Rumor: Starwood American Express Card Signup Bonus Possibly Increasing in Two Weeks

Update (9/22): So my source was kind of right as the offer did change today but I’m not sure it is a better offer. Here is my analysis of the new offer of two free nights at category 1-5 hotels. 

I want to stress the following information is simply a rumor but I believe the signup on the American Express Starwood personal and business cards will increase to either 30k or 35k Starpoints in the next two weeks. I have a friend of a friend who is “connected” at American Express and he claims that the go live date for this offer is the week of September 19th. He didn’t know whether the offer would be for 30k or 35k like it was in March.

The offer from March 2016

The offer from March 2016

Could this information be accurate? Well in years past usually around summertime, though there was a curveball with the 35k offer in March this year, American Express has typically increased the signup bonus on the SPG cards. I went back and put a list together of when over the past few years the publicly available bonus has increased to 30k or 35k Starpoints. Anyone spot a trend?

  • March 2016
  • August 2015
  • June 2014
  • August 2013
  • August 2012
  • August 2011
  • July 2010

That is some serious consistency and only further makes me believe the information I received could very well be accurate. The current signup bonus is 25k for both the personal and business cards so I’m sure some of you might be questioning why I’m recommending you should wait a few weeks for an offer that is only 5k-10k points higher. Here are some of my 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 their cards. 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 an 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. You can redeem points for weekend nights at lower tier SPG hotels for 2k or 3k points a night.

My advice is to resist the temptation to signup for the next two weeks just in case the offer is increased unless you have an absolute urgent need for this card. While American Express might very well match you to the new bonus anyway, remember that American Express limits you to one bonus a lifetime, so you always want to get each Amex card at its peak signup bonus offer. Again I do want to stress this is only a rumor (some will argue I shouldn’t even post unconfirmed information like this) but based on past history, there could be some merit to this information.

I’ll be sure to post an update in two weeks if/when the offer is increased. If my information is correct & you plan to apply for this card at that time, I hope you will consider using my referral links for either the personal or business card (for being a current cardmember, not an affiliate link) for possibly earning you an extra 5k to 10k Starpoints by advising you to wait.

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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.