I’ve been playing this game for just about 15 years and there are some things that remain constant in all of the craziness. I actually didn’t discover SPG on my own. A friend turned me on to the fact that I could spend on the SPG AMEX and earn miles faster in my favorite airline program, American Airlines, because of the generous transfer bonus. And, that still reigns supreme. For every 20,000 points you transfer to most airlines, Starwood Preferred Guest will give you an extra 5,000, topping you off to 25,000 miles in most cases. When you consider that most hotel points transfer to airlines at a horrible rate (in some cases as bad as 10:1), SPG’s 1:1.25 is the best out there by far.
The other reason SPG is a great program to stack up points in are the aspirational properties. A few of my recent favorites where I’ve redeemed points:
But, one of the great benefits that’s often overlooked with the SPG AMEX Business Card are the OPEN benefits for small business owners. I save a ton of money every year automatically, receiving a 5% statement credit for any charges at places like FedEx and Hertz. And, you can even get 5% off your stays at Hyatt hotels. You may get a funny look at the front desk when you pay your Hyatt bill with an SPG card, but it’s still 5% back in your pocket.
Any time you have a charge at one of these merchants, American Express will automatically post a statement credit for 5% of the purchase. Starpoints are one of the most valuable currencies out there, no doubt. An additional 5% off purchases from vendors you’re probably already using now is actual cash back in your pocket. And, you still earn points.
I’ve had my SPG AMEX cards (both the personal and business version) in my wallet for over a decade and they’ve served me well. I rely on them daily and they’ve helped pay for a lot of family vacations along the way at places I wouldn’t have been able to afford otherwise. And, while doing a quick check of my wallet, I realized I’ve done more spending on this card than any other in the first 6 months of the year. That’s not a coincidence, though I didn’t expect the numbers to add up that way.
So, when you’re thinking about which cards are most valuable, don’t forget one of the most valuable double dip opportunities out there.