American Express

Last Chance For A Great Increased Sign-Up Bonus

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For a couple of months now The Blue for Business® Credit Card from American Express has offered an excellent increased sign-up bonus. This is actually a card that wasn’t ever on my radar, though I recently uncovered just how rewarding it is, and applied for it myself.

Anyway, the card’s increased sign-up bonus expires tomorrow, February 22, 2017. So if you haven’t yet applied for this card, you really should consider doing so.

Why? First of all, the card offers a sign-up bonus of up to an incremental 64,600 Membership Rewards points. That comes in the following form:

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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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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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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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Can You Get 70K Bonus Starpoints By Applying For Both The Personal & Business SPG Amex?

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As I first wrote about yesterday, we’re seeing big increased sign-up bonuses on both the personal and business version of the SPG Amex:

— 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

This is the biggest ever sign-up bonus we’ve seen on these cards, so if you haven’t yet had these cards, it’s a no brainer to apply for them.

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IT’S BACK: Biggest Ever Sign-Up Bonus On The SPG Amex

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Yay, it’s back! Last year American Express offered the biggest ever sign-up bonus on the SPG Amex, and it’s back again now, for the second time ever. The normal sign-up bonus on these cards is 25,000 Starpoints upon completing minimum spend. In the past we’ve sometimes seen 30,000 Starpoint sign-up bonuses. And now we’re seeing a 35,000 Starpoint sign-up bonus, which is the biggest sign-up bonus ever. These increased sign-up bonuses are valid through April 5, 2017.

As stated above, at the moment we’re seeing a sign-up bonus of 35,000 Starpoints, which is the highest bonus ever. Here are the details of the sign-up bonus:

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SUCCESS: I Got Approved For A 5th Amex Credit Card

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Historically American Express has limited each consumer to having four credit cards and four charge cards with them at any point, as I explained in my recent post about my 2017 American Express card strategy.

Many people have reported that the limit has been raised to five credit cards, though previously I didn’t find that to be the case. For example, last June I got denied when I applied for my fifth card, on account of having too many cards.

That led me to believe that my limit with Amex is four credit cards, though several readers insisted that the limit has been raised to five credit cards, so I figured I’d give it another try and apply for a fifth credit card.

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5 Of The Best No Annual Fee Credit Cards For 2017

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Understandably a lot of people want to avoid credit cards with annual fees. Many people make the assumption that cards with annual fees aren’t worth it. Personally I don’t agree with that sentiment, as someone who spends over $2,000 per year in credit card annual fees (yet I think I’m getting great value).

In this post I wanted to look at five of the hottest and all around most rewarding no annual fee credit cards in the market today — three of them are personal cards, and two of them are business cards.

Here are they are, in no particular order:

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Great Deal: Earn 20K Bonus Amex Points For An Air France Booking

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For those of you not familiar with Amex Offers, it’s a program available through most Amex cards, where different cards are eligible for different savings and bonus offers. In many cases the offers can be huge, and more than offset the annual fee on a card. Sometimes Amex Offers are for discounts, and other times they offer bonus points.

To view Amex Offers, go to the bottom of the account summary page of any American Express card, where you’ll see all the offers you’re eligible for. These offers come in different forms, including discounts and even in some cases bonus points.

At the moment there’s a targeted Amex Offer for 20,000 bonus Membership Rewards points when you spend $1,000+ with Air France. The promotion is valid for registered cardmembers who book through the Air France U.S. website or mobile app through April 14, 2017. That’s a huge points bonus, as it’s in addition to the points you’d usually earn.

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5 Sets Of Credit Cards That May Appear To Be Substitutes, But Aren’t

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Many times credit card issuers introduce multiple versions of a card, in hopes of going after as many types of consumers as possible. Sometimes the benefits on the cards overlap, while other times they don’t. For example:

— The $99 annual fee JetBlue Plus Card comes with all the same benefits (and much more!) as the no annual fee JetBlue Card, so there’s not much benefit to having the no annual fee version if you have the premium version
— There’s not a ton of value in having the $95 annual fee Citi ThankYou® Premier Card when you have the $450 annual fee Citi Prestige® Card, since the benefits mostly overlap (though not completely)

However, in this post I figured I’d look at five sets of cards that may on the surface appear to be substitutes, but are actually complementary to one another, in my opinion. In no particular order:

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Amex Blue For Business Vs. Business Gold Rewards Card: Which Is Better?

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At the moment American Express has two limited time sign-up bonuses on two great business cards — The Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN and The Blue for Business® Credit Card from American Express. While I’m not sure about the end date on the Business Gold Rewards Card offer, the Blue For Business Card offer ends on February 22, 2017, so you only have about two weeks left to apply.

In this post I wanted to compare the two offers, for anyone trying to decide between them.

Regardless of which card you apply for, there are a few reasons to consider applying for one of these Amex business cards:

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What’s The Future Of The SPG Amex?

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Reader Nick asked the following question on a recent post about my American Express card strategy:

“I know it’s speculation, but what do you think happens to the Starwood AMEX card post-merger? In the meantime, I’ve had the card once and can’t qualify for a bonus again. But wouldn’t you agree others should apply, especially since even the minimum 25K SPG point signup bonus equals 75K Marriott Rewards with no first-year fee?”

While I’ve addressed this topic in passing, I figured it would make sense to dedicate a post specifically to this:

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The “Risk Free” Way To Apply For An Amex Card

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There are several factors that determine your credit score. The most important things are that you make your payments on-time, and that you keep your credit utilization low. One smaller aspect of your credit score is your requests for new credit. This includes how many hard pulls there are on your credit score.

So personally I don’t mind a hard pull on my credit score (it’ll ding my score by a couple of points for two years, but then falls off; a two point drop isn’t a big deal at all), though I do everything I can to be sure I only apply for cards I’ll hopefully be approved for.

This brings me back to something I wasn’t aware of with Amex, which is potentially very useful to many, in my opinion.

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My 2017 American Express Credit Card Strategy

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While I write quite a bit about credit card sign-up bonuses, that’s only one aspect of maximizing the rewards you can get from credit cards. I thought it would be useful to talk a bit about my credit card spend strategy with each of the major issuers. In this post I’ll cover American Express. Which cards do I have, which do I spend money on, etc.?

American Express limits you to a certain number of credit cards and a certain number of charge cards. It doesn’t matter how many of those are personal or business cards, but rather just the total number of each type.

Each person is definitely allowed to have four charge cards and four credit cards. Many have reported that the limit has been raised to five credit cards, though I haven’t found that to be the case across the board. For example, I got denied when I applied for my fifth card, on account of having too many cards.

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