Starwood Preferred Guest Business Credit Card from American Express
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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.
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
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.