Anyone familiar with Starwood Preferred Amex

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susa
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Anyone familiar with Starwood Preferred Amex

Post by susa »

This card, https://www.nerdwallet.com/card-details ... s-Starwood

For a trip to Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore, are the perks worth it and how are the bonus points used
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Will do good
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Re: Anyone familiar with Starwood Preferred Amex

Post by Will do good »

DW just applied for one, it's worth it for us because we can get 5 nights of hotel, we only have to spend 3K in 3 months.
Will most likely cancel after the first year when $95 fees is due.
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SmileyFace
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Re: Anyone familiar with Starwood Preferred Amex

Post by SmileyFace »

Note that Marriott uses a Chase VISA as its card. I assume this Amex will go away once the Marriott/Starwood deal completes. It seems a good deal at this time though but just realize its life might be short-lived.
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susa
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Re: Anyone familiar with Starwood Preferred Amex

Post by susa »

How short of a life, or when does the Marriott Visa happen

Months or weeks or random time this year ?

I did also read this news today
http://www.wsj.com/articles/starwood-re ... 1457954245
William104
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Re: Anyone familiar with Starwood Preferred Amex

Post by William104 »

It's very useful especially if you aren't trying to stay at top tier hotels. The most expensive will run you 30k points per night, but you can likely get nights for 12k and get a minimum of 3 free nights for your trip on this one card. I'm just going to guess that it would be about 1,200 bucks in value from this. You can also pair it with a hyatt card that offers two free nights as well and pay for a large portion of your trip. We're doing this same combination or a Europe trip soon and it is getting us thousands in free hotel stays.
CWhea1775
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Re: Anyone familiar with Starwood Preferred Amex

Post by CWhea1775 »

Also allows very easy transfer of miles into almost any airline mileage program - I've used this to get free tickets on a couple of different airlines.
Bfwolf
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Re: Anyone familiar with Starwood Preferred Amex

Post by Bfwolf »

susa wrote:This card, https://www.nerdwallet.com/card-details ... s-Starwood

For a trip to Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore, are the perks worth it and how are the bonus points used
The 35K bonus is unprecedented and Starpoints are high value.

In respect to your trip, I personally used Starpoints at the Kyoto Westin, which is a very nice hotel and a steal at 10K Starpoints a night.

Edit: You may also want to find a friend who already has this card and have them send you a referral. Won't get you anything else but will get them an add'l 5K Starpoints. Maybe they'll take you out to lunch in return. My brother sent me a referral for both the personal and business card and got 10K points from it when I signed up.
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susa
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Re: Anyone familiar with Starwood Preferred Amex

Post by susa »

How are the bonus points used? Does any participating hotel "know" your points on the card and then adjust room rate or other benefits accordingly ?
knowledge
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Re: Anyone familiar with Starwood Preferred Amex

Post by knowledge »

Have had the card for 10 years. Have used it with the intention of Starwood hotel stays, and have had some memorable free hotel stays generated by use of the card. It helps that my work prefers Starwood hotels. I'm anxiously awaiting the results of the Marriot buyout, although there is recent news that may throw a wrench in the mix. I'm a fan.
Bfwolf
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Re: Anyone familiar with Starwood Preferred Amex

Post by Bfwolf »

susa wrote:How are the bonus points used? Does any participating hotel "know" your points on the card and then adjust room rate or other benefits accordingly ?
Your earned points are automatically added to your Starwood account. They are not attached to your credit card, so if you cancel the card you'll keep the points you've earned. Then when you've got enough points, you just go to the Starwood website and search for rooms. The options that will come up will show you how much it will cost with $s and how much with points.

You can see what some of your options are and how many points they'd cost at awardmapper.com. Hotelhustle.com is another useful site. Looking at some of the places you want to visit, there are some good options.

Tokyo - there's a Sheraton for 10K points a night

Kyoto - as I mentioned there's a great Westin for 10K a night

Singapore - There's a Four Points Sheraton opening July 1st for 10K a night. There's also the Sheraton Towers for 12K to 16K a night

Hong Kong - There's a Le Meridien which I believe is quite out of the way for 10K a night and a Sheraton nearer the action for 12K to 16K a night.

There are other choices in these cities for higher point totals, but I generally think there's better value at the lower prices unless you're a hotel snob.
2Birds1Stone
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Re: Anyone familiar with Starwood Preferred Amex

Post by 2Birds1Stone »

I just saved $580 for two nights in a Sheraton Hotel, only had to use 14,000 points.

My SO and I both opened the card and received a total of 60,000 points with minimal effort.
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Re: Anyone familiar with Starwood Preferred Amex

Post by susa »

Now wondering if there is value in this, compared to just as an example, the BankAmericard Travel Rewards card, or something else.

The fine print says on the Amex ... Get 35,000 bonus Starpoints® after you use your new Card to make $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months. Offer ends 3/30/2016

Since my travel will commence after midsummer, perhaps something completely different is a better choice, plus the aforementioned uncertainty regarding properties ownership change.
traveltoomuch
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Re: Anyone familiar with Starwood Preferred Amex

Post by traveltoomuch »

susa wrote:Now wondering if there is value in this, compared to just as an example, the BankAmericard Travel Rewards card, or something else.
I wouldn't worry about the Marriott merger in the short term. You're asking about value for a trip this summer - they won't have the SPG and Marriott Rewards merger stuff worked out by then.

