2 Months Until The Starwood AMEX Is Devalued, Are You Racking Up The Starpoints?

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A month ago, I wrote about the transformation of the SPG AMEX from a card that offers an excellent return on everyday spending to a card that offers valuable perks but less valuable points for spending.

The value of Starpoints/Marriott points won’t go down, but the card will offer fewer points per dollar spent.

Currently you earn an effective 3 Marriott points (1 Starpoint) per dollar spent on the card, but effective for purchases made on or after 8/1 that will drop to just 2 Marriott points (0.67 Starpoints) per dollar. If you enjoy the versatility of Starpoints for transferring points to dozens of airlines, this change will kill that. Instead of a minimum of 1.25 airline miles per dollar spent, you’ll earn just 0.84 airline miles per dollar spent.

There will be a 6 month period with amazing incredible hotel bargains, which will mean in the short term the value of Starpoints/Marriott points should actually go up. Alas, next February those bargains will vanish.

Additionally, new airlines will be added for point transfers, like El Al, JetBlue, Qantas, and Southwest. That could make the value of points go up as well. But it won’t go up enough enough to make up for the 33% loss in earning power on the SPG AMEX in August.

Personally, I’ve shifted all of my everyday spending from my Freedom Unlimited/Quadfecta strategy to my Starwood card. I’ll switch back on 8/1, but until that point I think it’s worth racking up the Starpoints while the getting is good.

After 8/1 I may use my Starwood card at Marriott/Starwood hotels for 6 Marriott points per dollar and at gas stations for 4 Marriott points per dollar, but other than that I’ll just enjoy the annual free night and other benefits it comes with while the card gets downgraded from the front of my wallet to the back of my sock drawer. The annual free night will be worth more than the annual fee, but the card will no longer hold a compelling value for everyday spend as it has for more than the past decade.

Have you shifted spending towards the SPG AMEX since last month’s announcement about the changes coming in August?

Related Marriott-SPG merger posts:

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55 Comments On "2 Months Until The Starwood AMEX Is Devalued, Are You Racking Up The Starpoints?"

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Is it worth getting the new Marriott card with 100K bonus now or continuing spending on SPG card and getting the Marriott card down the road?


Doing the same. But after 8/1 my spend will be between Chase cards and a 2% cash back card. For hotel stays Chase points (UR) are good only for hyatt


Which Amex card will you use instead for return protection benefits?


How do you feel about buying up spg points at 35%-off in order to quickly build up a stash in anticipation of potentially great values come Aug-1?


Yep, this is my strategy too, all SPG (except for CF/CSR/CIC bonus categories) until 7/31 then back to Chase

5x Categories

So any 5-6x CC (Freedom/Ink/Blue Cash) you would still use first for those categories? What about 3x like Amex golds? Is CSR on your list for 3x restaurants only?


I thought that once the point system changes transfers to travel partners of 60k would be eligible for a 15k bonus. Isn’t that effectively 5k for every 20k that they have now?



You’d honestly use the SPG Biz for gas at 4 Marriott points/$? There are so many 5% cash back cards for gas. 4 Marriott points at a value of 0.8 cents/$ is only 3.2% cash in a more restrictive currency that devalues.


Trying to decide if I should go for the signup bonus on only one of the following (can’t meet minimum spend on both at once):
1. Marriott Rewards – 100K
2. Ink Business Preferred – 80K

OR start building Chase Quadfecta arsenal? I only have Freedom… and which one to get first/next CSR,CIC?

Either option, I’d try for CFU and one other with 2BM.

At most I’m 2/24.



Hi, my statement closes on the 1st of the month, the spg points don’t hit my account till the 4th,5th. What will be with my spending the last month? How many points will I get?


The amount of general spend they are going to lose here is crazy. One would think they will take notice pretty quickly


If I plan on selling my points. When do you think is best?


I honestly think it depends what the redemtion rate at hotels will be. I have stayed at spg hotels for 60k which would have costme $3000 thats a hell of a redemtion value..we wont be able to accumulate as many points but the conversion i think might still be better than AMEX premier or chase reserve


on amex ascend cards do you receive the free night for 15k annual spend right away or by the card anniversary? i would like to spend 15k at the beginning of the annual year and close it to get a refund on the annual fee and still get the certificate without having to keep the card open for more then 2 months since the start of the annual fee is that possible?


Any info about amex mr points transfers to spg starting august 1 , what will happen ?Currently 1000 = 333 SPG . Whill that mean 1000 amex = 1000 marriott ?


I get my points credited on the 4th or 5th of every month. will the points on the 4th of Aug. be considered on a value of 2 Marriot or will it be considered as July spending? (and be worth 3)


thanks for everything, but to get the most when transferring to airline programs we would need to have a post with all airlines award charts or a link to each airline award charts such a post will be very helpful and appreciated.


After the merge will Marriott points transfer to airlines at 1:1? Meaning 1 dollar now will get u 1 spg point but 3 Marriott by the merge so 3 points per dollar to airlines??


I have the 7 day certificate category 1-5, I intend on upgrading to category 9, and I most likely will use after August, do I upgrade before August? Or when I book?


Dan: the quadfecta gets you 2.25% equivalent. It isnt the best straight cash offer if youre into that specifically. Why not a review for a card like BofA premium rewards where you can get up to %1.9 – 2.7% if you have BofA elite stats.


I just signed up for the marriot premier card about 2 months ago. (busy finishing spending on new spg card now) Can I upgrade to the marriot premier plus card for now and get the upgrade offer and then in about a few months close this one and apply again for the premier plus card? would i get the signup bonus then?


SPG allows spouses to move points from one account to the other. To the best of my knowledge, Marriott doesn’t. Would it make sense before August 1 to move Marriott points to SPG, and combine them all into 1 SPG account that will then be merged into Marriott in August?


Dan, If I’m getting an offer to sell my SPG point for 1.4 should I do it?
They claim after August I wont be able to get anything better.
I was thinking of waiting for a deal of 1.8.


You think after August I won’t be able to get a better deal cuz of the devalue?


I knew when the merger was announced that I would be screwed badly. I wish I made it to lifetime Plat with SPG though. It has been a wild ride for me over the past 14 yrs. VIP events, multi millions in point redemptions, hundreds of free room rights for me and family. Tons of suite upgrades. Its painful. But I have to move on. I used to generate a ton of points from business charges which have changed somewhat. Now I have to be more selective among the programs. Hyatt/Chase has value as Dan explained as well.


I am putting $2 million or more (all of the biz expenses I can) on the card before the 8/1 deadline.