05-06-2011 05:59 AM
Considering an Amex card, but the choices and rewards options are almost dizzyijng. My goal is to get the best travel/hotel rewards I can and will use it almost exclusively for business travel. How tight are they on approvals by card type? My EX Fako is 787, no CC balances, 5 IQ's.
05-06-2011 06:34 AM
The SPG card is a very strong rewards card which has perhaps the highest return for regular spending. Each point is worth conservatively 2.5-3 cents, however my last two reward bookings were redeemed at 5.5 cents per point. If you book wisely, you can get very good redemption values, especially in Europe where you can get 8-9 cents/point. You get one points for every dollar in spending and 4-5 points for any dollar you spend at a Starwood property for hotel, dining and other services (5 for Gold and Platinum SPG members). As long as you use the card once a year, your points will never expire.
The best redemption is (unsurprisingly) for rewards nights at Starwood hotels (Westin, Sheraton, Aloft, Element, St. Regis, The Luxury Collection, Le Meridien) and you'll find the best deals with the Cash & Points redemption option. You can also transfer your points to over 350 airline partners at a rate of 1.25 SPG points to miles (for every 20,000 points you transfer, SPG will give you an additional 5000).
If you combine the current SPG promotions (currently - Free Resort Night for every 3 stays) you can collect points even faster. Last year, SPG offerred a 10,000 point bonus one quarter for any 4+ day resort trip. There was also a promotion offering double Starpoints every night of the week as well as an additional 500 points for any weekend night (Thurs-Sun).
05-06-2011 06:56 AM
If you want lounge access, platinum. If you're more interested in earning points to redeem for hotels and flights, probably Starwood card.
I carry both the PR Gold and Starwood card. I like the PR Gold card for its 3x points on airfare and 2x on gas/groceries. You also get a 15K bonus with $30K annual spend. The points have their greatest value when transferred to a frequent flier program and redeemed for either last minute domestic travel or business/first international travel. They don't transfer very well to hotel points. Since you indicate you want something that also has good hotel awards, I'd say the Starwood card is your best bet.
05-06-2011 08:16 PM
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