The Current Starwood Amex Is Here To Stay (Sort Of)!

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Last week we learned more details about the future of the co-brand credit card agreement for Marriott and Starwood. Specifically, we learned that long term Marriott will have credit cards issued by both American Express and Chase, and that each issuer will have access to specific segments of the market:

  • Amex will offer super premium and small business cards
  • Chase will offer mass consumer and premium consumer cards

In light of that news, I shared why I think it makes sense to apply for the Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express and Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express. Specifically, the personal version of the SPG Amex will no longer be available for new applications starting sometime in 2018, so there’s not much time remaining to sign-up for the card, and to get the great benefits of this card with a reasonable annual fee.

Initially when the future of Marriott’s credit card contract was announced, my assumption was that those with the SPG Personal Amex would have their cards converted into another product, whether it’s the new premium SPG Amex, or another card.

However, View from the Wing notes that Marriott told him that “both companies will continue to offer their current products and even after the new products are introduced, members may continue to use them.” So while we’ll have to wait to learn the full details of this, this suggests that the SPG Amex will stick around (mostly) in its current form even after it’s closed to new applications.

Redeem your Starpoints for stays at some great hotels

So if you don’t yet have the SPG Personal Amex, there are two reasons you really want to sign up:

  • This might be your last chance to earn the sign-up bonus on this card, before they stop accepting applications; you should still be eligible for the new premium SPG Amex when it’s introduced
  • This might be your last chance to lock in the current benefits of the card, which may not be available to new cardmembers after it’s discontinued

Ultimately we don’t know what the future of the cards will look like, and changes could still be made, though I think one of the most significant differences to point out between the Starwood Amex and Marriott Visa is that the Starwood Amex offers one Starpoint per dollar spent on non-bonused spend, while the Marriott Visa offers one Marriott Rewards point per dollar spent on non-bonused spend. Starpoints convert into Marriott Rewards points at a 1:3 ratio, meaning that the return on spend of the SPG Amex is three times as good.

Convert your Starpoints into airline miles, for first class redemptions

Bottom line

It’s great to know that the SPG Personal Amex will be sticking around for existing cardmembers. We don’t know exactly when they’ll stop accepting new cardmembers, and also don’t know for sure that there won’t be any changes to the benefits, but there’s even more value in picking up the SPG Amex when we know that it’s sticking around. The card is disproportionately rewarding in terms of everyday spend compared to any card that Marriott issues right now.

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  1. Ben, an interesting question was posited to me recently: if I were to need to spend money on miles/points before the end of the year, which currency would you speculatively purchase points in to do the most fun international premium cabins from the East Coast?

  2. On the Canadian SPG Amex site, I did notice that they have a date of Feb 15, 2018 for when bonus SPG mile earning would end.

    Earn 2 Starpoints for every dollar of eligible purchases charged to the Card at participating SPG®* and Marriott Rewards®* hotels from November 15, 2016 through February 15, 2018.

  3. Despite some obvious trolling statements to the contrary, the SPG AmEx continues to be an amazing card, and offers the best non-bonused spend.

    And of course you get the highest value point currency there is – Starpoints.

  4. the current SPG sign on bonus is 25K and it converts to 75K Marriott point . Would you think 75K sign on a good deal for Marriott card?

  5. Does anyone think Amex will give warning has to when it is no longer accepting applications to the card? I want the card but also want to wait to apply during my next app o rama in early February…

  6. Today, I received an email with a targeted 30k bonus for the personal card after $3,000 spend. Annual fee waived the first year. Tempted to finally get the card…

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