Which Starwood Card Is Best for You (Personal or Small Business)?

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UPDATE:   The Starwood American Express credit card offers in this post are no longer available, but check Hot Deals for the latest offers!

Until September 14, 2015, you can earn 30,000 Starwood points when you open the Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card from American Express and complete the minimum spending requirements.

There are 2 versions of the Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card from American Express.  One is a personal card, and the other is a small business card.

The Starwood Preferred Guest Business Credit Card from American Express OPEN has added perks and benefits you might not know about!

Which Starwood Card Is Best For You Personal Or Small Business
Which AMEX Starwood Card Should You Get? I’ll Help You Decide!

I’ll highlight the differences.  And help you decide which card is right for you!

About the AMEX Starwood Cards

Link:  Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express

Link:   Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express

Right now, there’s a limited-time sign-up bonus on both AMEX Starwood credit cards until September 14, 2015. 

With the personal AMEX Starwood card, you’ll earn 30,000 Starwood points after spending $3,000 in purchases within the 1st 3 months of account opening.

You can earn the same sign-up bonus on the AMEX Starwood small business card, but the minimum spending requirement is $5,000 in purchases within the 1st 3 months of account opening.

That’s 5,000 more Starwood points than the usual sign-up bonus!

You’ll also get:

There is a $95 annual fee for both cards, waived for the 1st year.

And remember it’s usually NOT possible to get more than 1 AMEX card per day.

Which Card Is Right for You?

You’ll need a qualifying small business to open the AMEX Starwood small business card.  The good news is you might already have activities that are considered a small business!

If you have a start-up, part-time business, or side job, you could qualify.  If your aim is make a profit, AMEX may approve you for your business such as:

  • Airbnb host
  • Real estate agent
  • Author
  • Independent beauty consultant
  • Photographer

You can apply with your social security number as your Tax ID if you’re a sole proprietor.  You don’t have be an LLC or incorporated.  And you don’t need millions in sales.  But it must be a legitimate business venture.

I recommend the AMEX Starwood Business card if you qualify for both cards.  Because it has a few perks the personal card does NOT have.

This is the highest the sign-up bonus these cards are likely to have, and it’s only offered for a few weeks each year.

Keep in mind you can get both cards!  Just make sure you’re comfortable meeting the minimum spending requirements.

1.   Sheraton Club Lounge Access

If you have the AMEX Starwood Business card, you won’t need elite status to access Sheraton Club Lounges.  This perk only comes with the small business version.

Which Starwood Card Is Best For You Personal Or Small Business
With the AMEX Starwood Business Card, You’ll Also Get Access to Sheraton Club Lounges

When you stay at a Sheraton hotel, you can relax in the Sheraton Club Lounge, and enjoy complimentary high-speed Wi-Fi, drinks, and snacks.  Some lounges even offer breakfast and hors d’oeuvres in the afternoon.

2.   AMEX OPEN Savings

AMEX business cards come with OPEN discounts for small businesses.

Which Starwood Card Is Best For You Personal Or Small Business
AMEX Small Business Cards Come With OPEN Savings at FedEx, Hertz, Hyatt, and More!

You can save 5% or earn 2X bonus AMEX Membership Rewards points per $1 spent at:

  • 1-800-Flowers
  • BN.com
  • FedEx
  • Hertz
  • HP
  • Hyatt

This is a great way to save and is only available on AMEX business cards!

3.   Get the Bonus More Than Once

You can only earn the sign-up bonus on personal AMEX cards once per lifetime.

But this is NOT so with AMEX business cards!

You can earn the sign-up bonus again as long as you haven’t had the same card for at least 12 months.

You Might Already Qualify for a Business Card!

You may be eligible to open a business credit card for a small business you already have.  Here are a few more common examples:

  • Coaching
  • Freelance writing
  • Graphic design
  • Selling items on eBay
  • Tutoring
    Which Starwood Card Is Best For You Personal Or Small Business
    Do You Already Have a For-Profit Service Where You Help Others? If So, You May Qualify for a Business Credit Card!

Read about how to submit an AMEX business card application.

Other Perks of AMEX Cards

AMEX cards come with lots of perks and benefits.

There are often terrific AMEX Offers, and you can sign-up for them with both AMEX Starwood cards (personal and small business).

You can also sign-up for 2-day shipping and returns from dozens of merchants with a complimentary Shoprunner membership.

Which Starwood Card Is Best For You Personal Or Small Business
Save Big on Shopping With AMEX Offers, ShopRunner Shipping, and Small Business Saturday…All Thanks to AMEX Cards!

The past few years, AMEX has offered statement credits on AMEX cards for Small Business Saturday.  I love this perk and hope it returns this November.  You’ll be able to register either card if it does!

These perks alone can add up to save you a lot of time and money!

Should You Get Both?

30,000 Starwood points is the highest sign-up bonus I’ve seen on both AMEX Starwood cards.

In fact, getting both cards may be your ticket to Big Travel, like 5 nights and 2 airline tickets to Disney!

Again, remember that you can only get the sign-up bonus once on personal AMEX cards.

And if you’ve had the AMEX Starwood business card, you’ll need to wait at least 12 months before you can earn the sign-up bonus again.

That said, only get both if you’re comfortable managing the minimum spending requirements.

If I had to pick 1, I’d choose the AMEX Starwood business card.  But always do what’s best for you!

Bottom Line

Until September 14, 2015, you can earn 30,000 Starwood points when you open the Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card from American Express or Starwood Preferred Guest Business Credit Card from American Express OPEN.

The sign-up bonus has never gone above 30,000 Starwood points in the past 4 years.

The minimum spending requirement is $3,000 on purchases within the 1st 3 months of account opening for the personal AMEX Starwood card.  And $5,000 for the AMEX Starwood small business card.

If I had to pick, I’d choose the AMEX Starwood small business card because of access to Sheraton Club Room Lounges, AMEX OPEN discounts, and the ability to earn the sign-up bonus more than once.  Although you may like the card enough to keep it long-term.

You can get both versions of the card at the same time.  But only do this if you’re certain you can meet the minimum spending requirements.

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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