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The World’s Best Travel Rewards Card: SPG AMEX

August 16, 2009

SPGcardA few years ago, a friend told me about an incredible vacation he had just returned from, but I was far less fascinated by his destination than the price he paid for the trip: $0. One week later, I became a Starwood Preferred Guest American Express card holder, and have been blown away by the incredible benefits ever since. Just in case you’re wondering, this is in no way a sponsored message—in fact, I don’t know a soul working for either American Express or Starwood Hotels.

Since I joined several years ago, I have enjoyed dozens of free nights at Sheraton and Westin hotels around the country, and have transferred points for free flights around the country. I fell in love with the card all over again when I discovered that it would cover my trip to Ecuador and Peru next month, including roundtrip direct flights from JFK to Guayaquil on LAN Airlines, and two nights in the Guayaquil Sheraton, all for only 26,000 points (about 4 months of hotel stays and purchases). My only expenses are a roundtrip bus ticket and a few nights at an inexpensive hotel in Peru. I’ll admit, the card is not for everyone—there is a $45 annual fee, and if you tend to carry a balance, then you’ll surely be turned off by the 13% APY interest rate—but if you’re not pleased with your current rewards card, it’s certainly worth a try. And you get 25,000 points when you sign up, enough for a free domestic flight and hotel stay.

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