®/Marriott Rewards® loyalty program. It offers 10% additional bonus points for eligible stays, complimentary in-room Internet access and late checkout. Additionally, you’re extended a $0 annual fee for the first year, after which you’ll pay $95 a year. And you’ll avoid foreign transaction fees on overseas spending.

Of course, you’ll get the most value out of Marriott Bonvoy™ American Express® Card if you’re a loyal customer of SPG® and Marriott Rewards® properties. If you love sampling properties from different brands, consider a general travel credit card like the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, PenFed Pathfinder Rewards American Express® Card or Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card.

Changes effective August 2018

Marriott International bought Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide in late 2016, and they’ve finally merged membership rewards programs.

As of August 2018, Starpoints have become general “points.” If you had Starpoints, they were converted at a 1:3 ratio. That means 10,000 Starpoints would have been converted to 30,000 points.

Now, every purchase you make with your card earns you 2x points. Every purchase at participating Starwood Prefered Guest® and Marriott Rewards® properties and establishments earns you an additional 4x points for a total of 6 points per dollar spent.

New airline partners

Not only will you earn more points, you now have access to additional airline partners, including Qantas, JetBlue and Turkish Airlines. You can still transfer points, which occurs at a 3:1 ratio. For every 60,000 points you convert to miles, you’ll get a 15,000-point bonus for a total of 25,000 miles in the airline program of your choice.

What if I have an SPG®, Marriott Rewards® or Ritz-Carlton Rewards® account?

You’ll likely want to combine these accounts to create a single account and profile, helping you earn more points to reach Elite status faster. Update your email so you’ll be notified when it’s time to take action.

The perks

  • Welcome offer.

    You earn 75,000 bonus points after you use your card to pay for $3,000 in purchases within the first three months your account is open. This bonus is enough for a complimentary standard night at any participating SPG® or Marriott Rewards® property. One booking costs between 7,500 and 85,000 points depending on the property’s category.

  • Earn more points at Starwood Preferred Guest® and Marriott Rewards® hotels.

    Earn 6x points on eligible purchases at SPG® or Marriott Rewards® hotels. This is an excellent rate if you’re a regular at these properties. You could quickly earn enough for complimentary nights, as reward bookings start at 7,500 points.

    On all other eligible purchases, earn 2x points.

  • Annual free night award.

    Receive one complimentary night every year after your card account anniversary. It’s good for a complimentary night at a participating property, up to a redemption level of 35,000 points.

  • Complimentary Silver Elite status.

    Get complimentary in-room Internet access, earn 10% more in bonus points, get priority late checkout and more with automatic Silver Elite status. Spend $35,000 in a calendar year and upgrade to Gold Elite Status for yet more benefits. Starting January 1, 2019, this threshold increases to $35,000.

    You can upgrade to Gold Elite status after 25 to 49 nights a year at participating SPG® and Marriott Rewards® hotels.

  • 0% foreign transaction fees.

    Use Marriott Bonvoy™ American Express® Card overseas without foreign transaction fees from American Express.

  • Redeem points for stays at SPG and Marriott Rewards properties.

    Redeem as few as 7,500 points for a complimentary standard-room night — with no blackout dates.

Where can I redeem points?

Points get you complimentary standard rooms at almost 30 properties:

  • The Ritz-Carlton
  • St. Regis
  • JW Marriott
  • The Luxury Collection
  • W Hotels
  • Edition
  • Marriott
  • Sheraton
  • Marriott Vacation Club
  • Delta Hotels by Marriott
  • Le Méridien
  • Westin
  • Autograph Collection Hotels
  • Design Hotels
  • Renaissance Hotels
  • Tribute Portfolio
  • Gaylord Hotels
  • Courtyard by Marriott
  • Four Points
  • Springhill Suites by Marriott
  • Protea Hotels by Marriott
  • Fairfield by Marriott
  • AC Hotels by Marriott
  • Aloft Hotels
  • Moxy Hotels
  • Marriott Executive Apartments
  • Residence Inn by Marriott
  • Towneplace Suites
  • Element Hotels

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  • Redeem points for flights and car rentals.

