This article is by editor Linda Vergon.

The Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express has a new offer available now that could help you plan a bigger, better summer vacation if you act quickly. This card was recently given a 2016 CardRating’s Editor’s Choice award as one of the best travel credit cards available. ( is one of our partner sites.)

Turn regular purchases into vacation perks

New cardholders that make $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening receive 25,000 bonus Starpoints®. The advantage here is the prospect of redeeming points for travel benefits – like free stays with no blackout dates at over 1,200 Starwood Hotels. For example, you can get eight free nights at a Category 2 Hotel like the Sheraton Pretoria Hotel in Australia from this bonus offer alone.

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The Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express has been popular among seasoned travelers because “Starwood’s Starpoints® are a higher value than the one-cent-per-point industry average” according to CardRatings’ review of the card. In addition, there are no foreign transaction fees on international purchases. Here are the particulars:

Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card Offer

  • Get 25,000 bonus points when you make $3,000 in purchases in the first three months.
  • Earn up to 5 points for every dollar you spend at Starwood Hotels
  • Earn 1 point on all other purchases
  • $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then it’s $95
  • No foreign transaction fee on international purchases
  • Other perks include unlimited complimentary Boingo WiFi when you enroll, free in-room premium Internet access, and access to discounts and presale tickets for live events

Terms and conditions apply.

Another travel rewards card

If you’re not tied to the Starwood Hotel properties, you might consider the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card to stretch your vacation budget. Its introductory offer features 50,000 points when you spend $4,000 in the first three months after you open the account. That’s equal to $625 toward airfare or hotels when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards ®.

Why these promotions?

Promotions like these reflect a higher level of competition amongst credit card companies. When American Express and Costco decided to part ways, for example, it must have stung. But it also seems to have renewed their interest in competing for your business. Of course, these offers only make sense if you can pay off what you charge every month, so take advantage of the opportunity if it fits your financial goals and ability. We just wanted you to know.

GRS is committed to helping our readers save and achieve their financial goals. Savings interest rates may be low, but that is all the more reason to shop for the best rate. Find the highest savings interest rates and CD rates from Synchrony Bank, Ally Bank, and more.

Disclaimer: This content is not provided by any company mentioned in this article. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed here are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any such company.