I receive compensation for many links on this blog. You don’t have to use these links, but I am grateful to you if you do. American Express, Citibank, Chase, Capital One and other banks are advertising partners of this site. Any opinions expressed in this post are my own, and have not been reviewed, approved, or endorsed by my advertising partners. I do not write about all credit cards that are available -- instead focusing on miles, points, and cash back (and currencies that can be converted into the same).
American Express has a limited-time offer through November 1, 2017 for the Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express. It’s equal to the biggest offer they’ve ever had for the card.
The signup bonus is 25,000 points after $6,000 spend within the first 3 months and an extra 10,000 bonus points after making an additional $4,000 in purchases on the Card within the first 6 months.
The card has a $95 annual fee but it’s $0 the first year. And it has several additional benefits:
- 2 elite qualifying stays and 5 nights towards status each year (that’s why I keep both the business and personal version of the card, to double this).
- Complimentary unlimited Boingo wireless internet, several airports have their free wifi provided by Boingo but also faster networks for members so this is great.
- Premium in-room internet, so faster than the basic internet offered to all members who book their stays direct
- Club lounge access when staying at Sheraton, which is huge it’s effectively like being a Starwood Platinum for the stay since that’s the biggest and most frequent benefit of the status.
The Starwood Preferred Guest co-branded card has been one of the very best for a long time. I’ve been using this card as a consistent go-to, it was the one I recommended most back in 2002 when I started this blog. In fact, I recommend it in my very first archived post from May 2002.
Westin Siray Bay Resort, Phuket
Starwood points are the single most valuable loyalty currency (one Starpoint is worth more than one of any other point) so while 35,000 doesn’t sound as big as 100,000 or 75,000 bonus from another card it’s important to consider that I value a Starpoint more than 5 times as highly as a Hilton point and Marriott lets you transfer 1 Starwood point into 3 Marriott points establishing a 1:3 valuation.
Starwood pioneered no blackout dates or capacity controls on award nights, if there’s a standard room available at a hotel you can have it on points. Most hotel programs have since more or less matched this.
W Seoul Walkerhill
Starwood also pioneered premium room awards, and still offers a better value on those than many competitors.
Cash and points awards are still a good way to stretch the value of points (and are now available for premium rooms as well).
Starwood points transfer to the largest array of airline programs of any card, and when you transfer points to 20,000 miles at once you get 5000 bonus miles.
Here’s the kicker: We expect Marriott to introduce a combined loyalty program now that they own Starwood. Marriott has their own credit card with a great bonus and you can still get both cards. But once they are one program only we do not know whether Chase will be the exclusive card issuer, American Express will somehow prevail, or they will wind up with a dual issuer scenario like American Airlines has.
This could be the last time we see an offer to earn up to 35,000 points on the card, so if you haven’t had the card before (American Express generally restricts consumers to get a card bonus one time) it’s a great time to sign up for it before expiration November 1.