Disclosure: We get a commission for links on the blog. You don’t have to use our links, but we’re very grateful when you do. American Express, Barclaycard, Chase, and US Bank are Million Mile Secrets advertising partners. Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or endorsed by our partners. Here’s our Advertiser Disclosure.
Update: One or more card offers in this post are no longer available. Check our Hot Deals for the latest offers.
Not only is the sign-up bonus worth LOTS of Big Travel with Small Money, but both the Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express and Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express don’t charge any international fees!
Making them great cards to use overseas, because they can save you a lot of money.
Let’s take a look at how much you can save by using cards, like the AMEX Starwood cards, that do NOT charge foreign transactions fees.
Starwood American Express Foreign Transaction Fees
With the AMEX Starwood personal card, you’ll earn 20,000 Starwood points after spending $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months of opening your account. And 15,000 points after spending an additional $2,000 on purchases within 6 months account opening.
And with the AMEX Starwood small business card, you’ll earn 25,000 Starwood points after spending $5,000 on purchases within the first 3 months of account opening. And 10,000 more Starwood points for spending another $3,000 on purchases within the first 6 months.
You’ll also get:
- 2X Starwood points per $1 you spend at Starwood hotels (includes Aloft, Design Hotels, Element, Four Points, Le Meridien, Sheraton, St Regis, The Luxury Collection, Tribute Portfolio, Westin and W brand hotels)
- 1X Starwood point per $1 you spend on everything else
- Unlimited use of Boingo Wi-Fi hotspots (excluding in-flight)
- For small business cardholders, access to Sheraton Club lounges (free breakfast and hors d’oeuvres) for cardholder and 1 guest staying in the same room (3rd-party bookings are excluded)
- 2 stay credits or 5 night credits toward Starwood Elite Status
- Terms & limitations apply
The $95 annual fee is waived the first year on both cards. And neither card charges foreign transaction fees.
Remember, AMEX will only give you the sign-up bonus for each card ONCE per lifetime.
Save When You Shop Abroad
Saving on international fees might not seem like a big deal, but it can really add up!
For example, say you’re traveling in Paris with your family of 4 and you spend $300 per day on food. Paris is an expensive city, so if you’re eating out every meal you could certainly spend this much.
If you use a card that charges a ~2.7% foreign transaction fee (like many do!), you’ll spend an extra ~$8 on food each day ($300 X ~2.7%). On a 2-week vacation, that’s an extra $112 ($8 X 14 days) that could have been spent on a neat souvenir. 😉
And if you use a card that charges international fees for bigger expenses, like car rentals, hotel rooms, and tourist attractions, you could end up paying hundreds of dollars in fees!
So using your AMEX Starwood cards would be a great option. Other cards that don’t charge international fees include:
- AMEX Business Platinum
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase Sapphire Preferred
- Chase Ink Business Preferred
- Citi Prestige
- …and more!
You can read more about cards that don’t charge foreign transaction fees here. And check out our Hot Deals page for the best card offers.
The limited-time 35,000 Starwood point sign-up bonus on the AMEX Starwood personal and small business cards is a fantastic deal. Plus, they’re great to use overseas, because they do NOT add foreign transaction fees!
Do you plan on applying for the increased offer for the AMEX Starwood cards?