The Starwood and the Marriott merger brought several changes, including enhanced business cards, such as the Starwood Preferred Guest Business Credit Card from American Express. The so-called SPG business card has a ton of special features, including welcome bonuses and extra points for cardholders. After all the ads and hype about this card, is it really worth applying for?
An Overview of the SPG Business Card
The Starwood Preferred Guest Business Credit Card from AmEx is geared toward small business owners who are frequent travelers. Those who want to earn status faster than ever at Marriott Hotels and people who want to increase their points total will benefit from the card.
If you often go on a business trip with some of your employees and you splurge on some luxury rooms at a Marriot, you will instantly earn 10x points for every dollar spent. It may seem a lot based on your basic member status, but you missed out on winning seven times more points with the SPG card.
With this business credit card, you can earn six times bonus points at any Starwood and Marriott hotels using the card, along with a complimentary Silver Elite status, which gives you 11x base points. Therefore, you receive a total of 17x points per dollar when you own this card. You also get to check out of the hotel later than your appointed time. Plus, you get to enjoy premium WiFi for free while you relax after working hard.
The card has plenty of unique perks which you cannot get from other credit cards or even as a Marriott member. If you regularly stay at Marriott and Starwood properties, getting this card should be on your list.
How Much Does the Credit Card Cost?
Owning the SPG business card compels you to pay the $95 annual fee. However, you do not have to pay the amount for the first year as it is waived. Meanwhile, the annual percentage rate (APR) on purchases will depend on a few factors, including the creditworthiness of the cardholder. Each time you make purchases with the card, you will accrue interest based on your APR, which you can avoid if you pay your balance in full every month.
Currently, the APR starts at 17.74% (prime market rate + 12.49%) for individuals with excellent credit standing and go all the way up to 26.74% (prime market rate + 21.49). The variable APR for both purchases and cash advances considers the prime rate of the market. Cash advances are set to Prime Rate + 21.99% for a total of 27.24%. When you apply for the credit card, you will immediately know how much your APR will be at the time your account opens.
Other charges that you should know about include:
29.99% Penalty APR for those who fail to make at least two late payments within a year or those who do not pay the minimum required payment at the end of the billing period
Either three percent or $5 depending on the amount concerning cash advance transaction fees
Up to $38 late payment fees
$38 for every returned payment as a penalty
When it comes to SPG business card foreign transaction fee, you there are no charges every time you use the credit card in another country. It is one of the great benefits of owning the card, especially for frequent travelers.
A List of the SPG Business Card Benefits
This business card comes with excellent perks and rewards. First is the sign-up bonus, which is awarded to you after you have made at least $3,000 in purchases within your first three months. You will receive a total of 75,000 bonus points, which you can use to redeem free stays at participating resorts and hotels.
When you own the card, one of the remarkable SPG business card benefits is the Air + Car transfer program, which is beneficial for those who travel a lot for work. The points you have received can be redeemed for flights. There are more than 300 participating airlines in this particular program so it is likely that you can use the points for your next travel.
You can also transfer your accumulated points to airline frequent flyer programs. Currently, there are more than 40 airlines that support this feature. Most of them allow the transfer at a ratio of three points for every mile. Another benefit for travelers is that they can gain 15,000 bonus points when they transfer at least 60,000 points to a frequent flyer program.
The advantages of owning an SPG business card does not end here because it will also award the cardholder with a Silver Elite status for free. If you spend more than $30,000 with your card for eligible purchases in one year, you can be upgraded to Gold Elite status right away. Note though that cardholders will need to spend an additional $5,000 on certain purchases to enjoy this perk starting on the first of January 2019.
Other benefits of this credit card are:
Free Nights: Every year that your credit card is active, you will have a free stay at a participating hotel. You will receive this award on the anniversary of your account. Be aware though that there are a few conditions, including redemption level is up to 35,000 points only. Additionally, some hotels will still cost you certain fees.
Premium WiFi Access: Stay at participating Marriott and SPG rewards hotels, and you can enjoy free and unlimited Internet access in your room. You can also use your card to access over 1 million hotspots around the world with Boingo American Express Preferred Plan where you can connect up to four devices. You will need to register for a Boingo account first to take advantage of this free offer.
Elite Night Credit: An all-new reward that will start in 2019, the Elite Night Credit gives you a total of 15 nights every year, which will be added to level up your status.
The card also does not have a minimum or maximum credit limit. However, your credit line will be based on your creditworthiness, which will include your credit rating, outstanding debts, and income.
The American Express SPG business card does have numerous perks. Here are the reasons why you should get one:
- You get six times points per dollar with SPG or Marriott hotels
- Claim four times points for every dollar spent on business-related transactions
- Get up to 100,000 signup bonus points
- Enjoy a free night every year to celebrate your card membership
- Complimentary Silver Elite status
- An accelerated path toward the Gold status at Marriott
- Expense tracking and other management tools for companies and entrepreneurs
- No transaction fees when used abroad
On the other hand, the following areas can be improved to make the credit card even better:
- Steep annual fee of $95, which you have to pay immediately after your first year
- You cannot get free nights until after you celebrate your card’s anniversary
- Silver Elite needs a few upgrades
Taking a look at the pros and cons, the SPG business card is definitely worth getting. It is a great option, especially for business people who have regular spending and travel habits.