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American Express launched their Starwood Preferred Guest® American Express Luxury Card last week and apparently they’ve been unable to keep up producing and shipping the cards. They say the problem is high demand.
This is a separate issue from challenges American Express and Marriott have had in matching the new Marriott IT system account numbers of legacy Starwood Preferred Guest accounts.
American Express will be delaying shipping of the proper card design and doesn’t expect to be caught up for two months. So they’re sending out interim cards with the wrong design. That affects only the physical card and not benefits. This will be an expensive proposition for them.
So what’s all the fuss about? The initial offer on the card is 100,000 points after $5,000 in spend within 3 months of account opening. However we’ve seen bigger targeted offers. Some cardmembers have offers to upgrade to their existing Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express to the Luxury card, while others do not.
If you don’t currently have a Priority Pass membership this card packs a ton of value. For the $450 annual fee you get,
- $300 annual Marriott credit
- Priority Pass including unlimited visits and 2 guests
- An annual free night at renewal good for hotels that would cost up to 50,000 points (category 6).
- Automatic Gold status
- $75,000 spend in a calendar year earns Platinum status
- 15 elite night credits each year
- Unlimited Boingo internet
- Premium in-room wifi on your Marriott stays
- No foreign exchange fees
- Statement credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck every four years.
Credit: American Express
Earning is 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.
I put this card in the category of great to have, but not great for spend, since earning was been reduced by a one-third compared to what the personal Starwood card offered prior to this month. If a Marriott point is worth 3/4ths of a cent, you’re getting 1.5 cents per dollar return on unbonused spend.
According to American Express they’re shipping out temporary cards and will replace those with the proper Luxury Card design within two months:
Due to high demand for the new Starwood Preferred Guest® American Express Luxury Card, we are currently experiencing delays in delivering the new Luxury Card design to upgraded Card Members and some new Card Members. These Card Members can expect to receive their new Starwood Preferred Guest American Express Luxury Card in the mail by the end of October.
In the meantime,
• Impacted new Starwood Preferred Guest American Express Luxury Card Members can expect to receive an interim Card design in the mail within 10 days of being approved for the Card. These interim Card designs will provide access to all of the great benefits and rewards of the new Starwood Preferred Guest American Express Luxury Card. Card Members can use these cards immediately online or at point of sale. If eligible for a Welcome Bonus, any eligible purchases made on this Card will count toward the Welcome Bonus spend threshold.
• Current Starwood Preferred Guest American Express Card Members who upgraded to the new Luxury Card can continue to use their current Starwood Preferred Guest American Express Cards, which will provide access to all of the great benefits and rewards of the new Starwood Preferred Guest Luxury Card. Card Members can use these cards immediately online or at point of sale. If eligible for an upgrade bonus offer, any eligible purchases made on the current Card from the time of upgrade will count toward the bonus spend threshold.
We apologize for any inconvenience.