Right now until September 3, 2013, you can get an increased sign up bonus for the Personal and Business version of American Express Starwood Preferred Guest 30K bonus credit cards. Normally the sign up bonus is 10,000 SPG points after first purchase and additional 15,000 SPG points after $5,000 in purchases.
The increased offer is 10,000 SPG points after first purchase and additional 20,000 SPG points after $5,000 in purchases in 6 months. You must be approved by September 3, 2013, not just apply by the date. After meeting the spending requirement, you would have 35,000 SPG points. I’ve personally applied for both versions of the card and is a card I always keep in my wallet.
How Much Are SPG Points Worth?
SPG points are hands down the most valuable points out of all the loyalty and credit card programs. However, they are also the hardest to earn because there are no category spending bonuses. I value each SPG point at about 2.2 cents per point, which is a 2.2% return on every dollar spent. I’ve noted that the AMEX SPG credit card and the Barclaycard Arrival card are the top credit cards for non-category bonus spending.
Special Reasons to get SPG Business Credit Card
Since a lot of my posts are on manufacturing spend, this card consistently provides the best value for some manufacturing spend methods such as Vanilla Reloads, Target AMEX, Amazon Payments, etc. Here are some other reasons to get a business AMEX SPG card:
- Business credit card spending does not show up on your personal credit report. Therefore, when you have high expenses, using charging big expenses on business cards won’t bring down your credit utilization rate (debt/total credit lines).
- Great card for manufacturing spend because of the reason above and meant for larger expenses and spending.
- Won’t trigger Fraud alerts as often. Often times when I spend $1,000+ on a personal credit card, it won’t go through and trigger a fraud alert. With a business card, I
How I Use My SPG Points
There are two ways I use my SPG points: Hotels and Airline transfers.
I use SPG points for low to mid-tier hotels, which I consider the sweet spots. I don’t think its worth it for Category 6 or 7 hotels because I would never spend that much on a hotel. Since, I value my SPG points at about 2.2 cents each, I would say that even Category 5 is debatable because it has the opportunity cost of about $264. This means that I could have spent $12,000 on my Barclaycard Arrival and earned 24,000 points and used it for $240 at another hotel or two hotels! Cash and points are also another great value option, especially when paired with Barclaycard Arrival.
I haven’t been to New York yet, but I might try to go in the future. There apparently is an Element Hotel in Time Square that I am eyeing next summer. I thought the Element Hotel in Denver was awesome a couple months ago for a mid-tier hotel.
The second way I maximize my SPG points are transferring to American Airline miles. 20,000 SPG points transfer to 25,000 AA miles. There are many other transfer partners, but AA miles are the most useful to me for traveling to Europe, Asia, or South America. Other considerations may be Singapore Krisflyer or Alaskan Airlines, but they are a bit harder to use and obtain. I would rather transfer AMEX Membership Rewards to Singapore if I were going that route. At least with American Airline miles, you can get the 40K or 50K AA credit card to boost up your balance. With the AMEX SPG sign up bonus, you will have 35,000 SPG points after spending $5,000 and if you get 5,000 more SPG you can transfer 40,000 SPG to 50,000 AA miles. With 100,000 AA miles, you can fly to Europe business class like I did last year to Italy, and many other uses.
Two or Three Browser Trick?
I’ve applied for 2 or 3 credit cards at one time to heighten the chances of being approved for all cards because the other credit card companies might not see that I just applied for a credit card. However, it is not always the case that it will be one hard inquiry. Even if you apply for multiple cards at one time, you may still receive 2 to 3 hard inquiries.
I’ve applied for one personal and one business AMEX card in the past and have had them both approved. Specifically, I applied for the AMEX SPG Business card and AMEX Hilton No Fee Credit Card on 8/8/2012. However, there was a 4-5 day delay between processing applications. Other people have had this similar case. After waiting 4 to 5 days, I gave AMEX a call and was automatically approved. Unfortunately, it resulted in two hard inquiries. There’s reports that they merge, but your experience may vary.
My Credit Card Churn Plan
My plan is to apply for the AMEX SPG personal credit card along with maybe another Chase and Citi card on 8/23/13. The reason is because it would be over 90 days since my last mini credit card churn and also because I cancelled my AMEX SPG personal credit card on 8/22/12. The rules state that “Welcome bonus offer not available to applicants who have had this product within the last 12 months.” Since I have followed that rule, I theoretically should get the 30K bonus again. I will keep you updated on the results in a couple weeks! American Express Starwood Preferred Guest 30K bonus is probably the highest bonus we will see all year.
Both the personal and business SPG cards do provide me a referral bonus. I’m very grateful if you choose to apply through the CreditKarma banner below (5th card). Any questions or any way I can help?
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