In light of the news about American Express clamping down on obtaining new account bonuses for products a customer has carried in the past as of May 1, I decided to take a look at my Amex situation. Currently, I carry three Amex cards – two Delta (personal and biz) and the Platinum Card (my card with the longest credit history). There are two card products that carry some interest for me, the Premier Rewards Gold, and the Starwood Preferred Guest card. I have carried both the personal and business versions of the SPG card in the past, but closed them as my card wallet was getting a little crowded.

After a bit of reflection, I decided to apply for the Starwood Preferred Guest personal card. Granted, the current 10K first purchase bonus with 15K more after $5,000 in spending in the first 6 months is not the best deal in history, the fact is that May 1 is almost here. Further, the SPG card is the one card that I’ve had in the past and closed that I wish I’d kept. Thinking longer term, 1:1 airline transfers with the 5K bonus for moving 20K miles is attractive to me, but what is even more important and beneficial are using points for hotel stays, especially cash and points stays. The extra 2 stay/5 night credits toward elite status could become more important as I seek to move more of my hotel business to Starwood this year.

So…. as I close in on meeting minimum spend for the widely blogged about 100K offer from Citi AAdvantage, I’ll have one more project to complete before taking a break from the latest round of miles and points earning exercise. Will the looming changes on May 1 impact your miles/points earning plans in the near term? Did you decided to apply for a card just in case?

-MJ, April 3, 2014