Valuable points and flexible redemption policies set the Starwood Preferred Guest apart from other hotel cards. NerdWallet calculates that each Starwood point is almost five times as valuable as a Hilton point, on average, and more than twice as sweet as Marriott’s. Starwood’s sign-up bonus gets you three free nights at a mid-tier hotel. You can also trade in points for miles at nearly 30 airline loyalty programs; for every 20,000 points you transfer, you’ll get an extra 5,000. As a cardholder, you’ll also get free premium Internet service at Starwood’s 1,300 hotels.
If you won’t be able to stay at Starwood hotels, you’re better off with a broad-based travel card.
Rewards: Up to five points for every $1 spent on Starwood hotels, one point per $1 elsewhere. Sign-up bonus: 25,000 points after spending $3,000 in 90 days. Annual fee: $0 for the first year, then $95. APR: 15.5% to 19.5% Airline Partners: American Airlines, Air France, British Airways, Delta, Virgin Atlantic, and more.