[EXPIRED] Increased Amex SPG sign-up bonuses: 35K on both business and personal!

Sheraton Maldives Full Moon Resort 1

The Sheraton Maldives Full Moon Resort & Spa

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American Express has increased the signup bonuses on both the SPG personal and SPG business cards to 35k bonus points for completing the total required spend. We have only seen a 35k signup bonus once before on these cards. While the required spend was lower on the previous offer, these sign up bonuses are still excellent. Starpoints have historically been highly valuable due to their versatility, and the merger with Marriott has made them even more valuable with the ability to transfer them to Marriott at a 1:3 ratio.  The sign-up bonus on each card involves reaching 2 spending tiers, with some of the bonus earned after the first tier and the remainder after the second tier.

If you recently signed up under a different offer, you may be able to get American Express to extend the courtesy of the difference in points. Doctor of credit has more detail on how to go about this.

Unfortunately, both offers  clearly state that the welcome bonus is not available to those who have or have had these cards in the past. However, if you have never had one of these cards, now is probably the time to sign up.

The Starwood Preferred Guest card from American Express (personal version)

 

The Offer

  • Receive 25,000 bonus Starpoints after spending $3,000 within the first 3 months
  • Receive 10,000 bonus Starpoints after spending an additional $2,000 within the first 6 months
  • $95 annual fee is waived the first year
  • Application link here.

Key Card benefits

  • 2x points at Starwood or Marriott/Ritz properties
  • Earn 1x on all other purchases
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Boingo access for up to 4 devices
  • Premium in-room Internet at all Starwood properties
  • Credit for 5 nights and 2 stays toward SPG status

Quick Analysis

While the card only earns 1x on every day purchases, remember that Starpoints transfer in very favorable rations:

  • Most airlines transfer 1:1 with a bonus 5k miles when transferring 20k, meaning that 20k Starpoints = 25k airline miles in most (not all) programs
  • 1 Starpoint = 3 Marriott points

This means that after completing the spending requirements on the personal card, you will have 40,000 Starpoints — enough for either 50k airline miles or 120k Marriott points in addition to their value within the SPG program.

 

Starwood Preferred Guest Business Credit Card

 

The Offer

  • Receive 25,000 bonus Starpoints after spending $5,000 within the first 3 months
  • Receive 10,000 bonus Starpoints after spending an additional $3,000 within the first 6 months
  • $95 annual fee is waived the first year
  • Application link here.

Key Card Benefits

  • Sheraton Club Lounge access at all Sheratons with a club lounge worldwide
  • 2x points at Starwood or Marriott/Ritz properties
  • Earn 1x on all other purchases
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Boingo access for up to 4 devices
  • Premium in-room Internet at all Starwood properties
  • Credit for 5 nights and 2 stays toward SPG status

Quick Analysis

This card has a slightly higher total spend requirement to reach the bonus, but offers the additional benefit of club lounge access at all Sheratons with a club lounge.  This benefit will vary in value depending on how you use it, but it saved me a bundle on a stay at the Sheraton Maldives Full Moon Resort & Spa.  Food and drinks can be incredibly expensive in the Maldives and the club lounge there served plenty of both. While not quite a full buffet, selection was varied and the evening food was substantial enough to suffice as a dinner several times during our stay.

The other key benefits of the two cards are identical.

Both sign up bonuses are substantial offers and while spending requirements are high, the tiered bonuses give a generous amount of time for completing the spend. Both offers are available until April 5, 2017.  Now that the merger with Marriott is complete, the long-term future of these cards is uncertain; however, it’s great to see an increased bonus offer for the time being.

About Nick Reyes

Nick Reyes is a (fairly) regular guy with an animalistic passion for maximizing the value of miles and money to travel the world in comfort and style. There is little in life that he loves more than finding a fantastic deal and helping you shop smarter & harder to achieve your travel dreams.

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    • Alcohol policies vary by location. I’ve seen Sheratons in the US that charge for drinks, albeit less than their bars. Overseas, I’ve found most club lounges include free alcohol for some period of time each evening. If memory serves me correctly, it was a 2-hour window at the Sheraton Maldives that coincided with the evening food spread (something like 6pm-8pm is standard). We only drank wine. I believe there were other spirits on hand as well (not a full bar – more like a small airport lounge). Coffee and soft drinks were free throughout the day. Breakfast was also served of course.

      And yes, club lounge access means free club lounge access. Note that you have to book an “eligible rate”, but that includes SPG Free nights or cash + points. It may exclude something like a conference rate. I was booked at the Sheraton Maldives on free nights (a couple on points and one free night earned in an SPG promotion) and I had club lounge access the entire time (which would have normally cost substantially more at a property like that).

      Note also that the lounge access is only at Sheratons, not all SPG hotels. That benefit also extends to employee cards I believe.

  1. Lazy of me not to read the T&C myself, but question: if we’ve had one version in the past, can we apply for and get the bonus on the other version?

  2. How long until the 25k/35k post to your account after meeting the spend? Essentially, good way to top off Marriott accounts by 3/31 for flights/nights and CP?

  3. I received an email on the personal Card even though I’ve had one in the past. Does this mean they’ll let me get another bonus on personal card?

  4. I have both personal and business SPG cards..just over a year each.
    Could I open another business card for a side business that to date doesn’t have a EIN…?

  5. While I’m reducing apps in order to get two CSRs, I have a little wiggle room for now. Would you recommend that I get the personal and business for one person (me) or get the personal for both my husband and me? I can do one or the other, but not both. Thanks!

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