7 Reasons To Get An SPG Amex Business Card

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Through April 5, 2017, there’s an increased sign-up bonus on both the Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express and Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express. Both cards are offering a sign-up bonus of up to 35,000 Starpoints upon completing minimum spend, with the $95 annual fee waived for the first year.

I know a lot of people have just the personal version and not the business version of this card, so in this post I wanted to look at some reasons to also consider the SPG Business Amex.

In no particular order:

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Trump’s New Travel Ban Could Be Implemented Tuesday

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The Wall Street Journal is reporting that a draft of a new Executive Order on travel has been circulating through the State Department and other agencies, and notes that a “replacement order is expected to be issued as soon as Tuesday.”

For those that haven’t been following closely, the Trump Administration chose not to appeal a 9th Circuit Court decision to block enforcement of his original travel ban. Instead, the White House is starting from scratch with a new order entirely.

As opposed to the chaos of the original order, which was poorly implemented without any advance notice, stranding passengers in transit, and generally creating a mess, the revised version appears to be going through the proper channels and procedures.

This means that the order will likely be tighter legally, and somewhat less susceptible to legal challenges.

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Review: United Polaris Lounge Chicago

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We arrived on our United “Polaris” flight from London and had a four hour layover in Chicago before our connecting flight. This gave us plenty of time to check out the brand new Polaris Lounge which we were rather excited about. Unfortunately, it was a few days before they began serving restaurant-style order-off-the-menu meals so those won’t be part of this review. A day late and a dollar short. Or something like that.

We cleared security and headed over to Terminal C through the psychedelic tunnel.

As you come up the escalator, the United customer service counter is straight ahead. And the Polaris Lounge is just to the left of it.

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My New Favorite Trip Planning Tool

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When it comes to trip planning, there are a variety of planning and organization apps out there. In my experience, most of them have some kind of major deal-breaker, so choosing a tool ends up being a very personal decision.

While I’ve tried an assortment of planning tools over the years, none really fit my needs. Most seem to be either too automated, or require too much manual sorting, so I’d sorta given up. I recently came across a new-to-me tool called Travefy which I really like.

I’ve used Travefy for two big trips now — my New Years trip to Jordan (trip report coming next I think), and a big European trip with my mom for her birthday (trip report coming maybe). It’s not perfect, but I’ve found it to be pretty useful, and think some of y’all might enjoy using it as well.

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The One Hotel In North America I REALLY Want To Visit…

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While not all of the world’s best hotels belong to the major hotel chains, there are some incredible hotel experiences you can have on points. For example, as far as city hotels go, it’s tough to beat the Park Hyatt in Sydney or St. Regis in New York.

Then there are some boutique hotels that unfortunately don’t belong to any of the major chains, or any group at all. There’s one hotel in North America that has long interested me, that unfortunately isn’t part of any loyalty program. It’s also quite pricey.

But I use this blog to talk about my travel dreams/goals, so I feel compelled to at least write about it here. Over the past couple of years I’ve learned that I far prefer nature vacations to city vacations. I’m usually connected to the internet constantly, and there’s something so relaxing to me about being able to enjoy nature.

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Man Sues Uber For Getting Caught Cheating On His Wife

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A Frenchman is suing Uber for up to $48 million because he believes a glitch in Uber’s app caused his wife to catch him cheating, and eventually lead to his divorce. Per BBC:

“The man says he once requested an Uber driver from his wife’s phone.

Despite logging off, the application continued to send notifications to her iPhone afterwards, revealing his travel history and arousing her suspicions.”

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Weekly Review: February 18, 2017

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This has been an absolutely insane travel week for me, as I’ve been in Bali, London, and Abu Dhabi so far this week, with more to come. I’ll have lots more details on that soon, though in the meantime it’s time to catch up on sleep. 😉

On the miles & points front it has been an exciting week. We’ve seen the return of the SPG Amex 35K sign-up bonus, LifeMiles introduce a bonus on purchased miles, Cathay Pacific introduce a credit card in the U.S., and much more.

With that out of the way, here’s a recap of this week on the blog:

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Review: Etihad First Class Lounge Abu Dhabi

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A couple of days ago I finally had the chance to visit Etihad’s new first class lounge in Abu Dhabi. The lounge opened in May 2016, after substantial delays. While I used to fly Etihad all the time, I’ve been making an effort to review more new airlines lately, so this was my first time passing through Abu Dhabi in first class since the lounge opened.

Prior to that I visited Etihad’s Premium Lounge Abu Dhabi, which can be accessed by business class passengers. For a business class lounge it’s solid.

