This week, American Express raised the sign-up bonus on the Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express to 35,000 Starpoints, matching the highest-ever publicly-available offer on either the personal or business version of this card.
The normal sign-up bonus on this card is 25,000 Starpoints.
The increased bonus, which is only available through November 1, 2017, comes in 2 separate parts:
- Earn 25,000 Starpoints after spending $6,000 on the card within the first 3 months of card membership.
- Earn an additional 10,000 Starpoints after making an additional $4,000 in purchases within the first 6 months.
The personal version, the Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express, is still offering the usual 25,000 bonus Starpoints and several additional benefits. However, it may be possible to find a higher targeted offer for that card by visiting the application page.
Remember that while American Express sign-up bonuses are generally once per lifetime per product, the personal and business versions of these cards are considered separate products. That means that even if you’ve had the personal version before, you can still sign up for the business card.
Other benefits of this card include:
- Earn 2x Starpoints for every $1 spent at Starwood or Marriott hotels; 1x Starpoint per $1 on everything else
- Complimentary premium internet when staying at Starwood hotels
- Free membership to Boingo, which provides access to over 1,000,000 Wi-Fi hotspots around the world
- Receive credit for 5 nights and 2 stays towards Starwood elite status. If you have the personal version of the card, which also has this benefit, these credits stack for a total of 10 nights and 4 stays.
- Access to Sheraton Club Lounges when staying at Sheraton hotels, which includes complimentary breakfast, snacks, and drinks
- No foreign transaction fees
SPG and the Value of Starpoints
The SPG Program
Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) is one of the most highly-rated loyalty programs in the travel world due to the high value of the programs’ points and the perks that come with the program’s elite statuses.
Even if you don’t have elite status, members of Starwood Preferred Guest receive benefits including complimentary bottled water and in-room internet. The next tier, Starwood Preferred Guest Plus, covers anyone with an SPG credit card (as well as members of certain organizations that partner with SPG). Perks of SPG Plus include upgrades to enhanced rooms and late checkout (both subject to availability).
Getting Value From Starpoints
SPG Starpoints can be redeemed at any Starwood hotel, or transferred to Marriott at a generous 1:3 ratio (more on that in a bit). Redemptions at Starwood hotels, which can be on the nicer side, are generally reasonable rates. Points can also be redeemed at Ritz Carlton hotels.
However, the really great thing about Starpoints is that they can be transferred to more than 30 airline partners, most at a 1:1 ratio. Plus, for every 20,000 Starpoints you transfer to an airline frequent flyer program, you’ll get 5,000 bonus miles.
SPG actually has more airline partners than just about any other transferable points program, including Chase Ultimate Rewards and American Express Membership Rewards. Check out our guide on some of the best ways to redeem Starpoints on air travel.
The increased bonus comes amidst speculation as Marriott and Starwood continue to move toward their planned merger.
As of last year, you can connect your accounts with both programs to swap points between them in either direction at a ratio of 1 Starpoint:3 Marriott points. In addition, each loyalty program automatically matches any status you hold with the other.
There’s still no indication of how (or when, or if) the separate loyalty programs will be combined. Based on how these companies have communicated with customers so far, it seems safe to say that whatever happens, we’ll have plenty of warning and the chance to use our points (if we so choose) before any changes take effect.
It’s great to see this increased bonus on the Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express. With the coming merger, it’s hard to say what will happen to this credit card or whether the bonus will ever be this high again, so now is the time to jump on it!
The benefits of this card—some of which can stack with those of the personal version—make it a must-have for anyone who typically stays in Starwood hotel properties.