My 30,000 Point Starwood Amex Personal and Business Double Application Update

by on August 14, 2012 · 55 comments

in American Express, Credit Cards, Starwood

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Update: Offers for the Starwood Amex cards have changed. Visit these links to see the current offers for the Starwood business and personal cards.

Last Tuesday I applied for both the personal and business versions of the Starwood American Express card since they are running 30,000 point sign-up promotions on both cards, which is 20% more than what they usually offer. I immediately got approved for the personal card, though my business application (which I had submitted second) was automatically flagged as a duplicate application and put into a 4-day holding queue. I was told there was nothing they could do to expedite and to call after about a week if I hadn’t heard anything further.

Well the good news is that 6 days later I got an approval email from American Express letting me know that the card was on its way. This is great because I don’t really like calling credit card companies, which is what I have to do more and more these days since I have an impressive lineup of current cards and sometimes they need a little nudging to approve me for new cards (some of which I’ll be canceling soon, so stay tuned!).

Anyway, the bad news is that Amex pulled my credit again when processing the business application. In Florida American Express and Chase use Experian, so I paid $14.95 for access to my report and score for the month so I could monitor and track if I actually got two inquiries (you can get a free annual credit report here).
Sadly two inquiries showed up on my report, though it’s not really the end of the world- clearly American Express wasn’t concerned that I had gotten another Amex, Chase and Citi card just 6 days prior. Still, it’s roughly a 2 point temporary ding on my credit that I’d rather not have, but considering I’m getting 30,000 Starpoints that I conservatively value at $600 and 5 nights towards elite status- and the annual fee waived for the first year I feel like I’m coming out on top.

So there you have it- unlike Citi and Chase, Amex does pull your credit twice when applying for both a personal and business card. Please comment if your experience has been different.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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  • Jamison

    Congrats TPG!

  • Sfera

    How soon after did you submit your second application? I applied 2x in one day and the inquiry showed up only once on my report. I applied approximately 5 hours apart and was instantly approved for both. One was Amex SPG Personal and the other was Business Rewards Gold.

  • IH

    My experience has been totally different –

    I just simply sign up for the best offer every month or 2 & let the score take care of itself-

    I get a free report & score from Amex (Experian once a year & ALL i have seen is my score go up or hold within a high 760-790 range.

    For example:

    Chase Ink Bold 50k March time.

    Citi Premier 50,000 May (Visa version as had the MC version) & Chase Hyatt.

    July: Chase Spphire Preferred MC version (I had the Sapphire preferred Visa Version & I had downgraded to the plain Sapphire before I did the application).

    I will do the Starwood near the end of August.

    As long as there is a good income stream, no debt besides manageable car & Mortgage payments, the score takes care of itself.

    I just spread the applications out a few months between banks.

  • Cindy

    In my experience Citi also shows two pulls for pers and biz on the same day (unlike two pers) bc they pull from diff’t companies.

  • Jon

    Thanks for confirming! I had a suspicion it worked this way.

  • Jon

    Sfera – based on that, it seems that you only saw a single inquiry because you were approved for both cards instantly. TPG’s business app was approved days later, after they pulled his credit report a second time on a different day.

  • Diamond Vargas

    Helpful, and definitely a good strategy that I agree with.
    At the same time, though, not exactly what TPG was asking for “experience” comments about – the issue he raises is that Amex pulls 2 separate credit inquiries for a business and personal version of the same card, whereas some issuers (like Citi and Chase) would only pull 1 inquiry in the same scenario.

  • Heather

    Yeah, same here. Immediately approved for personal card, but flagged for business card. After calling them said it would be reviewed. Today I was approved for business card! Didn’t like the double credit check, but I like the 60K points!! :)

  • Justin

    Interestingly, for me (in Virginia), Chase pulls different bureaus for personal and business, so I never get the benefit of consolidated inquiries from them. Luckily they pull EQ for personal and seem to be the only bank that does, so that helps. Unfortunately they pull EX for business. Amex, Citi, BoA, etc all pull EX for everything which is a severely limiting factor.

  • Justin

    So perhaps the best strategy is to apply for card 1 early in the morning, say at 9am, and then the business card toward the end of the day (but when recon is still open), say at 7pm. That way they’re less likely to flag it as a duplicate?

  • Rzlh50

    Great news, congrats!

    I applied for these cards before. Do you know if I can churn them again? I don’t know what AMEX’s rule is.

