New Starwood Luxury Card Launch Date is August 23

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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), 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.


W Doha

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.

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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Editorial note: any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer. Comments made in response to this post are not provided or commissioned nor have they been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any bank. It is not the responsibility of any advertiser to ensure that questions are answered, either. Terms and limitations apply to all offers.

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Comments

  1. Thanks for the clear ingo on the window. Will you be getting the luxury card? I find I need hotel points much more than airline miles.

  2. With a $300 statement credit and an anniversary night easily applied to hotels in most cities, would you say this card’s perks pays for it’s own fee? I find the perks too generous to believe.

  3. Gary:
    I received an upgrade bonus of 20000 Marriott points when i upgraded my Marriott card to the new Marriott personal card. Does this mean that there is a 3 day window to apply to the luxury card and still get the bonus? (Since rules don’t go to effect until 3 days later). Why are you upgranding as opposed to applying to the new card?

  4. @Ricardo my guess is yes and I should say ‘getting or upgrading’ since I don’t know my upgrade offer and how it compares to the new cardmember offer.

  5. “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”. – there’s obviously a typo just want to make sure I’m understanding correctly though. Am I understanding correctly that those that have spent 75k on the current card, when upgrading to the luxury, that amount counts towards platinum?

  6. I don’t understand the claim about a 3 day window. The $95 personal card is out and already has the new terms excluding certain cardholders. I’d expect the same for Luxury — when the card is offered it will contain the new restrictions regardless of date. Am I missing something?

  7. Have we really gotten official confirmation that people with the Chase Marriott card will still be eligible for the SPG bonus if they apply before August 26? Marriott is the one applying the new rule, and they can easily choose to apply the rule for all bonuses earned after August 26, regardless of when you opened the card. Amex can say that you’ll get the bonus all they want, but if Marriott blocks it you won’t get the bonus :/ I think we need clear official confirmation from both ends…

  8. @Nun – check whatever you are looking at again. I just went to the SPG personal card offering on Amex’s website and it specifically says “effective 8/26” about the new rules. So they are NOT already showing the new terms.

  9. Just want to clarify for the SPG Luxury card,

    If I CURRENTLY have a Marriott Rewards Premier card but signed up for it 2.5 years ago (and got bonus >2 years ago), would I be eligible for the bonus? I wasn’t too clear with your wording since I technically acquired it way before 90 days ago. Thanks!

  10. so …..WAIT HOLD UP.

    I recently had the “vanilla purple” SPG amex when the signup bonus was 25,000 SPG points… I got the bonus and have since cancelled. according to the data in this post, there is now a new and improved bonus on the same card for a whopping 75,000 SPG points…. AND EVEN THOUGH I HAD THE SPG AMEX AT 25K ACCORDING TO THE ABOVE ELGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS…. I CAN STILL SIGNUP FOR THE NEW CARD BONUS? ….dude the bonus seems too high for SPG points

  11. Can someone advise me on strategy to maximize points with these cards?

    I have:
    – Ritz Card ($0 spend this year)
    – AMEX SPG Personal ($200k spend per year)
    – I have never had any other SPG/Marriott/Ritz card before.
    – I am 5/24 locked out until October.
    – No status-worthy stay volume at Marriott/SPG and want to spend $75k to earn platinum.

    What do I do to earn the most points over the next six months?

  12. @jerrytheshoelace

    You will not be able to receive the bonus on the SPG card since you already received a bonus. The AMEX one bonus per card in a lifetime rule still applies. Also the card now comes with Marriott Points, not SPG points.

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