Starwood Preferred Guest Business Credit Card from American Express

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Get this card to quickly earn free flights or free nights.

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The Starwood Preferred Guest Business Credit Card from American Express is beloved by points and miles maximizers for good reason. The rewards structure is generous, and the points are easily transferable to one of the dozens of airlines with which SPG has an alliance.

This ranks among the most well reviewed business credit cards on Bankrate.

Review

The top reasons to get a hotel-branded credit card are because you:
• Are a frequent guest at properties within that hotel’s portfolio.
• Want to earn free stays.

The Starwood Preferred Guest Business Credit Card from American Express goes further than most hotel cards, though, because of its generous redemption options. Not only can you redeem points for free hotel stays, you can book free airline travel, as well.

What’s more, this card boasts one of the most generous rewards rates of any travel card we’ve reviewed.

You’ll earn 2 Starpoints per dollar spent using this card on eligible purchases at participating Starwood hotels. Enroll in the Starwood Preferred Guest loyalty program and earn 2 or 3 additional points per dollar spent depending on your status. And, since the merger with Marriott, the card also will earn 2 points per dollar at participating Marriott properties.

This card, paired with a free membership in the SPG loyalty program, can fast-track you to free nights or free flights, depending on how you choose to use your earnings. With one of the highest points values in the travel biz, the Starwood brand offers plenty of luxury options in its portfolio to use up the pile of points you’ll be amassing.

You’ll earn 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.

There’s also a nice sign-up bonus until Nov. 1, 2017 of 25,000 bonus points after you use the card to make $6,000 in purchases within the first three months and an extra 10,000 bonus points after you make an additional $4,000 in purchases within the first six months.

Who should get this card

Frequent business travelers who can stay within the Starwood portfolio — including Sheraton, Westin and W Hotels — stand to benefit the most from owning this card.

The card is also good for those who want hotel perks like free Wi-Fi, and if you have Gold and Platinum status, free upgrades, late check-in and increased points earnings for your stays.

Fees and APR

• You’ll pay a variable APR of 16.24% to 20.24% on purchases.
• There’s an annual fee of $95, waived the first year.
• Pay no foreign transaction fees when making purchases outside the U.S.
• A penalty APR of 29.99% will apply for at least 12 billing cycles if you miss a payment or pay your bill late and you may have to pay a late fee of up to $38.
See Rates & Fees.

Extras, perks and using points

Additional employee cards are free and earn points at the same rate. This card comes with American Express OPEN benefits, the most significant of which is the 5% discount at FedEx, Hertz, Hewlett Packard, 1-800 Flowers and Barnes & Noble.

For every 20,000 points you transfer to a travel partner, you get a bonus 5,000 points added to that transaction.

When you redeem a four-night stay with your points at a Starwood property the fifth night is free.

Cardholders automatically get credit for five nights and two stays toward SPG Elite status, which grants increased points earnings, upgrades and other perks. Primary cardholders also get access to Sheraton Club Lounges, which have locations at Sheraton hotels worldwide.

With this card, you get free Wi-Fi at over a million Boingo hotspots worldwide and free in-room Wi-Fi at participating SPG properties. You also get roadside assistance, travel accident insurance, access to a global assistance hotline, extended purchase warranty protection and mobile phone damage and theft insurance.

Points can be redeemed for free nights and upgrades at more than 1,500 resorts and hotels. Free nights start at 3,000 Starpoints at category 1 hotels and top out at 35,000 points at category 7 hotels.

You can also redeem points for travel on more than 150 airlines with no blackout dates. Exchange rate is 1:1 on most airlines.

How this card compares

Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card
Card Details
  • Earn 3X on travel, shipping purchases, advertising purchases made with search engines and social media sites, and Internet/cable/phone services, on up to $150,000 per year.
  • Earn 1X on all other purchases.
Credit Needed Excellent
Regular APR 16.99% to 21.99%, based on your creditworthiness. These APRs will vary with the market based on the Prime Rate.
Annual Fee $95.
Balance Transfers Intro APR

The Ink Business Preferred Credit Card has one of the best sign-up bonuses of any small business card, worth well more than the annual fee. The on-going perks are also excellent for tech and travel-heavy businesses.

Of course, this card is only a great choice if your spending habits align with the rewards categories of this card. If most of your spending is on office supplies or gas, for example, you may be better off with a different card.

Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card
Card Details
  • 5% cash back on the first $25,000 spent annually at office supply stores, and on cellular phone, landline, internet, and cable TV services.
  • 2% cash back on the first $25,000 spent annually at gas stations and restaurants.
  • 1% cash back on all other card purchases with no limit to the amount you can earn.
Credit Needed Excellent
Regular APR 0% fixed Intro APR for the first 12 billing cycles that your Account is open. After that, 14.24% to 20.24%, based on your creditworthiness. These APRs will vary with the market based on the Prime Rate..
Annual Fee No Annual Fee.
Balance Transfers Intro APR 0% fixed Intro APR for the first 12 billing cycles that your Account is open. After that, 14.24% to 20.24%, based on your creditworthiness. These APRs will vary with the market based on the Prime Rate.

If you’re just starting out and you aren’t sure what your spending patterns will be, the Ink Business Cash Credit Card is like a small rectangular mentor. The no-fee card will reward you for spending in the areas you’ll most likely need to get your business off the ground and gives you a full year break on interest for purchases and balance transfers. Who couldn’t use a little breathing room when launching a new venture?

SimplyCash® Plus Business Credit Card from American Express
Card Details
  • Special Offer: Earn up to $400 cash back
  • Earn a $200 statement credit after you spend $5,000 in qualifying purchases on your Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Plus, earn an additional $200 statement credit after you spend an additional $10,000 or more in qualifying purchases on your Card within the first year of Card Membership.
  • No Annual Fee. Plus, more buying power and more cash back. Get cash back on business purchases, even those above your credit limit.
  • 5% cash back on wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and U.S. office supply stores.
  • 3% on the category of your choice from a list of eight and 1% cash back on other purchases.
  • 5% and 3% apply to the first $50,000 in purchases per calendar year, then 1% applies thereafter. Cash back received is automatically credited to your statement.
  • Terms and limitations apply
Credit Needed Excellent
Regular APR 13.24% - 20.24% Variable
Annual Fee $0
Purchase Intro APR 0% on Purchases for 9 months
Balance Transfers Intro APR N/A

In just about every respect — from rewards to the annual fee — SimplyCash Plus Business Credit Card from American Express card stands tall among the elite business cards on the market.

The only reasons to shy away from this card would be if your work requires significant overseas travel or if your biggest expenses don’t match up with the bigger cash-back savings categories.

Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business
Card Details
  • Earning unlimited 2% cash back could mean thousands of dollars each year going back into your business
  • Plus, a one-time $500 cash bonus once you spend $4,500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening
  • Use Spark Cash across all your business spend, with no categories to limit your purchasing
  • $0 intro annual fee for the first year; $95 after that
  • Rewards won't expire for the life of the account, and you can redeem your cash back for any amount
  • Get employee cards at no additional cost, and earn rewards from their business spend
Credit Needed Excellent
Regular APR 17.99% (Variable)
Annual Fee $0 intro for first year; $95 after that
Purchase Intro APR N/A
Balance Transfers Intro APR N/A

The Capital One Spark Cash for Business card pays an unlimited 2% cash back on all spending and waives the first year fee. If you find it cumbersome to track which categories you’re spending or your expenditures exceed the bonus category caps set by some cash-back business credit cards, this might be a more favorable choice for you.

EDITORIAL NOTE

Opinions expressed here are author's alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines, or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.