Which to Get? Sapphire Preferred vs. Starwood Preferred Guest vs. Marriott Rewards

With so many great sign-up bonuses being offered right now , it can be difficult to determine what card(s) to apply for – which explains why I have received so many questions from family and friends asking what card is best for them!

While I would love to be able to give a straightforward answer stating “X card is the absolute greatest thing all the land”, the reality is that the answer requires you to circle back to the Starter Guide and let YOUR travel goals guide you!

Let the destination be your guide!


Since “let your travel goals guide you” is vague advice, I decided to put together a quick “This card is best for you” guide to follow when deciding between three of my favorite current credit card sign-up bonuses:

Starwood Preferred Guest American ExpressALL-TIME HIGH bonus of 35,000 Starpoints

Chase Sapphire Preferred 50,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards Points (+5,000 for adding an authorized user)

Chase Marriott Rewards 80,000 Marriott Rewards Points (+7,500 for adding an authorized user)


The best for you if…

The Starwood Preferred Guest American Express

Starwood 35K Bonus

This card is best for you if:

  • You have a specific redemption planned at an SPG Property.
  • You want to earn flexible points (i.e. points that can be transferred to other loyalty programs)
  • You want to transfer points to your choice of over 30 Airline Partnersl!
  • You frequently stay at SPG properties for business or personal travel
  • You want to earn Starpoints FAST – prior to any SPG merger/acquisition and potential extinction of the SPG program…
  • You have an event (wedding/party) planned at an SPG Property
    • Weddings are typically high cost, which means high bonus earning potential!
Wedding - AYP Post.jpg
Weddings are expensive… aka great points & miles earning opportunities!

I have a friend who has planned for an SPG Property to host her wedding reception. In addition to earning the all-time high 35,000 point sign-up bonus, she will now earn 5x Starpoints on each $1 spent on her wedding reception – which she then redeem for the honeymoon of her dreams!

Remember – this offer ends March 30th so act now!

The Chase Sapphire Preferred


This card is best for you if:

  • You have applied for less than 5 credit cards in the last 24 months (Chase is strict on not approving applicants with over 5 applications in the last 2 years)
  • You want to earn flexible points (i.e. points that can be transferred to other loyalty programs)
  • You have a specific transfer to a Chase Travel Partner in mind (Hyatt, Southwest, United, etc.)
  • You want to maximize points (2x per each $1 spent) on dining and travel purchases
  • You value the added benefits offered (travel delay reimbursement, primary rental car insurance)
Caribbean 1 - AYP Post
Honeymoon RIGHT with the bonus earned from the Chase Sapphire Preferred!

I recently recommended this card to a friend who has been eyeing a certain Park Hyatt Property. The 50,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards point sign-up bonus (plus a 5,000 point referral bonus to her fiancé by signing up with his referral link) will earn her a 3 night stay – which is a better value than any other card sign-up bonus on the market!

The Chase Marriott Rewards

Marriott rewards Visa - AYP

This card is best for you if:

  • You have a specific redemption planned at a Marriott or Ritz Carlton Property
  • You want to redeem Marriott points for Hotel + Air Packages
  • You frequently stay at Marriott properties for business or personal travel
  • You value Marriott mid-level Silver Status – Priority late check-out, weekend discounts, and more!

I recommended this card to my in-laws, as they have a trip planned that includes a two-night Ritz Carlton stay in Geneva, Switzerland – jealous! They will redeem 80,000 of their newly earned 87,500 Marriott Rewards points for the stay.

Final Thoughts

Each of the cards discussed above offer great sign-up bonuses that can save you some serious cash. Whatever you decide, just make sure that it aligns with your travel goals, and you can’t go wrong! As always, email me at accountingyourpoints@yahoo.com with any questions/advice or requests!

What is my strategy?

Really think through your credit card strategy…

I currently have the Chase Sapphire Preferred. I recently applied for the Chase Marriott Rewards. I will soon be applying for the Starwood Preferred American Express.

Sometimes you have to just cover all the bases…

What is your strategy?

Happy Travels!





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