Best offer available publicly
- Signup bonus: 50,000 Marriott points
- Minimum spending: $1,500 in the first three months
- Annual fee: $150
- Earning rate:
- 5 Marriott points per dollar spent at Marriott hotels
- 3 Marriott points per dollar spent on gas, dining, and travel purchases
- 2 Marriott points per dollar spent on all other purchases
- Perks & benefits: Silver Elite status, anniversary free night award
- Insurance: Good
After the August 2018 merger of SPG and Marriott Rewards, the American Express Business SPG Card offers 50,000 points in the Marriott loyalty program as a signup bonus upon spending $1,500 in the first three months. The card has an annual fee of $150.
In addition to applying via the public offer on the Amex website, you can also apply via a referral (here’s mine if you want to support the site); however, you’d be faced with a higher spending requirement of $3,000 rather than $1,500.
While the annual fee can be unpalatable, the bonus is more than worthwhile. 50,000 Marriott points could be used in the following ways, all of which would outweigh the $150 fee:
Redeem 50,000 Marriott points for a free night at a Category 6 hotel (retail cost: $300–400)
Redeem 50,000 Marriott points for four free nights at a Category 2 hotel (retail cost: $400–500)
Earn 10,000 more Marriott points and transfer 60,000 points to any of 40 airline transfer partners and redeem for flights (retail cost: $500+)
Those are just a few examples that come to mind, and you could also mix and match the options that best suit your needs. The point is, the ultimate value of the Marriott program derives from its flexibility, and as a result of that, it's almost difficult not to get multiple times' return on your $120 annual fee when signing up for this card.
The SPG cards also offer unique benefits to make your stays at SPG/Marriott hotels more memorable. Cardholders are rewarded with automatic Gold Elite status within the program, and can also enjoy a free night certificate worth up to 35,000 points on each card anniversary date.
Finally, supplementary cards on the Business SPG are subject to a fee of $50 per card; as with all Amex cards, you're allowed up to nine supplementary cards per card account.
In terms of the return on everyday spending, you'll earn 5 Marriott points per dollar spent at all Marriott hotels, including room charges, food and beverages, and incidentals.
One perk of the Business SPG Card that's not available with the personal version is that you'll earn 3 Marriott points per dollar spent on gas, dining, and travel purchases. Meanwhile, you'll earn 2 Marriott points per dollar spent on all other purchases.
While the SPG cards used to be one of the most powerful cards in Canada for daily spending, nowadays the value proposition has decreased. I'd only ever consider using the Business SPG Card on the 3x category of gas, dining, and travel, and even then, there are better cards out there if you truly wanted to optimize (such as the Gold Rewards Card for gas and travel or the Cobalt Card for dining).
The Business SPG Card offers practically identical insurance benefits to the personal version. Highlights include:
Travel accident insurance, up to $500,000, for you, your spouse, and any dependent children under 23
Flight delay insurance, up to $500, for hotel and restaurant expenses and other sundry items in the event of a flight delay
Hotel/Motel Burglary Insurance, up to $500, against the loss of personal items if your hotel or motel room is burglarized
In addition, as a card geared towards small business owners, this card also offers coverage of up to $10,000 in case of permanent, total disability to you as a sole proprietor as the result of an accidental injury. Hopefully you'll never have to make that particular claim!
The American Express Business SPG Card is quite easy to get approved for, with no minimum income requirements. As with the other business credit cards, anyone can apply, not just registered small business owners.
Applying via the American Express website will get you the public offer of 50,000 Marriott points after spending $1,500 in the first three months.
If you choose to support the website and apply via my referral link below, you’ll need to complete a minimum spending of $3,000 within the first three months:
Any questions? Contact me.