The Starwood AMEX Turns Into A Pumpkin At Midnight; Goodbye And Thanks For The Memories!

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I’ve had a Starwood AMEX card ever since I turned 18 a decade and a half ago. Over the years the card has gone from blue to red to purple as the annual fee climbed from $30 to $45 to $65 and finally to $95. But it has consistently provided a great value for everyday spending.

Until today.

Since the card launched it offered 1 Starpoint per dollar spent everywhere. It didn’t try to compete for bonus category spent, but it always provided a good value for non-bonused spending. The points were valuable for hotel stays and when transferring into airline miles thanks to the 20K:25K transfer ratio. There were no massive devaluations that obliterated that value proposition as some airlines underwent.

Sadly, tomorrow the card will be hit with a 33% devaluation as it goes from earning 1 Starpoint per dollar (3 Marriott points per dollar) to 2 Marriott points (0.67 Starpoints) per dollar spent.

Luckily, existing Starpoints won’t be devalued as they will be tripled on 8/18. However any new spending on the card as of tomorrow will only earn 2 Marriott points per dollar.

If your goal is maintaining a versatile points currency that can be used for airline miles or hotel stays and to accumulate versatile points that are a hedge against devaluation in any individual program, this is no longer the card to use. Previously, the card earned an effective 1.25 airline miles per dollar spend, but that goes down to 0.84 airline miles per dollar spent as of tomorrow.

You can still get a decent return on high end hotels, especially until combined category 8 launches in February, but you won’t get a great return on airline miles, so you will be subject to Marriott’s whims and potential future devaluations without the ability to transfer the points elsewhere at a favorable ratio.

The card will become a great card for the benefits it provides, primarily for the annual free night which will be the reason I won’t cancel the card. That free night will be worth more than the annual fee.

I’ll still use the card at Starwood hotels for 6 Marriott points per dollar. I may even use the business card at gas stations for 4 Marriott points per dollar. Perhaps I’ll pull the card out when I need to buy something that may need return/warranty protection, though that may also go on another AMEX card.

But otherwise I’ll be focusing my spending on the Chase Quadfecta. That will earn lots of points on everyday and bonus category spending while being able to transfer points into highly valuable airline and hotel currencies or being able to redeem the points for paid flights, hotel stays, car rentals, or other activities at an excellent value.

If you still want some last minute Starpoints, you might consider prepaying bills today or making an estimated federal tax payment at a cost of 1.87%, which a great rate for “buying” Starpoints.

To my soon to be dusty Starwood AMEX…chin up. We sure had some good times together back in the days of dollar coins from the mint, Amazon Payments, and REDcard…

I wouldn’t have been able to play softball in Wrigley without you:

#RBISingle #SPGMoments @ #WrigleyField #TeamDansDeals takes #Game1 14 to 5!

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I wouldn’t have been able to celebrate my 8th wedding anniversary by throwing out the first pitch before game 7 of the 2016 World Series and watching the heart-stopping game with Mimi in 2nd row diamond box seats behind the dugout without you:

Via DansDeals Facebook #FirstPitch #Game7 #WorldSeries #Jumbotron

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I wouldn’t have been able to stay in hotels like the S. Regis Maldives without you:

#IridiumSpa #StRegisMaldives #Drone #Mavic

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#HelloBeautiful #GoodMorning from #Paradise #StRegisMaldives #Mavic #Drone

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I’m still sitting on 7 figures of Starpoints so I’ll still have the opportunity to do awesome things with my remaining points, but the opportunity cost of earning more points on the card seems too high with the 33% devaluation in card earning potential.

So thanks for the amazing memories, but I’m afraid it’s time to say goodbye. It’s not me, it’s you.

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117 Comments On "The Starwood AMEX Turns Into A Pumpkin At Midnight; Goodbye And Thanks For The Memories!"

All opinions expressed below are user generated and the opinions aren’t provided, reviewed or endorsed by any advertiser or DansDeals.

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JM

do we still have till aug 18 to book hotel rooms under the old rates?

Joe

Dan, What happens to the current points we have?

Davidrotts63

It will be hard to lay them to rest but their time has come.

Abraham

Purchases made today will still get 3 Marriot points per dollar even though it won’t post until tomorrow or later?

Been There

Great post! Informative and an enjoyable read.

