5 Ways Families Can Use One Temporarily Increased SPG Card Bonus!

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The SPG Business credit card is running a very short-term increased sign-up bonus of 35,000 SPG points after $7,000 in spending, but only until March 28, 2018. With some rewards credit cards out there offering 80,000 – 100,000 sign-up bonus points, I know that 35,000 points may not look overly impressive. However, SPG points are so valuable that this bonus is actually one of the best bonuses available at the moment even though it is just for 35,000 points. If you want to think of the bonus in terms of a larger six-figure number, 35,000 SPG points are the same as 105,000 Marriott Rewards points, since they transfer to Marriott at a 1:3 ratio.

Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express

Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card: Earn 35,000 bonus SPG points after you make $7,000 in purchases in the first three months. There is a $0 introductory annual fee the first year, then $95 in subsequent years. Offer ends March 28, 2018.

I know that the $7,000 spending requirement is higher than some, but if you have taxes or some other large expense coming up, this could be perfect timing to knock that out and earn lots of points in the process.

The Highest SPG Bonus Amex Bonus

Historically, the bonus on the SPG Business Amex has never been higher than this, and it has only hit this 35,000 point threshold a handful of times in the past. SPG points are generally valued at north of 2 cents in value per point, and it is not uncommon for us to get 3 to 4 cents in value per SPG point, though this will depend on your redemption patterns.

We know that there will be changes in the line-up of Starwood and Marriott co-branded cards this year, so that uncertainty is only more of a reason in my mind to not miss out on this card while it has an increased bonus.

Saying that SPG points are incredibly valuable is one thing, but let’s put some real-life examples and numbers to that statement. Once you hit the spending requirement to trigger the welcome bonus, you will have at least 42,000 SPG points at your disposal, so let’s check out five ways that families can use the sign-up bonus from the SPG Business Credit Card to travel more for less.

Family Beach Time

There are lots of SPG resort beach locations that are very much worth exploring, starting with the Westin Grand Cayman that is located on the most perfect stretch of Seven Mile Beach and can be booked for as little as 12,000 SPG points per night. That is insane considering the hotel sells for more than $500 – $600 per night during peak seasons. If you want a different perfect beach, you can head to the Aruba Marriott Resort and Casino that can be booked for 15,000 SPG points per night if you transfer them to Marriott Rewards at a 1:3 ratio. 

Seven Mile Beach right in front of the Westin Grand Cayman

The Westin Puntacana is just a Category 4 Starwood property, so it can be booked for just 10,000 SPG points per night, or you can use 40,000 SPG points to book a five-night stay (the fifth night is free on Starwood award stays). Meeting the spending requirement on just this one credit card could cover lodging on a five-night family vacation!

Westin Puntacana

Big City Exploration

Big cities can come with big city hotel price tags, so this is another great opportunity to use SPG points so your family can travel more for less. Unfortunately, many big city hotels are on the higher end of the award chart, but there are lots of SPG properties you can secure for about 12,000 points per night in cities such as Seattle, New York, Chicago, Amsterdam, and Sydney.

Headquarter out of the Apollo Amsterdam for 10,000 SPG points per night.

This means that with the 42,000 SPG points you would have from hitting the SPG Business Amex sign-up bonus while it is temporarily increased, you could at least cover a few nights of a stay at a hotel such as the Westin Seattle, Westin Michigan Avenue, Aloft Brooklyn, Sheraton New York Times Square, Aloft Harlem, Element Times Square, Four Points by Sheraton Chelsea, Apollo Amsterdam, or the Westin Sydney.

Exploring Central Park in Manhattan

Stay on the Ski Slopes

Starwood Preferred Guest points are fan-tas-tic if you want to stay on or near a ski mountain. There are some high-end SPG ski resorts located in places like Deer Valley, Whistler, or Vail that ring in at 20,000 – 30,000 points per night. If you want to stretch your sign-up bonus points, then starting at just 12,000 points per night, you can book a room at the Westin Mammoth, the Westin Snowmass in Aspen, Westin Tremblant, or the Sheraton Steamboat Springs.

