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One of the best cards currently available is the SPG AMEX. American Express currently has an increased bonus on these cards credit cards, which ends tomorrow, October 18.
- Starwood Preferred Guest American Express – Personal Credit Card
- Starwood Preferred Guest American Express – Business Credit Card
The current bonus is 25,000 SPG points after completing $1,500 of spend within the first three months, and is the same for both the personal and business versions of the card. You are able to apply for both cards at once, for a total of 50,000 points.
This bonus is the highest available. Previously, the signup ranged from 15,000 – 20,000 points, and it is very unlikely that such a bonus will come around again. The card may also be ending soon with the upcoming Starwood and Marriott merger.
For more details on applying, see my SPG AMEX Application Guide.
Earning SPG Points
American Express credit cards are one of the easiest to get approved with. They improved their underwriting policies several months ago. As a result, more people are eligible to get the card, such as students. When applying, American Express pulls your TransUnion credit report.
Currently, several American Express offers have language permitting only one bonus per cardholder. However, this does not currently apply for the SPG Personal American Express and SPG Business American Express cards. All data indicates that cardholders are receiving their bonuses.
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You earn 1 SPG point per dollar spent. This is one of the best options for non-bonused spend. In addition, you receive a free weekend Category 1-4 Certificate after spending $40,000 in a calendar year, which can save you up to 10,000 SPG points.
Using SPG Points
SPG points are very flexible – with over 30 airline partners available. Most of these are at a 1:1 ratio, with a 5,000 point bonus every 20,000 points transferred. Some of the best flight redemptions are with partners not accessible anywhere else in Canada, such as JAL Mileage Bank, Asiana Club, Singapore Airlines Krisflyer, LATAM Pass, and more.
Booking Etihad First Class starts at only 40,000 Miles between Abu Dhabi and Europe. After getting both the SPG Personal American Express and SPG Business American Express cards, you have enough miles to ticket an itinerary while still having plenty of points to spare.
As well, you can transfer SPG at a 1:3 ratio to Marriott. Starwood and Marriott both have a fantastic portfolio of properties and you can get huge value from those redemptions. Hotels start at just 2,000 SPG points a night with the fifth night free when redeeming points. The highest price for Marriott hotels is just 15,000 SPG (45,000 Marriott), which is a really good deal compared to other hotel points redemptions.
In addition, Marriott Hotel and Air packages give you some of the best returns on your points out there. Because of the advantageous 1:3 transfer ratio, you only need 90,000 SPG points for a free 7-night hotel certificate and 120,000 airline miles. This matches the 1.25 ratio directly from SPG to airlines and also includes free hotel nights.
I prioritize credit cards based on how valuable the offer is at this moment. It is very unlikely that a bonus for 25,000 points will be returning, so this should be the first card you get. Other credit card offers such as the American Express Cobalt Card will not change imminently. You also want to get this card before the partnership contract becomes up for renewal with the SPG and Marriott Merger.