Starwood Preferred Guest Business Credit Card Review
- November 15, 2018
- Posted by: Jeff Gitlen
- Category: Credit Cards
Since Marriot and Starwood merged, many cardholders, both business and personal, have been wondering what impact this would have on their travel credit cards. Fortunately, many of those answers have become available, and many cards now come with even more travel perks.
The Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) Business Card was and continues to be specifically designed for small to medium-sized business owners who frequently utilize Starwood properties. Now those perks extend to Marriot properties as well. And with a significant amount of airline partners, this card is also great for frequent fliers.
Maximize Your Perks and Rewards With the SPG Business Card
The SPG Business Card offers a host of perks and rewards which currently includes up to a $200 statement credit, $0 annual fee for the first year ($95 thereafter), and a variety of ways to accumulate a significant amount of points.
Starting in August 2018, cardholders will earn six points for every dollar of eligible purchases at SPG and Marriot Rewards hotels; four points on purchases at/for U.S. restaurants, gas stations, wireless telephone services, and on U.S. purchases for shipping. Additionally, all other eligible purchases will earn two points.
If you’re familiar with rewards programs, you’ll likely be pleased with some of those numbers.
What can you do with those points? As you’d likely assume, you can redeem them for free nights at over 1,500 hotels and resorts in over 100 countries. Also, thanks to a robust partnership with over thirty airline frequent flier programs, cardholders can redeem points for flights with a typical one-to-one conversion – also a big plus for this rewards card. And if you transfer 20,000 Starpoints to a participating program, you can earn a 5,000 point bonus.
To maximize your points, be sure to stay at either a Starwood or Marriot property. Also, try to stay up-to-date with ongoing bonuses, like the 5,000-point bonus mentioned above, to earn points for spending points.
If you really want to make the most out of this card, use it regularly for those big point winners: SPG/Marriot hotel stays, U.S. dining, gas stations, and telephone services. That will also get you closer to achieving SPG Gold Status, which is granted to those who spend $30,000 within a calendar year ($35,000 as of January 2019).
SPG Gold Status entitles those who earn it the opportunity to take advantage of premium perks at over 1,200 global hotels. These perks include upgrades to enhanced rooms, late checkouts (4 p.m.), Free Night Awards; and to really sweeten the deal, the ability to earn three Starpoints per dollar spent (50% more than preferred members).
How to Get The SPG Business Card
Typically, business credit cards are designed for those with excellent credit. Amex does state there are a variety of factors that contribute to the application decision (annual revenue, years in business, etc.), so if you have specific questions about qualifications, it’s worth calling the Amex customer service line to further inquire.
Applying for the SPG Business Credit Card is easy, and decisions are typically made within thirty seconds of application submission. If you’re already an Amex cardholder, you can log into your account to complete the application, in which case much of your information will be provided automatically.
If you’re not a member, you’ll be required to enter typical information about your business (legal name, address, industry, time in business, annual revenue, etc.). After that, you’ll need to enter your personal information and then submit the application. You can check your American Express credit card application status online or over the phone.
Basic Information: Rates and Fees
Cardholders can currently expect to have a variable APR of anywhere between 16.99% (current prime rate + 11.99%) to 20.99% (current prime rate + 15.99%), based on creditworthiness. This card also comes with a steep penalty APR of 29.99% (prime rate + 21.99%), so be sure to stay on top of this bill.
There’s no annual fee for the first year, but each year after will include a $95 dollar annual membership fee. Additionally, late payments, as well as returned payments, may incur a fee of up to $38 dollars.
The Downsides of the Starwood Business Card
Though the SPG Business card does come with a great rewards program, there are a few downfalls. Reward types are limited, so if you’re looking for hotel or travel-based rewards, this card is great. However, if you’re looking for a card that includes cash back rewards, gift cards, or products and services, the SPG Business card may not be right for you.
The second downside, and hopefully a fleeting one, is a lack of stability in the current program. With two rewards programs merging and a slew of card upgrades, the dust still hasn’t had a chance to settle. Points programs are in flux, and while some changes should be apparent as early as August 2018, others, like the SPG Gold Status requirements, are set to change in 2019.
If you own a small to medium-sized business that has a lot of domestic traveling needs, this card might be a good fit. The current point rewards are highly competitive, and with the expanded portfolio of both hotels and airlines, booking travel is even easier.
If you really want to make the most out of this card, keep it in mind for all your purchases, even those outside of travel, as points are still generous for many eligible purchases. Also, those who spend the required amount will maximize their rewards by hitting SPG Gold Status.