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I just got back from an amazing experience at Airbus headquarters in Toulouse (more about that soon!) and am catching up with the news from the past few days.
I’ll make another post on all of the updates with the Marriott cards, but one very exciting development is that if you have an existing Starwood Consumer AMEX card, you can earn a 25K point bonus for spending $25K in 2019 after registering for the bonus that will start on 2/24. You can also get another 25K point bonus for spending $50K, another 25K point bonus for spending $75K, and another 25K point bonus for spending $100K in 2019.
The max bonus is 100K points, so if you spend $100,000 between 2/24-12/31 on the card, you would earn 200,000 base points plus 100,000 points with this promo, for a total of 300,000 Marriott points.
You must have an existing card that was approved before today in order to register for the promotion and spending before registration won’t count. This bonus does not apply for the Starwood Luxury AMEX or the Starwood Business AMEX.
Last August the Starwood AMEX cards went from earning 3 Marriott points per dollar to 2 Marriott points per dollar. 60K Marriott points transfer into 25K airline miles or 27.5K United miles, so that means card earnings effectively went from 1.25 airline miles per dollar (25K miles/$20,000 spending) to 0.833 airline miles per dollar (25K miles/$30,000 spending) or 0.917 United miles per dollar (27.5K miles/$30,000 spending).
Marriott said they made up for that by providing a free annual 35K night, but that ignores the fact that the beauty of Starpoints was in their versatility of being used for hotels or airlines, it ignores the fact that you don’t need to spend to earn that, it ignores the fact that the annual free night has an expiration date, and it ignores the fact that the annual free night is limited to hotels costing 35K points or less and you can’t upgrade it to a higher category hotel. Effectively my card was downgraded from the front of my wallet to the back of my sock drawer.
With this promotion, you can go back to earning 1.25 airline miles per dollar spent (or 1.375 United miles per dollar spent), with the caveat that you’ll only be at that level if you spend exactly $25K, $50K, or $75K, or $100K from the time you register for the promo starting on 2/24 and 12/31/19 when the promo ends.
I value Marriott points at about 0.75 cents each, so this increases the subjective rebate value per dollar spent from 1.5 cents to 2.25 cents.
Of course if you only want airline miles, you can do much better that that with the Chase Quinfecta (1.5-5 miles per dollar) or Capital One (1.5 miles per dollar) or on the The Blue Business℠ Plus Credit Card from American Express (2 miles per dollar).
But Marriott offers far more airline transfer partners, like Alaska, American, and Lufthansa, and the points offer the versatility to choose from airline miles, hotel stays, or throwing out the first pitch of game 7 of the World Series 😉
Will this promo shift some of your spending back to your Starwood card this year?