Etihad’s Abu Dhabi first class lounge is open 24 hours a day, and is located just past the security checkpoint at Terminal 3. So if you’re originating in Abu Dhabi you’ll find the lounge as soon as you clear the security checkpoint. Meanwhile if you’re connecting, clear transit security at Terminal 3, and then follow the signage to the first class lounge.

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Air Canada Sensibly Changes Their Carry-On Policy

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The past few weeks we’ve seen some airlines change their carry-on policies for the worse — specifically, Spirit and WOW Air come to mind. Well, it’s nice to see an airline change their carry-on policy for the better, for once.

Air Canada has just eliminated their weight restriction for carry-ons. More specifically, their new policy is as follows:

“Your carry-on baggage must be light enough that you can store it in the overhead bin unassisted.”

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Great Deal: Cheap Singapore Airlines Business Class Tickets To Asia & Europe

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Singapore Airlines is known for having one of the best business class products in the world. However, they also generally have fairly expensive fares, given how good their product is.

Well, at the moment Singapore Airlines has an incredible business class fare sale, valid for travel originating in the U.S. Through this fare sale you can book roundtrip business class tickets for just under $2,000 roundtrip.

The basic details are as follows:

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How To Know If You’re Eligible For The SPG Amex 35K Sign-Up Bonus

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At the moment we’re seeing the biggest ever sign-up bonuses on the Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express and Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express. The cards are offering sign-up bonuses of 35,000 Starpoints upon completing minimum spend, which is the biggest bonuses the cards have ever offered.

35,000 might not sound like a big number, but keep in mind that Starpoints are the most valuable points currency out there, as far as I’m concerned. So those points are worth significantly more than 35,000 airline miles.

The bonus on each of these cards is “once in a lifetime,” though there’s some confusion about what that means in practice, so I figured I’d address that in this post.

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My Glamorous Life: Being Force Fed A Tasting Menu At 3AM With A Stomach Bug

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Let me start by saying that I’m beyond grateful to be able to make a living doing what I’m passionate about. Since a very young age I was obsessed with airplanes and travel, and I pinch myself every day about the fact that I’m able to do this full time. That’s despite the constant jetlag and exhaustion. Seriously, I couldn’t be more grateful for this, and I owe it all to you guys.

So take this post as being tongue in cheek, as it’s more of an amusing reflection of what my life is like in practice, despite what it may look like in Instagram pictures, etc. This has been an especially crazy travel week for me. Over the course of about a week I flew from Los Angeles to Taipei to Singapore to Bali to Hong Kong to London to Abu Dhabi (don’t worry, I’ll explain the reasoning for it eventually).

I took the 2PM flight from London to Abu Dhabi, which arrived at 1:30AM. I was dead tired after getting minimal sleep the past week. I wasn’t hungry in the slightest. And I even had a bit of a stomach bug.

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Up To 110k Bonus Points For Referring Friends To The SPG Amex!

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Yesterday I wrote about the increased sign-up bonuses on the Starwood American Express, which is the biggest bonus we’ve ever seen on the card. The details of the offer are as follows:

• For the Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express, earn 25,000 Starpoints after spending $3,000 within three months, plus an additional 10,000 Starpoints after spending another $2,000 within six months; $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95
• For the Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express, earn 25,000 Starpoints after spending $5,000 within three months, plus an additional 10,000 Starpoints after spending another $3,000 within six months; $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95

The standard sign-up bonus offers up to 25,000 bonus Starpoints, while historically they’ve had a promotion once a year offering up to 30,000 bonus Starpoints. So this is a further 5,000 Starpoints above the best offer we previously ever saw.

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Review: United Club London Heathrow

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This was the first time that we had passed through London since the new Queen’s Terminal opened and we were curious to see it. I don’t remember that much of my last visit to London Heathrow other than the Star Alliance airlines were sharing a common, mostly nondescript lounge that seemed to have few if any windows.

With the opening of Terminal 2, there are now so many choices for Star Alliance flyers at London Heathrow that it’s almost overwhelming. Ben has recently reviewed all of them — Lufthansa, Singapore, Air Canada, and United. That meant there was no need for me to take one for the team and we could just head to the best. Which is considered to be the United Club. That’s not a misprint.

Not only was the United Club rated the best but it was also undeniably the most convenient as it turned out to be right next to our gate. We headed over, though got sidetracked for a long time at the kids play structure as you approach the pier. It’s an impressive space filled with kids, and is even staffed by a Heathrow employee. Judging by the no photography signs posted in the vicinity, the Brits are camera shy, so you’ll have to take my word for it.

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