Starwood Preferred Guest Card Benefits

Membership has its privileges. That’s the old American Express (Amex) saying that I grew up hearing. I never really put much thought into it as a kid but I’ve been an American Express cardholder since 1999 and have had the Starwood Preferred Guest Card from American Express since 2001. I can now say that membership does have its privileges!
US Open, SPG event
Over the last few years I have been able to experience many of the benefits of membership. Aside from the benefits of the best hotel rewards points in the business, SPG Amex cardholders can experience special events such as the recent special customer appreciation event I attended at the US Open in New York.
SPG event, US Open
This was my second year attending and this year was even better than my US Open experience last year; which featured Monica Seles and tickets to a 4th round match. This year, aside from men’s quarterfinal tickets, the guest speaker at the event was Billie Jean King; who is a hero of mine. She is one of the most influential people in the last 50 years, not just athletes.
Murphy Jensen, Billie Jean King, SPG
Murphy Jensen, who is a great guy who actually invited me to stay at his house in Georgia, again emceed the event and was a crowd favorite but Billie Jean King crushed it. She is so interesting and I wish I had more time to ask her more questions but meeting her and getting a picture was a real thrill for me. I thank the Starwood Preferred Guest Card from American Express for making it happen. I don’t know of any other travel credit cards that offer member benefits and experiences like this.
Lee Abbamonte, Billie Jean King, US Open, SPG
As for the match, we were able to watch Roger Federer, who is my favorite tennis player ever, battle back from 2 sets down to beat Gael Monfils in 5 thrilling sets. It’s always a thrill to be at the US Open and as many of you know, tennis is one of my favorite sports.
US Open, sunset
This year alone, I have been to the Australian Open in Melbourne plus the Indian Wells Masters and Cincinnati Masters events in addition to the US Open. It’s been a great year in tennis and travel!
US Open grounds
Travel wise I have already re-qualified for my Platinum SPG status; which I have now had for nine years. I use my Starpoints to pay for hotels all over the world. I have actually stayed in over 300 different Starwood properties around the world; which sounds absurd as I write it. Starpoints are the most valuable and easily redeemable reward points in travel-period. Not to mention the hotels are pretty cool with some nice views, like this one from the Westin Times Square, where I stayed during the US Open event!
Westin Times Square view
Disclaimer: I have business relationships with both the Starwood Preferred Guest Card from American Express and also American Express in a separate relationship; both of which I receive financial compensation for. That said, everything I have written here was written by me based on my opinion from my years of experience as a cardholder and SPG member. My opinions have not been swayed in any way.

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Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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  1. Never knew these cards had much benefits for the traveler.Thanks for opening my eyes!

  2. PekkaSuonio says

    I fully agree with your assessment on Starwood vs. every other program out there, starting now my 9th year as Platinum as well but lacking almost 200 nights to qualify for lifetime platinum any time soon.

    Another program that has recently become extremely generous – and has an Amex card attached to is British Airways Executive Club. I just realized you can fly OneWorld short haul anywhere in the world for very very low BA mileage, I’m going from HKG to TPE, CX First Class, for 11k miles + 20 GBP. Spending GBP 10k a year earns you 2-for-1 voucher for mileage redemptions, no restrictions apart from normal seat availability. I suggest you get a UK address and get the card.

    Great job by the way with Ryan Trapp’s book. Looking forward to seeing it published soon.

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