I find SPG points very valuable, but that's because I tend to hoard them and use them when cash room rates are high. Staying at SPG category 1 and 2 properties can be an exceptional value, especially on weekends. The biggest value from SPG points comes from the fact that they don't limit availability - they make the "last room" available at the same points price, even during high-demand periods.

If you're focusing on a single trip, it's hard to say what's going to be most worthwhile. Some of it depends on what cash rates are on your travel dates and how willing you'd be to pay the cash rates for a Starwood property v. something else.


As for how it works: you "book using points", either on the website or by calling central reservations. Cash+points can be a good value, too, though that has availability restrictions.

Go look at the SPG website. Study the SPG award chart. And look at properties you might stay in and what their award category/cost is.
auggiedoggies
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Re: Anyone familiar with Starwood Preferred Amex

Post by auggiedoggies »

susa wrote:Now wondering if there is value in this, compared to just as an example, the BankAmericard Travel Rewards card, or something else.

The fine print says on the Amex ... Get 35,000 bonus Starpoints® after you use your new Card to make $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months. Offer ends 3/30/2016

Since my travel will commence after midsummer, perhaps something completely different is a better choice, plus the aforementioned uncertainty regarding properties ownership change.
I'm not sure why this would impact your travel midsummer....

Don't worry about the offer end date. The points don't expire for quite a while, I believe 18 months.

All that means is that you get the card, and if you spend 3k in 3 months, you get 35k points. You can then use those points to book a hotel room whenever you want. You don't have to use the points by 3/30/16 or anything
Bfwolf
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Re: Anyone familiar with Starwood Preferred Amex

Post by Bfwolf »

susa wrote:Now wondering if there is value in this, compared to just as an example, the BankAmericard Travel Rewards card, or something else.

The fine print says on the Amex ... Get 35,000 bonus Starpoints® after you use your new Card to make $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months. Offer ends 3/30/2016

Since my travel will commence after midsummer, perhaps something completely different is a better choice, plus the aforementioned uncertainty regarding properties ownership change.
Trust those of us that spend wayyyyy too much time analyzing these cards. This is a good offer. Assuming you spend $5,000 on the card to give yourself an even 40K points (35K bonus + 5K for the $5,000 spend), you can:

1) Convert the 40K points into 50K miles on any of 30 different airlines. http://travelsort.com/blog/starwood-pre ... into-miles

2) Use the 40K points to stay 5 nights at a 10K point hotel (on award stays, book 4 nights and the 5th night is free!) such as the Westin Kyoto or Tokyo Sheraton.

There ARE other cards which have high value introductory bonuses as well such as the Chase Sapphire Preferred, but those offers will probably be there in the future and this is probably the last chance to jump on the 35K Starpoints train.
TheGreyingDuke
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Re: Anyone familiar with Starwood Preferred Amex

Post by TheGreyingDuke »

The merger with Marriott now has some competition:

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-starw ... SKCN0WG14D
"Every time I see an adult on a bicycle, I no longer despair for the future of the human race." H.G. Wells
Bfwolf
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Re: Anyone familiar with Starwood Preferred Amex

Post by Bfwolf »

TheGreyingDuke wrote:The merger with Marriott now has some competition:

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-starw ... SKCN0WG14D
Interesting. Given Starwood's stock price rose to Anbang's $76 offer, I have to assume the market believes Starwood will either accept that offer or Marriott will match it.
dsmil
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Re: Anyone familiar with Starwood Preferred Amex

Post by dsmil »

Amex only allows one bonus per lifetime, and this 35k bonus is the highest that it's ever been, so it's time to jump on the opportunity. Luckily (or unluckily), I have a $3k home repair coming up that I should be able to put on this card to earn the bonus. I think that the 5 nights in Clearwater, FL that the bonus would basically give me will cheer me up after the home repair!
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susa
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Re: Anyone familiar with Starwood Preferred Amex

Post by susa »

So the end of the offer March 2016 simply means one must spend April, May or very latest end of June to qualify
swaption
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Re: Anyone familiar with Starwood Preferred Amex

Post by swaption »

Echo all the positive feedback. This is my #1 card, heist value of any card out there if you use it for hotel stays. The list of vacations I have taken is extensive.
Bfwolf
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Re: Anyone familiar with Starwood Preferred Amex

Post by Bfwolf »

susa wrote:So the end of the offer March 2016 simply means one must spend April, May or very latest end of June to qualify
You'll have 3 months from when you get the card to spend the $3,000.
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Re: Anyone familiar with Starwood Preferred Amex

Post by swaption »

Couple of other benefits specific to this card and they are not trivial:

- Free Boingo Wi-Fi access. Most people are familiar with this in airports, but I believe this may extend globally to places like trains, etc.
- Free Shoprunner access. Provides free 2-day shipping from a long list of retailers.
- Points auctions for concerts, etc. Generally hit or mostly miss. Btu I just realized that I missed an auction for a pair of tickets that I paid $1,400 face, where the winning bid was 25.5k points (same location, general admission).
- No foreign transaction fees

In terms of hotels, focus may be on better properties at vacation destinations, but sometimes the best deals are elsewhere. Recently I needed to spend a night by the Detroit airport and it was 4k points at a perfectly nice airport Sheraton that would have cost me $200. As well, there are no blackout periods for points, so this card is great for people that are held hostage by school holiday times for vacations.
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