SPG Targeted Offer - Go For It?

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Credit Cards' started by moongoddess, Oct 23, 2013.  |  Print Topic

  1. moongoddess

    moongoddess Silver Member

    Messages:
    441
    Likes Received:
    670
    Status Points:
    670
    I am facing a small dilemma, and am looking for advice.

    The AmEx Starwood Preferred Guest card is a card I've been thinking about adding to my wallet for some time, but for some reason I never got around to applying for it before AmEx abruptly decided to go all stingy on its signup bonuses for current AmEx users. I couldn't qualify for the recent 30,000 point signup this past August because I was already an AmEx member - 25,000 points was the most they'd give me. Now I've received an email offering what appears to be a targeted offer for Starwood Preferred Guest, with a 25,000 point signup bonus. When I checked the AmEx website, the current public offer is only a measly 10,000 Starpoints. So this targeted email is offering me essentially the same bonus I would have received had I signed up in August, and a considerably better one than I'd get if I went through the AmEx public signup page. The offer expires November 22. I'm tempted; Starwood would make a great supplement to my Citibank AAdvantage VISA as a better-earning card for regular spend.

    BUT - last spring I decided to pursue UA miles as well as AA miles. In June I signed up for the Chase UA Mileage Plus VISA, this September I got the Sapphire Preferred, and on October 13 I applied for the Chase Freedom card and was approved after a call to the reconsideration line and some shifting of credit lines. That's a lot of hard pulls on my credit report in a fairly short period, and I had been planning to let things recover for at least six months before applying for any more cards. But I'll be passing up this Starwood Signup bonus if I do that, and may have to wait until next August before such a good signup offer comes around again. So I'm a bit conflicted: should I apply now using the targeted offer, or should I stick to my original plan and wait? Starwood's the last card I'm looking at, as I'm not a card churner (at least not yet), and I'm not looking at any other loans in the near future, for what it's worth, so I don't care if my score goes a bit further south as long as I get the card. I don't want to waste a hard pull on a decline, though.

    Any thoughts?
     
    uggboy and vickers like this.
  2. vickers

    vickers Gold Member

    Messages:
    1,421
    Likes Received:
    2,111
    Status Points:
    1,225
    AMEX approval is tricky..... However, it seems you already have a great credit relationship with them. It looks like you dont have need for a loan coming up, so it sounds like it might be a good time to do it, unless you wanted to wait until Summer 2014 to sign up again. Also, no guarantees that SPG point bonus will be available next year, although it has been pretty consistent.
     
    uggboy likes this.
  3. moongoddess

    moongoddess Silver Member

    Messages:
    441
    Likes Received:
    670
    Status Points:
    670
    That's a good point. And if I applied now and was declined, August 2014 is nine months away. Nine months is a lot of time to repair a damaged credit score. Might not be enough time for the decline to completely go away in AmEx's eyes, though...

    I've been an AmEx Green Card holder since 1987; it's the oldest card by far in my wallet. But I don't use it a lot these days (just a $60/month charge to a charity) because I don't find the redemption options for MR points very useful right now. Starpoints, on the other hand, I could definitely use! So I'd love to get the card, hold it long-term, and give AmEx more of my monthly spend again.
     
    vickers likes this.
  4. vickers

    vickers Gold Member

    Messages:
    1,421
    Likes Received:
    2,111
    Status Points:
    1,225
    lol they do have a long memory.... along with Chase.
     
  5. vickers

    vickers Gold Member

    Messages:
    1,421
    Likes Received:
    2,111
    Status Points:
    1,225
    I believe AMEX will backdate the start date of your SPG AMEX card to the 1987 date, allowing you to then cancel your green card. Id verify that first though.....
     
  6. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

    Messages:
    4,739
    Likes Received:
    5,086
    Status Points:
    4,270
    Having gotten a perpetual SPG Gold elite status through my AMEX Business Platinum card, I decided that I might make staying at SPG properties one the fallback or backup options in cases when my #1 option is not viable. So, last night I applied for the SPG AMEX card to go along with my SPG Gold status and was approved instantly. The "public offer" that I was approved for is for 25K Startpoints as shown below. Is this offer different from the one you said you received as "targeted" offer? BTW, this year I upgraded the no-fee HHonors AMEX to the HHonors AMEX Surpass, and was also approved for the Chase Hyatt Visa, Discover It, and the Marriott Reward Visa, before I applied last night for SPG AMEX and got approved instantly despite the multiple "hard pulls", so you might be fine, especially since it does not seem like you applied for this product during the past 12 months.

    SPG-AMEX.png
     
  7. moongoddess

    moongoddess Silver Member

    Messages:
    441
    Likes Received:
    670
    Status Points:
    670
    That looks like the same offer I received, NYCUA1K. And it's different from what I'm currently seeing for SPG on the AmEx website, which talks about 10,000 points for signup but doesn't offer the additional 15,000 points after $5000 additional spend. But the SPG website shows your offer, not AmEx's measly 10,00 point one. My "you're preapproved for SPG" email came from Starwood Preferred Guest, not from AmEx. I guess for the public offerings, it matters which website you sign up on. Very strange!

    I think I'll wait until the week before Thanksgiving to apply for the card, to put a bit more time between the SPG application and my Chase Freedom application, and keep my fingers crossed that I am approved for it.
     
