The Starwood Preferred American Express Card has been in my wallet for well over a decade. It’s one of my go-to cards for a number of reasons. That’s why I was happy to see that the biggest sign-up bonus for the SPG Amex is back.
To be clear, I don’t have any referral links for this card. I won’t profit a penny from you applying for this card. It just represents a great value you need to consider, especially if you don’t travel for a living.
The sign-up bonus is a total of 35,000 points, broken down as follows:
- The personal version of the SPG Amex offers a 25,000 point bonus when you spend $3,000 within 90 days of receiving the card. You can earn an extra 10,000 points for an additional $2,000 in spending in first 6 months.
- The business version of the SPG Amex offers a 25,000 point bonus when you spend $5,000 within 90 days of receiving the card. You can earn an extra 10,000 points for an additional $3,000 in spending in first 6 months.
Starpoints are one of the most valuable points I collect. There are a few reasons for that:
- Airline transfers are extremely lucrative. They transfer at a 1:1 ratio, which is unheard of for other hotel programs. Transfer 20,000 Starpoints to an airline and they’ll add 5,000 additional miles for a total of 25,000.
- Hotel redemptions cost fewer points than some of the other chains for truly exceptional hotels. In some cases, you can earn other hotel points more quickly. But, I’ve found that there are a lot of good hotels in the SPG system for 10,000 points or less a night, and some truly exceptional properties you just don’t see in other chains.
- They offer some unbelievable experiences you can redeem points for. An example is the tennis lesson with Andre Agassi I was able to arrange for my wife.
It Can Really Be Worth Getting Both
Both cards have specific attributes that you might find useful.
You can earn Starpoints for all your purchases and enjoy benefits like no foreign transaction fees, Boingo wifi and a head start on elite status. But the business card also offers access to the Sheraton Club lounges even when you’re not staying in a club room. You can also get OPEN savings (like 5% off of FedEx shipments). And, $30,000 in spending will get you SPG Gold status.
Since both cards earn a head start to elite status, you can double dip on the stays and nights earned from having the credit cards.
The Final Two Pennies
I’m still not sure what’s going to happen to the SPG Amex long-term. With Marriott and Starwood completing their merger, it’s highly likely they’ll keep only one of their credit card relationships (Chase issues Marriott’s co-branded credit cards).
If Chase wins out in that battle, then you’d miss the opportunity to earn the bonus for these Amex cards. Earning sign-up bonuses is a big key to stockpiling points if you’re not a frequent traveler. If these cards go away, you lose a great opportunity to stock up on points that can earn you a great vacation. Given that this is the highest sign-up bonus I can ever recall for these cards, you should seriously think about applying for one, if not both.
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