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Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available. View the current offers here – Starwood Preferred Guest® American Express Luxury Card

SPG and Marriott Rewards are now one loyalty program (well, mostly) and while there are some lingering hiccups and questions surrounding the integration, there is no doubt that for some types of redemptions, Marriott Rewards points are as valuable as ever. Truthfully, they are likely now even more valuable than before, if you enjoy spending points at high-end resorts. Until early 2019, Marriott and SPG properties cost a maximum of 60,000 points per night for a standard room. Some of these resorts (ahem, St. Regis Maldives) previously cost the equivalent of several times that number of points per night.

Photo courtesy of the St. Regis Maldives
Photo courtesy of the St. Regis Maldives

I have big plans for our family trips while some previously out-of-range SPG resorts are closer to the stratosphere of our points budget. However, I’ve already spent a lot of my SPG/Marriott points grabbing winter holiday award nights at the new lower award rates available at the St. Regis New York, some ski weekends at SPG properties out west and a few other adventures. The short story is that my husband Josh and I both need more Marriott points…quickly.

Photo courtesy of St. Regis New York
Photo courtesy of St. Regis New York

Get 100,000 Marriott Points and Perks in a Hurry

Enter the brand-new Starwood Preferred Guest® American Express Luxury Card that just launched with a public offer of 100,000 points after $5,000 in spending in the first three months until October 31, 2018. If we both applied and were approved for our own cards, then after hitting the spending requirements we would be very close to the 240,000 points needed for a five-night award stay at basically any SPG/Marriott resort in the world — assuming standard award availability.

The SPG Luxury Card has a scary-looking $450 annual fee, but it isn’t that scary for us because of the valuable built-in perks. The $450 annual fee is offset by up to $300 in statement credits for charges at participating Marriott and SPG hotels each account anniversary year and an annual award night worth up to 50,000 points after each card renewal. We spend well more than $300 each at SPG and Marriott properties throughout the course of a year, so that $300 is money we would have spent anyway.

We spent plenty eating at the Westin in Grand Cayman

On top of that, with the SPG Luxury Card you get an annual night worth up to 50,000 points that you can use somewhere like the Walt Disney World Swan or Westin Grand Cayman each year you renew the card. Peak nights on a Disney property alone can easily cost more than $250+ per night, making the card a keeper for me when you combine that with the annual $300 in statement credits. There are other perks, too, such as Marriott Gold elite status, a $100 Global Entry credit and Priority Pass Select membership, but most of those other perks we have duplicated elsewhere.

Jump at the chance to stay at the Westin Grand Cayman (Photo by Flytographer)

Why I Need to Apply for the SPG Luxury Card Today

So, why do I plan to apply for this card today instead of waiting to see if a better offer comes along down the road, especially since this 100,000 point offer is scheduled to run until Oct. 31? Well, two reasons.

  1. First, I need the welcome bonus points in my account as quickly as possible. I have more trips I want to book while high-end resorts are just 60k points per night — or 48k per night with the fifth night free. It takes time to earn bonuses and have the points deposited, so I’m not wasting another minute before I start that process since the Marriott award chart increases at the top end come early 2019.
  2. My window to get this card is just three days, and this is already the second of those three days. You see, beginning on August 26, 2018, there will be new restrictions that will limit your ability to collect a new member bonus on this (and other) Amex and Chase Marriott/SPG cards based on previous cards you have had. If I don’t apply for this brand-new card by tomorrow, I will not be eligible for the card’s bonus for about the next two years.

Bonus Restrictions Tightening on SPG and Marriott Cards Effective Sunday

Beginning on Aug. 26 (Sunday), terms will be added to the SPG Luxury Card that state…

“You are ineligible for the welcome offer if any of the following are true:

Currently have or have had any of the following Cards in the last 30 days

  • The Ritz-Carlton Rewards Credit Card from JP Morgan

OR have acquired any of the following Cards from Chase in the last 90 days

  • The Marriott Rewards Premier Plus Credit Card from Chase
  • The Marriott Rewards Premier Credit Card from Chase
  • The Marriott Rewards Premier Business Credit Card from Chase

OR have received a welcome or upgrade offer for any of the following Cards from Chase in the last 24 months

  • The Marriott Rewards Premier Plus Credit Card from Chase
  • The Marriott Rewards Premier Credit Card from Chase
  • The Marriott Rewards Premier Business Credit Card from Chase”

Um, guilty as charged. I received the welcome bonus for the Marriott Rewards Premier Business Credit Card from Chase in May 2018, so even though it is a small business card issued from another bank, I wouldn’t be eligible for the new Amex SPG Luxury Card for two years from that date. Frankly, I think those terms are crazy, but I don’t make the rules, I just play by them.

Unfortunately, the new welcome bonus restrictions kicking in this weekend aren’t just for the new SPG Luxury Card. They will be impacting all of the Amex SPG and Chase Marriott cards in a variety of ways as summarized below.

Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express

On the basic personal SPG Amex card, the new rules will state…

“You are ineligible for the welcome offer if any of the following are true:

Currently have or have had any of the following Cards in the last 30 days:

  • The Marriott Rewards® Premier Credit Card from Chase 
  • The Marriott Rewards® Premier Plus Credit Card from Chase 
  • Marriott Rewards Credit Card from Chase 
  • The Ritz-Carlton Rewards® Credit Card from JP Morgan ”

Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express

On the SPG business card, beginning on Aug. 26 you’ll find the following rules:

“You are ineligible for the welcome offer if any of the following are true:

Currently have or have had any of the following Cards in the last 30 days

  • The Marriott Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card from Chase* 
  • The Marriott Rewards Business Credit Card from Chase 

OR have acquired any of the following Cards from Chase in the last 90 days

  • The Marriott Rewards® Premier Plus Credit Card from Chase 
  • The Marriott Rewards® Premier Credit Card from Chase 

OR have received a welcome offer for any of the following Cards from Chase in the last 24 months

  • The Marriott Rewards® Premier Plus Credit Card from Chase 
  • The Marriott Rewards® Premier Credit Card from Chase”

Marriott Rewards Premier Plus Credit Card

For the personal Marriott card issued by Chase, the new rules will note that…

“You are ineligible for the welcome offer if any of the following are true:

Currently have or have had any of the following Cards in the last 30 days

  • Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express 

OR have acquired any of the following Cards from American Express in the last 90 days

  • Starwood Preferred Guest® American Express Luxury Card 
  • Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express 

OR have received a welcome offer or upgrade bonus for any of the following Cards from American Express in the last 24 months

  • Starwood Preferred Guest® American Express Luxury Card 
  • Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express”

Marriott Rewards Premier Plus Business Credit Card

And finally, the business version of Chase’s Marriott card will list these rules…

“You are ineligible for the welcome offer if any of the following are true:

Currently have or have had any of the following Cards in the last 30 days

  • Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express

OR have acquired any of the following Cards from American Express in the last 90 days

  • Starwood Preferred Guest® American Express Luxury Card 
  • Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express 

OR have received a welcome offer or upgrade bonus for any of the following Cards from American Express in the last 24 months

  • Starwood Preferred Guest® American Express Luxury Card
  • Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express”

Zoinks. That is a lot of information, and it is not good news. The only bit of good news is that it isn’t yet too late to get ahead of the implementation of these rules if you act quickly. In my case, that means applying for the new SPG Luxury Card today, but you may have your eye on a different card.

For those curious, the welcome bonus on the Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express is now 75,000 points after spending $3,000 on the card within the first 3 months. Additionally, the Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express is offering a bonus of 75,000 points after spending $3,000 on the card within the first 3 months.

Bottom Line

TPG currently values Marriott points at 0.9 cents apiece. This makes 100,000 bonus points on the SPG Luxury Card worth $900. However, your return on the points could very well be much higher — especially while properties top out at 60,000 points per night. It isn’t all about places like Maldives and Bora Bora; there are some closer to home family-friendly spots that you may also want to grab at 60k points per night while you can. Places like the St. Regis AspenSt. Regis New YorkSt. Regis Deer Valley, St. Regis Princeville on Kauai or the lovely St. Regis Punta Mita are all excellent options.

St. Regis Punta Mita
St. Regis Punta Mita

However your family wants to use points, if you will be hit by the new bonus restrictions coming on August 26, then consider joining me in applying for the SPG Luxury Card, or one of the other impacted cards, before it is too late to be eligible for the bonus.

Featured image courtesy of the St. Regis Maldives

Starwood Preferred Guest® American Express Luxury Card

This card has a $450 annual fee, but that's offset by up to $300 in statement credits that you can earn each year for Marriott and SPG purchases. You'll earn 6x points at Marriott and SPG properties, 3x points at US restaurants and on flights purchased directly from the airline and 2x points on everything else.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 75,000 bonus points after you use the Card to make $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months.
  • Earn 6 points on eligible purchases at participating SPG® and Marriott Rewards® hotels, 3 points at U.S. restaurants and on flights booked directly with airlines, and 2 points on all other eligible purchases.
  • Enjoy up to $300 in statement credits each year of Card Membership for eligible purchases at participating SPG® or Marriott Rewards® hotels.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on International purchases.
  • Receive 1 Free Night Award every year after your Card account anniversary. Award can be used for one night (redemption level at or under 50,000 points) at a participating hotel. Select hotels have resort fees.
  • Enjoy complimentary, unlimited Boingo Wi-Fi on up to four devices at more than 1,000,000 Boingo hotspots worldwide. Enrollment required.
  • $450 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Intro APR on Purchases
N/A
Regular APR
17.74%-26.74% Variable
Annual Fee
$450
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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.