Incremental Improvements for the Starwood American Express

Starting October 1 two new benefits go into place:

  1. An additional point per dollar spent at Starwood properties (and more details to follow, but it appears as though Starwood retail outlets too – perhaps for example the Westin and W Hotel Online Stores)
  2. Gold status after spending $30,000 on the card in a year.

The extra point per dollar is long overdue, as a rule across the board hotel-branded credit cards provide extra points for spending with the hotel chain — except, until now, Starwood.

Gold status doesn’t mean much. The card already gets you ‘preferred plus’ status which has almost all the benefits of Gold (room upgrade generally limited to better view or higher floor, late checkout except at resorts). On top of Preferred Plus, Gold only gets you an additional point for eligible spending at Starwood hotel properties (separate from the extra point you’ll now be getting for putting hotel spend on this credit card). And Hilton’s Gold — which is a richer benefit level — comes via their American Express card at only $20,000 in spend. Still it’s a step in the right direction.

Personally, I’d love Platinum status to come at $150,000 or so in annual spend, though that hasn’t been announced as a benefit and would be surely controversial among members earning the status via butt-in-bed nights.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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