Understanding New SPG Amex Card Eligibility Rules

Articles

Luxury Flights / Articles 29 Views

In the interest of full disclosure, One Mile At A Time earns a referral bonus for anyone that’s approved through some of the below links. These are the best publicly available offers that we have found for each card. Please check out our advertiser policy for further details about the partners we work with. Thanks for your support!

As of August 1, 2018, American Express relaunched their two co-branded Starwood American Express Cards. These cards have great new welcome bonuses, as follows:

Each of these cards comes with some useful perks, including an anniversary free night certificate valid at a property retailing for up to 35,000 points per year.

On top of that, starting in 2019 you get 15 elite night credits towards status annually just for having either card (you can earn this benefit a maximum of once per year, even if you have multiple cards with this benefit). Since Platinum status in the new program requires 50 nights, that means you’ll need just 35 nights per year to achieve it.

There’s quite a bit of confusion regarding eligibility for these cards, given new restrictions that are soon being put in place, so I wanted to look at that in more detail in this post.

Are you eligible for the new SPG Amex Cards?

American Express is adding new restrictions when it comes to being approved for the Starwood Business Amex Card and Starwood Personal Amex Card.

Current rules (through August 25, 2018)

As before, the welcome bonuses on these cards are “once in a lifetime,” meaning you’re not eligible for the bonuses on these cards if you’ve had them before. That applies to each card individually, so you’re eligible for the bonus on the personal and business card.

These are considered the same products as before the refresh. Until that point, eligibility for these cards is independent of eligibility for Chase Marriott Cards.

New rules (as of August 26, 2018)

As of August 26, 2018, these cards will be subjected to new restrictions. As of then, you won’t be eligible for the welcome bonuses on these cards under more circumstances.

You won’t be eligible for the welcome bonus on the Starwood Business Amex Card if any of the following are true:

  • You have or have had the Marriott Rewards Premier Business Credit Card from Chase or Marriott Rewards Business Credit Card from Chase in the last 30 days
  • You have acquired The Marriott Rewards Premier Plus Credit Card from Chase or The Marriott Rewards Premier Credit Card from Chase in the last 90 days
  • You have received a welcome offer in the last 24 months on The Marriott Rewards Premier Plus Credit Card from Chase or The Marriott Rewards Premier Credit Card from Chase

Meanwhile you won’t be eligible for the welcome bonus on the Starwood Personal Amex Card if:

  • You have or have had The Marriott Rewards Premier Credit Card from Chase, The Marriott Rewards Premier Plus Credit Card from Chase, Marriott Rewards Credit Card from Chase, or The Ritz-Carlton Rewards Credit Card from JP Morgan in the last 30 days

How the SPG Luxury Card plays into all of this

As of August 23, 2018, American Express will be launching the new SPG Luxury Card, which will be their $450 annual fee card. It will come with benefits like Marriott Gold status for as long as you have the card, Platinum status when you spend $75,000 on the card in a year, a $300 annual credit for Marriott hotels, an annual free night certificate valid at properties retailing for up to 50,000 points per night, and more.

Based on what we know as of now, starting August 26, 2018, you won’t be eligible for the welcome bonus on that card if any of the following are true:

  • You have or have had The Ritz-Carlton Rewards Credit Card from JP Morgan in the last 30 days
  • You have acquired The Marriott Rewards Premier Plus Credit Card from Chase or The Marriott Rewards Premier Credit Card from Chase or The Marriott Rewards Premier Business Credit Card from Chase in the last 90 days
  • You have received a welcome offer in the last 24 months on The Marriott Rewards Premier Plus Credit Card from Chase or The Marriott Rewards Premier Credit Card from Chase or The Marriott Rewards Premier Business Credit Card from Chase

What’s interesting here is that the card is being introduced on August 23, while the new restrictions kick in on August 26 (at least based on what we know), so there will be a three day window where you could get that card even if you have some Chase issued cards.

What’s the best strategy here?

As you can see, the major restriction with eligibility on American Express cards is whether or not you have the similar Chase cards, which is something we haven’t seen before. So as you consider your strategy, keep in mind a few things:

  • Some people will want to apply for one (or more) of the Starwood Amex Cards before August 26, 2018, when the new rules kick in
  • American Express will typically approve at most two credit card applications in a 90 day period, so you’ll want to be strategic about which cards you apply for
  • Eligibility for all three Starwood Amex Cards is considered separately, meaning that you could potentially have the Starwood Business Amex CardStarwood Personal Amex Card, and SPG Luxury Card
  • The Starwood Business Amex Card, has a limited time welcome bonus, though this card will continue to be issued long term; meanwhile at some point in the future Chase has the rights to Marriott’s mid-range personal credit cards, so it’s possible that the Starwood Personal Amex Card won’t be open to new cardmembers anymore (this hasn’t been confirmed with certainty, and if it does happen, we don’t know when)

So while everyone’s situation will vary, in general:

  • I’d consider applying for the Starwood Business Amex Card or Starwood Personal Amex Card before August 26, if that would benefit you, based on the new rules
  • If you’d get value out of the SPG Luxury Card, plan to apply for that between August 23 and August 25, when it will be easiest to get approved for the card

What’s your strategy with Marriott’s new credit card rules?

Comments