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Starwood Preferred Guest American Express: Full benefits guide

by on Fri October 5, 2012 • 8 Comments

We’ve waded through the fine print and here is a comprehensive list of benefits  associated with the Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express. They are subject to change — and please check the fine print at for the latest details before making decisions based on the coverage. We assume no liability for decisions made based upon information on this site.

Starwood and reward benefits

1 Starpoint per dollar for all purchases. Use Starpoints for blackout free nights at Starwood hotels (Sheraton, Westin, W, St. Regis, Le Meridien, Four Points, Aloft, Element, and more).

4 Starpoints per dollar for Starwood purchases. Get 2 points per dollar for holding the card, plus 2 points per dollar as a Starwood Preferred Guest member (3 points if you are an elite member).

Transfer points to miles. Get a 5,000 point bonus for every 20,000 points you transfer to over 20 airline mile programs, most at 1:1, including American, Delta, US Airways, and more.

Elite status credit. Get credit for 5 nights and 2 stays each year you hold the card, letting you reach Gold status with 20 nights or Platinum status with 45 nights per year. Or, spend $30,000 on the card in a year and receive Gold status.

Protection benefits

Purchase protection. If a purchase you make on the card is stolen or damaged within 90 days of the purchase, you can receive up to $1,000 for any one incident, and up to $50,000 for all incidents in a year. You must file a claim within 60 days of the incident.

Return protection. If you try to return a designated item within 90 days from the date of purchase and the merchant won’t take it back, American Express may refund the full purchase price, up to $300 per item, excluding shipping and handling, and up to a maximum of $1,000 annually per Cardmember Account.

Exclusions include  animals and living plants; one-of-a-kind items (including antiques, artwork, and furs); limited edition items; going-out-of-business sale items; consumable or perishable items with limited life spans (such as perfume, light bulbs, non-rechargeable batteries); jewelry (including, but not limited to, loose gems, precious stones, metals, and pearls); watches; services and additional costs (such as installation charges, warranties, shipping, or memberships); rare and precious coins; used, altered, rebuilt and refurbished items; custom-built items, cellular phones; pagers; compact discs; digital video discs; mini discs; audiotapes; videotapes; computer software; firmware (such as console games, Nintendo, etc.); maps; books of any kind; health care items (such as blood pressure machines and diabetes equipment); formal wear; tickets of any kind; motorized vehicles (such as cars, trucks, motorcycles, boats, or airplanes) and their parts; land and buildings; firearms; ammunition; negotiable instruments (such as promissory notes, stamps and travelers checks); cash and its equivalent; and items permanently affixed to home, office, vehicles, etc., (such as garage door openers, car alarms).

Extended warranty. American Express will extend a warranty for up to one additional year, for a maximum of five years of total warranty coverage. Claims can have a value of up to $10,000 with up to $50,000 in losses per year.

Global assist hotline. 1-800-333-AMEX gives you access to medical, legal, and travel information. Use it for help with lost luggage, finding a doctor, and more. While there is no charge for advice, any services referred will incur a charge.

Roadside assistance. This is a dispatch service only…you will incur a charge for services. Through Roadside Assistance, American Express may arrange for basic emergency roadside services to be provided to Cardmembers including: towing to nearest available repair shop or preferred destination depending provider availability, winching, jumpstarts when a battery is dead, delivery of up to two (2) gallons of gas, locksmith service if keys are locked in the car and, changing of a flat tire if the car has a workable spare.

Car rental loss and damage insurance reimburses a Cardmember for payments for damage to or theft of a Rental Auto that the Cardmember is required to make, up to the lesser of: 1) the actual cost to repair the Rental Auto, 2) the wholesale Book value minus salvage and depreciation costs, or 3) the purchase invoice price of the Rental Auto minus salvage and depreciation costs.

The coverage also reimburses the Cardmember for reasonable charges (those charges incurred at the closest facility that are usual and customary in the vicinity in which the loss or disablement took place) imposed by the Rental Company, such as towing or storage and Loss of Use.

Rentals in Australia, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, and New Zealand are excluded. Vehicles with a new value of $50,000 or more and full size SUVs like the GMC Yukon and Ford Expedition are also excluded among others. The coverage is SECONDARY to your existing insurance, so your personal deductible will apply.

Travel accident insurance. If you or your spouse / domestic partner, or child under 23 dies, is dismembered, or loses sight during travel where the transportation is paid in full using the American Express card, you will be eligible for up to $100,000 in coverage. Note that tickets using frequent flyer miles where you use the card to pay for taxes and fees are not covered. However tickets using Membership Rewards points directly are eligible.

Disclaimer: This content is not provided or commissioned by the company whose products are featured on this site. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or evaluations provided here are those of the author\’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the Advertiser. This site may be compensated through the Advertiser\’s affiliate programs.

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8 thoughts on Starwood Preferred Guest American Express: Full benefits guide

  1. Adriana Pinto

    2 questions:

    1. I wanted to close a credit card that I currently have open with a 5k balance on it. Should I do that prior to applying to this card?

    2. It says that this card has a balance transfer. does that work from one CC to another? What are the terms of that? I was going to pay off the 5k but if I can pay it 0 interest over the next couple of months with this new card, that would be better!

    Thanks so much

  2. W Schonfeld

    What exactly does it mean that “enrollment is required” to get the complimentary Boingo service? Is this different from what you get with AMEX platinum card? Is there a charge to enroll? Thanks, William

  3. Wilene Leach

    Is there a charge for transferring Starwood Preferred Guest American Express points to American Airlines frequent flier program?

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    1. MileCards

      @Y W- Yes, American Express cards including the Starwood card include basic roadside assistance as a benefit for cardholders. This applies to personal as well as rental cars.


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