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Old Aug 22, 12, 11:05 pm   #1
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 33
SPG Business vs. AMEX Gold

I was all prepared to apply for a SPG business card and then got a special offer in the mail for AMEX OPEN Business Gold Card. It offers 50,000 pts. after $5000 spent and on the surface sounds like a better deal but I have a few questions:

1) I'm a Realtor -- Will I most likely qualify as a "business" in this program? Is it harder or the same to qualify for AMEX Gold as for SPG?

2) I don't want to end up with too many cards and annual fees. Both my wife and I currently have SPG personal cards and want to keep them (or mayble I'll just keep mine) Can the AMEX Gold be canceled at some point and the points be transfered to my personal account or will I just have to transfer them to an airlines FF account (probably AA).

3) I'm told that this is a "charge card" rather than a credit card. I don't have any experience with them but heard that they act the same way as a credit card except that it's important to pay off at the end of each month(which we do anyway). Are there any other implications I should be aware of? I'm assuming that any merchants that accept an AMEX credit card will also accept a charge card. Is that corrrect?

4) Anything else I should be aware of in making a decision?

Thanks!!
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Old Aug 22, 12, 11:48 pm   #2
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Herrington View Post
I was all prepared to apply for a SPG business card and then got a special offer in the mail for AMEX OPEN Business Gold Card. It offers 50,000 pts. after $5000 spent and on the surface sounds like a better deal but I have a few questions:

1) I'm a Realtor -- Will I most likely qualify as a "business" in this program? Is it harder or the same to qualify for AMEX Gold as for SPG?
It sounds like you easily qualify as a business. Since the Gold card is a charge card it is easier to get. SPG is one of the hardest to get.

2) I don't want to end up with too many cards and annual fees. Both my wife and I currently have SPG personal cards and want to keep them (or mayble I'll just keep mine) Can the AMEX Gold be canceled at some point and the points be transfered to my personal account or will I just have to transfer them to an airlines FF account (probably AA).
If you are in America, all your MR points go in the same bucket (business and personal, Plat, Gold, Green, Zync, Blue, etc). So if you have another AMEX card that earns Membership Rewards you keep the points. If you don't, then you will want to do something with them when you close the Gold account.


3) I'm told that this is a "charge card" rather than a credit card. I don't have any experience with them but heard that they act the same way as a credit card except that it's important to pay off at the end of each month(which we do anyway). Are there any other implications I should be aware of? I'm assuming that any merchants that accept an AMEX credit card will also accept a charge card. Is that corrrect?
Yes, that is correct.

4) Anything else I should be aware of in making a decision?

Thanks!!
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Old Aug 23, 12, 8:24 am   #3
mia
FlyerTalk Evangelist, Moderator: American Express, Citi, Diners Club
 
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Programs: AA 2MM Perpetual Platinum; HH & SPG Gold
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Herrington View Post
... Can the AMEX Gold be canceled at some point and the points be transfered to my personal account or will I just have to transfer them to an airlines FF account (probably AA).
American Airlines does not participate in Membership Rewards. What type of personal account do you have?
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Old Aug 23, 12, 9:59 pm   #4
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 33
Let me try to rephrase my question: First of all, if my wife and I have 4 SPG cards (2 personal, 2 business) - at the end of the years grace period on annual fees we need to make a decision:
1) Do we continue to keep all 4 cards and pay 4 annual fees (not a good decision in my opinion)
2) Close all cards except one and transfer the points from the other 3 to one of our airline frequent flyer accounts.
3) Transfer (combine) our businees points to our personal points and close down the business cards. (This is my real question - can this be done or not?)
4) or -- Is there a better way of dealing with it.

All of the above are based on the assumption that we don't use all our points before canceling the cards.
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Old Aug 24, 12, 8:48 am   #5
mia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Herrington View Post
.
3) Transfer (combine) our businees points to our personal points and close down the business cards. (This is my real question - can this be done or not?)
If you are referring to SPG cards there will be nothing to transfer or combine. These cards do not accumulate points, the rewards are transferred automatically to the associated Starwood Preferred Guest accounts at the end of each billing cycle. American Express is not involved after the points are added to your SPG accounts.
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Old Aug 24, 12, 10:04 am   #6
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
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OK -- Thanks for the clarification. Then the next question is: How can the points in each of our SPG accounts be used? For example, if I have 40,000 points in my SPG account and my wife has 20,000 points in hers and we want one international ticket on AA, can we combine our points and have them both transfered to MY AA ff account or will her SPG points have to be put in her AA account?
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Old Aug 24, 12, 10:12 am   #7
mia
FlyerTalk Evangelist, Moderator: American Express, Citi, Diners Club
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
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Programs: AA 2MM Perpetual Platinum; HH & SPG Gold
Posts: 21,359
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Herrington View Post
... if I have 40,000 points in my SPG account and my wife has 20,000 points in hers and we want one international ticket on AA, can we combine our points...
Yes, you could transfer from your wife's SPG account to your SPG account and then redeem as you wish. Starwood permits transfers between accounts at the same address. Note that American Express is merely the operator of the credit card, not the operator of the rewards program. See this thread in the SPG forum:

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/starw...er-thread.html
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