Starwood Preferred Guest Business Credit Card Review

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American Express SPG Business Credit Card Review

American Express SPG Business Credit Card Review

The Starwood Preferred Guest Business Card from American Express is widely regarded as the best hotel credit card on the market.  SPG points are also widely regarded as the most valuable points when it comes to redemptions.  The SPG program comes with a plethora of travel partners which leads to extreme flexibility.

With Marriott Hotels recently purchasing Starwood Preferred Guest it makes the program even more valuable, opening up thousands of hotels as redemption options.

Current Sign Up Bonus vs Historical High

The current sign up bonus for the American ExpressStarwood Preferred Guest Business card is:

  • Earn 25,000 SPG points after spending $5,000 within the first 3 months
  • The $95 annual fee is waived the first year

The historical high for the card is 35,000 points.  That offer came with $7,000 in minimum spend.  The 35,000 point offer comes around once or twice a year.


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American Express SPG Business Credit Card Review

Bonus Restrictions

Note that American Express currently has a “one bonus, per product, per lifetime” policy. You are only eligible for this bonus if you have not had this card before.

American Express does sometimes have targeted offers with no once per lifetime language.  Reports say people are able to get the bonus a second time when using these offers.

Earning Structure

The American Express Starwood Preferred Guest Business card comes with the following earning structure:

  • 2X SPG points on purchases made at Starwood Preferred Guest or Marriott hotels
  • 1X SPG points on all other purchases

Cardmember Perks

The Starwood Preferred Guest Business card from American Express comes with the following cardmember perks:

  • Free access to Sheraton Club Lounges when staying on property. Visit sheratonclubroom.com for locations and details.
  • Premium On-Property Internet Access + Boingo Wi-Fi
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Earn SPG Gold status after you spend $30,000 in eligible purchases on the Card in a calendar year.
  •  2 stay credits and 5 night credits each year toward status

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American Express SPG Business Credit Card Review

Fees

The Starwood Preferred Guest Business card comes with a $95 annual fee which IS waived the first year.

Sign Up Bonus Value – $700

Most people value SPG points at 2 cents a piece, some slightly higher.  This would put the value of the 35,000 point welcome bonus at $700.  Since the annual fee is waived the first year you get the entire $700 value.

Summary

The American Express Starwood Preferred Guest Business Card offers an very enticing sign up bonus, it earns the most valuable points out there, and SPG has an amazing array of transfer partners.  The card’s annual fee, while a reasonable $95, is waived the first year.  The card also comes with a few nice perks, even one that the personal SPG card does not offer (Sheraton Lounge Access).

The earning structure is not great but that is because the points earned are so valuable.  This makes the card a prime candidate for non bonused business spend.  It is also one the best options out there when paying for stays at Marriott or Starwood hotels.

There are 14 airline partners that only SPG transfers to, including American Airlines and Alaska Airlines.  This means the SPG card is the best way to rack up miles for those airlines.  Since you get a 5000 mile bonus for every 20,000 SPG points transferred you are essentially earning 1.25 miles per dollar.  That is a better rate than the Alaska or American co-branded cards offer.


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American Express SPG Business Credit Card Review

Long Term Keep or Cancel

This card is a long term keeper for most.  The $95 annual fee is reasonable and it is somewhat offset by the Sheraton lounge access and Boingo Wi-Fi perks.

It is a particularly valuable card for Marriott or SPG loyalists.  The American Express Starwood Preferred Guest Business card actually earns more points per stay at Marriott hotels than the Marriott co-branded card does when you factor in the 3 to 1 transfer rates. It also gives card holders 2 stays and 5 nights towards earning status.

This card is worth holding even if you never plan on staying in a SPG or Marriott hotel because of the airline transfer partners and the 5,000 mile bonus on 20,000 point transfers.

Remember that the programs will be combining sometime over the next year and it is unclear how the transfer perk will be affected, if at all, at this point in time.

Conclusion

The American Express Starwood Preferred Guest Business card is a very compelling card.  It offers a valuable sign up bonus, a great rewards program, and a solid return on every single purchase.

The annual fee is waived the first year which allows you to test the card out for free.  But, even after the first year $95 is a reasonable amount which is offset some by the card’s perks.  The card’s perks as well as the airline transfer partners and the 5,000 mile bonus on 20,000 point transfers is why it is pegged as a long term keeper.

The increase in minimum spend is something to consider and it may be a non starter for some.  The minimum spend amount is lower with the standard 25,000 point offer.

 

 


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2 COMMENTS

  1. I’d be careful about this card. I met the spend threshold in October and as of today still haven’t received a single point of the 35,000 bonus sign up. I’ve called and chatted through the Amex website and all I’ve heard was excuse after excuse. Since SPG won’t exist next year, I think they are just not issuing the rewards.

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