Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) has introduced a co-branded, point-earning American Express card for residents of Japan. Cardholders receive one point per 100 yen spent, SPG Gold status, two stays and five nights credit toward elite status, one free night at a Category 1-6 property per year and an additional 10,000 points after spending 100,000 yen. The annual fee is 32,000 yen. Visit http://spg.com/amexjpen (in Japanese) to learn more and apply for the card.
Bottom line: Unlike the U.S. version of the card with its reasonably priced $65 annual fee, Japanese residents will need to spend 32,000 yen (around $320) to acquire the SPG AMEX. Even with the high fee, the annual free night and credit toward elite status may be enough for Starwood aficionados in Japan to add this card to their wallet.