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


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.