Yesterday, the welcome offers on both of the SPG credit cards changed, decreasing in value substantially, with each card offering a measly statement credit at the time of writing that is worth much less than the previous point-based signup bonuses. However, Miles to Memories reports receiving word from Marriott’s communications team that Amex will continue to issue both cards after August 1st and that there will be “very rich” welcome offers coming in the next few weeks.
What they mean by a “very rich” offer is anyone’s guess. During the Marriott launch event, David Flueck emphasized several times that the value proposition on the personal Amex SPG card wasn’t changing since you would be getting a free anniversary night valid at any hotel charging up to 35,000 points per night in addition to 2x everywhere on the card when the changes take effect on August 1, 2018. He seemed to float this as the idea that you’re effectively still getting the same 3x on the first $35K in spend since you’ll get up to 70,000 points at 2x plus an annual anniversary night worth another 35K. Of course, that anniversary night isn’t really worth 35K since you can’t trade it for points and use it for hotels that are more expensive or for multiple nights at hotels that are less expensive; unlike points the certificate will expire, etc.
It’s interesting to note that Doctor of Credit was also able to verify with Amex that they will continue to issue the consumer version of the SPG card. We had previously been under the impression that this card would no longer be available once the programs merged and the new credit cards were released. It sounds like maybe there will be a lot of Marriott cards on the market for at least a little while, which could be good news for those looking to further stock up on points (though I suspect the new offers on the SPG consumer and SPG business cards will continue to be unavailable to those who have or have had the SPG cards before). Gary Leff at View from the Wing explains this situation coming about since the names of the programs (SPG, Ritz-Carlton, and Marriott) will not change to a unified single name until next year. Presumably, Amex has the exclusive rights to issue an SPG card, and SPG will continue to exist until they change the name. On August 1st, you’ll begin logging in to the hotel program with one account and being able to book all properties through one site and one set of points, but the name “Starwood Preferred Guest” will live on until the single-name program debuts, so apparently these cards will continue to be issued for at least as long as the name exists.
At the very least, it’s good to hear that there should be better offers in the coming weeks, as the current offers are pretty crummy.
H/T: Miles to Memories