    Use your points for flights and car rentals through Air+Car. Participating airlines include JetBlue, United Airlines, Alaska Airlines, Delta Airlines and American Airlines. For car rentals, Hertz is a prominent partner agency.

    You can transfer your points at a 3:1 ratio to around 40 frequent-flyer programs. For every 60,000 points you convert to miles, you’ll get a 15,000-point bonus for a total of 25,000 miles in the airline program of your choice.

  • Travel protection.

    Use Amex’s Roadside Assistance Hotline and Global Assist Hotline when you’re in a bind on vacation for 24/7 help with towings, locksmith services and more. You’ll also get car rental insurance and travel accident insurance on reservations paid for with your card. Lastly, receive baggage insurance that covers eligible lost, damaged or stolen baggage.

  • Purchase benefits.

    Rest easy with extended warranties, purchase protection and return protection on eligible items you buy with your card.

  • Cardmember-only entertainment.

    As a cardholder, you’ll have access to select events and ticket presales for concerts, shows and sporting events.

  • Shoprunner.

    Receive free two-day shipping on eligible items in the ShopRunner network. Just enroll with your complimentary membership.

  • Fraud protection.

    If you don’t recognize a charge, simply call the number on the back of your card for fast resolution.

What to watch out for

  • Annual fee after the first year.

    Amex waives your annual fee for the first year. After that, you’ll pay a $95 annual fee to use your card.

  • Not as widely accepted overseas.
    Marriott Bonvoy™ American Express® Card is an American Express card, which means you might not have as many opportunities to use it overseas as you would with a Visa or Mastercard.
  • No intro APR.
    Marriott Bonvoy™ American Express® Card doesn’t come with a intro APR for purchases or balance transfers.
  • Penalty APR.

    Making late or returned payments could saddle you with a variable APR as high as 29.99% on all balances.

Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card review

New Elite tiers as of August 2018

As of August 18, 2018, there are new Elite status levels with new benefits:

  • Member — up to 9 nights a year.
  • Silver Elite — for 10 to 24 nights a year.
  • Gold Elite — for 25 to 49 nights a year.
  • Platinum Elite — for 50 to 74 nights a year.
  • Platinum Premier Elite — for 75 to 99 nights a year.
  • Platinum Premier Elite after 100 nights + $20,000 qualifying spending — for 100 or more nights a year.

As of January 1, 2019, you’ll achieve Elite status on nights only — stays won’t help you qualify. Until that time, SPG® cardmembers can work toward status updates based on stays at SPG®-branded properties as well as nights in the SPG® and Marriott Rewards® portfolios.

With the Marriott Bonvoy™ American Express® Card, you start off with Silver Elite status without having to meet any requirements.

Compare American Express travel cards

What do customers say about Marriott Bonvoy™ American Express® Card?

Some customers have left complaints online about how long it takes for American Express to transfer your points to miles. Others say they received a lower line of credit than they expected. Keep in mind that the credit line you’re extended depends on your credit score and other factors determined by American Express.

On the positive side, many customers praise the Amex’s support and say they love the rewards they earn with this card. They also like the value they get when transferring points to miles.

American Express is accredited by the Better Business Bureau, earning an A+ from BBB based on internal criteria that includes years in business and support.

How to choose Amex hotel cards

Bottom line

Marriott Bonvoy™ American Express® Card offers impressive benefits that include valuable point multiples for frequent SPG® and Marriott Rewards® guests, point redemption for hotels and flights and perks like status upgrades.

You’ll get maximum value from this card if you frequent SPG® or Marriott Rewards® properties. Otherwise, a general travel card might be a better choice. To find a card that best matches your spending, learn more in our comprehensive guide to credit cards.

Frequently asked questions about Marriott Bonvoy™ American Express® Card

Disclaimer

Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer.

Image: americanexpress.com

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