AK770

Agreed. Well written, informative and even an average reader like me can follow it when often times CC point talk makes my head spin.

Sam

My annual renews sometime in August. Not sure if before/after the 18th…

Does it go by the billing cycle end date ?

Also, if it is earlier than the 18th, do I get a free night ?

sam

Dan

if i dont plan on using Starpoints for hotels rather airlines … should i transfer them out today ?

Pad18

“So thanks for the amazing memories, but I’m afraid it’s time to say goodbye. It’s not me, it’s you.”

😀

SHLOMO

Let’s use Sheraton TLV as an example, which will be 13k a night soon(with a 5 night stay). If I have 100K spg, that will give me like 7 nights. If I transfer to a travel package that will be come 7 nights plus 132k united miles. Is that correct? And until when can I use those 7 nights (at that rate)?

Dave

Great post! For thoseof is that are locked out of chase…. which card should we focus our spending on??

Fidel

What’s the best alternative instead of Chase – Chase closed all my accounts 2 years ago…

exShoYoGuy

Can I ask what you did that got a shut down?

Dovid

Is it worth the annual fee just for the sake of length of credit history? It’s my oldest card by a couple of years…

Nate

@dan how did you do the Maldives trip? did you have to use St. Regis’ private plane to get to the island? it costs $500 a person from the main island to the resort. how did you do it?

Thankful but hopefull

The resort uses trans maldivian airlines, i went in december 2016 and the flights were $750 pp roundtrip, organized and paid through the hotel.

Thankful but hopefull

Gonna miss this card… spg and Dansdeals made my honeymoon possible!

Hopefully Marriott sees the decline in use and changes its highest tier card to earn 3 points per dollar

hungry

Dan,
I only use the SPG card for the hotels, should I stop using the card?

Ay

Would you transfer MR to spg before the 18th? Or would that have to be done today as well.

George

You’re giving me the “it’s not you, it’s me” routine? I invented “it’s not you, it’s me”

Yoko

So whats the go to card now? I usually sell my miles.
Thanks

eli

Hi @dan i opened the card 4 months ago and finished the spend withing the first month but never received the bonus, amex opened a case but i haven’t heard back so far, if i receive the bonus later then today will it be 2 or 3 points?

exShoYoGuy

When you say for protection you’ll use other Amex cards, which cards are the best? I was going to keep using SPG when I need protection.

Spg fan

can you combine annual free nights and points into one hotel stay? Annual free night for spg card and annual free night for marriott card into one stay?

laurie

If i charge on the spg card this afternoon and they are in pending which will probably post as aug 1st will it still receive the 3pts per dollar?

Anon

Earned a million points and was introduced to many new brands and properties. Some epic awards (and some paid stays) at Westin, st Regis, W, Four Points, and now Marriot and Ritz. Had some great starpoints to Aeroplan conversions too back in the day. Burning my remaining points this month and card going in the sock drawer tonight.

A

Need a one way flight to Israel September 16th would it be worthwhile to just use the starpoints I have on spgflights (45k one way on Ukraine) any other better way to use them?

SN

BDE. Many blessed memories on this card, and much hakaras hatov to the DD mishpacha that’s shared their tips over the years. It’s been a great run.

Jeff B

Dan or anyone who sits at his round table;

Will Amex be sending out new physical cards? I have a bunch of authorized users, with new CVC etc?

Dave

But dan if I need Marriott points it’s still worth because I get 2 points per dollar vs transfer UR will only be 1 to 1 (Only getting 1 point per dollar spent), makes sense ?

Robin

Great post Dan. Shame what happened to SPG there goes the trinity! Chase All the way

Bill

If you had to keep one, would it be the AMEX SPG Biz or Personal card?

Valerie

My SPG Amex business card is still useful, with 10% off at mobile n staples till 11/30.

R

What will happen to the 20:25 ratio when transferring to airline partners. Is that disappearing?

chaim

Dan, do you think that Marriott will at some point devalue the transfer to airlines? that means that if you don’t need it for hotel stays you should transfer over the points to airline program ASAP?

googwallet

Two words of advise:
Let. Go.

Ohioneighbor

I want to understand correctly.
If my intention is to use my Starwood points for hotels should I just sit on them now and wait for them to transfer into Marriott at 3 to 1?
And if I plan to use my Starwood points for flights should I transfer them into airline points before August 8th in order to get the 20,000 to 25,000 ratio or will that be possible with Marriott as well?
Finally will I get a free annual night for both the personal and business card ?

