Cards I Carry: SPG American Express

Cards I Carry: SPG American Express

I recently signed up for the SPG American Express Credit Card. Since I have only written about Marriott and Hilton, let me say a little bit more about SPG (Starwood Preferred Guest). One of the reasons I have become an SPG fan is because of their recent merger with Marriott. If you have Marriott points you can transfer them to SPG and vice versa. If you have gold or platinum status with one, the other will match it. Essentially they are one large hotel brand (when it comes to the rewards program) who still use the two names for branding purposes. SPG hotels include: Westin, Sheraton, W Hotels, Aloft, and more!


Before continuing, it’s important that you understand how transferring points works. First, you want to make sure that you have a rewards account with each. Just because you have one, doesn’t mean you have the other, you have to actually sign up for both. Once you are a member of each rewards account, you need to link your accounts. Once your accounts are linked, transferring points is as simple as a few clicks of the mouse. It’s important to realize that it takes 3 Marriott points to equal 1 SPG point and points can only be transferred in increments of 1,000. Likewise, 1,000 SPG points equals 3,000 Marriott points. While at first glance that seems like a bad deal, booking SPG properties costs significantly less points than booking Marriott properties.


The other reason I have become a fan of SPG is because of their great credit card offers! Normally the card I mentioned above offers 25,000 points for signing up and waives the annual fee for the first year. By comparison The Marriott Visa Card offers 80,000 points and does NOT waive the annual fee. That makes the old SPG offer a better one then the current Marriott offer because 25,000  SPG points is equal to 75,000 Marriott points, but there would be no $85 upfront annual fee as there is with the current Marriott offer.


That was the old SPG offer though. The current SPG American Express offer is 35,000 points AND the annual fee is waived the first year! Let’s take a closer look at the offer:

  • Earn 25,000 SPG points after making $3,000 in purchases in the first three months.
  • Earn an extra 10,000 SPG points after making an additional $2,000 in purchases in the first 6 months. Thus, if you spend $5,000 in the first six months you will earn 35,000 SPG points!
  • Earn 5X points on every dollar spent at SPG properties and 2X points on every dollar spent at Marriott properties. Earn one point for every other dollar spent.
  • Earn 5 nights toward SPG elite status with card sign-up
  • $95 annual fee WAIVED THE FIRST YEAR

After making $5,000 in purchases (in the first six months) you would have 40,000 SPG points OR 120,000 Marriott points if you were to transfer from SPG to Marriott. Let’s take a look at a few things you could do with these points:


40,000 SPG points will get you 5 FREE nights at the Walt Disney World Swan Resort! Depending on the time of year this is a $2,000+ value.


For 135,000 Marriott points (you’d need to accumulate an additional 5,000 SPG points) you could stay 3 free nights at the Paris Marriott Champs Elysees, a nearly $1800 value!
120,000 Marriott points will get you two free nights at the Aruba Ritz Carlton. Mrs. RevDan & I have been to this resort and it’s to die for! It’s also a $1500 value for two nights.


In addition to the two amazing properties above you could stay 40 free nights at a category 1 SPG property by also utilizing the 5th night free (when you book 4 nights with points)! You could stay 20 free nights at category 1 Marriott properties with the points from this credit card offer! The options become even more endless if you pair this card with a Chase Sapphire card!


If you’re interested in a hotel rewards credit card, I highly recommend this card! It is the best offer out there for hotel redemptions. Because of the annual fee, I would most likely cancel this card after 12 months in order to avoid the annual fee. If you utilize this card just right, you have the potential to get nearly $2,000 in free hotel stays simply for putting $5,000 of your every day expenses on this credit card. This offer expires April 5th, so you need to sign-up soon to take advantage of the extra 10,000 SPG points being offered. Happy travels!


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