The Starwood Business Amex Is Offering A New Sign-Up Bonus

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Historically the Starwood American Express typically has an increased sign-up bonus on their credit card this time of year. The sign-up bonus on both their personal and business credit cards is typically 25,000 Starpoints upon completing minimum spend, though back in March they temporarily increased it to 35,000 Starpoints, which was the best offer we’ve ever seen on the card.

Well, the business version of the card is now back with a new sign-up bonus for the fall, valid through October 19, 2016. It’s… different.

With the new sign-up bonus on the Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express you can earn two free nights at any Category 1-5 SPG property after spending $5,000 in purchases within the first three months. While the card has a $95 annual fee, it’s waived the first year.

spg-business-amex-bonus

As a reminder, Starwood Preferred Guest ordinarily charges the following number of points for a free night redemption:

spg-business-amex

The most value you’ll be able to get out of this sign-up bonus is 32,000 Starpoints, assuming you redeem at a Category 5 property in high season. For example, take the W St. Petersburg, where I recently stayed.

W-Hotel-St-Petersburg-Russia - 10

Looking at rates next summer, the hotel is going for $500+ or 16,000 Starpoints per night, so you’d come ahead under this offer if redeeming there.

w-st-petersburg-starpoints

However, if redeeming for any other type of stay you’d come out behind with this new offer. Furthermore, keep in mind that even at Category 5 properties you can often get lower rates by booking Cash & Points, or otherwise by using the fifth night free feature.

You can find all 251 Category 5 SPG properties at this link.

What I love most about Starpoints are how flexible they are, since you can efficiently use them both for hotel stays and also for airline mileage transfers. Part of the value of that is lost with this sign-up bonus.

For what it’s worth, I don’t believe the sign-up bonus on the personal credit card will change. The Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express is still offering 25,000 bonus Starpoints after you make $3,000 in purchases within the first three months.

Also, as of now this link still leads to the old 25,000 point sign-up bonus on the business Amex, so if you’re interested in that offer it could make sense to sign-up there ASAP (just be sure the offer details on that page still refer to the 25,000 point bonus, as it could be updated).

Bottom line

Whether or not the new offer on the SPG Business Amex is better depends entirely on your redemption patterns. If you can redeem at a Category 5 SPG property in high season then you’ll do better than usual with this offer, though otherwise you’re better off with the normal offer of 25,000 Starpoints. That’s because a lot of the value of Starpoints comes from their flexibility, and that’s something you give up with this offer.

The SPG Personal Amex is continuing to offer 25,000 Starpoints upon completing minimum spend.

With Marriott and Starwood finalizing their merger in the next 24 hours, it’ll be interesting to see what that means for the future of the combined group’s co-branded credit card.

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Comments

  1. According to American Express, the offer is only good until October 19th… which leaves me wondering if they will revert back to the previous offer (highly unlikely but one can hope) or nix the card altogether. I’m hoping for the former, because I’d like to apply for this card at the end of the year.

  2. It would be more exciting if it were for ANY SPG property similar to Hyatt. There are some good category 5 hotels but that effectively leaves out most St Regis and W properties. I’d rather have the points to transfer to American or combine, like my husband and I did, and we have our entire stays at the Westin in Dublin and Sheraton Dubrovnik booked with points. And no way these hotels stay cat 5 and 2 respectively under Marriott. Glad to burn all my points and I’ll likely cancel this card.

  3. Your relationship with SPG is coloring your review. It’s not a better offer. It’s worse. Those two nights also certainly have expiration date and won’t let you use cash and points deals. In addition, one of the main reasons SPG points are so valuable even though SPG doesn’t have a major footprint is because of the ability to transfer them with a bonus to so many airline partners.

  4. You are such a tool, Lucky. The bonus on the Personal card also changed to two free nights (and only requiring $3000 instead of $5000 spend), but you only mention the Business card since you only have a link for that card. Even the Points Guy mentions the offer changing on both cards and the lower spend required on the Personal card.

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