Starwood Hotels and Resorts and American Express announce new relationship in

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide and American Express Canada are extending their successful relationship into the Canadian market with the launch of two new cobranded credit cards

TORONTO, Dec. 17 /CNW/ - Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE: HOT) and American Express Canada announce a new partnership to issue co-branded rewards based credit cards in Canada.

The two companies will launch the Starwood Preferred Guest(R) Credit Card from American Express and the Starwood Preferred Guest(R) Business Card from American Express, set for release in the first quarter of 2010. These two new cards will provide members in Canada the fastest way to earn Starpoints(R) towards free hotel nights as well as free flights.

Full product details will be available in the coming months, but the two companies reveal that it will come with a significantly accelerated points earning feature. For the first time in Canada, Cardmembers will earn 1 Starpoint for every $1 charged to the card. In addition, Cardmembers can earn a bonus of 10,000 Starpoints, earning members up to three free award nights. Eager consumers can be among the first to find out more about the cards by signing up for the waitlist on

"Canadians will soon be able to earn Starpoints faster than ever at an accelerated rate with our new consumer and small business credit cards from American Express," said Chris Holdren, Senior Vice President of Starwood Preferred Guest. "We are thrilled to partner with American Express and know our Canadian members will enjoy the phenomenal customer service that American Express is known for."

"The partnership with Starwood is a perfect fit for us. Starwood operates some of the best hotels and resorts in the world and the new card program is ideal for discerning customers who are interested in the fastest way to earn Starwood points," said Denise Pickett, President and CEO of American Express Canada. "At American Express we pride ourselves on offering the most diverse reward offering in Canada, and we are delighted to add Starwood to our unstoppable line-up of rewards programs."

The cards will provide members with access to all the award-winning features of the Starwood Preferred Guest Program, including instant redemptions, SPG Flights and no blackout dates. In addition, Cardmembers will receive benefits that make it even easier to earn free stays at Starwood's nearly 1,000 properties that span 100 countries and nine distinct brands including St. Regis(R), W(R), Westin(R), Sheraton(R), Four Points by Sheraton(R) and Le Méridien(R).

Consumers can visit for more details on the upcoming launch.

About American Express

American Express in Canada operates as Amex Bank of Canada and Amex Canada Inc. Both are wholly owned subsidiaries of the New York based American Express Travel Related Services Company, Inc., the largest operating unit of the American Express Company. Amex Bank of Canada is the issuer of American Express Cards in Canada. Amex Canada Inc. operates the Corporate Travel, Travel Services Network and Travellers Cheques divisions in Canada. American Express opened its first offices in Toronto and Hamilton in 1853 and now employs 3,700 Canadians coast-to-coast.

About Starwood Preferred Guest

The SPG program's breakthrough policy of No Blackout Dates at the world's most sought after collection of hotels, reinvented the hospitality loyalty program when it launched in 1999. By creating a program centered on its members, SPG has developed the most passionate and knowledgeable membership base in the hotel loyalty space. Through its use of new technologies and innovative channels such as,,, and others, SPG continues to innovate and lead the industry. By offering No Blackouts on standard rooms at 940 properties, No Blackouts on hundreds of airlines, and once in a lifetime experiences available through SPG Moments, the program has proven to be a big draw for the world's most frequent travelers, and a significant competitive advantage for Starwood. For more information about Starwood Preferred Guest please visit or call (877) - STARWOOD.

About Starwood Hotels & Resorts

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. is one of the leading hotel and leisure companies in the world with 982 properties in more than 100 countries and 145,000 employees at its owned and managed properties. Starwood Hotels is a fully integrated owner, operator and franchisor of hotels, resorts and residences with the following internationally renowned brands: St. Regis(R), The Luxury Collection(R), W(R), Westin(R), Le Méridien(R), Sheraton(R), Four Points(R) by Sheraton, and the recently launched Aloft(R), and Element(SM). Starwood Hotels also owns Starwood Vacation Ownership, Inc., one of the premier developers and operators of high quality vacation interval ownership resorts. For more information, please visit

SOURCE American Express

For further information: For further information: Killeen Kelly, on behalf of American Express, (416) 644-2273,; Jolene Price, American Express Canada, (905) 474-8746,; Brad Minor, Starwood Hotels & Resorts, (914) 640-3687,; Cynthia Bond, Starwood Hotels & Resorts, (416) 947-4827,

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