CreditDonkey is a credit card comparison and reviews website. This website is made possible through financial relationships with card issuers and some of the products and services mentioned on this site. Advertiser Disclosure†

Updated April 19, 2018

Worth $95? Starwood Business Credit Card Review

Read more about Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express, a CreditDonkey advertiser
Editorial Note: This content is not provided by the card issuer. Opinions expressed here are author's alone, not those of the issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the issuer.
This article contains references to products from our partners. We receive compensation if you apply through links in our content. You help support CreditDonkey by reading our website and using our links. (read more)

Do you or your employees travel for work? With over 1,300 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.

Starwood Preferred Guest Business Credit Card
Apply Now

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. Earn 100,000 bonus points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of Card Membership. Offer ends 10/31/2018.

  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 1,300 hotels and resorts in over 100 countries 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, 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 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.

  • 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.

    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 $450 annual fee.

  • 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 Rewards: The Business Gold Rewards gives you the freedom to choose which out of 5 categories you earn the 3x points in. The card pays 2x points for the four remaining categories and 1 point for other purchases. The 3x and 2x apply to the first $100,000 in purchases in each of the 5 categories per year, 1x point per dollar thereafter

 

Starwood Preferred Guest Business Credit Card

Business Gold Rewards Card

 

Interest Rates and Fees

Purchase APR17.74% to 26.74% Variable based on your creditworthiness and other factorsN/A
Annual Fee$0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95$0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $175
Terms Apply. See Rates & FeesTerms Apply. See Rates & Fees
 

Benefits and Features

Hotel DealIntroductory Bonus Hotel Rewards: Earn 100,000 bonus points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of Card Membership. Offer ends 10/31/2018. 
Points Deal Introductory Bonus Reward Points: Welcome Offer: Earn 50,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $5,000 in purchases on the Card within your first 3 months of Card Membership
Travel
 
Bonus Hotel RewardsBonus Hotel Rewards: Receive 1 Free Night Award every year after your Card account anniversary. Select hotels have resort fees. 
HotelHotel Rewards: Earn 6 points for each dollar of eligible purchases at over 6,500 participating SPG® and Marriott Rewards® hotels across 110 countries worldwide.
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.
 
Points Point Rewards: Get 3x points - Choose 1 out of 5 categories. 2X points on the 4 remaining categories and 1X points on other purchases. 3X and 2X apply to the first $100,000 in purchases in each of the 5 categories per year, 1X point per dollar thereafter
Hotel StatusHotel Status: Enjoy complimentary Silver Elite status with your Card.
Plus, spend $35,000 on eligible purchases on your Card in a calendar year and earn an upgrade to Gold Elite status through the end of the next calendar year.
 
Airline Transfer PartnersAirline Transfer Partners: Airline transfer partners include American Airlines, Delta, Southwest, Alaska Airlines, Hawaiian Airlines, British Airways, Aeromexico, Air Canada, Air France (Flying Blue), Emirates, Qatar Airways, Cathay Pacific (Asia Miles), Virgin Atlantic, Avianca, Singapore Airlines, Korean Air, Etihad, Asiana Airlines, Air China, Alitalia, Air Berlin, Jet Airways, China Southern Airlines, Japan Airlines, Hainan Airlines, Thai Airways, Virgin Australia, Aegean Airlines, Miles and More, All Nippon Airways, China Eastern, and more.Airline Transfer Partners: Airline transfer partners include Delta, Hawaiian Airlines, Aeromexico, Air Canada, Air France, Emirates, Cathay Pacific (Asia Miles), Virgin Atlantic, Singapore Airlines, Etihad, Alitalia, All Nippon Airways and more.
 Apply NowApply Now

Keep in mind, the Business Gold Rewards is a charge card. That means you have to pay your entire balance in full each month.

Also, instead of earning points, you'll earn Membership Rewards points with the Business Gold Rewards. 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.

We'll compare the two side-by-side below.

 

Starwood Preferred Guest Business Credit Card

Ink Business Preferred

 

Interest Rates and Fees

Purchase APR17.74% to 26.74% Variable based on your creditworthiness and other factors17.74% to 22.74% Variable based on your creditworthiness and other factors
Balance Transfers APRN/A17.74% to 22.74% Variable based on your creditworthiness and other factors
Annual Fee$0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95$95 annual fee
Terms Apply. See Rates & Fees 
 

Benefits and Features

Hotel DealIntroductory Bonus Hotel Rewards: Earn 100,000 bonus points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of Card Membership. Offer ends 10/31/2018. 
Points Deal Introductory Bonus Reward Points: Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
Travel
Travel Rewards: Earn 3 points per $1 on the first $150,000 spent in combined purchases on travel, shipping purchases, Internet, cable and phone services, advertising purchases made with social media sites and search engines each account anniversary year. Earn 1 point per $1 on all other purchases—with no limit to the amount you can earn.
1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
Airline Airline Rewards: 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
Bonus Hotel RewardsBonus Hotel Rewards: Receive 1 Free Night Award every year after your Card account anniversary. Select hotels have resort fees. 
HotelHotel Rewards: Earn 6 points for each dollar of eligible purchases at over 6,500 participating SPG® and Marriott Rewards® hotels across 110 countries worldwide.
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.
Hotel Rewards: 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
Points Point Rewards: Earn 3 points per $1 on the first $150,000 spent in combined purchases on travel, shipping purchases, Internet, cable and phone services, advertising purchases made with social media sites and search engines each account anniversary year. Earn 1 point per $1 on all other purchases—with no limit to the amount you can earn.
Hotel StatusHotel Status: Enjoy complimentary Silver Elite status with your Card.
Plus, spend $35,000 on eligible purchases on your Card in a calendar year and earn an upgrade to Gold Elite status through the end of the next calendar year.
 
