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When Marriott acquired Starwood and merged the loyalty programs, as much changed with their credit cards as with the loyalty program itself.
Chase’s Marriott cards used to earn 1 point per dollar. Starwood’s Amex cards earned 1 Starwood point per dollar. Marriott themselves declared 1 SPG point worth 3 Marriott points. In other words, the Amex cards were 3 times as rewarding for spending.
That’s not surprising, the Starwood Amex was a standout. I got mine 20 years ago and I used it as my primary card for spend not bonused elsewhere for a long time. When the programs merged the earn rates met in the middle.
- Chase went from awarding 1 point per dollar spent to 2 points (outside of bonus categories)
- American Express went from awarding the equivalent of 3 Marriott points per dollar down to 2 points
The two issuers were now awarding the same for spend, Chase had doubled how rewarding its Marriott portfolio was for consumers, but Amex’s value proposition scaled back by one-third.
That hasn’t been popular with cardmembers. They’ve occasionally offered bonuses for spending and they are surveying brand new value propositions for the card that might return them to Starwood Amex glory.
For 2021, though, it’ll be possible to make American Express co-brand Marriott cards as rewarding for spend as the Starwood American Express used to be – because you’ll be able to earn that extra point per dollar spent.
- It’s an ‘Amex Offer’ you need to enroll for
- And you’ll earn 7500 bonus points for each $7500 you spend on the card
- You can earn this bonus 10 times, up to 75,000 points for $75,000 in spend
The offer is available from enrollment through December 31, 2021, and only for those whose cards were issued prior to 2021.
To be sure, this isn’t exactly as good as earning 3 Marriott points (1 old Starwood point) per dollar spent, since you only earn exactly that on unbonused spend at exact $7500 spend thresholds. Anything over one of those without reaching the next one is effectively ‘wasted’.
Here are the terms from my Marriott Amex business card,
You must first enroll in the offer by adding the offer to your Card. Only purchases made with your enrolled Card are eligible. Offer to enroll is available to existing Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card Members who are Basic Card Members prior to December 29, 2020. Limit of 1 enrolled Card per Card Member.
You are eligible to enroll starting from February 1, 2021 through December 31, 2021. Offer ends December 31, 2021. Eligible purchases can be made by the Basic Card Member only. Your enrollment of an eligible American Express Card for this offer extends only to that Card. Starting from the time you enroll through December 31, 2021 (“Purchase Period”), you will earn 7,500 bonus Marriott Bonvoy points each time you spend $7,500 in combined eligible purchases (“Purchase Threshold”) on your Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card during the Purchase Period, up to a maximum of 75,000 bonus Marriott Bonvoy points. Bonus points will be posted to your Member Account 8-12 weeks after you reach the Purchase Threshold.
Purchases may fall outside of the Purchase Period (and therefore not be eligible for the bonus points) in some cases, such as a delay in merchants submitting transactions to us or if the purchase date differs from the date you made the transaction. (For example, if you buy goods online, the purchase date may be the date the goods are shipped.) Eligible purchases do NOT include fees or interest charges, cash advances, purchases of traveler’s checks, purchases of reloading of prepaid cards, purchases of gift cards, person-to-person payments, or purchases of any cash equivalents. Eligible purchases to meet the Purchase Threshold are for goods and services minus returns and other credits.
To receive the bonus points, your Card Account must not be cancelled or past due at the time of fulfillment. American Express reserves the right to modify or revoke the offer at any time. The bonus points you may earn during the Purchase Period as part of this offer are in addition to any other points you may get from using your Card.
For questions regarding your Card Account, please call the number on the back of your Card. If American Express or Marriott determines that you have engaged in abuse, misuse, or gaming in connection with the promotional offer in any way or that you intend to do so, we reserve the right to withhold or revoke bonus points from your Member Account. American Express may also cancel this Card account and other Card accounts you may have with us. This offer is not transferable. Bonus ID: SAOT POID: K1MX:0002
This may not tempt you into using the card for your spend, but it’s nice to see the earning power of the Marriott Amex cards return to their old SPG levels for 2021.
CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® Mastercard® Earn 65,000 AAdvantage miles.