Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express – Review

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Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express – Review

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"Take Your Business Further With Points!"

This card is ideal for the frequent business traveler who purchases Marriott hotel accommodations. With free nights at more than 6,000 hotels & resorts in over 100 countries - and no blackout dates - the card rocks!

If you’re a business owner who is regularly criss-crossing the country — or even the globe — then having a credit card that rewards you for doing so is a must.

The Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express could just be that card. Being away from home can be exhausting, but if you’re able to earn rewards it can be well worth the effort!

Carrying this card can earn you free nights, free flights with airline transfers, and can even accelerate you to elite status!

See just how rewarding your business travel can be with a Starwood credit card.

Card Snapshot

The Ideal Cardholder

Relax in Your Room with a Hotel Business Credit Card
Utilize your Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express to earn rewards for all the travel you are doing. You’ll soon find it easy to relax knowing you have a rewards trip in your future!

Introductory Bonus and Earning Categories

After you apply to get the Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express, you will be eligible to receive the current welcome bonus after you have used your new card to make the appropriate spend in purchases within the allotted time.

For frequent travelers who stay in Marriott hotels, this hotel card could be the ideal partner for you. That’s because you could start to see your points rack up right away.

You earn 6 points for every dollar of eligible purchases at participating Marriott hotels.

Categories earning 4 points per dollar include:

  • U.S. restaurants
  • U.S. gas stations
  • Wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers
  • U.S. purchases for shipping

All other purchases earn 2 points per dollar spent.

During the first year, you won’t have an annual fee, so you’ll have the opportunity to see how you like using the card at absolutely no cost. After that, the annual fee is just $95.

Bottom Line:Earn 6 points per dollar at participating Marriott hotels; 4 points at U.S. gas stations, wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers, and on U.S. purchases for shipping; and 2 points per dollar for all other purchases. Plus, there’s no annual fee in the first year with the Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express.

Benefits of Being a Card Member

The Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express isn’t just a way to earn Starpoints, though. There are plenty of additional benefits, too, such as (Terms and Conditions Apply):

  • Free nights at more than 6,000 hotels & resorts in over 100 countries with no blackout dates
  • Marriott Gold status after spending $30,000 or more in eligible purchases ($35,000 after 1/1/2019)
  • Premium on-property internet access plus Boingo Wi-Fi while you’re staying at Marriott participating hotels
  • Coming in 2019: 15 elite night credits toward status (one credit allowed per loyalty account member)

Bottom Line: Using your Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express can take you even further, and includes a wide array of benefits while you are traveling.

Additional Card Perks

Additional perks with the card can provide you with peace of mind while you’re on the road, as well as when you make important purchases.

Like many other travel rewards credit cards, you’ll get a baggage insurance plan. Checked bags are covered up to $500 and carry-on bags for up to $1,250 when you book your flight with your Amex card.

You also get travel accident insurance, a global assist hotline, and more.

Your card also offers other nice perks such as purchase protection, car rental loss and damage insurance, roadside assistance, and extended warranty.

Bottom Line: Whether you’re on the road or making an important purchase, your Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express offers protection for your travel and buying needs.

Even More Convenience By Carrying This Card in Your Wallet

There are even more benefits offered with the Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express. That’s because you’ll have the perks that are provided with every business card from American Express.

You’ll have access to ReceiptMatch. This is a feature that helps you to manage expenses on your card by adding receipts, tags, and notes to your transactions, both through a desktop computer and a mobile device.

Other advantages that are automatically included with your  card include:

  • Account alerts
  • Account Manager program
  • Mobile and tablet apps
  • Dispute resolution
  • Online statements
  • OPEN Forum

Bottom Line: On top of the benefits that are specific to the Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express, you will also be eligible for the benefits provided with every business card for American Express members.

Just a Few Things To Consider With Your Card

Even though there are countless benefits to carrying the Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express with you on your adventures, there are also some things to consider before you apply for this particular card.

This is especially important since you have many different credit cards that are available to choose from in the marketplace!

First, this card – like many of the other rewards cards – does have an annual fee. Though the fee is waived for the first year, this particular card charges $95.

That means you’ll have a full 365 days to check out the card and see how you like it before you will be charged the fee.

Also, the bulk of the points you can earn on the card will come from travel. So if you aren’t a frequent traveler, there may be other credit cards out there that could serve you better for accumulating points.

Bottom Line: The annual fee on the Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express is waived during the first year. If you’re a frequent traveler, then the card could be ideal; otherwise, you might want to seek out an alternative!

Alternatives to the Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express

Try to stay aware of alternative cards if you want to continue to keep your rewards maximized. There are a few other hotel cards available, and you may be better off with one of them.

If you love Hilton hotels, you could utilize one of the many Hilton cards. You can see our reviews for the Hilton Honors™ Card from American Express for details.

