Reader Question: “Should I Keep Both the Personal and Small Business Version of the AMEX Starwood Card?”

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Reader Question:  “Should I Keep Both the Personal and Small Business Version of the AMEX Starwood Card?”

Million Mile SecretsReader Question:  “Should I Keep Both the Personal and Small Business Version of the AMEX Starwood Card?”Million Mile Secrets Team

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Deciding which cards to keep and which cards to cancel is an important piece of your credit card strategy.  And figuring out what works best for your particular situation can be tricky!

Reader Question Should I Keep Both The Personal And Small Business Version Of The AMEX Starwood Card
You’ll Have to Weigh the Perks of Each Card When Deciding Which to Keep and Which to Cancel

Million Mile Secrets reader Will commented:

“I’ve had the Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express card for some time now.  And I recently picked up the welcome bonus from the Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express.  Since the benefits of the personal and business version of the card are almost identical, is there any reason to keep both cards open and pay 2 annual fees?”

Thanks for the great question, Will!

The Benefits of Keeping Both Cards

The AMEX Starwood personal and small business cards offer a very similar set of benefits, so it can be hard to justify paying 2 annual fees.  But there are a few instances where keeping both cards might be beneficial!

1.   Keeping Expenses Separate

If you’re a small business owner, having both the personal and business version of the AMEX Starwood card is a great way to keep your business expenses separate from personal expenses.  And to earn more miles and points!

2.   Cumulative Elite Status Credits

Each card also provides a credit of 2 stays and 5 nights toward Starwood elite status.  And because the credits from both cards can be combined, it makes it much easier to earn or keep Starwood elite status.

Reader Question Should I Keep Both The Personal And Small Business Version Of The AMEX Starwood Card
As a Starwood Elite Member, You Can Sleep-in and Earn Bonus Points for Your Stay

Starwood elite status comes with perks like bonus points on stays, late checkout, room upgrades, and more!  But Gold status requires either 10 eligible stays or 25 eligible nights in a calendar year.  And Platinum elite status requires 25 stays or 50 nights per calendar year.  So earning a number of elite status credits from the AMEX Starwood cards can really make a difference!

The credits can also come in handy if you find yourself just a few stays or nights short of the elite credits you need.  In which case paying 2 annual fees could be LESS expensive than paying for additional hotel stays.

Plus, you can use your Starwood status to get an automatic match with Marriott. 😉

Why the Business Version Is the Better Choice (If You Have to Choose)

It may not make sense for everyone to pay 2 annual fees on cards that are very similar.  So if you have both the AMEX Starwood personal and small business card and are deciding which one to close, I’d suggest keeping the business card.  Because it comes with Sheraton Club Lounge access, something the personal version does NOT offer.

Additional Money Saving Perk

The Sheraton lounge perk is useful for folks looking to save money on meals while traveling.  Million Mile Secrets team member Meghan often books at Sheraton brand hotels, so she can eat a hot breakfast and enjoy the hotel’s evening hors d’oeuvres.

Reader Question Should I Keep Both The Personal And Small Business Version Of The AMEX Starwood Card
You Can Enjoy a Quiet Place to Relax With Breakfast, Drinks, and Snacks, Thanks to the Sheraton Club Lounge Access From the AMEX Starwood Small Business Card!

Sheraton Club Lounge access is typically reserved for Platinum members.  And while the lounges vary depending on the location, you can generally expect options for a continental breakfast, drinks, and snacks throughout the day.  The lounges can also be a nice quiet area for you to work or relax.

Limited-Time (Increased!) AMEX Starwood Small Business Card Offer

Link:   My Review of the Limited-Time AMEX Starwood Small Business Card Offer

When you apply for the AMEX Starwood small business card, you’ll earn 35,000 Starwood points after spending $7,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening.  This is a limited-time offer that’s only available if you apply by March 28, 2018.

This deal is much better than the usual offer, which is a 25,000 Starwood points welcome bonus.

AMEX Starwood small business cardholders also enjoy these perks:

Bottom line

Having both versions of the AMEX Starwood card can be a great way to keep your personal and business expenses separate.  And combining the elite status credits from both cards gives you a head start on earning elite status.

But if you’re having a hard time justifying paying 2 annual fees, I’d suggest keeping the business version of the AMEX Starwood card.  Because it comes with Sheraton Club Lounge access, something the personal card does NOT offer.

And if you don’t yet have both versions of the card, remember that through March 28, 2018, the AMEX Starwood business card has an increased welcome bonus of 35,000 Starwood points after meeting minimum spend requirements!

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Editorial Note: We're the Million Mile Secrets team. And we're proud of our content, opinions and analysis, and of our reader's comments. These haven’t been reviewed, approved or endorsed by any of the airlines, hotels, or credit card issuers which we often write about. And that’s just how we like it! :)

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The one reason I regret closing the personal, is that every year I used to receive a bonus for a spend (such as spend $7500, receive 5K bonus points). I never receive any offers for the biz version. And I hardly ever stay at a Sheraton with a club. Just another point of view…

Million Mile Secrets

That’s a great tip, thanks for sharing your experience.

Derek (DebrianTravels.com)

I just wrote about my Starwood and Starwoord business cards as part of a review of my Amex portfolio. I came to essentially the same conclusion: keep one of the two, that being the business version. Also important to me was the fact that I am maxed out at 5 Amex credit cards so I need to close at least one so I can signup for new Amex products. (http://www.debriantravels.com/blog/2018/2/28/evaluating-my-credit-card-portfolio-american-express)

If both cards renew around the same time it makes sense to call Amex and see if they will waive the fee on one. They won’t waive the fee, but they might dangle 10,000 Starpoints (worth in my view $220-$280), which totally makes the renewal worthwhile. Note there are different customer-service numbers for business vs personal, so if the rep you get isn’t helpful then HUCA.

Million Mile Secrets

Retention offers are the best! Thanks for the tip.