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UPDATE: This offer has expired.
The two Starwood credit cards (personal vs. business) have different offers at the time being – different bonus points and different minimum spend requirements:
- Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express: Earn 25,000 Starpoints® after you use your new Card to make $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months. *Terms Apply.
- Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express OPEN: Earn 25,000 Starpoints® after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases within the first 3 months. *Terms Apply.
With both versions of the card, you’ll earn 1 SPG point for every $1 spent on every day purchases as well as 1 additional SPG point for every $1 spent at participating Starwood properties. You’ll also receive 4 nights and 2 stay credits towards SPG elite status each year (if you have both the personal and business card that will equal 10 nights and 4 stays towards status yearly). You’ll also receive Gold status if you spend at least $30,000 per year on your card. Both cards also allow you to take advantage of the various Amex Offers which I absolutely love – I personally received close to $500 back in statement credits last year alone on the SPG card. I also love that this is an American Express card as I’ve been able to take advantage of the various Amex Offers.
Additionally, the bonus offer for both cards is only valid for those that have never received the sign up offer in the past. You can read more about this 1 bonus per lifetime limit here.
Difference between personal and business versions
You’ll notice that the personal and business offers of the respective cards are very similar in nature. Although there are two main differences where the business version have a leg up:
- With the business version of the card you are eligible to American Express OPEN savings. This gives you 5% statement credit when you use your card at many merchants, including: FedEx, Hertz, etc. You can read more about AMEX Open savings here.
- Last year a new perk was just added to the business credit card where you’ll receive free club lounge access at all Sheraton hotels. If you stay at Sheraton hotels and do not have top tier status, this can be a HUGE perk, including free food and drinks.
Additional card benefits
With both cards, you’ll earn Earn 2 Starpoints® for each dollar of eligible purchases spent on the Card at participating SPG® & Marriott Rewards® hotels. Earn 1 Starpoint for all other purchases. You’ll also receive 5 nights and 2 stay credits toward SPG elite status each year (if you have both the business and personal card that will equal 10 nights and 4 stays towards status yearly). If you are looking to earn status, you’ll also receive Gold status if you spend at least $30,000 per year on your card. The card also has no foreign transaction fees on international purchases.
Flexibility of Starwood points
Additionally, if you prefer miles you can transfer to many airlines for a 1:1 ratio and get a 5,000 bonus for every 20,000 points transferred over. This can be a great value and makes the Starwood card more valuable on your everyday spend then any other airline card. This will give you much more flexibility and a 25% increase in miles if you decide to redeem your points for flights. In this past there have also been a few bonuses for transferring points to miles, although these have been sparse.
My take on the card
I personally have the personal version of this card and is pretty much my everyday go-to card. I find SPG points extremely valuable since you get 1 point for every dollar spent and the number of points needed to redeem is much lower than Marriott and Hilton. Starwood has some great category 4 and 5 properties out there where you only need 10,000 and 12,000 respectively to get a free night. In Asia there are also some gem category 1, 2, and 3 hotels. It then jumps to 20,000 points for category 6 hotels (which can still be a great value internationally) and then an unreasonable amount for their category 7 hotels (their highest category). You also receive your 5th night free when redeeming at category 3-7 hotels. A huge benefit of SPG is that you can redeem a combination of cash and points at many hotels for a much better value.
Although Starwood properties are not as common as Marriott and Hilton, they have some of the top properties in the world. The Starwood brand includes: W Hotels, Westin, St. Regis, The Luxury Collection, Le Meridien, Sheraton, Aloft, element, and Four Points by Sheraton.
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