There may be an option for you in our 10 Most Popular Cards List, or perhaps in our airline credit cards list if you’d rather check out other types of cards.

For those searching for an alternative business card with rewards, you can review The Business Platinum® Card from American Express, or American Express® Business Gold Card.

If you’re looking for a Chase card, the Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card or the Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card are great options too.

Bottom Line: Keep an eye out for alternatives to the Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express. There are plenty of other business card options, hotel card options, and everything in between to help you utilize your biggest opportunities to earn points and rewards!

Final Thoughts: A Card Summary

If you are a business owner who also travels frequently overnight, then you should consider carrying the Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express.

Doing so can provide you with rewards on travel while offering protection and peace of mind.

This card can definitely ensure that you are treated like royalty when you stay in a participating SPG hotel, of which there are many: more than 6,000 hotels & resorts in over 100 countries around the world!

You will also be offered insurance in several ways, whether you’re in the air or on the road. It can also ensure the purchases you make will be covered even after the original manufacturer’s warranty has expired.

If you still aren’t sure whether this is the card for you, try it out for 1 full year. Because the annual fee is waived in the first year, you have the opportunity to use the card without having to worry about the fee until the following year.

Bottom Line: If you’re a business traveler who takes regular overnight trips, then the Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express may be a good fit for you.

Great Card If

  • You are a business owner or entrepreneur
  • You travel frequently, especially overnight in any Marriott brand
  • You are a frequent internet user while traveling

Don't Get If

  • You are not a business owner or entrepreneur
  • You are not a frequent traveler
  • You do not stay in Marriott hotels often

Card Fees

  • Annual Fee
    • $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95.
  • Foreign Transaction Fees
  • Interest Rates
    • 17.99% - 26.99% Variable
  • Late fees
    • See Rates & Fees
  • Balance Transfers
    • N/A
  • Cash Advance APR
    • 27.49% Variable

U.P. Pro Tips

Maximize your usage of the card by staying in Marriott brands and spending at least $30,000 on this card per year ($35,000 after 1/1/2019)!

By doing this, you’ll not only earn extra Marriott points — you’ll be on track to earn Gold Elite status to reap even more benefits!

Gold Elite status will get you a further 25% bonus on points earned, as well as a room upgrade and late checkout if available.

Utilize Sheraton Club Access with Business SPG Card
Reach Gold Elite status faster by spending the required amount on this card, so you can take advantage of even more status benefits!

Best Way to Maximize Points

The Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express is mostly geared towards those who travel frequently and who stay at participating Marriott hotels.

If this describes you, then you may have found your ideal travel partner!

Now you can you start to rack up points when you or your employees are on the road. By transferring Marriott rpoints to participating frequent flyer programs, you can earn even more!

Tip #1: Be sure to use your card at participating Marriott hotels! You can earn Marriott points for each dollar that you spend on eligible purchases, as well as bonus points for your stay from the hotel itself.

Tip #2: Plan your stays to earn an elite status. With status, you will earn additional bonus Marriott points for your stay.

Alternatively, after you’ve spent $30,000 or more in eligible purchases on your card in a calendar year ($35,000 after 1/1/2019), you can get Marriott Gold status.

Tip #3: When staying at a Marriottproperty, use their bars and restaurants to earn bonus points by using your card.

Tip #4: If you transfer 60,000 Marriott points to a participating frequent flyer program, you can receive 5,000 bonus miles for a total of 25,000 miles.

Tips for Using SPG Business Card
Though some tips may seem obvious, you’d be surprised how often people can forget! Utilize many different ways to earn points in order to get the most rewards in the end.

Best Way to Redeem Points

While there are many credit card rewards programs that will have you spending your points on gift cards and merchandise you might never use, the Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express is different.

This card is geared toward those who stay in hotels regularly, and it rewards you handsomely for doing so.

Tip #1: Transfer your points to travel partners and receive a 25% bonus on your points. For instance, 60,000 points transferred to American Airlines will give you 25,000 AA miles!

Hot Tip: Marriott is one of the few ways to transfer points to American Airlines!

Tip #2: Redeeming for Marriott rooms can get you as good or better a point value than transferring to airlines. There are multiple options and it will depend on each category, so be sure to do your research.

Tip #3: If using your points for free nights, try to maximize your redemptions by using the 5th Night Free option. For every 5 nights, you’ll get the equivalent of one night’s worth of points in discount.

Tip #4: The Cash and Points option can also be valuable in some instances; look into this as a hybrid of booking an awards flight.

Partners in the Marriott Program include their hotel portfolio, airlines, and other shopping partners.

