UPDATE (April 17, 2018): As a result of the upcoming Marriott/SPG merger, the signup and referral bonuses on this card have been decreased significantly. A new co-branded credit card for the combined loyalty program should be launched in the coming months.
The American Express Business SPG Card is an excellent way to earn more points in the lucrative Starwood Preferred Guest program if you've already applied for the personal version of this card. While its utility beyond that is rather limited, it's another card that might not be around for very long due the upcoming unification of SPG and Marriott Rewards, so it's worth grabbing the bonus while you can.
Like the personal edition of this card, the Business SPG Card offers 20,000 Starpoints upon spending $1,500 within the first 3 months. The card comes with an annual fee of $150 ($30 higher than the personal version), and I have never seen a first-year fee waiver offered on this card.
While the annual fee is rather unpalatable, it still represents an amazing value when you take into account the signup bonus. For some examples of what you can do with 20,000 Starpoints, refer to the my profile of the Personal SPG Card, or read the full guide to the SPG program.
You also get 10,000 Starpoints for every referral you make to either the personal or business SPG card, up to a maximum of 150,000 Starpoints per calendar year. That's another great way to rack up the Starpoints quickly. Keep in mind that even in the US, where signup bonuses can outstrip the ones we have in Canada by many orders of magnitude, the referral bonus on their SPG cards is only 5,000 Starpoints.
And just like the personal edition of the card, when you reach $30,000 in purchases you'll be rewarded with Gold elite status within the SPG program, and when you reach $40,000 you'll be rewarded with a free weekend night certificate redeemable at any Category 1–4 Starwood hotel.
When it comes to everyday spending, the Business SPG Card allows you to earn 2 Starpoints per dollar spent at Starwood and Marriott hotels, as well as 1 Starpoint per dollar spent on all other purchases.
Again, everything I said about the Personal SPG Card applies here as well. If you spend your Starpoints wisely, earning 1 Starpoint per dollar spent is one of the best returns you can get on your everyday spending in Canada.
If you have both the personal and business versions of the SPG card, does it make a difference which one you use for your daily spending? Not in terms of the Starpoints you'll earn, no. But I do recommend putting all your spending on one of the two, since that'll get you closer to the spending thresholds and rewards mentioned above.
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!
While the signup bonus of 20,000 Starpoints is an incredible deal for an outlay of $150, the fact that the annual fee on the Business SPG Card is higher than the personal version means you should definitely apply for the personal card first. Then, self-refer to the business version, snagging that referral bonus of 10,000 Starpoints, and carry on cycling between the two.
As with the other business credit cards, anyone can apply, not just registered small business owners. There is also no minimum income requirement. And as always, if you like the stuff I've been writing on Prince of Travel, I would be grateful if you considered applying through my referral link and helping me out.
The American Express Business SPG Card is the second-best option in Canada for accumulating points in the supremely versatile SPG program, after the personal SPG Card. We aren't sure what's going to happen to the SPG and Marriott Rewards programs once the two programs merge in 2018, and we don't know what will become of the the Amex SPG credit card portfolio. Now would be a great time to apply for the SPG cards before it might be too late!