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One of the many, many facets of the combined Marriott/Starwood program that we recently unpacked is a new lineup of co-branded credit cards. The as-yet-unnamed rewards program, which unifies Marriott, Ritz-Carlton and SPG, will have associated credit cards with both Amex and Chase, and the two currently available Starwood Amex cards won’t be going anywhere, at least for now. However, they’ve both just dropped their welcome bonuses from 25,000 Starpoints to a statement credit that’s pretty paltry in comparison.
With the Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card from American Express and the Starwood Preferred Guest Business Credit Card from American Express, new cardholders will now get a $100 statement credit after spending $1,000 in the first three months, plus another $100 statement credit after making a purchase at a Marriott or SPG hotel in the first six months. Considering that the previously available 25,000-point bonuses were worth $675 based on our valuations, this is a big drop — and an unfortunate blow to those of you who were waiting to sign up.
These two cards will receive some updated benefits in August, including an annual free night award up to 35,000 points, complimentary Silver elite status and 15 night credits toward status for the same $95 annual fee, but especially given that the earning rate on non-bonus spending is effectively dropping with these two cards, there’s no way around the fact that this is a bummer.
A new Starwood Preferred Guest Luxury Credit Card will launch in 2018 and come loaded with premium perks, and Marriott’s introducing the Marriott Rewards Premier Plus Card to replace its Marriott Rewards Premier Card in May. While we don’t have info on the welcome bonuses for either of these products, it’s a safe bet that they’ll be more enticing than the lowered offers on the two existing SPG Amex cards.