View from the Sheraton Steamboat

There are also several well-located Marriott properties that you can book for your ski vacation needs including the mountainside Vail Marriott Mountain Resort or the Hotel Park City Autograph Collection. Both are available for booking for 15,000 SPG points transferred to Marriott Rewards, so 42,000 points would get you very close to the 45,000 SPG you would need to lock up these ski properties for three nights.

Hotel Park City

Root for the Home Team at a College Game

If you have ever tried to stay in a college town during a big game weekend, you know how insane prices can be just for a basic hotel room. As long as you book early enough while standard rooms are still available, this can be a fantastic time to use hotel points to stay close to the action. If you want to root for the Aggies you can stay at the Four Points by Sheraton College Station or Aloft College Station for 7,000 SPG points per night.

If you are like me and cheer for the Irish, the Aloft South Bend is now 10,000 points per night, as is the Sheraton Ann Arbor, assuming Michigan has your heart.

Stay Near Grandma’s House

A great use of points, in my opinion, is to sometimes secure your own lodging when visiting family and friends. On some trips, it is fun to all pile into the same house and stay up late, but on other trips, having your own space can be worth its weight in gold. Whether your family lives in Tucson, Jacksonville, Omaha, Kansas City, Scranton, Houston, Bakersfield, or somewhere in between, you can often find a SPG or Marriott hotel in the vicinity, and in smaller cities some of the properties are often on the lower end of the award chart starting at just 2,000 – 3,000 SPG points per night.

Those cities may not sound quite as exciting as locking up a stay in a ski-out location or staying on a perfect stretch of beach, but sometimes having your own room at the end of a busy day visiting family can be very exciting in terms of recharging for more fun the next day. Or, maybe even better yet, you can let the kids have a slumber party with their grandparents or cousins while you are your spouse get a good night’s sleep in a nearby hotel using your SPG points.

Secure Sheraton Lounge Access

While we are on the topic of the SPG Business credit card, remember that you get Sheraton Lounge access on your stays booked directly with SPG specifically with the business version of the card without needing any sort of elite status or booking any specific room type! This perk does not come with the personal version of the SPG Amex, so it can be a handy way to save a few bucks on breakfast or evening snacks when your adventures take you to a Sheraton property with a club lounge.

I’d love to hear how your family plans to use the 42,000 SPG points you could have after meeting the spending requirement on the SPG Business Amex while the bonus is increased. If you do want in on this increased bonus, make sure to pull the trigger by March 28th before it returns to the credit card sign-up bonus vault.

Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card: Earn 35,000 bonus SPG points after you make $7,000 in purchases in the first three months. There is a $0 introductory annual fee the first year, then $95 in subsequent years. Offer ends March 28, 2018

Editorial Note: The opinions expressed here are mine and not provided, reviewed, by any bank, card issuer, or other company unless otherwise stated.


  1. Nice options. Makes me think I need to start looking into Clemson football away games this year. … 9/8/18 is Tigers vs Aggies.
    might find me in Texas that weekend 🙂

    • Yes! Though I have to say that starting even earlier than that can really help with college game weekends. Fingers crossed you find some award nights!!

  2. Last year we stayed at Myrtle Beach Resort Villas for 40k for 5 days while rates started at $250 per night for prepaid.
    We wanted to stay mainland and not too far south with our at the time 7 months old and 2,5 year old boys. It was good option for us at the time since it had a kitchen and kids friendly pool with a 2 min drive to the beach.
    We will go back this year to spend either 10 or 15 days there.
    Not at great option as going overseas but those were our constrains and we found a great option that worked for us.

    • I think that is great! The best redemption is the one that meets the needs and wants of your family. Have a fantastic time on your next visit – it sounds lovely.

  3. You forgot to mention the $65 resort fee daily if you stay in Westin Grand Cayman, anyways thank you very much, found another wonderful place to stay.

    • That resort fee is no fun – I just paid it last night myself. You are right that most of these resorts will have resort fees. That is one of the higher ones, but they do tack on a bit of pain to the otherwise great deal. Still not horrible though as paid nights this week were $500 – $1,000 per night, but you are right that at many resorts (beach and mountain), and even some city hotels, there are nightly fees of some sort. Glad you found somewhere that works well for you!

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