Amex’s Terrible “Limited Time” SPG Offer, A Better Offer & What the Future Holds for this Card

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Starwood Preferred Guest Amex 2 Free Night Offer

Starwood Preferred Guest Amex 2 Free Night Offer

American Express in what is perhaps their most underwhelming “limited time” offer of the year, has changed the bonuses on both the personal and business versions of the Starwood Preferred Guest credit card. The result in my opinion is a worse offer. Let’s take a look.

The Offer

Starwood Preferred Guest Amex 2 Free Night Offer

Earn 2 free nights at participating SPG Category 1-5 hotels & resorts worldwide after you use your new Card to make $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months. Note: A select few resorts require add’l fees. Offer ends 10/19/2016.

SPG Award Chart

  • Category 1: 3,000 points per night.
  • Category 2: 4,000 points per night.
  • Category 3: 7,000 points per night.
  • Category 4: 10,000 points per night.
  • Category 5: 12,000-16,000 points per night.

Analysis

With the normal offer being 25,000 points, the only way this offer is better hotel wise is if you use your two nights in a Category 5 property during the high season. With that said, you cannot get take advantage of the 5th night free benefit that you get while using points and of course you don’t have the option of transferring points over to airlines at a 20K:25K ratio.

I don’t know how else to say it, but this is a BAD deal for 99.9% of people in my opinion. The bonus on this card has increased to 30K each of the past several years and it even went up to 35K earlier this year. Given that you can only get the bonus on an American Express product once, I wouldn’t waste my bonus on this offer personally.

Better Offers

For now, personal referral links from current cardholders are working for the old 25K offer. If you are interested in getting this card now, I would probably go for the points. Here are my personal referral links.

The Merger & Future

Starwood Preferred Guest Amex 2 Free Night Offer

With the Marriott merger complete tomorrow, we shall soon hear about the future of the SPG program and then eventually about the future of these cards. If Amex is going to continue to service the current cardholders, I would expect a large bonus (another 30-35K deal) before the changes. If Amex has to sell of their business to Chase, then things could be a bit different, but the bank could still give one last big push for customer acquisition. Either way, it doesn’t seem like you will be stuck with the free night offer if you don’t get the card now.

Conclusion

We had heard that the bonus on these cards was changing as of today, but had expected an increased offer instead of what is arguably a lesser deal. I’m not sure who thought this offer up or if they thought we couldn’t do math, but this one is a deal that should be thrown back.

What are your thoughts? Am I off base? Is this new Starwood Preferred Guest Amex 2 free night offer good and I just don’t see the value? Let me know your thoughts in the comments!


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9 COMMENTS

  1. I think your analysis is solid. Its definitely a lesser offer.

    You note “If AMEX has to sell their business to Chase” – I’m assuming, since the deal hasn’t closed, that no formal announcements on credit card co-brands have happened right? Obviously Chase and Marriott are tight, but, I ask the question, because of AA’s move to go non-exclusive with Citi, could throw at least the consideration out there.

    • Correct. I don’t believe any information has been made public about how the co-brand situation will work so it is just speculation. It could indeed be a two issuer situation. We will just have to see, but Marriott has said they do eventually want to fold SPG into Marriott Rewards.

  2. Spot on. It’s amusing to see the “corporate” bloggers trying to put a lipstick on a pig. I was hoping to jump on a 35k biz offer before SPG went away but I’m not going to waste $5k of organic spend (now that Amex are being sticklers about cash equivalents) for just 25k points, and definitely not for 2 Cat5 nights.

  3. I read the terms, no mention of once-per-lifetime restriction, so in theory anyone who’s had the SPG cards before can get 4 free nights. That sounds interesting.

  4. its been rumored that this CC will go in the same direction as Costco. either completely gone to chase or Barclay status. TBD. will see what happens after OCT and hope to see 35k.

  5. If you are an authorized user on your spouse’s SPG card , would you be eligible for the sign up bonus if you apply for this card? The terms say if you have the card or have had you are not eligible.

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