PSA: You Shouldn’t Apply for that Starwood Credit Card Just Yet…

This past week there was a blitzkrieg of posts from every other points blogger under the sun about the lower spending requirements on the Starwood American Express credit card. Of course most bloggers that I follow (with the exception of Miles to Memories) highly recommended applying for the card now while the spending requirement was only $3,000 in 3 months vs. the standard requirement of $5,000 in 6 months. I can’t argue that compared to the regular offer, this new offer is no doubt an improvement but it is nothing that makes me jumps to apply for the card. Today’s advice is real simple – I think you can wait to apply for this card & you will most likely be able to score an offer that is 20% better.

What I am talking about? I am talking about how once a year (usually around summertime), for the past several years, American Express has annually raised the signup bonus on the Starwood American Express card to 30,000 Starpoints. Here is a list of when over the past few years the publicly available bonus has increased to 30,000 Starpoints. Anyone spot a trend?

  • June 2014
  • August 2013
  • August 2012
  • August 2011
  • July 2010

SPG30k

That’s a pretty serious pattern and while I have no inside knowledge to it, I would wager it happens again in the next few months (or sooner). I’m sure some of you might be questioning why I’m recommending you should wait a few months for an offer that is only 5k points higher and will most likely revert back to the $5k spending requirement. I do have a few reasons:

  • Starpoints are incredibly difficult to earn – the only feasible way to earn them is via the Starwood credit card and staying at SPG hotels. Since it is difficult to earn these points in bulk, an extra 5k Starpoints is a big difference to me. And to the average person who doesn’t manufacture spend that equates to spending an extra $5,000 on your SPG Amex to make up that extra 5k points.
  • American Express limits you to one bonus per lifetime on the personal card. Basically you only get one shot to signup for this card to earn a bonus so you better make it count. I won’t signup for a personal American Express card unless I know at that point in time, that is the highest ever known offer on a card.
  • Starpoints are one of the most valuable, if not most valuable, points out there. Great flexibility with dozens of airline transfer partners, a transfer bonus of 5k when transferring in 20k increments and some great hotel redemptions in the Starwood chain. Weekend nights for 2k or 3k points a night? Yes please.

Look, I know it sounds like I’m selling the card above but I’m not (not a single link in this post from this no affiliate links blogger) – I’m simply trying to point out the virtues of waiting. American Express reduced the spending requirement to entice some new members to signup but since American Express limits you to one bonus a lifetime, you need to get each Amex card at its peak signup bonus offer. That’s why my PSA is to resist the temptation to signup today and hold out for the better offer which will most likely be coming in weeks or months. I can’t guarantee it but as a man with an undiagnosed gambling problem, I’d bet on it.

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4 thoughts on “PSA: You Shouldn’t Apply for that Starwood Credit Card Just Yet…

  1. Got the personal and biz for 30K points each two summers in a row. Used the points for several low-point redemption at good hotels internationally and still have 50K points left over, which I’ll use this Summer in Indonesia and Thailand. I second the idea to wait a few more months, unless you’re in a rush to get some points by the beginning of the Summer.

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  2. So it’s August….no 30K offer yet. In past years when they offered it in August did they do so at the beginning of the month?

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  3. […] I wrote a popular PSA post back in May advising to NOT apply for the Starwood American Express at that time when a big deal was made about the spending requirement dropping from $5k to $3k for two major reasons. […]

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