Hotel and Airline Partners

Marriott Hotels Portfolio: Fairfield Inn by Marriott, Marriott Hotels & Resorts, Autograph Collection, Renaissance Hotels, SpringHill Suites by Marriott, Courtyard by Marriott, Ritz-Carlton, JW Marriott, AC, Delta Hotels, EDITION, BULGARI Hotels and Resorts, MOXY Hotels, Protea Hotels, St. Regis, The Luxury Collection, W Hotels, Westin, Sheraton, La Meridien, Tribune Portfolio, Design Hotels, aloft, Four Points, and element.

Here is the list of airline partnerships and their transfer rates:

Marriott Transfer Partner (Airline)Transfer RatioBonus Airline Miles for 60,000+ Marriott Points Transferred in a Single TransferTransfer Time (based on pre-merger reports)
Aegean Airlines Miles+Bonus3:15,00010 days
Aeroflot Bonus3:15,000unknown
AeroMexico Club Premier3:15,0002 days
Air Canada Aeroplan3:15,0005 days
Air China PhoenixMiles3:15,0005 days
Air France / KLM Flying Blue3:15,0001 day
Air New Zealand AirpointsTBATBA2 days
Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan3:15,0002 days
Alitalia MilleMiglia3:15,000unknown
ANA Mileage Club3:15,0007 days
American Airlines AAdvantage3:15,0002 days
Asiana Club3:15,00010 days
Avianca Airlines LifeMiles3:15,000unknown
British Airways Executive Club3:15,0001 days
Cathay Pacific Asia Miles3:15,00010 days
China Eastern Airlines3:15,000unknown
China Southern Sky Pearl Club3:15,0003 days
Copa ConnectMiles3:15,000unknown
Delta Air Lines SkyMiles3:15,0002 days
El Al MatmidTBATBAunknown
Emirates Skywards3:15,0006 days
Etihad Guest3:15,0005 days
Frontier MyFrontier3:15,000unknown
Gol Smiles3:15,000unknown
Hainan Airlines Fortune Wings3:15,000unknown
Hawaiian Airlines HawaiianMiles3:15,0002 days
Iberia Plus3:15,0006 days
Japan Airlines (JAL) Mileage Bank3:15,0007 days
Jet Airways JetPrivilege3:15,000unknown
JetBlue TrueBlueTBATBA1 day
Korean Air SkyPass3:15,0007 days
LATAM Pass3:15,0002 days
Lufthansa Miles and More3:15,0006 days
Qantas Frequent Flyer3:15,0006 days
Qatar Airways Privilege Club3:15,0006 days
Saudi Arabian Airlines Alfursan3:15,000unknown
Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer3:15,0006 days
South African Airways Voyager3:15,000unknown
Southwest Rapid Rewards3:15,0002 days
TAP Portugal Victoria3:15,000unknown
Thai Airways Royal Orchid Plus3:15,00010 days
Turkish Airline Miles&Smiles3:15,000unknown
United MileagePlus3:15,0002 days
Virgin Atlantic Flying Club3:15,0001 day
Virgin Australia Velocity3:15,0002 days

Additional Partners: Shopping, Entertainment and More

  • Merchandise (iTunes,, Nordstrom, Banana Republic, and more)
  • Audience Rewards and Live Nation
  • Avis and Sixt
  • Charity (Red Cross, UN Children’s Fund)
  • Diners Club (transfer points from your Diners Club account to your Marriott account, but not the other way)

The Gritty Details: Everything Else You Need to Know

As with most everything else in life, you should know the “nitty gritty” details before you go head first into making a financial decision – no matter how great the benefits may seem!

This includes getting a Marriott business card.

With that in mind, you should (at the very least!) read over the cardmember agreement so you’ll know which spending will count for accumulating points and which will not.

That way, there won’t be any surprises later on…though Amex does reserve the right to change the program at any time.

With this card, you earn Marriott points in a couple of different ways. For example, you can currently earn  6 points for each dollar of eligible purchases at participating Marriott hotels.

As a business owner, you can get additional employee cards with no annual fee, and you can earn points at the same rate for every eligible purchase that is charged.

Understanding Your Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express Rewards

When it comes to rewards, there are several areas where these can be found on the card.

For starters, you’re able to redeem points for free nights at more than 6,000 hotels & resorts around the world without having to worry about blackout dates.

Additional travel-related rewards associated with this card include:

Marriott airline transfer program – You can receive a 5,000-miles bonus when you transfer 60,000 Marriott points to a participating frequent flyer program.

Marriott Gold Elite status – You can attain Marriott Gold Elite status after you have spent $30,000 or more in eligible purchases with your card during a calendar year ($35,000 after 1/1/2019).

Premium on-property internet access + Boingo Wi-Fi – Enjoy complimentary in-room, premium internet access while you stay at participating Marriott hotels. In addition, receive free access to unlimited Wi-Fi on up to 4 devices at more than 1 million hotspots worldwide.

