Rookie Misplay #4 – American Express Starwood Preferred Guest Card App

In my latest app-o-rama, I applied for the American Express Starwood Preferred Guest card. I have a good history with American Express and wasn’t too worried about approval. The SPG card seems to have a standard offer across the board – so I wasn’t concerned with that either. Instead, I spent my time researching the other cards and deciding the odds of approval/best methods to get the points I need from those. Turns out I should have paid attention to this one!

The standard Starwood offer (which seems to go up to 30k every summer – I decided not to wait, but you may want to) is 25,000 Starpoints. 10,000 after your first purchase, then 15,000 after $5,000 within the first six months – pictured below.

SPG card offer from the American Express website.

SPG card offer from the American Express website.

Since I had seen this several times and wasn’t too concerned with the card application I didn’t notice that this is only the offer if you are not logged in to your American Express account. This is the standard offer for new cardmembers. Turns out that means existing American Express cardholders may not qualify!! A quick search on a Flyertalk thread reveals that you have to LOG OUT or use a different browser and enter your information as a new customer before applying for American Express cards!

By using my normal browser/existing customer information, I got the offer listed below. It shows 10,000 points – but no 15,000 after minimum spend!

Reduced offer from American Express Website.

Reduced offer from American Express Website.

I called to confirm after receiving my card and the only offer on the card is the 10,000 Starpoints. By not researching enough, and worrying about other cards more I missed out on 15,000 Starpoints. Sad, but not the end of the world. It equates to $118 if you use Vanilla Reloads for spending. I filed a claim with Amex, and they will get back to me within two billing cycles (seems ridiculous!). I’m not expecting a positive outcome based on the result of this similar situation reported on Flyertalk.

Rookie lesson learned. Don’t rush applications to get them in quickly. Make sure you research EVERY card, even the ones that seem easy!


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About Rebecca

I'm an engineer who is new to the points game. Hoping to share my discoveries as I collect points to travel the world.

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