  • Docomo

    Thanks TPG for the info. Wame thing happened here and I was wondering why as I also applied for both SPG personal and business at the same time. My application for personal is still being held while the other is approved, I guess I will get another hit soon :(

    With so many agencies hitting Experian, I already have more than 10 hits on that report. It’s going to be tough to continue getting cards as Citi did reject me earlier for having too many inquiries. TPG, just wonder if you are also in the same situation and any comment on that? Thanks very much for your help! Congrats on your SPG churn.

  • Giddyforpoints

    You have to wait 12 months from when you last had the card to churn again to get the initial sign on bonus. I had applied for the personal card 2 yrs ago and canceled a yr later and I applied a yr after I closed it and got approved again. Hope this helps!

  • Rzlh50

    This helps a lot, thanks!

  • Dunkmaestro14

    Hey TPG do you know how long it takes to actually receive the card in the mail after you’ve been approved for it? A couple days or a week or more? I have some upcoming expenses and would love to put them toward the SPG minimum spend! Thanks!

  • Logan Lamson

    When I applied they expedited my shipping to 2-3 days and when it came the envelope was in another envelope for faster delivery. They did this on their own, which has happened once before with a different card.

  • Mitty

    My understanding is that you really only get flagged if it’s two cards of the same product line. When I applied for both my SPG Personal and SPG Business, I was immediately approved for the Personal as well, but my Business was put on hold just like TPG. I called and spoke with a rep, and the rep said the system flagged it because it thought that I had just made a duplicate application. (Both SPG cards.)

    I’m not entirely sure if this is true…have never applied for two AMEX cards at the same time. And I applied for each almost immediately after one and another.

    Bottom line is that I don’t know if your theory works in this scenario since you applied for different product lines (SPG Personal and Business Gold).

  • Guest

    Congrats, I had a similar experience…to a point. I got denied for Biz, and am requesting my Experian report to review. I saw that my FICO from Experian was 754 on the acceptance letter, and then 747 on the Biz rejection letter, both sent on 8/8.

    So 7 point ding for me…

  • Mitty

    According to the email and letters I received from AMEX…
    4-7 business days for the SPG Personal (from the date you were approved).
    2-3 business days for the SPG Business (from the date you were approved).

  • Elizabeth

    Nope — that doesn’t work either. I applied for the Business SPG card 2 days after my instant approval on the Personal SPG card and it still was flagged as a duplicate and put in the waiting queue.

  • Sdfai

    This happened to me last week. They blocked the 2nd app (delta personal) after approval from the 1st app (delta business). Although done within minutes of each other. With my credit unlocked for 3 days I never got a response on the 2nd app. Amex claims they tried to pull my report again for the 2nd app the next day and it was frozen. They told me any subsequent apps will require a pull for each.

  • Grant Thomas

    When you apply for the Biz card, they might send it to you via UPS Over night

  • PJ

    CHASE AND BoA all pull EXPERIAN to my observation

  • Ken Mahadeo


  • thepointsguy

    Theres no number of inquiries that will automatically get you declined- but I feel like if you pay your bills off and have good credit otherwise, you can talk you way into approvals via the reconsideration line

  • thepointsguy

    Normally it comes in 7-10 days, but you can ask for it to be expedited

  • thepointsguy

    I submitted 10 minutes later. Thats interesting that you got two approvals in the same day. Did you use the same social security number I assume?

  • PJ

    are these correct:

    if your application is rejected, no ding on the credit score .

  • Sfera

    Yup same SS number. Maybe Mitty is correct and the same product triggers a duplicate application.

  • Gadzooks

    How long is this 30,000 point sign-up promotion going to run? I’m about to refinance my home mortgage in the next couple of weeks, and I’d love to get in on this deal, too (my wife has never had any SPG card and needs an AMEX; I have the SPG Personal but am thinking about the business). But I don’t want to open any more cards until our refi is locked in – more at stake there.

  • PJ

    Last year this time I applied on a targeted Amex Platinum 100K offer which arrived at our mailbox with a first name Dennis ( same last name, but never had Dennis at our adress ever, we are the only family ever on this address). I( Patrick) applied on it ; a success.. Again it came in with another non recognizable 1st female chinese name.. the 100K seems very inviting even with same $400 (?) annual fees

    Wonder how can this be happening ? the solicitations are coming from the Mighty American Express.

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  • Tom MSP

    Trying to get wife’s 5K referral bonus with personal card, but I need business card, as closed my personal AMEX SPG less than 1 year. When I open emailed link, only personal card available. Can a personal referral get a business card?

