Until Oct 18, 2017, you can earn 25,000 Bonus SPG Points on each card after spending $1,500 in the first three months. In the past few years, the welcome bonus ranged from 15,000-21,000 points, so this is the absolute highest bonus that this card has ever seen.
If you have trouble meeting the minimum spend, there is a fantastic app called PayTM, where you can pay bills with your credit card. This is especially useful because you can earn miles on items like rent, taxes, and tuition, where normally, you would pay with a cheque or your bank account. You can get a $10 credit using promo code PTM9462620 when signing up and paying your first bill of more than $25.
Additional Reading: Pay Bills for Free with your Credit Card!
Currently, AMEX does not enforce the language that restricts the applicant to only one bonus. As long as you don’t check that you are a past cardholder, you can get the bonus for that card even if you have had it before. As well, American Express recently improved their underwriting policies, making more people eligible to apply, such as students.
You are also able to apply for the Business version of the SPG Amex even if you don’t have an registered business. AMEX is happy to accept sole proprietors where you use your name as the business name, as they use your personal credit score to approve you.
For once, both the Canadian and American SPG cards have the same signup bonus. I value SPG points at 2.3 cents each, so the signup bonus is worth a minimum of $550. Canadians may also be eligible to get the US version of the SPG AMEX through Global Transfer.
SPG AMEX Offer Details
The SPG AMEX earns 1 point per dollar spent. SPG points are the most valuable point in absolute terms. I would take 1 SPG point over any other airline or hotel mile, which is why this is the best card for everyday spend. It should fit in everyone’s credit card portfolio.
One of the reasons why SPG points are so valuable is because of their flexibility. There are just so many different ways you can redeem your points for tremendous value, whether it’s hotel stays or airline redemptions. Remember, SPG points transfer at a 1:1.25 ratio to over 30 different airlines. Furthermore, you can also convert these points to Marriott at a 1:3 ratio.
By applying for both the Starwood Preferred Guest Personal and Business American Express Cards, you will earn 53,000 SPG points after completing minimum spend. If you travel with a companion and each apply for cards, you’ll get 112,000 SPG points after completing minimum spend.
Best Value of SPG Points
I’ve already written about how SPG points are the cheapest way to redeem for Etihad, offer other phenomenal airline redemptions, and make it easy to redeem for valuable Hotel and Air packages. However, even if you just redeem points for a hotel night, you can get huge value.
Even with a simple hotel redemption without transferring or you can get amazing value from your points. For example, a great property to use your points is the Westin Whistler, which is a category 5 property. Most of the year (including ski season), the non-peak rate is only 12,000 points a night.
Using these points for a week early February, 5 nights only costs you 48,000 points, since every fifth night is free when utilizing points. A non-refundable rate for those dates is $475 + tax a night.
So for your the five nights you’re staying on points, you get $2400 of value absolutely free. You get over 4 cents in value per point.
The Starwood Preferred Guest American Express cards have this increased bonus until Oct 18, 2017. Making an educated guess, I would say that they are trying to increase their cardholder base going into the SPG/Marriott merger, so this is a win-win opportunity for us consumers as well. However, AMEX may change offers abruptly (which they have before). If you are on the fence, this simply is the best available offer, so there is no better time to apply than now.