Travelling abroad? Get the HomeTrust Preferred Visa - the only Canadian credit card with no foreign transaction fees AND no annual fees. This can save you up to a 2.5% fee on purchases internationally!
Two of the best credit cards to get are the SPG Personal American Express and SPG Business American Express, which currently have increased bonuses. You can earn up to 25,000 SPG points with this card after completing minimum spend. For additional details, see my review of the card.
This is the final month to take advantage of this offer, which will end October 18, 2017. It is unlikely there a bonus like this will return OR that this promotion will be extended. Hence, I thought I’d talk about the things you should know before applying.
SPG American Express Application Basics
Is this the right card?
In my opinion, this is the most best introductory American Express card to get. Many people are excited about the Cobalt Card launch, but you have to look at the numbers. To earn the 40,000 point bonus with that card, you need to spend a whopping $7,500 the first year. The $10 monthly fee means the annual fee is the same as the SPG Card. On top of that, SPG points are more valuable than any other point. Since you earn 1 SPG point per dollar, this is the best card for non-bonused everyday spend, hands down.
Low Minimum Spend
You need to spend $1,500 within the first three months to earn 25,000 SPG points. This is very low, breaking down into $500 a month. The easiest way to complete minimum spend is with PayTM, where you can pay bills with your credit card. For first time users, enter PTM9462620 to get $10 after paying your first $25 towards a bill. Most users have a $1,500 daily limit, so you can easily hit the spend in just one day.
However, if you are not comfortable with Manufactured Spend, that’s still okay. For example, my electricity bill (BC Hydro), heating bill (FortisBC), and medical expenses (BC MSP), all do not accept credit cards without a fee. I use PayTM to pay these bills with my credit card for no fee. If you are in a similar situation, you could easily rack up hundreds of dollars of minimum spend.
Two Credit Card Limit
American Express limits you to two open credit cards at once. If you already have two cards open, you will have to close one before they approve you for a new card. This also makes it possible for you to get and have open both the SPG Personal American Express card as well as the SPG Business American Express card. It’s even possible to get both cards on the same day.
If you already have an Starwood AMEX account, you can refer friends to both the personal and business cards. Even though you might be able to refer yourself, I strongly recommend against doing that. The terms and conditions prohibit this, so if something goes wrong, you have no recourse. I suggest trading referrals with a friend so you both earn 30,000 SPG points: 25,000 Welcome + 5,000 Referral bonus.
Do you have a small business?
There are two variants of this card. The SPG Business Credit Card is also available with the same offer: 25,000 points with $1,500 in spend. American Express is happy to approve you even if you don’t have a registered business. You do not need an existing business bank account or banking relationship. In nearly all cases, they use your personal credit score in their lending decision. Furthermore, many people are already sole proprietors running their own business. If you rent out properties, sell items on eBay, or do contract work on the side, you have a small business.
American Express nearly always pulls TransUnion for new applications. If you don’t already know your credit score and report, you can get that for free with Credit Karma or as a RBC Banking customer. If you are already an American Express customer, entering your current card number generally does not result in a credit inquiry, although that allows American Express to see your past credit history with them.
Can you get the bonus again?
In the official terms and conditions of the offer, American Express that past cardholders can obtain this card again, but they may not be eligible for the welcome offer. This is similar with the once-per-lifetime rule in the US and will not be changing anytime soon. However, this is not being implemented, with multiple reports of folks getting the card and bonus points again. If you have had American Express cards in the past and want to check if you are eligible, please contact me.
Using SPG – Other Content
- Which American Express Card Should You Get?
- A Trick to Transfer Unlimited SPG and Marriott Instantly
- Best SPG Redemptions: Marriott Hotel and Air Packages
- Best Flight Redemptions with SPG
- The Cheapest Way to Fly Etihad First Class
- My Tips: Booking Emirates with JAL