SPG Amex business vs. personal can be a tough choice for small business owners. You have to decide whether you prefer a less expensive initial bonus or more free hotel stays. Both cards have a 25,000-point initial bonus, but the personal card requires you to spend $2,000 less than the business card over the same timeframe. On the other hand, the Amex SPG Business Card lets you redeem your Starpoints for as many free nights as you want, while the personal version only allows nine per year. The two cards are pretty similar in most other respects. For example, both have a $95 annual fee that’s waived for the first year.
SPG Amex Business vs. Personal:
Annual fee: $95, waived for the first year, for both cards.
Authorized users: SPG Business lets you add 99 additional users, and does not charge a fee for any of them. SPG Personal doesn’t charge a fee either, but you can only add 5.
Initial bonus: For SPG business, it’s 25,000 points for spending $5,000 in the first three months. For SPG personal, it’s 25,000 points for spending $3,000 in the same period.
Hotel rewards: Both cards give you 4 Starpoints per $1 spent at Starwood hotels (5 if you have Starwood Elite status).
Everyday spending rewards: Both cards offer 1 Starpoint per $1 on non-Starwood purchases.
Redemption: Both cards let you redeem points for free nights at Starwood hotels as well as flights booked on the SPG website. You can also exchange your points for frequent flyer miles from SPG’s airline partners. But the personal card limits you to 9 free nights per year. After that, you’ll have to use the other redemption options or just wait.
Transfer bonus: Both cards offer a 5,000-point bonus when you transfer 20,000 Starpoints to one of Starwood’s 30+ airline partners. Options include Delta, Virgin Atlantic and Jet Airways. You can find the full list on the SPG website.
Gold status bonus: Both cards give you Gold status if you spend $30,000 in a calendar year. Gold status members get free room upgrades when available.
Free Wi-Fi: The business and personal options both give you Boingo Wi-Fi access and free Wi-Fi at Starwood hotels.
Sheraton Club lounge access: The SPG Business Card gives you free access to Sheraton Club lounges – spaces inside Sheraton hotels where members can relax, socialize or work. They also feature free snacks and drinks. The personal version doesn’t offer this perk.
Amex SPG business vs. personal depends on how many authorized users you want to add and how many nights you plan to stay at SPG properties per year. If 9 free nights and 5 authorized users are enough, stick with the personal card and its lower minimum spending requirement for the initial bonus. But if unlimited free hotel stays and up to 99 authorized users are the big draw, you’re better off with SPG Business.
If you're comparing, then obviously you want the business. With that in mind, it makes sense that you have to buy more stuff to get the same reward points, it's implied that a business owner would do that anyway. If you want to add more AU's, and get comped access at Sheraton, then yeah, go for the biz one. If not, go for the personal one.
If you qualify for both, I recommend getting AMEX Starwood Business card, because there are a few advantages compared to the personal version.
Just to name a few, you're eligible for AMEX OPEN discounts for small businesses and it won’t count against you for Chase’s “5/24” rule.
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