  8. Muerl
    Original Member

    Muerl Gold Member

    Messages:
    1,253
    Likes Received:
    2,656
    Status Points:
    1,445
    American Express is also notorious for offering bad offers for existing credit card holders.

    In an private browsing window https://www304.americanexpress.com/credit-card/starwood-preferred-guest/25330 says 25k

    In a window that you are logged into an amex account it says 10k.

    When ever you go to apply for an Amex offer do it without being signed into amex ;)
     
    MX likes this.
  9. moongoddess

    moongoddess Silver Member

    Messages:
    441
    Likes Received:
    670
    Status Points:
    670
    The weird thing was, I wasn't logged into my AmEx account but the offer still showed only 10k. But I have logged into AmEx with this browser before, so perhaps there's a persistent tracking tracking cookie involved. Guess I'd better clear my browser cookies or use a different browser when I go to apply!
     
    MX likes this.
  10. gconnery

    gconnery Silver Member

    Messages:
    586
    Likes Received:
    459
    Status Points:
    620
    Typically you never want to just go to the public website and click through. I usually start with the links Gary posts at View from the Wing. On the left side are the "Best Credit Card Offers" and he keeps them relatively current. These won't always be the best offers available, but they're often better than the public offers. And in this case also if I click through on his Starwood Amex offer I see a 25K offer. I'd also check around on FlyerTalk for any notes on a special offer in case there's something more transient. But starting with Gary, Frequent Miler or The Points Guy will often be a good idea.

    Personally I think the 25K offer is normal and usually available. I wouldn't rush an AOR for it.
     
  11. moongoddess

    moongoddess Silver Member

    Messages:
    441
    Likes Received:
    670
    Status Points:
    670
    I clicked through Gary's link at VFTW, and STILL saw only a 10K offer. Clearly there must be a tracking cookie on my browser which I need to delete before I apply for the card (whether that's in November or later in 2014). I think I'll check my credit score at Credit Sesame and Credit Karma in November and see what it's sitting at then before I make a final decision.

    I don't understand AmEx's thinking here. I can understand taking steps to discourage card churners, but they seem to be doing the exact opposite! Hey, AmEx, when you effectively punish long-term customers like me (nearly three decades doing business with your company, never churned a card in my life, and have only canceled one credit card EVER) by offering us worse bonuses on new cards than the card churners get, you're doing it wrong. No wonder Chase is steadily eating your lunch!
     
  12. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

    Messages:
    4,739
    Likes Received:
    5,086
    Status Points:
    4,270
    This is not limited to AMEX. You'll see the same range of offers from Chase. Just need to look around a bit to make sure that you've got the best offer at the time.The last card I applied for was the Chase Marriott Rewards visa and depending on which "portal" I used, I saw sign up bonuses of 40K, 50K or 70K Marriott Rewards points, with the 70K points being what I got if I first logged into my Marriott Rewards account and applied from there...
     
  13. gconnery

    gconnery Silver Member

    Messages:
    586
    Likes Received:
    459
    Status Points:
    620
    Yeah, in fact to get the best offers you may have to: sign in to your account, or not. Use a different browser. Clear your cookies (I use Cookie Culler which just clears out all my cookies when I quit the browser except for the ones I specify). Sign in from a different location. Click around in some random way between different pages as others suggest. Go into a bank. Pick up a brochure from an airline magazine or by dropping by the lounge at an airport. Click on the link in an email they sent you. Click on the link that Gary or others offer. Click on a link posted in FlyerTalk or on MilePoint. Etc etc. That's the reality. If you're going to play this game you have to make a bit of an effort to find the best offers.
     
  14. moongoddess

    moongoddess Silver Member

    Messages:
    441
    Likes Received:
    670
    Status Points:
    670
    An update to this thread: I went ahead and applied for the card today via the email I received, using a different browser than the one I normally use to log into AMEX. I was approved instantly (despite my three recent Chase applications)! I had to set up a different online account for the SPG than the one I already have for my Green Card, but that's only a minor inconvenience. If I manage to get the full 25,000 point bonus, that's great - if not, I'll settle for the 10,000 points for first spend and call it good. At least I now I have a card which will keep my Starwood points from expiring and give me a 1.25x bonus on all my otherwise non-bonused spend, so it's a win.

    Now I just need to figure out if I want to upgrade my Green Card to Premier Rewards Gold or downgrade it to Blue Cash Preferred. Decision, decisions...
     
  15. gconnery

    gconnery Silver Member

    Messages:
    586
    Likes Received:
    459
    Status Points:
    620
    Chat with Amex to see if you can in fact downgrade your green card to Blue Cash Preferred. While it is much-discussed on flyertalk, when I called I was *not* able to downgrade. Apparently you may have a different version of Green depending on how you got there, whether for example you downgraded from a MR points earning Gold card or whatever. Don't know really. But anyway, ask before you agonize over the issue.
     
    bluefire and moongoddess like this.
  16. moongoddess

    moongoddess Silver Member

    Messages:
    441
    Likes Received:
    670
    Status Points:
    670
    That's definitely good advice. And now that I have the SPG card, I have options. If necessary, I can cancel the Green Card, wait a bit, and then apply for what I really want. Since AmEx has dated my SPG card to 1987, canceling the Green Card won't ding my credit score too badly.
     

Share This Page