Reminder: SPG Amex 2-Night Sign-Up Bonus Ends on Wednesday
Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available. View the current offers here – Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express, Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express
Last month, the Starwood Preferred Guest Business Credit Card from American Express introduced a new sign-up bonus: two free nights at a Category 1-5 SPG property after you spend $5,000 in the first three months. This was an interesting deviation from the usual offer of 25,000 points after meeting the spending requirement, and as we discussed in previous posts, two free nights aren't necessarily better than the haul of points, depending on how you redeem them.
If you've done the math and determined that you could get more value out of two free nights than 25,000 Starpoints — by using those nights at a Category 5 property that charges high cash rates — make sure to sign up for the SPG Business Amex sooner than later. The current sign-up bonus ends October 19, 2016, which is just a few days away.
If you don't have the Starwood Business Amex or the personal version, the Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card from American Express, it could be worth giving these options a closer look — at least if you have hotel stays coming up and can utilize the portfolios of Starwood and/or Marriott, since the two brands recently merged. You can transfer Starpoints to Marriott at a 1:3 ratio, and move points from Marriott Rewards to SPG at a rate of 3:1. The free nights from the current Starwood Preferred Guest Business Amex offer are only valid at Starwood properties, but you'll still earn points toward future award stays through everyday spending and any paid SPG hotel reservations.
Plus, while Starpoints aren't the easiest loyalty currency to earn, they are among the most valuable — coming in at 2.7 cents apiece in TPG's latest valuations. This means it could definitely make sense to hold a Starwood co-branded card, and if you're more interested in starting with a decent stash of points than getting two free nights at a Category 1-5 Starwood property, you could either wait for current SPG Business Amex sign-up offer to end or apply for the Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card from American Express now — you may receive a sign-up offer of 25,000 points after you spend $3,000 in the first three months by using this link.
The current sign-up bonus of two free nights (rather than 25,000 Starpoints) is not the best option for all award travelers, but if you have a stay at an expensive Category 5 property in mind, it could be worth applying for the Starwood Business Amex before October 19, when this offer expires. And you don't have to wait to apply for the personal Starwood Amex if the 25,000-point bonus is more appealing to you.
What would you prefer: two free nights at a Category 1-5 Starwood hotel or 25,000 Starpoints?