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Annual fee for Starwood credit card to rise 50 percent

With a $30 annual fee—which is waived for the first year—the Starwood Preferred Guest credit card has been among the best values in travel rewards cards: Cheap to keep and ultra-flexible, allowing points to be exchanged for airline miles in around 30 programs.

But the value calculation is about to change, as American Express, the card issuer, will be increasing the annual fee to $45.

Is the higher price a deal-breaker? Hardly. The new fee will still be waived for the first year. And even when you’re charged that $45 at the beginning of year two, the card’s extensive exchange options should more than justify the fee.

While they haven’t disclosed specifics, American Express has announced that the annual fee for the business version of the Starwood Preferred Guest credit card will also be changing. If you’re in the market for a small business card, this might be a good time to lock in the current fee.

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