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Yesterday the sign-up bonus from both the SPG Amex and the Business SPG Amex jumped from 25,000 points to 35,000 total points! This is only the second time the bonus has gone up to 35,000 points, and the last time was about a year ago. In other words, this is a true increase to this sign-up bonus that does not come around frequently.
There are some very real reasons to seriously consider pulling the trigger on one or both of these increased bonuses while the bonus is increased, and today I want to outline five reasons to consider getting in on the temporarily increased SPG Amex offers.
Increased SPG Sign-up Bonus Details
Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express: Earn 25,000 bonus SPG points after you spend $3,000 on the card in the first three months and an extra 10,000 bonus Starpoints after you make an additional $2,000 in purchases within the first 6 months. $0 introductory annual fee the first year, then $95 in subsequent years.
Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express: Earn 25,000 bonus Starpoints after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases within the first 3 months and an extra 10,000 bonus Starpoints after you make an additional $3,000 in purchases within the first 6 months. $0 introductory annual fee the first year, then $95 in subsequent years.
You Want to Get Bonuses at Their Highest Points and This is The Highest
With American Express you can generally only get each sign-up bonuses once “in a lifetime”, so you want to be sure to get in on the bonuses when they are at their highest points. A total of 35,000 bonus SPG points is the highest these sign-up bonuses have gone, so if you want to make the most of getting the cards then now is a really good time to consider pulling the trigger.
I know in a world of getting 50,000 – 100,000 sign-up bonus points from some other cards, 35,000 points can sound somewhat unimpressive, but SPG points are generally regarded as one of the most valuable types of points out there. In other words, 35,000 SPG points can be even more valuable than 50,000+ of some other types of points. As an example, SPG points transfer 1:3 to Marriott, so you can easily say that 35,000 SPG points is equal to 105,000 Marriott points.
The Future for the SPG Amex Beyond 2017 is Unclear
SPG and Marriott have now merged, and while Marriott has pretty much said that the SPG program is “safe” for 2017, but the time 2018 rolls around all bets are off. In fact, so far the strong hints have been that the programs will be combined in some fashion in 2018, which would mean that this could be the last year for the SPG program as we know it. Of course, that is always subject to change, but I haven’t seen any reassurances for the SPG program beyond this year.
How that will translate to the future for the SPG Amex card is equally unclear. We have seen situations where programs combine and two banks are able to issue co-branded cards even after the merger of the two programs, but we have also seen situations where that isn’t the case. Either way, I personally would want to get the SPG Amex as we now it now and use the points via the SPG program as we know it now, since the future after this year is far from certain.
SPG Points are Just Awesome for Hotel Stays
I’ve already mentioned this, but if you don’t have personal experience with SPG points you may be surprised just how valuable they are. As an example, you can use just 9,600 SPG points per night on a 5 night stay somewhere like the Category 5 slope-side Westin Whistler during the holidays when cash rates exceed $1,000 per night. Five night award stays take advantage of having the fifth award night free, effectively dropping the per-night-rate of all of your nights of that stay.
At the lower end of the award chart spectrum, SPG points are also great for bookings like the ones we have made for just 3,000 points per night at a Four Points by Sheraton within walking distance to Kansas City Chiefs and Royals games when paid rates can be $200 – $300 per night. With the SPG program award nights start at just 2,000 points per night meaning that 35,000 points can be stretched out for quite a few nights.
In the middle of the award chart, being able to stay at a Category 4 property and use 10,000 SPG points per night in popular vacations spots like the Walt Disney World Dolphin, the Sheraton Grand at Wild Horse Pass, or the Sheraton Mountain Vista Villas in Vail Valley is simply outstanding – especially during peak seasons.
SPG Points are Also Great for Airline Transfers
While I personally use my SPG points for hotel stays, I know many folks take advantage of the favorable transfer rates to the many airline partners. With SPG you can transfer 20,000 SPG points and have them become 25,000 airline miles with many programs. With the 35,000 sign-up bonus points you can easily get to 40,000 SPG points and turn those into 50,000 airline miles in programs like Alaska, ANA, American Airlines, and more.
You can also have the best of both worlds by using the SPG Nights and Flights packages that award 50,000 airline miles + 5 nights in a Category 3 or 4 SPG hotel for 60,000 – 70,000 SPG points.
Maximize the Current Marriott Award Chart
Currently you can transfer your SPG points to Marriott at a 1:3 ratio, so you can get 105,000 Marriott Reward points from the 35,000 bonus SPG points from each of these two cards. That is a lot of Marriott points to work with, and can result in some solid deals on Marriott award rates. A few examples would be the Grand Cayman Marriott Resort from the equivalent of 15,000 SPG points per night, the Kauai Marriott Resort from the equivalent of 13,333 SPG points per night, or The Cove at Atlantis from 15,000 SPG points per night. With all of those the per-night points price would drop if you stayed five nights, as Marriott also awards the 5th award night in a row at no charge.
Those are five reasons to get the SPG Amex Card(s) now, but honestly I could keep going with at least another five reasons. Assuming you can hit the minimum spending requirements, I really can’t come up with any reasons to not get the cards now other than you have already had them and aren’t eligible for the sign-up bonus or you are about to apply for a Chase card first before you go over 5/24. Along those lines, do note that getting the Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Amex should not impact your Chase 5/24 status.
Are you planning to get one one of both of the SPG Amex cards before the bonuses drop back down on 4/5/17? Have any big plans for your points?
Editorial Note: The opinions expressed here are mine and not provided, reviewed, by any bank, card issuer, or other company unless otherwise stated.