AmEx, Starwood Team on Loyalty Program

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American Express Co. and Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc., White Plains, NY, have debuted a new credit card, Starwood Preferred Guests Credit Card From American Express, to target members of the hotel chains' reward program.

The credit card will enable cardholders to earn one point per dollar spent on the card towards stays at any Starwood property. Cardholders must earn 1,000 points for the first night's stay and 500 points for up to 10 more stays during the first year of membership. Members also will receive two points for each dollar charged at Starwood properties. Gold and Platinum cardholders earn three points per dollar spent at any property. The card also allows for transfer of points toward airline miles on most major carriers.

American Express is marketing the card as an upgrade to members of the Sheraton reward program that own the co-branded American Express credit card, which offers one point toward a Sheraton weekend stay for every dollar spent. Starwood operates Sheraton Hotels & Resorts.

American Express also is marketing the card to members of the Starwood Preferred Guest Program via direct mail and "take-ones" available at kiosks in Starwood locations. The company will market the card to prospective customers through print advertisements in yet-to-be determined travel publications and national newspapers such as USA Today.

The card has an annual fee of $30, which has been waived for the first year of the offer. Cardholders also receive a certificate each year for 50 percent off a stay of up to five nights.


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