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Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available. View the current offers here – Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express, Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express
We haven’t seen any elevated offers on the Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card from American Express or the Starwood Preferred Guest Business Credit Card from American Express since the hotel chain’s merger with Marriott became official late last year. Now through April 5, however, both cards are offering new cardholders the chance to earn 10,000 points over the standard welcome offer.
As usual, you’ll earn 25,000 Starpoints after you spend $3,000 (or $5,000 with the business version) on the card in the first three months from account opening. However, you can earn an additional 10,000 points if you spend a bit extra: an additional $2,000 within the first six months with the personal card, and an additional $3,000 within the first six months with the business card.
Here’s a quick overview of the main features of each card:
This card earns you 2 Starpoints per dollar at Starwood (and now Marriott) properties and 1 point per dollar everywhere else. While that’s not the most outstanding earning rate, especially compared to cards like the Chase Sapphire Reserve with its 3x points on all dining and travel, Starpoints are the most valuable loyalty currency listed in TPG’s monthly valuations series, so this card could be a could option for non-bonus spending. There’s a $95 annual fee that’s waived the first year, and this card waives foreign transaction fees.
Starwood Business Amex
Apart from having higher spending requirements for earning the welcome bonus, the business version of the Starwood Amex card is largely identical to the personal flavor. The biggest differences are that this card offers Sheraton Club access with eligible rates and access to discounts with FedEx, Hertz and more through the Amex OPEN Savings program.
Is it worth it?
Based on TPG’s valuations, the 10,000 extra Starpoints you could earn with these offers are worth $270. Earning these 10,000 points does require additional spending after you meet the respective $3,000 or $5,000 requirement for the personal or business card, but you do have three more months.
Depending on your situation, spending an extra $2,000 on the personal card (for a total of $5,000 in the first six months) and an extra $3,000 on the business card (for a total of $8,000 in the first six months) could be quite doable — especially if you use these cards for everyday purchases. Starpoints are the most valuable loyalty currency listed in TPG’s monthly valuations series, so both the Starwood Amex and the Starwood Business Amex are great picks for purchases where you won’t earn extra points through a category bonus.
Elevated bonus aside, it’s definitely worth having one (or both) of these cards in your wallet if you think you’ll ever want to book an award stay within the Starwood or Marriott portfolios. You can transfer Starpoints to Marriott Rewards at a rate of 1:3, which means you could end up with 105,000 Marriott points if you earn the full 35,000 Starpoints with either Starwood Amex card. And keep in mind that by transferring Starpoints to Marriott, you can book Hotel + Air packages that get you miles plus a hotel stay. If you have some points in your SPG account already, you could even use this current welcome bonus to help you reach 90,000 Starpoints and then transfer them to redeem for a package and earn the Southwest Companion pass in the process. Additionally, Starpoints are transferable to more than 30 airlines, and you’ll earn a 5,000-mile bonus for every 20,000 points you transfer.
Apart from the plentiful transfer options, these cards can give you a big boost toward Starwood Preferred Guest elite status. Each gets you 2 stay and 5 night credits each year toward status, and if you spend $30,000 on either card in a calendar year, you’ll be upgraded to Gold status. If you do earn SPG status, make sure to match it to Marriott Rewards to enjoy perks across both programs.
Both of these cards are worth having in your wallet, due to the valuable points they earn you — and they’re even more valuable now that you can transfer points to Marriott Rewards. If it’s doable for you, it’s definitely worth earning an extra 10,000 Starpoints (equal to an extra 30,000 Marriott points) by meeting the $2,000 or $3,000 additional spending requirement in the first six months. Make sure to apply by April 5 if you’re interested.
Will you be applying for either of these cards with the limited-time offer?
Featured image by Andrew Moynehan.