All frequent travelers who know what they’re doing have at least one rewards card for frequent flyer miles, hotel points, and other ways to save money on future vacations. I have a credit card that earns miles for me on American Airlines, but more and more these days, it feels like pulling teeth to get that card to be worth renewing (what with black out dates and such). My favorite rewards card, without question, is my Starwood Preferred Guest American Express card. I’ve had it for long enough that I can personally see what the points guys know: the Starwood Preferred Guest American Express card is one of the best points cards available. Both airline miles and hotel stays can be used, and redeeming the points (“Starpoints,” to be exact) is a reliably easy process. There hasn’t been any points devaluation since I’ve been using the card, unlike my pure airline miles credit card, which keeps inflating the number of miles needed to be redeemed for any decent flight. Frankly, it pales in comparison to the Starwood Preferred Guest American Express card.
Last month I was approached by American Express and Starwood to work with them in my travel blogger capacity. It is primarily because I was already familiar with the commendable benefits of the Starwood Preferred Guest American Express card that I was able to wholeheartedly agree to this partnership — although who knows? The benefits of being one of their travel blogging partners are so cool, I might have said yes even if I was a stranger to the SPG Amex card. Without having to have sold my soul (so to speak), I’m joining a handful of other travel bloggers as an “Amex Star.”
Part of this program involves me receiving a year’s worth of VIP American Express experiences, like free flights, free hotel stays, and invitations to some truly hopping events. This includes great seats at the US Open and New York Fashion Week for me and a guest, plus staying at Starwood hotels in New York City during those weeks. There’s quite a lot more that I and the other “Amex Star” travel journalists will be experiencing, and sharing with our readers, throughout the year. There are a bunch of amazing giveaways coming up as well, so…Stay tuned!
Here’s a run down of the experiences that Starwood and American Express are including for their travel blog partners:
- Tribeca Film Festival (I cannot attend this one, fun though it sounds)
- The US Open
- New York Fashion Week
- A stay at the St. Regis Bal Harbour, a Starwood property opening in 2012
- Two nights at a local Starwood property
- Two nights at a Starwood property of my choice
- Starwood Preferred Guest Gold Elite Statues for the year
- Two Suite Night awards; this is a new benefit for SPG Platinum Elite tier cardholders, which can be used to upgrade a room reservation to a suite at any on the 1,100 Starwood hotels around the world.
And those giveaways? I’m not kidding, they’re pretty great. They are associated with each experience the Amex Stars take, and include:
- A stay at any Starwood hotel in New York City
- A stay a Starwood hotel with a world class tennis grounds
- A $250 American Express gift card
- A stay at the new St. Regis Bal Harbour
- A stay at whatever Starwood property is closest to the winner
- A stay at a Starwood property of the winner’s choice
Learning about the added benefits of being a Starwood Preferred Guest American Express cardholder is bound to be one of the more interesting travel experiences of my year. Sharing all that anyone can get out of the points card with readers of The Vacation Gals will, in turn, be one of the most gratifying.