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Million Mile Secrets reader, Julie, commented:
Do you think the AMEX Starwood sign-up bonus will increase again to 35,000 points before they discontinue the card?
Following the recent limited-time 35,000 point offer for the AMEX Starwood card, the sign-up bonus went back to 25,000 Starwood points.
For the last several summers, AMEX has increased the sign-up bonus on the AMEX Starwood personal and small business cards for ~1 month.
I don’t have any inside information, but I have a feeling this year might be different. Because of the Starwood – Marriott merger, there’s a good chance the AMEX Starwood sign-up bonus stays at 25,000 Starwood points.
I’ll explain why it’s unlikely you’ll see an increased sign-up bonus for the AMEX Starwood cards.
Why an Increased AMEX Starwood Sign-Up Bonus Is Unlikely
Following the Marriott-Starwood merger announcement, I said the AMEX Starwood cards could be discontinued in the future.
I don’t have information this will happen any time soon. But once the hotel chains officially merge loyalty programs in 2018, it’s likely they keep only one co-branded card. And Marriott already has a relationship with Chase.
Given 2018 is only ~7 months away, folks at the hotel chain are probably focused on figuring out details for a combined loyalty program. So coming out with an increased credit card offer is not a top priority.
That said, changes to sign-up bonuses are unpredictable! So it’s always possible there could be one last increased offer before the card goes away.
If you want to apply now for the AMEX Starwood card, you can earn 25,000 Starwood points after spending $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months. And with the AMEX Starwood small business card, you’ll earn 25,000 Starwood points after spending $5,000 in purchases within the 1st 3 months of account opening.
You’ll also get:
- 2X Starwood points per $1 you spend at Starwood hotels (includes Aloft, Design Hotels, Element, Four Points, Le Meridien, Sheraton, St Regis, The Luxury Collection, Tribute Portfolio, Westin and W brand hotels)
- 2X Starwood points per $1 you spend at
- 1X Starwood point per $1 you spend on everything else
- Unlimited use of Boingo Wi-Fi hotspots (excluding in-flight)
- For small business cardholders, access to Sheraton Club lounges (free breakfast and hors d’oeuvres) for cardholder and 1 guest staying in the same room (3rd-party bookings are excluded).
- 2 stay credits or 5 night credits toward Starwood Elite Status
- No foreign transaction fees
The $95 annual fee is waived for the first year on both cards.
Note: You’re only eligible to earn AMEX sign-up bonuses once per card per lifetime.
How to Use Starwood & Marriott Points
Starwood points are extremely flexible. For example, you can use points for:
- Free stays at 5,700+ Starwood AND Marriott hotels around the world
- Inexpensive hotel stays using the Cash + Points perk
- Award flights with airline transfer partners like American Airlines, Alaska Airlines, Delta, Emirates, and more
- The 5th night free perk at Starwood Category 3 to 7 hotels
- 5 nights and 2 airline tickets to Disney World
- Special SPG moments like sporting events and concerts
For inspiration on Starwood hotels you can book with points, check out these posts:
- 5 Fantastic US Marriott Hotels to Book Using Starwood Points
- 7 Best US Starwood Hotels to Book With Points
- 5 Top Hotels in Europe to Book With Starwood Points
- 5 Top Hotels in Caribbean & Mexico to Book With Starwood Points
- 7 Fun Travel Goals Once You Have the Starwood Card
- Vacation Longer! 7 Top Hotels Using Starwood’s “Cash & Points”
I don’t expect the sign-up bonus on the AMEX Starwood cards to increase to 35,000 points again this year.
While I don’t have official information, Starwood and Marriott are likely working to finalize a merged loyalty program. And that could mean discontinuing the AMEX Starwood card. Because Marriott already has an existing relationship with Chase.
So folks looking to earn valuable Starwood points might consider applying now for the AMEX Starwood personal or small business card. You can earn 25,000 Starwood points after meeting minimum spending requirements.
Do you think we’ll see another big sign-up bonus on the AMEX Starwood cards?