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Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available. View the current offers here – Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card From American Express
The highest offer on the Starwood Preferred Guest Business Credit Card From American Express is back! You can earn an increased welcome bonus of 35,000 points after spending $7,000 in the first three months after opening the account. But, you only have until March 28 to jump on this improved offer.
Especially when 50,000-point welcome bonuses seem to be the new minimum, 35,000 points may seem a little low. However, it’s important to remember the value of Starwood points. At 2.7 cents apiece, Starpoints are the most valuable currency on TPG‘s points and miles valuation list. That means the 35,000-point welcome bonus is worth around $945.
Collecting Marriott points instead of Starpoints? With the 1:3 transfer ratio between Starwood and Marriott, you can think of this 35,000-Starpoint welcome bonus as a 105,000-Marriott point welcome bonus instead. That’s 14 free nights at Marriott Category 1 hotels (more if you utilize the 5th night free benefit) or a significant chunk of points toward Marriott’s very valuable Hotel + Air packages.
This card earns you 2 Starpoints per dollar at Starwood and Marriott properties and 1 point per dollar everywhere else. Again, that might not sound like much, but remember that the high value of Starpoints means that even 1x earning is a solid return on non-bonus spending. Based on TPG valuations, only the Blue Business℠ Plus Credit Card from American Express offers a better return on general spending (on the first $50,000 spent each calendar year; then 1x).
That means even if you spend all $7,000 required for the welcome bonus on non-Starwood purchases, you’ll end up with over a 16% return: 42,000 points (worth $1,134) from $7,000 spending — effectively earning 5x Starpoints (or 15x Marriott points) per dollar spent.
Other Important Info
Annual fee: The annual fee on the Starwood Preferred Guest Business Card is $95, but that’s waived the first year. That gives you a fee-free year to figure out if the card earns a place in your wallet at $95 per year.
Starwood elite status: Also, this card gives you a boost toward Starwood Preferred Guest elite status. The card offers 2 stay credits and 5 night credits each year toward status. But, if you spend $30,000 on the card in a calendar year, you’ll guarantee yourself at least Starwood Gold status. Once you earn SPG status, make sure to match it to Marriott Rewards to enjoy perks across both programs.
Other benefits: The Starwood Preferred Guest Business Card doesn’t have any foreign transaction fees. You’ll get free premium internet on-site for Starwood stays as well as access to over one million Wi-Fi hotspots through a Boingo account. Also, this card offers Sheraton Club access with eligible rates and access to discounts with FedEx, Hertz and more through the Amex OPEN Savings program.
With the 2x bonus on Starwood/Marriott purchases and a boost toward Starwood elite status, this is a great card for Starwood loyalists. However, its increased welcome bonus, excellent return on general spending and other travel perks makes it great for non-loyalists too. If you’re ready to try it out annual fee-free for the first year, here’s the link to apply for Starwood Preferred Guest Business Credit Card From American Express with a 35,000-point bonus.
Featured image by Eric Helgas for The Points Guy.