How the Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card Annual Fee Pays for Itself

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This is post #9 of a series regarding the Starwood Preferred Guest hotel program. 

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If you’ve been keeping up on this blog for awhile you are probably well aware by now that I am a huge fan of making free money through the American Express Sync promotions. These promotions typically require you to spend $X amount of money at a participating merchant to get $Y amount back as a statement credit. Since these are “American Express” sync promotions, you can only use an American Express credit card to be eligible for the statement credit. The good thing is that almost ALL American Express credit cards are valid, even if they are partnered with a hotel or airline loyalty program (note that Amex pre-paid and corporate cards are not eligible).

So both the Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express (personal card) and Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express OPEN (business card) are eligible. While you are typically only able to get the statement credit once per card, you can get it multiple times when having multiple American Express cards and registering them through the proper method.

American Express has actually started to track each cards savings with their syncing promotion. Every year, I have been able to make back the money spent on my annual fee plus some. For starters, Small Business Saturday (the Saturday after Thanksgiving) gives back $25. There are millions of merchants participating, so getting this $25 statement credit back should be an easy once. That brings down your annual fee to $40. To earn another $40 back in statement credits throughout the year is really easy, as long as you are willing to pay attention to the various promotions register/sync your card. For example, I just got back $10 on food at the US Open that I would have purchased anyways. This year I’ve also earned money back from shopping at, Costco, a Downtown Manhattan merchant, California Pizza Kitchen, etc. These are all merchants I shop at anyways.

To check your savings to date, log into your account, go to “Account Home”, at the bottom of the page on your cards information click “Offers For You”, and select “My Savings”. Even through I’ve been participating in these Amex sync promotions for many years, my information only dates back to summer 2012. Mr. Deals account, however, dates back to 2011. I am not sure why mine stops, but it could have been due to losing my card and getting a new card number last summer. For my account, for example, I’ve saved $105 in just the past 12 months. I know it says $155, but for some reason Travelocity is counted twice and I definitely didn’t get two statement credits!

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While I love the Starwood American Express credit card for many other reasons, having your annual fee paid for is a great perk! It also helps with a piece of mind knowing you aren’t paying so much to have a card that you aren’t 100% sure whether or not the benefits will outweigh the fee.

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Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. My goal is for you to travel on a deal! As always, thanks for your support!


The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.


  1. Two additional hints:

    1. Always click on the “See more offers” link at the bottom of the initial list list of deals”.

    2. If you have more than one AMEX Card (e.g., a basic Gold, a Hilton, and a Starwood), check the deals for each one, since although there is some duplication, they’re not all the same!

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