Additional Member Advantages and Protection

While you’re on the go, it’s nice to know that you’ve got protection. With the Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express, you’ll have additional coverage, such as:

Car rental loss and damage insurance – When you’ve used your card to reserve and pay for your rental car, you can be covered if the car has been stolen or damaged.

Baggage insurance plan – What’s more frustrating than lost or stolen bags when you’re traveling? When you pay for your trip with your card, you’re covered for luggage that is lost, stolen, or even damaged, both carry-on and checked.

Global assist hotline – If you’ve traveled more than 100 miles from home and you need emergency assistance, the global assist hotline is there for you. For legal, medical, financial, or other needs, your card has you covered.

Roadside assistance hotline – As a cardmember, if your car breaks down, you can rely on roadside assistance for towing and other emergency services.

Travel accident insurance – Your Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express can also provide accidental death and dismemberment coverage when the fare has been charged to the card. This coverage can offer financial security when it is needed most.

Purchase protection – If you pay for an item on your card, this can help protect your purchase for up to 90 days if it is stolen or accidentally damaged.

Extended warranty – The extended warranty can provide up to 1 year of additional coverage to the original manufacturer’s protection on a product you’ve purchased with your card.

The Business Benefits of Being a Member

It’s true that membership certainly does have its advantages. By carrying the card, you’ll also have access to benefits including:

ReceiptMatch – With ReceiptMatch, you can manage your card expenses by simply adding receipts, tags, and notes to your transactions. This can easily be done via a desktop computer or mobile device.

Account alerts – You can have alerts set up to help avoid any late payments, as well as be notified if there is any irregular activity occurring on your account. Alerts may be set up for monitoring employee card spending as well.

Account Manager – With Account Manager, you can assign a trusted employee or business partner to handle various tasks such as reviewing statements and making payments, so you are free to focus on other activities.

Mobile and tablet apps – By having access to mobile and tablet apps, you can pay bills, check your balance, view your benefits, and more from just about anywhere.

Dispute resolution – Should there be any fraudulent activity and/or an incorrect charge on your account, American Express will work with you to help resolve the issue.

Online statements – With online statements, you can view your purchase history, prepare reports to invoice customers, and budget your expenses.

Photo Credits/Credit/Copyright Attribution:
Young Man Relaxing in Hotel: pio3/Shutterstock
Business Workers Checking Into Hotel: Lucky Business/Shutterstock
Bunch of Thumbs Up: fotogestoeber/Shutterstock
Business Woman Relaxing on Bed: Alliance/Shutterstock


Is the Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express worth it?

If you are a business owner (especially if you frequently travel overnight), then yes, this card can be well worth it.

For starters, the card has a $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, and then only costs $95 per year thereafter.

But paying that annual fee gets you the following benefits (Terms and Conditions Apply for all benefits):

  • Free in-room premium internet access
  • Unlimited complimentary Boingo Wi-Fi on up to 4 devices at more than 1 million Boingo hotspots worldwide
  • $0 annual fee for each employee card
  • Employee Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Cards from American Express earn Starpoints at the same rate

The card also includes a multitude of travel-related rewards, such as:

  • Free nights at more than 6,000 hotels & resorts in over 100 countries – with no blackout dates
  • Marriott Silver Elite Status for having the card
  • Marriott Gold Status after spending a certain amount on the card
  • Premium on-property internet access + Boingo Wi-Fi

There are additional perks like:

  • Purchase protection
  • Car rental loss and damage insurance
  • Global assist hotline
  • Roadside assistance hotline
  • Travel accident insurance

Plus, you also receive all of the benefits that business members of American Express get, which include:

  • RecepitMatch, dispute resolution, account alerts, Account Manager, online statements, mobile and tablet apps

Is there an annual fee on the Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express?

Yes; the annual fee is $95. However, the annual fee for the card is waived for the first year.

Will the points on the Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express ever expire or go away?

Your points are tied directly to your Marriott account, so the cancellation policy that applies will be per Marriott.

The Marriott expiration policy is 24 months of inactivity.

Jennifer Koebele

About Jennifer Koebele

Jennifer ("Jen") is a self-proclaimed travel geek. Her favorite spot to relax is the beautiful resort town of Interlaken, Switzerland, which she first visited as a toddler. The Alpine city of Annecy, France is a close second. There's nothing Jen loves more than discovering (and writing about) how to find a good bargain.


American Express® Business Gold Card

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Disclaimer: Any comments listed below are not from the bank advertiser, nor have they been reviewed or approved by them. No responsibility will be taken by the bank advertiser for these comments.


  1. If you sign up for this card now (before the end of the year) do you get the 15 elite nights now (for 2018)?

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