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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:
A killer business card perk — get Sheraton lounge access
While both the personal and business version of the cards offer great benefits, there’s one perk that’s exclusive to the business card. Specifically, primary cardmembers on the business card get access to executives lounges at Sheraton hotels. This is valid for all Sheraton properties, regardless of whether you’re paying in cash or points (you can only use the lounge in conjunction with a stay, so you can’t access it if not staying at a hotel).
This is a huge benefit that will more than justify the annual fee on the card after just one stay in many cases. See my previous post about this benefit for more details.
Amex business cards don’t apply towards Chase’s 5/24 rule
One of the major restrictions that many people consider is Chase’s 5/24 rule. Chase typically won’t approve you for a new card if you’ve opened more than five new accounts in the past 24 months. The exception is non-Chase business card accounts. In other words, applying for the SPG Business Amex won’t count towards that limit with Chase. So if it’s something you’re worried about, this is a great card to consider.
Get a boost towards SPG elite status
Both the business and personal version of the card offer two elite qualifying stays and five elite qualifying nights towards status annually. These benefits are stackable. This means that if you have both the personal and business version of the card, you’ll start every year with four elite qualifying stays and 10 elite qualifying nights towards status.
Earning SPG Platinum status requires 25 stays or 50 nights, meaning that with both cards that limit is really lowered to 21 stays or 40 nights, which is much more attainable for many.
If you apply now you can still get this benefit applied for 2017.
Amex OPEN Savings
The SPG Business Amex qualifies for the Amex OPEN Savings benefit, which gets you a 5% discount for purchases at select retailers. This includes select purchases at FedEx, Hertz, HP, Barnes & Nobles, etc. The savings at these retailers could quickly add up.
Amex business cards are generally easy to be approved for
Some issuers make it very difficult to be approved for a small business credit card, requiring you to be incorporated for years, have hundreds of thousands of dollars of revenue, etc.
Meanwhile American Express is anecdotally great about approving people for small business credit cards. I’ve written in the past about getting approved for an Amex small business card as a new sole proprietorship with limited business revenue. Assuming your credit is good, you should have great odds of getting approved.
No credit inquiry if you get denied for the card
Keep in mind that if you’re an existing Amex cardmember and apply for a new card, you typically won’t get a credit inquiry unless you’re approved. That’s because Amex typically uses existing data they have on you to decide whether or not to approve you, and only once they’ve conditionally approved you do they pull your credit. So unless your circumstances have changed substantially since the last time Amex pulled your credit, you should only get an inquiry if you’re approved.
Up to 70K bonus Starpoints
The most obvious reason to consider the business version of the card is because it lets you earn a further 35,000 bonus Starpoints. You can potentially apply for both the SPG Business Amex and SPG Personal Amex for a total of up to 70,000 bonus Starpoints. You can apply for both cards same day, though one approval may be delayed by a few days.
The increased sign-up bonuses on both the personal and business version of the SPG Amex are extremely tempting. If you haven’t yet applied for either card, I’d recommend applying for both. However, I know a lot of people only have the personal version of the card, so there’s value in also considering the business version of the card, given that it can earn you more points and has superior benefits.