Starwood Preferred Guest and Marriott Rewards will be merging their programs soon, sometime in 2018 or 2019, and that leaves a limited window to earn and redeem points under the current SPG terms.
Many people are big fans of SPG and the SPG American Express credit card, in part because it’s possible to transfer those points to dozens of different airlines. I still prefer to use my points for hotel stays, usually combining points with those in my wife’s account, and took advantage of this to pay for numerous past trips including our honeymoon at the St. Regis Bali.
The current offer for the SPG Amex personal card is only 25,000 points after spending $3,000 in the first three months. The SPG Amex business card, however, is offering up to 35,000 points for new applications. This is broken up in two ways: get 25,000 points after spending $6,000 in the first three months, and another 10,000 points after spending an additional $4,000 in the first six months. This means you’ll need to spend a total of $10,000 in six months to really maximize the offer.
SPG points transfer to airline partners with a 20% bonus when you transfer 20,000 points at once. With many (not all) airlines offering a base transfer rate of 1-to-1, this means you can usually get 25,000 airline miles when you transfer 25,000 SPG points.
Someone who can apply for both the personal and business cards and earn a total of 60,000 SPG points could potentially transfer those to receive 75,000 airline miles. And that’s just with the bonus offer on each card; it doesn’t count the points you would earn from the actual purchases.
Both cards have a $95 annual fee, which is waived for the first year, and they provide a small boost in your efforts to get SPG elite status. Each card offers credit for two stays and five nights toward elite status. That’s potentially four stays and ten nights if you had both. You don’t actually receive these as free nights to stay at a property, but they will appear on your account statement and can make qualifying for SPG Platinum status much easier.