AmEx Starwood Business Credit Card Benefits & Review

Starwood's W Hotel in Hollywood, CAAre you a small business owner? Are you a road warrior? Or, perhaps you just want to earn enough rewards from your business spending to enable some pleasure traveling for a change? If so, the Starwood Preferred Guest Business credit card from American Express, a CreditCardForum advertising partner, offers some distinct features you can’t get anywhere else. Let’s review the benefits you are going to get by going with this card:

It functions as both a hotel and airline rewards card

This is an unusual advantage that no other card can seem to match. Your Starpoints can be transferred directly to the frequent flier programs with more than 30 major airlines and be converted into the mileage currency of that airline. This is the only American Express (or any credit card, for that matter) that lets you do that. The best part is that the conversion is a 1 Starpoint = 1 mile conversion, almost always. So this is practically like having 30 airline reward cards in one!

The Annual fee

With the business Gold and Platinum from AmEx the annual fee runs into hundreds of dollars per year. However, the Starwood Preferred Guest business credit card has an annual fee of only $95, which is waived for the first year.

Earning points

We already discussed above why the rewards program on the Starwood business credit card is in unique class when it comes to point redemption flexibility. But how about on the points earning side?

  • Earn up to 5 Starpoints points per dollar spent at Starwood hotels – 2 points through the credit card in addition to the Starpoints you get through the SPG loyalty rewards program.
  • Earn 1 Starpoint per dollar on all other eligible purchases.
  • There’s no cap on how many points you can earn.

Achieve faster SPG elite status

As a Starwood Preferred Guest Business cardholder, every year you are automatically given five nights of credit that count towards your elite status level.

The ability to pay in full or carry a balance

We all want to pay our balances in full and avoid interest. But sometimes business can be unpredictable and our company may have a bad month or quarter. So it helps to at least have the option to pay over time, if needed. The Green/Gold/Platinum charge cards from American Express don’t allow that but since the Starwood business is a credit card, you have that ability.

Purchase Protection and Extended Warranty

These are two benefits that American Express offers that are automatically included on all eligible purchases. The first covers you for 90 days after you buy something in the event you accidentally damage it or it gets stolen. With the warranty benefit, all qualified items with a manufacturer’s U.S. warranty will be given up to double coverage (a max of one extra year) if the original length of coverage is five years or less. From firsthand experience, I can tell you both of these are great for office equipment, like computers and printers, which are prone to malfunctioning and needing repair.

Business-friendly billing

Consumers often complain about doing their personal taxes but small business owners have a much more difficult task on that front. Thankfully American Express helps to simplify accounting by allowing you to create customized reports that organize spending by category, download to Quickbooks, and make a year-end summary that breaks down all your charges and categorizes them.

Additional cards don’t cost extra

A distinct disadvantage with many business credit cards is that they charge fees for additional cardholders. This is a huge drawback if the employees you want to give cards to won’t be spending enough to make the fees worthwhile.

However, with the Starwood Preferred Guest Business credit card you can have as many extra employee cards as you would like without paying an extra dime for them.

Last updated April 2017.

 
Comments
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This card charges foreign transaction fees which add up significantly if you travel outside of the USA. Even worse, if you stay at a Starwood hotel overseas they often charge in local currency and won’t let you charge in dollars which means you pay the transaction fees 1-3% and that offsets any points benefits of this card.