Airline Transfer PartnersAirline Transfer Partners: Airline transfer partners include American Airlines, Delta, Southwest, Alaska Airlines, Hawaiian Airlines, British Airways, Aeromexico, Air Canada, Air France (Flying Blue), Emirates, Qatar Airways, Cathay Pacific (Asia Miles), Virgin Atlantic, Avianca, Singapore Airlines, Korean Air, Etihad, Asiana Airlines, Air China, Alitalia, Air Berlin, Jet Airways, China Southern Airlines, Japan Airlines, Hainan Airlines, Thai Airways, Virgin Australia, Aegean Airlines, Miles and More, All Nippon Airways, China Eastern, and more.Airline Transfer Partners: Chase airline transfer partners include United Airlines, Southwest Airlines, JetBlue, British Airways, Air France, Singapore Airlines, Virgin Atlantic, Iberia, and Aer Lingus.
 Apply NowApply Now

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.

Next Step: View the issuer's official application, terms, and details

David R is a contributing writer at CreditDonkey, a credit card comparison and reviews website. Write to David R at davidr@creditdonkey.com. Our data-driven analysis has been recognized by major news outlets across the country and has helped consumers make savvy decisions. (read more)

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.

More Articles in Reviews

Starwood Preferred Guest Business Credit Card from American Express
Apply for Starwood Preferred Guest Business Credit Card from American Express
At American Express' Secure Site
  • Earn 100,000 bonus points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of Card Membership. Offer ends 10/31/2018.
  • Earn 6 points for each dollar of eligible purchases at over 6,500 participating SPG® and Marriott Rewards® hotels across 110 countries worldwide.
  • 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.
  • Receive 1 Free Night Award every year after your Card account anniversary. Select hotels have resort fees.
  • Enjoy complimentary Silver Elite status with your Card.
  • Plus, spend $35,000 on eligible purchases on your Card in a calendar year and earn an upgrade to Gold Elite status through the end of the next calendar year.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on international purchases and $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95.
  • Terms Apply
  • See Rates & Fees
  • Go to issuer's official application, terms, and details
Introductory Bonus Hotel RewardsTravel RewardsBonus Hotel RewardsHotel RewardsNo Limits on RewardsExtended WarrantyPurchase ProtectionReturn ProtectionTravel Accident Insurance $0 Fraud LiabilityEmergency Card Replacement
Intro APR for PurchasesIntro APR for Balance TransferRegular APRAnnual Fee
N/AN/A
17.74% - 26.74% Variable
$0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95

Compare Starwood Preferred Guest Business Credit Card to:

Compare Starwood Preferred Guest Business Credit Card vs Starwood Preferred Guest
Apply for Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card from American Express
At American Express' Secure Site
  • Earn 75,000 Bonus Points after you use your new Card to make $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months.
  • Earn 6 points for each dollar of eligible purchases at participating SPG® and Marriott Rewards® hotels and 2 points on all other eligible purchases.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on International purchases.
  • Receive 1 Free Night Award every year after your Card account anniversary. Award can be used for one night (redemption level at or under 35,000 points) at a participating hotel. Select hotels have resort fees.
  • Enjoy complimentary, unlimited Boingo Wi-Fi on up to four devices at more than 1,000,000 Boingo hotspots worldwide. Enrollment required.
  • $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Introductory Bonus Hotel RewardsBonus Airline RewardsBonus Hotel RewardsHotel RewardsNo Limits on RewardsCar Rental InsuranceExtended WarrantyPurchase ProtectionReturn Protection Travel Accident Insurance$0 Fraud Liability
Intro APR for PurchasesIntro APR for Balance TransferRegular APRAnnual Fee
N/AN/A
17.74% - 26.74% Variable
$0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95

Leave a comment about Worth $95? Starwood Business Credit Card Review?

Name
Email (won't be published)


SimplyCash Plus

Do you want a simple way to earn cash back with no annual fee? True to its name, the SimplyCash® Plus Business Credit Card from American Express helps small-business owners earn cash back on purchases without having to think much about it. And ...

    Business

    For small business owners, credit is vital. But with so many credit cards available designed for businesses, how can you decide which one is right for you and your company? These two factors can help narrow down your selection ...
    Credit Card Promotions

    American Express Credit Card Offers

    American Express now offers promotions for new credit card applicants. But how do you pick which deal is right for you? Read this in-depth guide.

    American Express Business Card Offers

    American Express is offering promotions for new small business credit card applicants. Read the latest reviews and score deals with this guide.
More Articles in Reviews

Learn more about Travel, Hotel and $0 Fraud Liability cards:

Credit Cards for International Travel


Hotel

Infographics: Credit Card Dispute Process

Dispute Credit Card Charge








About CreditDonkey®
CreditDonkey is a credit card comparison website. We publish data-driven analysis to help you save money & make savvy decisions.

Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed on this page are those of the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer.

†Advertiser Disclosure: Many of the card offers that appear on this site are from companies from which CreditDonkey receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). CreditDonkey does not include all companies or all offers that may be available in the marketplace.

*See the card issuer's online application for details about terms and conditions. Reasonable efforts are made to maintain accurate information. However, all information is presented without warranty. When you click on the "Apply Now" button you can review the terms and conditions on the card issuer's website.

CreditDonkey does not know your individual circumstances and provides information for general educational purposes only. CreditDonkey is not a substitute for, and should not be used as, professional legal, credit or financial advice. You should consult your own professional advisors for such advice.