SPG Personal & Business Cards at 35K: Should You Apply?

The 35,000 sign-up bonuses for both the personal SPG card and the business SPG have returned, despite the doubts that many people had given the recent merger between Marriott and SPG. These two offers are the all-time highest offers for these cards so they are definitely worth considering. Here’s a look at each of the offers.

The offers 

Personal card

  • Earn 25,000 bonus Starpoints after you make $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months and an extra 10,000 bonus Starpoints after you make an additional $2,000 in purchases within the first 6 months
  • $0 intro annual fee for the first year, then $95
  • 2X points on purchases at SPG or Marriott properties
  • Free in-room, premium internet access at SPG properties
  • Credit for 5 nights and 2 stays each year toward SPG Elite status
  • No foreign exchange fees
  • Boingo Wifi

Business version

  • Earn 25,000 bonus Starpoints after you 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 intro annual fee for the first year, then $95
  • 2X points on purchases at SPG or Marriott properties
  • Free in-room, premium internet access at SPG properties
  • Credit for 5 nights and 2 stays each year toward SPG Elite status
  • No foreign exchange fees
  • Boingo Wifi
  • Enjoy complimentary access to the Sheraton Club lounge

*Both offers contain language barring you from applying if you’ve receive bonuses from these cards in the past. 

It’s really tempting to go for both of these offers since that would net you 70,000 SPG points plus the 13,000 SPG points from meeting the minimum spend requirements. That’s a total of 83,000 SPG points. And when you factor in the 25% bonus you get for transferring SPG points out to airlines, that’s 103,000 potential airline miles. For two cards with a waived annual fee the first year, that’s a ridiculously good offer!

Offers Expire in April

  • Both offers end 4/5/2017

What can you do with SPG points? 

The question is really what can’t you do with SPG points? That’s because you can use them for free nights at SPG properties, transfer them at a 1:3 ratio to Marriott, transfer them out to over 30 airlines (mostly) at a 1:1.25 ratio, and utilize them in a number of other different ways, such as SPG Moments. If I were getting both of these cards I would consider a Marriott hotel and air package since the bonuses you’d receive from these two cards would put you in close contention of being able to redeem for one of these packages.

SPG points often offer great value for hotel redemptions

Many people value SPG points around 2.0 to 2.5 cents per point. However, it’s not very hard to got more than that in value when making SPG hotel bookings. This is especially true if you can take advantage of the 5th night free benefit or cash and points redemptions. You can read more on maximizing the value of SPG free nights here.

Why I value SPG points so much 

While I’ve used SPG points to redeem for hotels, like the Westin in Cape Town, I put more value in SPG points for their transferability to so many different airline partners. This comes in handy in two major ways.

1. Flexibility

You can’t beat the flexibility of SPG points. This flexibility really comes in handy when you need to top-off your miles accounts for certain airlines. It’s often the case that you may find yourself thousands of points short for redemptions, especially if you’re ever planning a complex itinerary or round the world trip. In those situations, the flexibility of SPG points can be just what you need to complete an itinerary.

2. Sweet spots

There are a number of airlines that offer exceptional redemption rates to given destinations but they are only transfer partners with SPG and not any of the other major programs like Chase, American Express, and Citi. Airlines like Alaska, Asiana, and JAL are prime examples.

Consider that I could fly from IAH to SCL in business class one way for only 35,000 Asiana miles or 70,000 round trip. The same roundtrip flight to SCL on United would require 110,000 United miles, so that’s a savings of 40,000 miles! You can find those sweet spots going to just about anywhere. For example, JAL offers roundtrip business class redemptions to Europe for 63,000 miles from the East Coast and both Asiana and JAL offer roundtrip business class redemptions to Europe for 80,000 miles from other parts of the country.

And don’t forget, SPG transfers to airlines come with that 25% bonus, so you’d only need 65,000 SPG points to take advantage of a 80,000 mile sweet spot. Thus, you could easily be saving close to 50,000 miles or more by using SPG points for your redemptions. Pretty incredible and that’s why I put a lot of value in this card.

Final word 

SPG points are extremely valuable and since these are the highest offers out for the personal and business credit cards, I think you should give them a look. Just remember to read up on the American Express Application Rules, before you apply.

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