Update, 4/19: The Starwood Consumer AMEX will not be discontinued. However both the Starwood consumer and business cards are no longer offering any points for a signup bonus.
The Starwood Consumer AMEX card may be discontinued as soon as today.
The Starwood Business AMEX will stick around, but is rumored to no longer offer a Starpoint bonus for signing up after today.
If you haven’t had both cards before then it’s a no-brainer to signup for the 25K Starpoint (75K Marriott point) welcome bonus on each card before midnight tonight.
Once the card is gone you won’t be able to signup for it and that signup bonus will be gone forever. You can keep using your card even after it’s no longer being offered to new customers, but if you close it you won’t be able to get it back.
But several people have asked if it’s worth signing up for the card if they have closed the card recently and aren’t eligible for a signup bonus. People have also asked if the annual fee will be waived if they aren’t eligible for the signup bonus. Others want to know if they can apply for a duplicate Starwood AMEX if they already have a consumer and a business card.
Officially you can only get the signup bonus on an AMEX card once, though anecdotally there have been reports of people getting another bonus after several years.
Regardless of that:
- If you apply and are not approved, there is no hard pull as long as you are existing AMEX customer.
- If you are approved you will have the $95 annual fee waived for the first year.
- If you haven’t received the bonus in several years, nobody will tell you for sure if you will or won’t get the signup bonus until you reach spend threshold in 3 months and see what happens.
- AMEX does allow you to have multiple of the same card.
The card itself is excellent for spending until 7/31 as it earns 3 Marriott points per dollar spent, but on 8/1 it will only earn 2 points per dollar spent. There will be a very lucrative award chart for 6 months.
All Starwood cardholders will get a free night for every card anniversary that occurs from 8/1 and on. That covers 5 of the 7 hotel categories. If you use it at a category 5 hotel then your $95 annual fee will be a bargain as that would be like buying 35K points at a cost of just 0.27 cents per point. I’d value Marriott points at about 0.8 cents each, so that’s a bargain. Plus you’ll earn Silver Elite status, 15 elite night credits, free premium in-room WiFi, and worldwide Boingo.
If you have multiple Starwood cards you’ll get a free night from each card and all of your free nights can be used on one stay.
Really it just comes down to how you will utilize that free night. If you will utilize the night at a valuable hotel every year then it can definitely be worth signing up before the card goes away.
I have 2 Starwood cards and my wife has 2 Starwood cards. That’s $380 in annual fees, though those are mitigated by AMEX Offers, Return Protection, and other AMEX benefits. Going forward though, we will get 4 free nights from those cards every year. That’s enough nights for an annual a vacation without needing to buy anything on the cards!
I have no doubt that I’ll get more than enough value out of those free nights to make it worthwhile. Will you?
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