The Starwood Preferred Guest® American Express Luxury Card is finally here — and for a limited time, the $450-annual-fee card is packing a 100,000-point welcome bonus.
Some details about the high-end card, which debuted on Aug. 23, 2018, had been announced in April. But American Express waited until the card’s official launch to reveal its welcome bonus:
Eligible new card members who apply for the card from now through Oct. 31, 2018, can receive 100,000 points when they spend $5,000 in their first three months of having the card (some restrictions apply). Terms apply.
Now that the SPG loyalty program and the Marriott program have officially combined, points earned on SPG-branded cards are worth an average of 1 cent each, according to NerdWallet valuations. That makes this bonus worth about $1,000 when redeemed for hotel stays. However, these points tend to be less valuable when redeemed for higher-end hotels, according to NerdWallet’s analysis.
Is it a good deal?
Compared with cards in general, this welcome bonus is certainly valuable. It could easily be redeemed for multiple award nights. But among luxury cards, it’s not particularly impressive or unusual, especially because it’s only a limited-time offer. Consider, for example, the Marriott Rewards® Premier Plus Credit Card. This $95-annual-fee card launched with the very same offer for a limited time, starting in May. (It now features a different sign-up bonus.)
One might have expected the Starwood Preferred Guest® American Express Luxury Card, which carries an annual fee of $450, to hit the market with a larger welcome offer.
It’s also worth noting that AmEx also offers a more affordable version of this card, the Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express, which could be a more cost-effective choice for some. It carries an annual fee of $0 for the first year, then $95. Though it comes with fewer side benefits, it features solid ongoing rewards, an annual free award night benefit after each card anniversary, and a rich welcome offer: Earn 75,000 Bonus Points after you use your new Card to make $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months. Terms Apply.
On its own, the welcome bonus on the Starwood Preferred Guest® American Express Luxury Card isn’t exactly groundbreaking. But for Marriott loyalists who can use the card’s bevy of rich ongoing benefits, the card is still well worth getting — and this limited-time offer makes it all the more attractive.
Key benefits of the Starwood Preferred Guest® American Express Luxury Card
Here’s what you should know about this new card:
- Welcome bonus (limited-time offer): Eligible new card members who apply for the card from now through Oct. 31, 2018, can receive 100,000 points when they spend $5,000 in their first three months of having the card (some restrictions apply). Terms apply.
- Annual fee: $450.
- Foreign transaction fees: None.
- 6 points per dollar spent at participating SPG and Marriott Rewards hotels.
- 3 points per dollar spent at U.S. restaurants and on flights booked directly with airlines.
2 points per dollar spent on other eligible purchases.
- Up to $300 in statement credits each year of card membership for eligible purchases at participating SPG and Marriott Rewards hotels.
- An annual free night award for nights worth 50,000 points or less every year after card account anniversary.
- Complimentary Gold Elite Status with the ability to earn Platinum Elite Status after spending $75,000 on the card in a calendar year.
- Priority Pass Select membership.
- Global Entry or TSA Precheck application reimbursement credit of up to $100; renews every four years.
Photo courtesy of American Express