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Starwood Preferred Guest Business From American Express: The Best Travel Card for Your Business

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Starwood Preferred Guest Business From American Express: The Best Travel Card for Your Business

If your small business requires a lot of domestic travel, look no further than the Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express. Not only does this AmEx card boast a dynamite rewards rate if you redeem your points at Starwood hotels, but it comes with a slew of airline transfer partners in case you need more travel flexibility.

Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express: Benefits and basics

With the Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express, you’ll earn up to 5 Starpoints per dollar spent on eligible purchases charged directly with Starwood Preferred Guest hotels and resorts — that’s 2 Starpoints for which you may be eligible as a Card Member in addition to the 2 or 3 Starpoints for which you may be eligible as an SPG member. All other purchases net you 1 Starpoint per dollar.

For signing up, you’ll also be eligible for a nice sign-up bonus: Limited Time Offer: Earn 25,000 bonus Starpoints® after you use your new Card to make $6,000 in purchases within the first 3 months. Terms Apply.

Check out this chart for complete details on the card:

Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express

Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express

Apply Now on American Express's secure site
  • Recommended Credit Score
  • 690
    850
    Good - Excellent
  • Card Details
  • Pros

    • No foreign transaction fee

    Cons

    • Has annual fee

    Annual Fees

    $0 for the first year, then $95

    APR

    • APR: 16.24% - 20.24% Variable APR
    • Penalty APR: 29.99%, Variable
    • Cash Advance APR: 26.24%, Variable

    Bonus Offers

    Limited Time Offer: Earn 25,000 bonus Starpoints® after you use your new Card to make $6,000 in purchases within the first 3 months. Terms Apply.

    Intro APR

    • N/A
  • Additional Information
    • Limited Time Offer: Earn 25,000 bonus Starpoints® after you use your new Card to make $6,000 in purchases within the first 3 months.
    • Earn an extra 10,000 bonus Starpoints® after you make an additional $4,000 in purchases on the Card within the first 6 months. Offer ends 11/1/2017.
    • Earn 2 Starpoints® for each dollar of eligible purchases at participating SPG® & Marriott Rewards® hotels. Earn 1 Starpoint® for all other purchases.
    • Redeem Starpoints® for free nights at over 1,300 hotels & resorts in over 100 countries and for free flights on over 150 airlines with SPG Flights. Some hotels and resorts have mandatory service charges.
    • Free, unlimited Boingo Wi-Fi at more than 1,000,000 Boingo hotspots worldwide. Enrollment required.
    • No Foreign Transaction Fees on international purchases and $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95.
    • Terms Apply

A few things make the Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express stand out:

Rewards value

With the Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express, hotel stays are as lucrative as possible. Earning 2 Starpoints per dollar at Starwood hotels and resorts and 1 Starpoint per dollar on all other purchases may seem like a relatively vanilla rewards rate for a travel card. But here’s the kicker: the Nerds value Starpoints at 2.3 cents apiece if you use them to book free nights at Starwood hotels. That’s far better than the average 1 cent per point you’ll get with other cards and even better than cards that offer double points on all purchases. This makes the Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express especially valuable if your business travel includes frequent hotel stays.

If you use the card regularly, the rewards more than make up for the card’s annual fee — $0 for the first year, then $95.

Redemption flexibility

If you want a travel card with a rewards program that offers more than just free hotel nights, don’t write the Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express off just yet. The Starwood Preferred Guest program also lets you redeem Starpoints® for free flights on over 150 airlines with SPG Flights, all with no blackout dates. (Some hotels and resorts have mandatory service charges.)

» MORE: SPG program review

Elite status

If luxury travel suits your taste, the Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express will get Starwood Preferred Guest members there more quickly. Your card membership earns you 5 nights and 2 stays toward elite status every year. You can reach Gold status with 10 eligible stays or 25 eligible nights, or you’ll earn automatic Gold status if you spend more than $30,000 in a calendar year. With Gold status, you get late checkout, free room upgrades and in-room Internet, and 3 Starpoints for every dollar spent on Starwood purchases in addition to your card rewards, and more.

If going for the gold isn’t enough for you, Platinum status provides all the benefits of Gold status, plus complimentary health club access, access to club-level and executive-level floors and guaranteed room availability if you book at least 72 hours before arrival. You can reach Platinum status with either 25 eligible stays or 50 eligible nights in a calendar year.

Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express: Pitfalls

Although the Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express is a great fit for most domestic business travelers, it’s not perfect. Its main weakness: It doesn’t offer as many locations as its competitors.

The Starwood Preferred Guest brand includes more than 1,300 hotels and resorts worldwide, but you may still find it difficult to find a Starwood hotel, depending on where you’re traveling. If you’re looking for more options, consider another co-branded hotel card or a general travel card instead.

Is the Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express right for you?

If you travel often for your business and want upscale hotel options without sacrificing redemption flexibility, the Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express is most likely your best bet. Starpoints are worth far more than the average rewards you’ll earn with any other card, and there’s no shortage of transfer partners. But if you don’t want to be limited to the Starwood hotel group or you travel overseas, another business credit card might be a better fit.

Ben Luthi is a staff writer at NerdWallet, a personal finance website. Email:bluthi@nerdwallet.com. Twitter: @benluthi.