Joe

Dan, which 2% cash back card would you recommend to replace my SPG?

R

If the new ratio to transfer to airline partners will be 60:25 (like 20:25 the old way) why is it so bad for travel now? I assume all my old SPG points would still be 60:25, so what is changing going forward to the transferring to airline 20:25 ratio? Going forward will it become 40:25? Also, since they will merge with Marriot, will they get rid of the transferring to airline partners?

Yossi

Dan, I really feel for you. It’s very emotional reading this post. I hope Marriott will read this and bring back a good contract with Amex and ditch BAD CHASE BANK

Ohioneighbor

If I am undecided as to how I am going to use the points what do you suggest?

Michael

Thanks for all Dan. Qq- I now have 4 free nights with my spg and Marriott cards- if I combine the 4 will I get 5th night free for a trip?

R

Thank you for explaining. Is there any reason to rush to transfer my existing SPG to airlines now, or can I take my time as needed and use those existing points for 60:25 ratio. I like to wait until we’re ready to travel so I really don’t want to transfer anything now, unless I’ll lose out otherwise.

Uri

Hi
Where in Israel can I redeem the free night if at all. And Europe?

Avrohom

Does this end at midnight ET or MT, or where ever you are when it is midnight?

Slip6

Just paid $95 AF both Starwood Amex cards about 2 months ago. I guess I have to wait next year for the anniversary free night?

If I upgrade to the Luxury card, will they prorate my AF I just paid and refund the other 10 months?

H

Living in Israel this has been my go to card for non bonus spend, which is lots of my spending. Travel & restaurants I use the CSR, & pretty much everything else was put on my SPG. I can’t use my freedom unlimited & freedom over here, so I’m not sure where that leaves me. I’m obviously aiming to be getting at least over 2% back otherwise I’d just get a 2% cashback Card. Would really appreciate some suggestions of what to use.

Shmiel

if i do 30k in spend on the spg biz (already did 25k), what will that get me interms of the new Marriott status tiers? considering finishing that last 5k spend if itll help gain status

Chanymo

Are we still getting 25000 for 20000 airline transfer?

Walt

Just a heads up – spoke with AMEX team for an hour yesterday. Just because you made the purchase before midnight does not guarantee you will earn the points at the old valuation. It goes by the date the transaction posts to your account. I tried to make a bunch of big purchases this last week – half of them still show as pending 3 days later, and will earn the 2 Marriott points per dollar now that midnights has passed.

Ripley62

Are you sure the rewards amount changed to Marriott on the first. I’m as I type this on the phone with a Marriott rep about another matter and said the 18th, when the programs merge. I also tweeted AmEx and they replied with a link to Marriott program change web site said to them it was the 18th

Max

I called and told them I want to cancel the card and they offered me right off the bat my choice of 20k points or $75 statement credit if I keep it and spend 2k within 90 days…I still keep my annual free night, so I accepted. FYI

eg

So what’s the best AMEX product to change to? Blue for Business? 2MR points seem better than 2 Marriott points. The problem with Blue for Business is Foreign Transaction Fees (IINM).

m kay

I am only a novice in this group but I have traveled the world my whole life using many methods of payment. Deciphering Dan’s recommendations over the last few years has really saved us money and we have travelled more and further than otherwise we might have. You have opened the whole world to many of us frum families. My wife and I had SPG cards for years but did not know how to take advantage of them, but we have had a great few years run. We finally figured out the “nights and flights ” in time for a week in Rome and one in Manhattan. We just scheduled one in Orlando and hope to buy one more certificate to hold onto. Thank you!
I have had a chase business cash card for years, but did not use it much besides for the office supplies. I just got the $450 a year reserve card from them after reading some posts. I then transferred my cash points to the reserve card and I am hoping to figure out how to best use them. Are these 2 chase cards enough for the most efficient use of the system? Should I get rid of the cash card for a different chase card?

Sorry for the lengthy post.

Marty

Chauncey

I have 4 SPG cards and 1 SPG buzz. Probably only keep one open. Can I downgrade SPG to some other Amex card to keep the credit lines?

Lebron

the anniversary night can be used at ANY spg hotel??????

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