Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card from American Express

Note: American Express is a Frequent Miler advertiser. Please see our Advertiser Disclosure.

Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express
75K points
75K after $3K spend in 3 months. Terms apply.
Click Here to Apply

No Annual Fee First Year, Then $95

Card Type: Amex Credit Card


Earning rate: 6X Starwood and Marriott Properties ⚬ 2X everywhere else

Big spend bonus: Marriott Gold Elite with $30K annual spend (note this threshold will increase to $35K on January 1, 2019)

Noteworthy perks: 1 Free Night Award every year after your Card account anniversary up to 35K points (subject to resort fees) ⚬ Receive free premium internet at Marriott/SPG properties.

Note: Terms Apply. See Rates & Fees


This card earns Marriott Rewards points (also known as Starwood points, or Ritz-Carlton points) at the following rates:

  • 2X standard
  • 6X Starwood and Marriott Properties

Marriott Rewards points can be redeemed for free night awards, travel packages, airline miles, or experiences. 5th Night Free Awards: When redeeming points for free nights, the 5th night within a single reservation is free. Airline miles: Points can be converted to airline miles at a rate of 3 points to 1 mile. A bonus is added on when you transfer 60,000 points at a time, such that 60,000 points transfers to 25,000 miles. Also, you'll get a 10% bonus when transferring points to United Airlines.


  • Annual free night award: Each year, after renewal, you will receive one Free Night Award. The Free Night Award can be redeemed for a one-night stay at SPG, Marriott, and Ritz hotels with a redemption level at or under 35,000 points.
  • Automatic Silver Elite status: Offers a 10% point bonus on points earned from hotel stays.
  • Gold Elite status with $35K spend: Spend $35K within a calendar year to get Gold Elite status good for the rest of that year and all of the next year. Gold elite status offers 2pm late checkout, 25% point bonus on points earned from hotel stays, points-only welcome gift, chance of a room upgrade, and complimentary enhanced internet.
  • 15 Elite Night Credits: This is now a standard perk with all currently available Marriott and SPG cards. These elite nights count towards your total towards elite status each year. For example, if you stay 35 nights in Marriott / SPG properties, you will earn 50 night Platinum status thanks to these 15 elite nights adding to your actual stays. Unfortunately the 15 elite nights do not stack across cards.
  • Free Boingo Wifi: Free unlimited Boingo wifi worldwide. This benefit is available both to primary cardmembers and authorized users.

Application Tips

Amex Application Tips

  • Safe to Apply: Amex is the safest bank for trying your luck at a new welcome bonus. They don’t usually issue a hard pull when denying your application. Plus, they’ll now warn you during the application process if you’re not eligible for the bonus.

  • Lifetime Rule: If you've ever had the same card before, you are most likely prohibited from getting a welcome bonus for the card if you sign up now. Fortunately you'll be warned during the application process if this is the case. Amex is known to "forget" that you've had a card after about 7 years.

  • 5/90 Rule: In general, you can get at most one credit card within 5 days and 2 within 90 days. The 5 day limit is not enforced when your applications are automatically approved. Neither rule is enforced for charge cards.

  • 5 credit card max:Amex usually won't approve applications for new credit cards if you already have 5 or more Amex credit cards open. This limit does not apply to charge cards.

  • Better Offers: You may be able to get a better offer than the best available public offer. Details here.

  • Hard inquiries combine into 1 when approved same day

Check application status here.
If denied, call reconsideration: 877-399-3083 (new accountholders); 866-314-0237 (current accountholders)

As of August 26 2018, Marriott & SPG credit cards are subject to restrictions that go across Amex and Chase accounts. The following rules show how to qualify for a welcome bonus:

How to Meet Spend Requirements

In order to meet minimum spend requirements, people often look for options to increase spend in ways that result in getting the money back. These techniques are often referred to as "manufacturing spend". American Express has terms in their signup offers that exclude some manufactured spend techniques from counting towards the minimum spend requirements for the welcome bonus. For example, most signup bonuses have terms like this:
Eligible purchases to meet the Threshold Amount of this offer do NOT include fees or interest charges, balance transfers, cash advances, purchase of travelers checks, purchase or reloading of prepaid cards, purchases of gift cards, person-to-person payments, or other cash equivalents.
That said, many techniques for meeting minimum spend are perfectly fine. Here are some techniques that are safe for meeting Amex minimum spend requirements (click each link for more information):

Keep or Cancel?

This card is not particularly rewarding for spend. In my opinion, the decision as to whether to keep the card past the first year should be based on how much you value the annual free night. If you value the free night significantly higher than this card's annual fee, then keep the card. Otherwise, cancel when the annual fee comes due.

Related Cards (Marriott Rewards)

Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express
75K points
75K after $3K spend in 3 months. Terms apply.

No Annual Fee First Year, Then $95

Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express
75K Points
75K points after $3K spend in the first 3 months. Terms apply.

No Annual Fee First Year, Then $95

Chase Marriott Rewards® Premier Plus
75K points
75K after $3K spend in 3 months

$95 Annual Fee

Recent better offer: 100K after $5K spend in 3 months

Starwood Preferred Guest Luxury Card from American Express
75K Points
75K points after $5K spend in the first 3 months. Terms apply.
(Offer Expires 10/31/2019)

$450 Annual Fee

Chase Ritz Carlton Rewards Visa Infinite

Click here to view details about a similar card: Marriott Rewards Premier Plus

Recent better offer: 3 Free Tier 1-4 nights after $5K spend in first three months + 10K points for adding an authorized user.

Last updated on July 31st, 2018

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