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Updated April 19, 2018

Worth It? Starwood Business Credit Card Review

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Do you or your employees travel for work? With over 6,700 hotels and resorts, point transfer to select frequent flyer programs, and point bonus for those transfers, the Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express is one of our favorite travel rewards cards on CreditDonkey for business owners. Read on to see what sets this card apart from the competition.

2/13/2019 Update: Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express is no longer available on CreditDonkey. This offer may have been discontinued or may no longer be available to new applicants.

Overall Score

4.4

Rewards

4.5

Fees

3.5

Benefits

4.5

Airline Transfer Partners

5.0
5-point scale (the higher, the better)

Pros and Cons

  • Welcome bonus offer
  • Transfer points to airline program
  • $95 annual fee ($0 introductory annual fee for the first year)

Bottom Line

Excellent travel credit card for small businesses who do not carry a balance

Booking a hotel when you're traveling for business doesn't come cheap. The average room runs just over $110 per night at a mid-grade hotel, and the price climbs even higher for luxury accommodations.

Joining a hotel loyalty program is a smart way for business owners to make traveling less expensive.

Reasons to Get the SPG Business AMEX

Some business credit cards give you points or cash back when you charge things like office supplies or cell phone services, but the Starwood Business card is geared towards business owners who travel. If you spend time on the road, here's why the annual fee might be worth it:

  1. You can score a bonus: This card offers a welcome bonus for new cardholders.

  2. You earn points that you can redeem for free nights: When you make a purchase with your Starwood Preferred Guest Business Card, you earn points.

    What can you do with points? You can use it toward free nights at over 6,700 hotels and resorts in across 29 brands with no blackout dates. Some hotels and resorts may have mandatory service charges.

    Starwood hotel brands include Sheraton, Westin, St Regis, Le Meridien, Four Points, Loft, Element, and W Hotels.

    • 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, on 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.

    Earning points is one thing. It's what you can do with it that matters. Read on.

  3. You can convert your points to miles: Starwood has several airline transfer partners including American Airlines, Delta Airlines, Alaska Airlines, Hawaiian Airlines, British Airways, Air Canada, Aeromexico, Emirates, Virgin Atlantic, Qatar Airways, Korean Air, Asiana Airlines, Jet Airways, Air Chin, Air Berlin, Japan Airlines, Hainan Airlines, Thai Airways, China Southern Airlines, Korean Airlines, Miles and More, and All Nippon Airways.

    Tip: When you transfer the points to miles as you can score an additional 15,000 extra points when you transfer 60,000 points to eligible frequent flyer program.. This makes points worth 25% more when you convert them to an airline transfer partner like American Airlines AAdvantage.

  4. You don't have to pay foreign transaction fees: Foreign transaction fees can add up. Many credit cards charge a fee, typically 3% when you use your credit card to make a purchase outside of the US. Luckily, the Starwood Business credit card does not have a foreign transaction fee on international purchases .

  5. You get Boingo and in-room Internet: When you're traveling for business, having access to a reliable Internet connection is a must. When you stay at a Starwood hotel with this card, you get in-room, premium web access at participating Starwood hotels.

    Plus, international travelers might find this benefit handy: you get unlimited Boingo Wi-Fi at more than a million hotspots worldwide.

  6. You can add additional cards: You can add additional users to your account without paying an additional annual fee , so you can give cards to your employees. You only need to pay the annual fee for primary card.

3 Reasons to Consider Another Card

But this card is not for everyone. Here are some reasons why this card might not be right for you:

  • There is a $95 annual fee . While there is a $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, we have to think long term with our business. Not every business owner needs to travel.

    If you don't plan to travel at least once a year, it is hard to justify the annual fee. In our opinion, folks should get the card to earn points toward hotel stays and airline flights. Otherwise, you are better off with a card with no annual fee such as the Blue Business Credit Card (See Rates & Fees).

  • You want airline perks: While you don't fly often enough to get elite frequent flyer status with airlines, you still want the privilege of priority boarding and other airline-specific benefits. The SPG credit card does not offer any airline perks.

    If you fly Delta, consider the Gold Delta Business Credit Card from American Express, which offers Priority Boarding and the ability to check in your first bag free. The first checked bag benefit applies to up to 8 additional travelers on your Delta reservation so if you are traveling with a group of employees, this can be a helpful money saver. The checked bag waiver does not cover overweight or oversize fees. There is a $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95 (See Rates & Fees).

    If you want premium travel benefits like Airport Lounge Access, consider the Business Platinum Card which offers access to over 1,000 airport lounges worldwide. There is a $595 annual fee (See Rates & Fees).

  • You rather earn cash back: You are busy running your business and you want to save money. If you prefer the simplicity of earning cash back, compare business cash back credit cards instead.

How it Compares

Before you decide on the AMEX SPG business credit card, here's how it stacks up against several other cards:

Business Gold Card: Do you spend a lot in certain categories? You may want to consider the American Express Business Gold Card.

Also, instead of earning points, you'll earn Membership Rewards points with the American Express Business Gold Card. Membership Rewards points can be redeemed for everyday business expenses, to help with travel costs or to reward employees and entertain clients. AMEX Membership Rewards points can also be transferred to airline miles, but the specific airline transfer partners are different.

Ink Business Preferred: Do you want a Visa business credit card instead? The Ink Business Preferred from Chase has a big bonus offer.

Bottom Line

© Take Back Your Health Conference (CC BY 2.0) via Flickr

This is one of our favorite travel cards on CreditDonkey for small business owners. The Starwood Preferred Guest Business credit card earns points good toward flights and hotel stays and comes with a number of features. In our opinion, it is also relatively inexpensive for a travel rewards card. Terms and limitations apply.

2/13/2019 Update: Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express is no longer available on CreditDonkey. This offer may have been discontinued or may no longer be available to new applicants.

David R is a contributing writer at CreditDonkey, a credit card comparison and reviews website. Write to David R at davidr@creditdonkey.com

Editorial Note: This content is not provided by American Express. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by American Express. This site may be compensated through the Advertiser's affiliate programs.

Disclaimer: This content was first published on February 24, 2012. This content may have been updated on April 19, 2018. Information including APR, terms and benefits may vary, be out of date, or not applicable to you. Information is provided without warranty. Please check American Express website for updated information.

Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer. This site may be compensated through the Advertiser's affiliate programs.

For rates and fees of the Business Gold Card, please click here.
For rates and fees of the American Express Business Platinum card, please click here.
For rates and fees of the Blue Business Plus card, please click here.
For rates and fees of the Gold Delta SkyMiles Business Credit Card, please click here.
For rates and fees of the Starwood Preferred Guest Business Credit Card, please click here.

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