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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 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.
Major drawback of the card is that American Express cards are not convenient for travelling 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.