I Got the SPG AMEX with 35,000 SPG Points – Here’s Why

Update: One or more card offers below are NO LONGER AVAILABLE. Please check here for the latest deals!

Yep, I caved. Because I figured now or never.

I wrote about how I didn’t care about SPG points. But I also used to love Club Carlson. And cozied up to Hyatt.

I also used to be “meh” about Hilton, but I’m enjoying being Hilton Diamond this year.

So, things change. And if anything’s changing, it’s definitely the loyalty industry. And it is an industry.

Why now?

I navigated over to the application page, and looked at it for a little while. (How’s that for an image?)


Hook, line, and sinker

And then, I thought, well, 40,000 Starpoints is worth at least 50,000 Alaska Airlines or American Airlines miles.

It’s true. You get 5,000 bonus miles for every 20,000 Starpoints you transfer (if the airline has a 1:1 transfer ratio with SPG).

I figured I’ll have at least 40,000 Starpoints after meeting the minimum spending requirements. Plus, I have to pay taxes this year and, fortunately or unfortunately (depending on how you look at it), I can complete it in one go.

That’s worth it for 50,000 Alaska Airlines miles.

Although, Cash & Points is looking mad attractive the more I dig into it.

Plus, you get the 5th night free on award stays at Category 3 and up hotels.

Nights & Flights looks pretty interesting, too.

Suffice it to say: there are a lot of ways to start using 40,000 Starwood points.

Getting the SPG AMEX

After quickly running the numbers in my head, I had a YOLO moment and started filling out the application.

I chose the business version of the card. Because I have a legit business and kinda do need a dedicated card for it. But really, I just wanted Sheraton lounge access, which is the main differentiator between the two versions . Boom!

And you know how it goes:


Heart goes ba-dum-bump

And then:



I wasn’t instantly approved. I think it’s because I used my new Dallas address instead of my New York one.

But whatever the case, I haven’t seen a screen that explicitly asks you to call. Usually, it’s up to you to pick up the phone and call the reconsideration line. So that was interesting.

I called the number right away. The rep said they wanted to verify my information. I repeated the address, birthday, etc., and was placed on hold.

The rep came back and said, All done. Approved. You’ll get the email in a few minutes.

The call took 5 minutes. Before we hung up, I got the approval email.



And then clicked through to set up online access, and sure enough, there it was:


Shiny new SPG biz account


I’m not thinking of switching over to Starwood or anything like that – at least not yet. I want to see what Marriott will do to the program before I commit.

But from this bonus, I’m expecting to get some tremendous values from staying at Starwood hotels. I want my 35,000 Starpoints to be worth at least 4 cents each, or $1,400. To me, that’s worth signing up for.

And, it’s not impossible to wring that kind of value out of them, depending on how you redeem.

The key is not to get analysis paralysis. And to go with the redemption that makes the most sense AND gets the highest value when you’re ready to redeem.

Moving forward, we’ll see what happens. I’ll definitely follow up with how I put these points to use!

Want one?


Share your links!

Please, if you want, share your referral link in the comments! Here’s how to find yours. Email an invite to yourself, and then copy and paste the URL on the application page.

You can earn 5,000 Starpoints for each approval, up to 55,000 bonus points. BUT. The person you refer must be approved by March 30th, 2016.

And HUGE NOTE. If you’ve ever had either card, you can NOT get the sign-up bonus again.

If you want to apply for either version of the SPG AMEX (personal or small business) via my links, click here:

  • Hotel Credit Cards

Again, feel free to add your links in the comments, too. And thank you for reading, commenting, and using my links!

Bottom line

All-in-all, I‘m looking forward to seeing what Starpoints can do. As the hotel landscape shifts, I find myself more open to new ways to get award nights and try new hotel brands.

Plus, this is likely the highest this offer will ever be. So it’s really now or never (or until March 30th, 2016).

While I get myself acquainted with this new hotel program, what’s your favorite way to redeem Starpoints? Any Starwood hotels that absolutely warrant a mention? 

Also see: 

* If you liked this post, consider signing up to receive free blog posts in an RSS reader and you’ll never miss an update!

Announcing Points Hub—points, miles, and travel rewards community. Join for just $9/month or $99/year.

BEST Current Credit Card Deals

  • Capital One Venture X Rewards—Earn 75,000 Venture miles once you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening, plus a $300 annual statement credit for travel booked through Capital One
  • Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card—Earn 100,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points after you spend $15,000 on purchases in the first 3 months and 3X bonus points per $1 on the first $150,000 spent on travel and select business categories each account anniversary year
  • Amex Blue Business Plus—Earn 15,00 Membership Rewards points once you spend after you spend $3,000 in purchases in the first 3 months of Card Membership and 2X bonus points on up to $50,000 in spending per year with NO annual fee

The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

About Harlan

Just a dude living in Memphis, traveling, and working toward financial independence.

More articles by Harlan »



  1. Wow! You never had this card in the past? Were you living in a jungle or what. I am so jealous of you.

    • I was a caveman too. 😉

      The 25K and even 30K offers never appealed to me. There have always been cards with higher sign-up bonuses, relatively speaking. As Chase starts to crack down, this seemed like the perfect time to pick it up – because of the 35K offer AND getting in under the wire before the merger with Marriott.

      Plus, I have 2 AMEX slots open, so I’ve tried to be particular about how to fill them. I dunno, it just finally felt like it all came together.

  2. I pulled the trigger for my first SPG as well. Being in this hobby for a little over a year, other cards all seemed to have a higher signup bonus for the spend. Now I’m at the point where I’m being selective in my apps and at least for the moment, only pulling the trigger on all time highs or trying to get in before it’s tough. SPG seems to satisfy both right now.

    I went for the personal card because I applied for the Ink a week and ago and hoping I get that. 8K min spend in 3 months will be tight as I don’t have convenient MS. If Ink falls through then I will try and get the business SPG as well. Curious about the Sheraton lounge, and thoughts on what’s that like?

    • Exactly. It was a perfect storm for me too, of highest bonus and getting in under the wire. Congrats on getting it!

      I love the Chase Ink Plus. Hope you’re approved. That 5X is just great!

      I expect the Sheraton lounges are like most others, except a little nicer: http://sheratonclubroom.com/

      Access is usually reserved for paying SPG Platinum members. But as long as you have the SPG Biz AMEX, you can get in (with a guest) when you stay at Sheraton hotels. And you don’t have to pay with the card – simply having it is enough.

      So I’ll try to target Sheraton hotels, especially overseas where the lounges are usually a lot nicer than here.

Leave a Reply