American Express Refreshes Starwood Offers: 175,000 Points With 2 Cards

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

As part of the total revamp to the Marriott-Starwood loyalty program (coming August 18), American Express credit cards are changing too.

  • Chase gets to issue the main personal card
  • American Express gets to issue the small business card and the premium personal card
  • Everyone keeps their current card, whether it’s a Chase Visa or an American Express

Now that it’s August 1, the details of American Express cards have changed. They earn 2 points per dollar in the new program, rather than 1 Starwood point which transferred to 3 Marriott points. The earning for your spend isn’t as good.

However the cards come with a strong signup bonus so they’re worth getting, an annual free night so they are worth keeping, and 15 elite night credits per year (in the past each American Express card gave you 5 elite nights).


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New American Express Card Details

Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express offers 75,000 Bonus Points after you use your new Card to make $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months. It has a $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95.

Earning in the new program is 6 points for each dollar of eligible purchases at participating Starwood Preferred Guest and Marriott Rewards hotels and 2 points on all other eligible purchases.

You’ll receive 1 Free Night Award every year after your Card account anniversary. Award can be used for one night at a participating hotel (at a redemption level at or under 35,000 points).

When the Marriott programs all combine into one officially, with new branding and a new name, Chase will have exclusivity over the standard consumer credit card and this American Express-issued one will no longer be available. So it’s essentially your last chance to get this card.

Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express offers 100,000 points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of cardmembership. This is a limited-time offer that ends October 31, 2018. It has a $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95. (Offer expired)

Earning is 6 points for each dollar of eligible purchases at over 6,500 participating SPG® and Marriott Rewards® hotels across 110 countries worldwide; 4 points at U.S. restaurants, U.S. gas stations, wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers, and on U.S. purchases for shipping; 2 points for all other eligible purchases.

A big new benefit is that the card comes with a Free Night Award every year after your Card account anniversary.


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Who Can Get These Cards?

While the Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express is still offered (this year) you have a chance to get it. The card product itself will be going away for new applications once the programs all combine under new unified branding next year.

In addition to these two Starwood cards, American Express will be coming out with their $450 ‘Luxury’ card towards the end of the month.

I wrote about new rules coming late in the month for who can get these card products. These rules go into effect August 26th and will make it a bit tougher to get new cardmember bonuses for Marriott family cards from both Chase and American Express.

Here are the eligibility rules going into effect for each of the American Express Marriott family credit cards:

  • To be eligible for a new (not yet released) ‘Luxury Card’ initial bonus you cannot be a current Ritz-Carlton cardmember (or have had that card in the last 30 days), have signed up for a new Chase-issued Marriott card in the last 90 days, or received an initial bonus or upgrade offer for a Chase-issued Marriott card in the past 24 months. This includes Chase Marriott business cards which surprises me..

  • To be eligible for a new Starwood Amex card initial bonus (the personal card that will be available only until the programs rebrand next year), you cannot have (or have had in the last 30 days) a Chase-issued Marriott.

  • To be eligible for a Starwood business card initial bonus, you cannot have a Chase-issued Marriott business card (or have had one in the last 30 days), have signed up for one in the last 90 days, or have received a new cardmember bonus for one in the last 24 months.


Credit: Marriott

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

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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Comments

  1. Do theses points transfer at the SPG rate or the Marriott rate? Or do they have a new separate chart for transfer partners?

  2. So what of we are approved for the card now, but don’t spend $5k until after 8/26. We still get the bonus right?

  3. @Nathan Marple – these are points in the new program. But I’m not sure I understand what you mean by ‘transfer’ — if you’re asking about transfers to airlines, 60,000 points = 25,000 airline miles with many partners

  4. This makes me think the once-in-a-lifetime language doesn’t apply to the personal, bc it’s not mentioned:

    To be eligible for a new Starwood Amex card initial bonus (the personal card that will be available only until the programs rebrand next year), you cannot have (or have had in the last 30 days) a Chase-issued Marriott.

  5. Gary,
    If I’ve gotten the personal SPG amex in the past (when it was a 25k bonus) can I get this new bonus?
    Or is it still once in a lifetime (even though the bonus has changed)?

    Thanks,
    Andrew

  6. Is the 24 months since bonus on Marriott cards based on the date you applied for the card or the date the bonus showed up in your account?

  7. Aren’t these similar bonuses to what they’ve had in the past? If I’m reading this right, considering the new 1/3 spg-marriott ratio, the 75k for this personal card is equivalent to the standard 25k bonus Amex used to offer, while the 100k for the business card sits in between the usual 25k and occasional 35k bonuses you could get with the old card. Am I missing something?

  8. @Andrew terms do include “Welcome offer not available to applicants who have or have had this Card.” If it was many years ago that you think you may have had the card, ask Amex if they show you as having had it before.

  9. @Gary

    In general, how long after closing on a mortgage would you wait before starting the reapplications?

    Wife and I just closed on Jumbo loan two weeks ago and now my wife (with ~800 FICO pre-mortgage) got declined this week for iPhone financing. Our reported credit scores haven’t dipped yet although obviously thats coming. Not sure if I should be waiting for FICO scores to reach a certain level before starting back up or a certain time period.

  10. These offers aren’t earth-shattering since the bonus points are in the new currency. Really the 15 EQ nights is the major benefit here.

  11. Are they still allowing SPG points to airline transfers? Seems like 75k points is a really good deal if they are still allowing it.

  12. I guess I’ll wait until the details on luxury card are released before making decision on how many points vs. getting the Ritz card. (I was hoping to get both.)

    Do we know how RC tiers will convert as well as existing Starwood certs (I have up to Cat 5 expiring 12/31)?

  13. i have had a Starwood personal card for years to qualify for gold status after $30,000 spend. This year I also go the Starwood Business card. Do the points combine to meet the current $30,000 (and next years $35,000) spend.

  14. If you sign up for the personal Amex card now, will you get the 15 elite nights this year, or will it not happen until 2019?

  15. is it confirmed the personal card will be going away next year? So if I have a choice between business 100k and personal 75k, I should probably choose the personal since it is going away. Reminds me of US Air/AA merger.

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