Signing-up for credit cards through partner links earns us a commission. Here’s our full Advertising Policy.
Update: One or more card offers in this post are no longer available. Check our Hot Deals for the latest offers.
There’s one guarantee in the miles and points world: Things are always changing.
This week brought news that AMEX and Starwood will soon discontinue the Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express, which was once widely considered the best hotel credit card. It’ll no longer be available for new applications as of February 13, 2019 – just a few weeks away.
Folks who’ve been collecting miles and points for years likely have or have had this card, so they’re not eligible for the bonus. But if you’ve never held Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express, this is your last shot to snag it and boost your Marriott points balance.
Here’s what to know about the AMEX Starwood Preferred Guest Card before you decide to apply!
No Longer the Best Hotel Credit Card, but Still a Great Deal
While it stinks that the Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express is going away for good (effective February 13, 2019), I’m glad AMEX at least gave us a heads up a few weeks before its demise. That way if you’re interested you’ve got one last chance to add this card to your collection.
The Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express comes with a welcome bonus of 75,000 Marriott points after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months of opening your account. That’s a nice chunk of points, and more than enough for a night at a top-tier Ritz-Carlton hotel with the current award chart. Or many more nights at lower category brands like Courtyard or Residence Inn.
Keep in mind, there are some rules around eligibility for this card beyond the AMEX one bonus, per card, per person, per lifetime rule. AMEX says:
[W]elcome offer not available to applicants who have or have had The Marriott Rewards® Premier Credit Card from Chase, The Marriott Rewards® Premier Plus Credit Card from Chase, The Marriott Rewards Credit Card from Chase, or The Ritz-Carlton Rewards® Credit Card from JP Morgan in the last 30 days.
The $95 annual fee is waived the first year (See Rates & Fees), so the card is free to try out for ~11 months to see how you like it and if you enjoy the perks.
With the Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express, you’ll earn:
- 6X Marriott points per $1 on eligible Starwood and Marriott Rewards hotels
- 2X Marriott points per $1 on every other purchase
- A free night award you can redeem at any hotel up to 35,000 points each year on your card anniversary
- Automatic Marriott Silver Elite Status
- Marriott Gold Elite Status after spending $35,000 on your card in a calendar year
- Terms apply
Admittedly, the Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express isn’t what it used to be since Marriott and Starwood merged. For example, before the merger you’d earn 1 Starwood point per $1 on non-bonus category spending. That’s now 2 Marriott points per $1, but Starwood points converted to Marriott points at a 1:3 ratio, so this was effectively a ~33% decrease in earning.
And there are now hotel cards with better perks that really give the Starwood card a run for its money, like:
- Hilton Honors American Express Ascend Card – Hilton Gold status (free breakfast) and Priority Pass Select membership with 10 free airport lounge visits a year
- The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card – Hilton Gold status (free breakfast) and Priority Pass Select membership with 10 free airport lounge visits a year
There’s still terrific value to be had from the card, though. That’s especially true if you like transferring Marriott points to airline partners for award flights – here’s Jason’s take on why he’s focusing on earning Marriott points this year to do just that.
You can also check out Meghan’s post about all the changes coming to the Starwood and Marriott cards with the launch of the new Marriott Bonvoy loyalty program in February 2019.
Remember, your last day to apply for the Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express is February 12, 2019, because it’s being discontinued on February 13, 2019. And don’t forget AMEX’s one bonus, per person, per card, per lifetime rule – so if you’ve had this exact card in the past, you’re not eligible for the bonus.
Are you sad this card is going away? Or more excited about the new Marriott Bonvoy cards? Let us know in the comments.
For rates and fees of the Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card from American Express, please click here.