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As part of the total revamp to the Marriott-Starwood loyalty program (coming August 18), co-brand American Express credit cards have changed too.
- Chase gets to issue the main personal card the Marriott Rewards® Premier Plus Credit 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 existing 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).
When I spoke with Marriott’s head of loyalty David Flueck last month he told me that the new premium American Express card wouldn’t launch until ‘a few days after’ the new program went into effect on August 18th.
American Express shared with me today that the official launch date for that card will be August 23. Both for existing cards, and for the new card then, we have an interesting three week window.
Presidential Suite, Sheraton San Diego Marina
Changes to Existing Cards
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.
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.
New Starwood Luxury Card Launches August 23
Back in April Courtney Kelso, American Express’s Senior Vice President of Charge, Co-Brand and Loyalty, Global Commercial Services, told me that the new Starwood Preferred Guest American Express Luxury Card would offer “$2000 in annual value.”
The card has a $450 annual fee offset by a $300 annual statement credit for purchases at Marriott properties. American Express confirmed to me that the credit will be triggered by charging your room rate to the card so it’s not just for dining and other on-property spend. The card also comes with an annual free night at renewal good for hotels that would cost up to 50,000 points (category 6).
Earning will be 6 points per dollar at Marriott and Starwood properties, 3 points on US dining and on air travel, and 2 points on all other spend.
You get automatic Gold status and $75,000 spend in a calendar year will earn Platinum status which is a big improvement. You also get 15 elite night credits each year, useful if you’re trying to qualify for status based on stay activity. However you will not be able to earn more than 15 elite nights from a credit card, regardless of how many co-brand cards you have.
What’s more an existing cardmember who upgrades to the Starwood Preferred Guest American Express Luxury Credit Card will have the spend they’ve already done during the same year count towards the $75,000 threshold for Platinum Status. I plan to upgrade my Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express to the new Luxury Card.
The Luxury Card also will come with Priority Pass Select with unlimited visits and up to 2 guests is included, along with unlimited Boingo internet, premium in-room wifi on your Marriott stays, and no foreign exchange fees.
American Express hasn’t formally confirmed the initial bonus offer for this card yet.
Westin Stonebriar Chairman’s Suite Has 8 Rooms
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.
I wrote about new rules coming late in the month for who can get initial bonus offers when being approved for 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.
You can get the Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express and the Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express under current eligibility rules until then. And there should be a three day window for current eligibility rules to apply to the new Luxury Card as well.
Al Wadi Desert Resort
Here are the eligibility rules going into effect for each of the American Express Marriott family credit cards:
- To be eligible for a new 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.