Amex and Chase Hotel Cards Get More Restrictive This Month

It’s about to get more difficult to earn bonus points throuh Chase and Amex co-branded Marriott and Starwood cards. New rules go into effect Aug. 26 that will prohibit an increasing trove of existing cardholders from securing intro bonuses on new cards.

A brand new Amex Starwood Luxury card offering is expected on Aug. 23. So if you want that one, be sure to include that card in the possible planning as well.

As I sort through all this myself and decide on my own plan, I thought I’d think out loud and share the current rules and information about the card offers.

Key Date and New Rules

The key date to remember is Aug. 26. Starting then, anyone who has held a Marriott or Starwood card in the past will face more challenges to earn bonuses.

The new rules include:

  • 30 or 90-day wait times just to open new cards
  • 24-month wait times, if you’ve earned certain bonuses on other cards
  • Ineligibility to earn all Amex intro bonus offers twice

Apply Now, While Rules Are Less Restrictive

Until Aug. 26, you can apply for new cards under the existing easier to navigate rules.

Right now, there are four cards that earn Marriott points (two from Amex and two from Chase).

St. Regis Princeville on Kauai, a great use of Marriott points.

Marriott points provide stays at beautiful hotels such as the St. Regis Princeville on Kauai!

Here are the 5 cards and their current application rules.

1.  Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express

The current welcome bonus on the Amex Starwood personal card is 75,000 Marriott points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months of account opening.

This card earns:

  • 6 Marriott points per $1 spent at Marriott and Starwood hotels
  • 2 Marriott points per $1 spent on other purchases
  • One free night (valued up to 35,000 points) every year after your account anniversary date

There’s a $95 annual fee, which is waived the first year. As with all AMEX cards, if you’ve ever had this card before, you are not eligible to earn the welcome bonus. Amex now tells you during the application process if you can earn a welcome bonus or not. We also don’t know if American Express will keep this card long-term.

2. Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express

Through Oct. 31, 2018, you can earn 100,000 Marriott points after spending $5,000 on purchases within the first 3 months of opening the AMEX Starwood small business card.

This card earns:

  • 6 Marriott points per $1 spent at Marriott and Starwood hotels
  • 4 Marriott points per $1 spent at US restaurants, US gas stations, US shipping purchases, and wireless phone service from US carriers
  • 2 Marriott points per $1 spent on other purchases
  • One free night (valued up to 35,000 points) every year after your account anniversary date

There’s a $95 annual fee, which is waived the first year. If you’ve had this card in the past, you’re not eligible to earn the welcome bonus.

3. Forthcoming Amex Starwood Luxury Card

This card is expected to launch on August 23, 2018. The welcome offer is rumored to be 125,000 Marriott points after spending $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months of opening your account. This will be a premium card with a $450 annual fee, but you’ll get:

  • 6 Marriott points per $1 spent at Marriott and Starwood hotels
  • 3 Marriott points per $1 spent on airfare purchased directly from the airline
  • 2 Marriott points per $1 spent on other purchases
  • It will also have a free award night each account anniversary year (worth up to 50,000 points) and $300 to spend at Marriott or Starwood hotels each cardmember year, along with other benefits.

If you like staying at Marriott or Starwood hotels, this card can easily pay for itself. Especially when you include the welcome bonus the first year. Because this is a brand new card, everyone is eligible to earn the welcome bonus. Just remember that because the new restrictive rules are in place on Aug. 26, existing cardholders will only have three days to apply for this card between launch and new restrictions.

Westin Grand Cayman--a beautiful Amex Starwood hotel

Enjoying a spa day at the Westin Grand Cayman sounds good to me.

4. Marriott Rewards® Premier Plus Credit Card

With the Chase Marriott Premier Plus card, new cardholders earn 75,000 Marriott bonus points after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months of account opening.

This card earns:

  • 6 Marriott points per $1 spent at Marriott and Starwood hotels
  • 2 Marriott points per $1 spent on other purchases
  • One free night (valued up to 35,000 points) every year after your account anniversary date

The annual fee is $95. As with many Chase cards, this one is counted towards the 5/24 rule. That means anyone who has opened five new Chase cards in the past 24 months (except certain small business cards) will not be eligible to collect an introductory bonus.

Learn more about this card here

5. Marriott Rewards Premier Business Credit Card

Upon opening the Chase Marriott Premier Busines Card, new cardholders earn 75,000 Marriott points when you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months.

This card nets:

  • 5 Marriott points per $1 spent at Marriott and Starwood hotels
  • 2 Marriott points per $1 spent on airline tickets purchased from the airline, at car rental agencies, restaurants, office supply stores, and on internet, phone, and cable services
  • One Marriott point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • One free night (valued up to 35,000 points) every year after your account anniversary date

This card is not subject to Chase’s 5/24 rule.

Possible Strategies Going Forward

Key points to remember:

  • You can only earn the welcome offer with Amex cards once per lifetime
  • Amex and Chase personal cards will count against your Chase 5/24 status
  • Amex and Chase small business cards will not count against your Chase 5/24 status

Upshot

Change is hard. Change is confusing. But we all know change is also inevitable. In just two weeks time it will be harder and more confusing to open multiple cards that earn Marriott points. So take the time now to plan your Marriott and Starwood card strategy before new restrictions Aug. 26.

The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

Comments

  1. I have spg personal card. Planning to apply for spg luxury. Should I? Cancel card now, cancel after receiving new card or keep the card?

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