A few weeks ago I posted how there was a strong rumor that the signup bonus on the Starwood American Express cards would be changing and sure enough, the signup bonus has now changed to a brand new and different type of offer. Instead of points, the signup bonus for both the personal and business card is for 2 free nights at any category 1 to 5 SPG hotel. This new offer is valid to 10/19. Here is the direct link to the personal SPG card and a direct link to the business card offer.
This new offer is quite interesting so here are a few things to consider about this new offer as this offer is really worth a maximum of 24k to 32k Starpoints if redeemed at the highest level category allowed, a category 5 hotel.
- American Express limits an individual to only one signup bonus per card in their lifetime. As such, it is imperative to only apply for an Amex card when an offer is at its peak. While this offer does not match the best over ever of 35k points, see points #2 & #3.
- The SPG-Marriott Merger is scheduled to close this week and it is still unclear on what bank will offer the new Marriott credit card. It is probably a safe bet that Amex will be forced to stop issuing new Starwood Amex cards so it is very possible this could be the last time the bonus is increased before the card goes away for good. In fact, there are already rumors of a Chase Starwood card coming out in February…
- There is no doubt that the previous 35k (and the 30k with one specific exception) were stronger offers as per the award chart below a free night at a category 5 hotel would cost between 12k to 16k points. So at best this offer is potentially only better if redeemed for category 5 hotels.
Obviously I don’t know this for sure but I think might be the last time this card has a signup bonus of something other than 25k points. I think to figure out if this offer is better than the standard 25k offer, it comes down to the following:
- Are you sure you will redeem two free nights at a category 5 hotel? If not, take the points offer.
- If you are sure you would redeem at a cateogry 5 property, will it be during the hotel’s high season where it could cost 16k points a night? If so, take this new offer of free nights.
- Do you want flexibility to use points for lower level SPG hotels and/or transfer some points to airline miles? Take the points offer.
In short, I’m disappointed by this offer as in most cases the 25k offer is better and I was really hoping to see a 30k or 35k offer. Interestingly the refer a friend offers only show the old 25k offers for both the personal and business cards. I’m not sure if Amex is still updating those links or if it will be possible to choose between the free nights offer (public link) or points offer (refer a friend links). Additionally this offer is only through 10/19 so you could potentially wait for the public 25k offer to return.
If you would like to support the blog and my efforts as a non-affiliate links blogger, I can refer others for either Starwood card as I am a current cardholder for both the personal and business card versions. I do receive 5,000 Starpoints for referring you but you will receive the 25k offer via email from American Express. If you are interested, please leave a comment asking for a referral (only I will be able to see your email address) or email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will promptly refer you for the card. Thank you in advance for your support!