- Starpoints tend to have a higher value (~2.3 cents/point) than most other rewards points
- Choose how you want to redeem your rewards–redeem for free hotel stays and free flights
- Access free wifi wherever there's a Boingo hotspot
- Pay no foreign transaction fees
- No annual fee for the first year
- Earn Marriott Rewards points starting in August 2018
- The card charges an annual fee after the first year
- As of June 26, 2018, the sign-up bonus is unimpressive
- You won't get great redemption value from anything other than free hotel stays
The Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express is a highly-rated business credit card that earns valuable points in the Starwood Preferred Guest® program. The card gets you instant Gold status at Starwood properties and points you can redeem for free nights or transfer to airline travel partners for even more value.
It is important to note that Marriott acquired Starwood in September 2016 and the Starwood membership program will merge into the Marriott program in August 2018. But until then, this remains a top credit card for business owners looking to earn valuable rewards for their regular purchase activity.
Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card review
If you are loyal to the Starwood brand and want to earn points toward free and discounted stays and valuable bonuses and rewards that make your stay more pleasant, The Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card is an excellent choice.
To start, new cardholders can earn a $100 statement credit after $1,000 in purchases within three months of opening a new account. That is equivalent to 10% cash back on purchases you would already make. Then get another $100 when you use the card for a purchase at Starwood or Marriott hotels within the first six months after opening a new account.
From now until July 31, 2018 cardholders earn 2 Starpoints® per dollar at Starwood and Marriott hotels. Earn 1 point everywhere else. Starting August 1, 2018 cardholders earn 6 Marriott points per dollar at Starwood and Marriott hotels, 4 points at U.S. restaurants, U.S. gas stations, wireless phone service purchased directly from U.S. providers, and for shipping purchases from U.S. carriers. Earn 2 points per dollar everywhere else.
Cardholders get Gold status at Starwood hotels after spending $30,000 annually on the card ($35,000 starting in 2019), which matches to Marriott hotels as well. Starwood Gold members get an upgraded room when available, 3 points per dollar spent at Starwood hotels, late checkout when available, complimentary upgraded internet, a welcome gift, and other bonuses.
Marriott Gold gives you a 25% point bonus on Marriott stays, lounge access or free breakfast, late check out, a guaranteed room type, complimentary room upgrade when available, and complimentary faster internet.
The only two hangups on this card are the pending end of Starwood as an independent brand and a $95 annual fee, waived the first year. But the benefits and points earning opportunities are solid enough that this card deserves serious consideration for business owners that are loyal to either Starwood or Marriott.
Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card rewards and perks
This credit card offers a bonus reward for new cardholders in addition to points earning opportunities at Starwood, Marriott, and other purchase destinations.
To recap: new cardholders earn a $100 statement credit after spending $1,000 on regular purchases within three months of opening a new account. A statement credit is a discount on what you owe on an upcoming bill, so it is the equivalent of 10% cash back for your first $1,000 in purchases.
You can earn another $100 bonus after using the card at a Marriott or Starwood property within six months of opening your new account. Combined, that $100 bonus is enough to offset the first three years of annual fees (it is waived the first year).
Because the Starwood and Marriott programs come together in August, you’ll have two sets of rewards programs if you sign up for this card, but it all ultimately rolls into a new Marriott rewards program.
Until July 31, get 2 Starpoints® per dollar spent at SPG® and Marriott hotels. You’ll earn 1 Starpoint everywhere else. Starpoints convert to Marriott points at a 1:3 ratio if your accounts are linked. Starpoints are considered very valuable as there are bonus and transfer partner opportunities when using points for airline tickets.
Starting on August 1, you will earn 6 points per dollar spent at SPG® and Marriott hotels. Remember that includes the in-hotel restaurants and bars in many cases. Outside of the new combined Marriott, you can earn 4 points per dollar at U.S. restaurants, gas stations, wireless phone companies, and shipping services. You get 2 Marriott points per dollar everywhere else.
Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card credit card benefits
This is a card made just for travelers and offers some great travel-related benefits.
To start, your Gold status after spending $30,000 per calendar year ($35,000 starting in 2019) at Starwood and Marriott hotels gives you access to lounges, breakfasts, upgrades, late check-out, and other useful benefits every time you stay at a participating hotel.
When redeeming Starpoints from your Starwood account, get a 5,000-point bonus for every 20,000 points transferred to one of 30 participating frequent flyer programs.
The card includes complimentary fast internet at Marriott and Starwood hotels, and Amex throws in Boingo WiFi access to use your devices on the go on planes and in airports around the world.
The card has no foreign transaction fees, so you can use the card anywhere in the world without this common additional charge.
As a premium American Express card, it also includes extended warranty and purchase protection benefits for purchases on the card.
Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card costs and fees
This card is loaded with benefits and value. If you use it regularly for business purchases, you may be able to easily offset the $95 annual fee to keep this card (waived the first year).
The card charges variable rate interest of 16.99% to 20.99% APR based on your credit history and market interest rates. Your interest rate can change at any time with market rates.
If you miss payments, you may trigger a higher 29.99% APR. Check your cardmember agreement for details on what activity brings the penalty APR into action.
For a cash advance, you’ll pay a higher variable rate 26.99% APR, plus a 3% fee ($5 minimum) on each occurence.
Late and returned payments cost up to $38 per occurrence.
Does the Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card make sense for me?
The Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card is a longtime favorite of travel miles and points enthusiasts, and for good reason. Those Starwood points are some of the most valuable in the industry.
However, with pending changes in the combined Starwood and Marriott rewards program, it is still to be seen if this card will remain best-in-class for the long-term. But even before that, the bonus and rewards from this card make it an easy choice for many business owners.
Application Process: Apply online and get a response within 60 seconds.
Rewards: From now through July 31, 2018: Earn 2 Starpoints® for every dollar of eligible purchases on the card at participating SPG® and Marriott Rewards® hotels. Earn 1 Starpoint for all other eligible purchases.
Effective August 1, 2018: Earn 6 points for every dollar of eligible purchases on the card at participating SPG® and Marriott Rewards® hotels. Earn 4 points at U.S. restaurants, U.S. gas stations, wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers, and on U.S. purchases for shipping. Earn 2 points for all other eligible purchases.
Bonus Offers: Earn a $100 statement credit after you make $1,000 in purchases on the card within your first 3 months of Card Membership. Plus, earn an additional $100 statement credit after your first purchase on the ard at a participating SPG® or Marriott Rewards® hotel within your first 6 months of Card Membership.
APR: 16.99% to 20.99% variable.
Annual Fee: $0 for the first year, then $95 after that.
- Earn a $100 statement credit after you make $1,000 in purchases on the Card within your first 3 months of Card Membership.
- Plus, earn an additional $100 statement credit after your first purchase on the Card at a participating SPG® or Marriott Rewards® hotel within your first 6 months of Card Membership.
- From now through July 31, 2018: Earn 2 Starpoints® for every dollar of eligible purchases on the Card at participating SPG® and Marriott Rewards® hotels. Earn 1 Starpoint for all other eligible purchases.
- Note: On August 1, 2018, SPG will convert every one Starpoint in a loyalty member account to three points. In general, corresponding redemption changes will occur. Visit members.marriott.com for details.
- Effective August 1, 2018: Earn 6 points for every dollar of eligible purchases on the Card at participating SPG® and Marriott Rewards® hotels.
- Earn 4 points at U.S. restaurants, U.S. gas stations, wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers, and on U.S. purchases for shipping. Earn 2 points for all other eligible purchases.
- No Foreign Transaction Fees on international purchases and $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95.
- Terms Apply.