Amex, Starwood launches credit card

American Express and Starwood announced the launch of the Starwood Preferred Guest Business Credit Card for small business owners and the enhanced Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card for consumers.Cardmembers can take advantage of greater benefits and richer rewards, making it easier than ever for consumers, and now small business owners, to earn free nights at more than 825 Starwood hotels and resorts around the world and award flights with more than 30 airline partners.

  New offerings on the Cards include:
  * 10,000 Starpoints(R) bonus with first purchase—that’s enough for up
    to three free nights(1)
  * Double Starpoints on stays at participating Starwood Hotels & Resorts
    and purchases at select Starwood retail outlets, such as Bliss Spa and
  * Automatic upgrade to Gold Preferred Guest(R) membership status by
    spending $30,000 on the Card in each calendar year
  * Access to private sales with select Starwood retail outlets
The new Business Card incorporates all of the improved benefits of the Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card, as well as programs and services tailored specifically to the needs of small business owners, including the OPEN Savings(SM) program which was designed specifically for small businesses and gives automatic discounts on purchases at OPEN Savings partners, such as Delta, FedEx Kinko’s and JetBlue. In addition, the Business Card provides expense management reporting, an online spend tracking system and spending limits on additional cards that aid in better managing employee spending.

Both Cards showcase a new vibrant design to reflect the American Express brand, as well as Starwood’s brands, which include St. Regis(R), The Luxury Collection(R), Sheraton(R), Westin(R), Four Points(R) by Sheraton, W(R) Hotels, Le Meridien(R) and the recently announced Aloft(SM) and Element(SM) Hotels.

“We are excited about the expansion of our partnership with American Express and know that our mutual consumer and small business customers will appreciate the enhancements that the Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Cards bring to the Starwood Preferred Guest program,” said Robin Korman, vice president, Loyalty Marketing at Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide. “The benefits of both cards truly reflect our dedication to the principles that have made Starwood Preferred Guest an award-winning program—to set a benchmark in the industry and deliver the most generous and flexible award earning opportunities available.”

“In listening to our customers, they told us they want help managing rapidly rising travel costs and using rewards to offset travel expenses,” said Raymond Joabar, senior vice president and general manager, OPEN from American Express. “The Starwood Cards from American Express offer consumer and small business Cardmembers one of the most lucrative rewards program with no blackout dates.”


  Additional benefits for both Cards, include:
  * One (1) Starpoint for every eligible dollar spent on the Card
  * Redeem Starpoints at over 825 participating Starwood hotels and resorts
    in 95 countries with no black out dates - if there’s a standard room
    its’ yours.
  * Transfer Starpoints to over 30 frequent flyer programs, most on a one-
    to-one basis
  * Receive 5,000 Starpoint bonus when you transfer 20,000 Starpoints to
  * First year fee-free, and $30 annual fee thereafter; fee-free additional
  * Automatic enrollment as a Starwood Preferred Plus member
  * Receive a 50% off certificate, good towards a Starwood hotel stay, upon
    Card approval and annual renewal
  * No limit on the amount of Starpoints a Cardmember can earn
  * Competitive Introductory purchase Annual Percentage Rate (APR) for six
    (6) months
  * Retail and travel protections such as Global Assist, Car Rental Loss &
    Damage Insurance, Purchase Protection Insurance, Travel Accident
    Insurance, American Express Card Baggage Insurance, Buyers Assurance
    Plan, Express Cash Emergency Card Replacement, Emergency Check Cashing,
    and 24-hour customer service. For these and other benefits visit, terms and conditions apply.
The new Starwood Preferred Guest Business Card and enhancement to the Consumer Card are an expansion of the existing relationship between Starwood and American Express. The new Cards make it easier than ever for consumers and small business owners to quickly earn exceptional travel rewards through spending on their cards. Starwood and American Express have enjoyed a strong cobranded card partnership since 1996, when American Express first launched the ITT Sheraton ClubMiles Card.

The Starwood Preferred Guest program made headlines when it launched in 1999 with a breakthrough policy of no blackout dates and no capacity controls, meaning members can redeem free nights anytime, anywhere.

The program also offers members the ability to redeem awards at more resorts, more luxury properties, more European hotels and more golf properties than any other hotel program, which has proven to be a big draw for the world’s most frequent travelers, and a significant competitive advantage.