  • thepointsguy

    Until Sept 4

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  • dc

    applied both personal and biz on friday evening. got instant on personal and a number to call for the biz. called the recon line 5 minutes before end of shift. was told by the nice rep that system flagged as a dup but as I needed to separate expenses, biz card approved and expedited. unfortunately, no way for him to expedite personal as system already is auto generating instant approval. so monday i receive biz card and still waiting on personal. not sure if got hit twice but would think not as everything was approved the same day. applied two other cards the same night and as of now, fako score is exactly the same as before the pulls. i’m kind of noob so does this even make sense that my score is the same? how long does it take for the score to drop?

  • Zheng87

    I applied for both along with Hilton(2cards) and BofA VS card on 8/10 (all approved on 8/10 except the SPG cards).

    Its funny I received call for approval for the Business Card with $11k credit (I asked to lower to $7k) , didn’t really ask me any questions except to confirm my detail, which I thought that was weird? Standard Amex practice? and THEY EXPEDITE me the card without me asking?

    I just closed my Gold Business card, while I have Amex Blue Cash/Amex Premier Card still open.

    I called later in the day to inquire about personal spg card… but they said its still processing…

  • Zheng87

    they expedited my card w/o me asking…

  • meric taser

    I already have 1 spg business card. I applied both at the same time, personal and biz card for my other company. personal got approved in 15 mins and biz. put on hold as a duplicate application. I checked back 4 days later and it was approved. I see the additional 2 stays and 5 nights credit on my starwood account now but not 4 stays and 10 nights… if each card is giving 2 stays and 5 nights… I should have 6 stays and 15 nights ?

    does anybody have more than 2 of these cards ?

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  • meric taser

    I just checked and I have 2 credit inquiries….

  • Wany May

    I did two cards as well and the business one was cancelled. I just called today and the representative told me that they consider the Personal and the Business cards as the same product and one can only have one product.
    This does not sound like correct according to other’s experience.
    Is there anything I can do? Or did I do anything wrong when I applied? (e.g. used my own name for the business card rather than a business name)

  • OKC

    TPG – Since you are on track to receive 30k bonuses on both cards, does that imply you have been operating without an SPG Amex for at least 12 months? Or did you find a work-around? My understanding was that in order to get a second sign-up bonus, you had to cancel the card and wait 12 months before applying again.

    By the way: great website! I appreciate all of the valuable, up-to-date information here!

  • JOseNYC

    Your link doesn’t work anymore…
    Does that mean the offer is out? When you go to the site, the sign up offer is only 10,000.

  • thepointsguy

    If you are logged into your Amex account when you click the link it will only show 10k. Use a different browser or log out of Amex and the 30k offer will load

  • Jon

    Just in case anyone is still reading this post, here is my experience:

    Applied and approved for personal card. I decided to wait a few days to apply for the business card so it didn’t get flagged like TPG’s did. Applied for the business card 3 days after the personal. Got the “call us now” screen at the end of the application, so I called.

    The agent said that there needs to be at least a 5 day waiting period between applications. Not sure if this is just for the personal/business SPG card, or whether this is a policy for all AMEX-affiliated cards. So my application will be reviewed and approved 2 days from now.

    Anyway, bottom line is I will still wind up getting 2 hard pulls on my credit for this one card… To avoid this, I would recommend simply waiting at least 5 days between applications.

    The other boneheaded move I made, not having read any advice on this either: you can get a 5K referral for referring from a business card to either another business or to another person. You cannot refer from your personal card to a business.

    My goal was to refer to my spouse and to her business and then have her refer to my business, netting 15K in referrals for the 4 card applications. We’ll have to settle for 10K because I was stupid and applied for the personal card first. So, if you have a spouse and are planning to get all 4 cards, start with a business card, get it expedited, refer to your spouse’s business, then wait 5 days and have the 2 businesses refer to you and your spouse for the personal cards and complete both apps. This should ensure 30K * 4 plus 5K * 3, or 135K total points.

  • DrRZ

    Hello PG,

    On 7/19 was my last churn. Do you think applying for these cards would be a good idea before the 9/4?

  • M E

    Hay Mr. Points Guy , A bit concerned I really want to apply for those 2 cards but my score went down in February after getting the Sapphire and Freedom cards, it’s just 6 month and my score has not gone back up yet, my questions is by applying now for those cards will it jeopardize my score going back up as my score is expected to go up in the next few weeks? Please advise greatly appropriated!

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