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I learn something new about credit cards every day. On Thursday I made a post about which credit cards are in my wallet right now, and which I was planning on acquiring soon.
I’m a huge fan of the Starwood American Express, not only because SPG points are incredibly valuable, but also because you earn two elite qualifying stays and five elite qualifying towards status with Starwood annually just for having the card. While I knew the Starwood Business American Express offered the same benefit, I wasn’t aware you could stack them — I was under the impression that two elite qualifying stays and five elite qualifying nights was the most you could earn towards status for any single account from their co-branded American Express cards. But apparently that’s not the case, and you can earn the bonus annually for both cards, for a total of four elite qualifying stays and 10 elite qualifying nights towards status annually. That’s huge for me.
Starwood requires 25 elite qualifying stays or 50 elite qualifying nights annually to earn Platinum status. Since I don’t mind frequently switching hotels I typically qualify for hotel status based on stays as opposed to nights. However, in March Starwood added new benefits to the SPG program, including 10 confirmed suite night upgrade awards for Platinum members with at least 50 nights (with none given to those that just qualify for Platinum on 25 stays).
For me the 10 nights I’ll get for having both cards is the difference between being a Platinum member qualifying on 25 stays, and being a Platinum member qualifying on 50 nights.
Furthermore, as pointed out in the comments section of that post, the Starwood Preferred Guest Business American Express belongs to American Express OPEN, which gets you a 3% discount on all spend at Hyatt hotels. So I think this might just be my new preferred credit card for Hyatt hotels spend within the US. With this card I’d earn one SPG points plus 3% cash back per dollar (which I value at 5.2 cents per dollar), while with the Chase Hyatt Visa I’d earn three points per dollar (which I value at 4.8 cents per dollar), or with the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card I’d earn 2 points per dollar (which I value at 4.1 cents per dollar). These valuations are based on my previous posts about the valuations of hotel points and credit card points.
While the difference isn’t huge, it’s something I never previously considered, and enough to make me change my habits.