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$95 annual fee, waived for the first year
best hotel rewards program
AmEx card that allows you to earn Starwood points as a reward for your purchases. Starwood is a company that operates several hotel chains including Sheraton, Four Points, W Hotels, Le Meridien, Westin and more. The main advantage of the card is the value of the Starwood points; unlike most travel reward points or airline miles, Starpoints have a value from 2 to 5 cents each.
The most profitable way to redeem points is to spend them on free hotel nights; another way to use points is to transfer them to airlines’ frequent miles.
Generous sign-up bonus up to 25,000 points offsets $95 annual fee; if you plan to use the card every month, the rewards can be much more than the costs.
A major drawback of the card is that American Express cards are not convenient for traveling because of the 2.7% foreign transaction fee and problems with AmEx acceptance abroad.
Update 12/19/2015: New terms for American Express SPG card. The card is getting even better! No international transaction fee, annual fee raised from $65 to $95 (waived for the first year). To earn 25,000 bonus points now you need to spend $3000 in the first 3 months of your account.