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The co-branded SPG American Express credit cards have increased their sign-up bonuses temporarily for a month or so each summer in each of the last few years. However, this summer came and went with nothing but crickets when it came to seeing an increased bonus from either the personal or small business SPG Amex credit cards. I chalked it up to the unclear future of the cards thanks to the SPG/Marriott merger, and I was very unsure as to if or when we would see the sign-up bonuses jump up to an increased level again.
Last Chance for Increased SPG Business Amex Sign-Up Bonus
However, a couple of weeks ago the SPG Business Amex did unexpectedly increase its bonus for a very limited time from 25,000 bonus Starwood Preferred Guest points to a total of 35,000 SPG points, via a two-tiered bonus structure. The increased bonus ends tomorrow, November 1st, so this is the last call if you want to earn more SPG points than normal from getting the small business SPG Amex.
This offer has expired.
If you are on the fence about applying for the SPG Business Amex, here are three reasons why I would go ahead and pull the trigger, assuming you can meet the spending requirements and haven’t already had the card now or in the past.
1. This is the Highest SPG Business Amex Bonus We’ve Seen
The normal number of sign-up bonus points for this cards is a total of 25,000 bonus SPG points. The bonuses have gone to 30,000 points once a year in several previous years, and beginning last year they spiked to the 35,000 point level like now. The SPG Amex sign-up bonus has never gone higher than 35,000 total bonus points. We have seen a lower spending requirement to trigger the 35k bonus points in the past, but these days spending requirements have only been trending upwards, so that isn’t really surprising. Bottom line, 35,000 bonus SPG points is a very good total for this card, and I fully expect that the bonus will drop back down to the regular 25,000 point level when this temporary increase is over after tomorrow, November 1st.
This offer has expired.
2. The Future of the SPG Amex and SPG Award Chart is Unclear
Because of the merger with Marriott, the future of the SPG Amex is unclear beyond the next year or so. I am sure that Amex very much hopes to continue servicing and issuing the SPG Amex, or perhaps a new Marriott Amex, when the programs are presumably fully combined at some point. However, since Chase is currently the issuer of the Marriott cards, we don’t know yet whether or not that will happen. We have seen examples where more than one bank issues co-branded rewards credit cards for a loyalty program, but we have also seen examples when that doesn’t happen and one type of card and issuing bank wins out. To put it another way, while there aren’t any reports of imminent doom for the SPG Amex, there’s also no guarantee it will be around forever or that an increased bonus will return.
On the same side of that coin, while we aren’t on the precipice of the SPG and Marriott loyalty programs becoming one (as far as I know), that is still a very real possibility in the coming years. I like the current SPG award chart both for booking award stays that are only 2,000 – 3,000 SPG points per night at the lower end of the spectrum and also for booking very solid and family-friendly resorts in the middle of the award chart in places like Aspen, Whistler, Grand Cayman, Disney World, Steamboat Springs, and Puntacana for just 10,000 – 12,000 SPG points per night, or less if you book five nights and get the fifth award night free.
I have been known to book SPG awards for up to 18 months in the future, so that already takes you well into 2019, which isn’t too shabby even if big loyalty program changes are announced in the relatively near term. If SPG properties don’t meet your needs, you can always choose to transfer them to 105,000 Marriott points at a 1:3 ratio, or even to airline miles in a number of airline loyalty programs at a 20,000 SPG points = 25,000 airline miles ratio.
3. No Chase 5/24 Problems
A final reason that the SPG Business Amex is a great card to go ahead and pull the trigger on is that it shouldn’t trip you up as far as the Chase 5/24 rule goes. As many of you know, Chase has a “5/24 rule” that prevents you from getting most of the Chase rewards credit cards if you have opened five or more new credit cards open across all banks in the last 24 months. However, American Express thankfully doesn’t have that rule, so simply having five or more new credit cards across all the banks in the last 2 years doesn’t automatically disqualify you getting an Amex card the way it can at Chase.
Furthermore, getting an Amex small business card such as the SPG Business Amex shouldn’t count against the Chase 5/24 limit when applying for a Chase card in the future as Amex small business cards report differently to the credit bureaus than personal cards.
Josh and I both currently have the SPG Business Amex, so won’t be applying by tomorrow to get the increased sign-up bonus, but if we hadn’t already had the cards I can guarantee we would be pulling the trigger so we didn’t miss out on a total of 35,000 very valuable SPG points!
This offer has expired.
Editorial Note: The opinions expressed here are mine and not provided, reviewed, by any bank, card issuer, or other company unless otherwise stated.