FINALLY POSTED! Update On Delayed Starwood Amex Sign-up Bonus

The image shows a purple American Express credit card with the "SPG Starwood Preferred Guest" logo in the top right corner. The card has a chip on the left side and the card number "3759 876543 21001" in the center. Below the card number, it says "Member Since 95" and "C F FROST" is printed at the bottom left. The American Express logo is also present in the bottom right corner.

All is right in the world! The 35k signup bonus associated with my Starwood Business American Express Card application has finally posted to my Starwood Preferred Guest account!


This is BIG TIME you guys…

I applied for this card back in October of 2017, and the bonus just appeared, despite me having met the required $10k in minimum requirement shortly after receiving the card.

How and why did this happen?

Back in the middle of 2017, American Express updated their terms to counteract the acts of “gaming” or “churning” American Express credit cards and charge cards and the related sign-up bonuses. We first saw this appear on the Delta Gold Amex, though it has definitely creeped into the terms of the other card offerings…

One part of this update included anti-abuse language, which allowed Amex to claw back bonus or even close down accounts.

ANTI-ABUSE LANGUAGE – “If we in our sole discretion determine that you have engaged in abuse, misuse, or gaming in connection with the welcome bonus offer in any way or that you intend to do so (for example, if you applied for one or more cards to obtain a welcome bonus offer(s) that we did not intend for you; if you cancel or downgrade your account within 12 months after acquiring it; or if you cancel or return purchases you made to meet the Threshold Amount), we may not credit Starpoints to your account. We may also cancel this Card account and other Card accounts you may have with us.”

And yes, they are hard at work trying to enforce the updates to these terms – see Amex Rewards Abuse Team (RAT).

Also in the offer terms is language allows Amex to delay sign-up bonus amounts for a pretty significant amount of time – 8 to 12 weeks after meeting spending thresholds!

BONUS DELAY “Bonus points will appear on your Starwood Preferred Guest statement 8-12 weeks after you reach the spend threshold.”

This is the part I really don’t like…

I totally understand where Amex (or any card issuer) is coming from wanting to limit those who abuse the system. I am pretty sure the majority of those people who have put themselves in borderline “abuse” situations (myself included) are well aware that they are at placing themselves at some advantage over the card issuer. If that card issuer decides to take action, that is their right.

But, there are those who stick to the rules, and still get the shaft…

The image is a screenshot of an American Express online account dashboard. It displays various account details including:

- Remaining Statement Balance: $1,152.68
- Available Credit: $22,857.32
- Total Balance: $2,142.61
- Payment Due Date: December 20
- Minimum Payment Due: $35.00
- Year-to-Date Starpoints Earned: 11,569
- SPG Number: (partially visible)

There are buttons for "Balance & Credit Details," "Make Payment," "Billing Statements," "Redeem Starpoints," and "OPEN Savings." The top of the page shows a welcome message, the cardholder's name, and the type of card (Starwood Business Card). The American Express logo is at the top center of the page.

Bonus 8-12 weeks after you reach the spend threshold?

That just seems like a long time, right!?

If I recall, the standard terms on American Express cards stated 6-8 weeks, though typically bonuses would post either as soon as the spending threshold was met, or possibly after the statement was closed and bill was paid.

The image is an advertisement for the Starwood Preferred Guest Business Credit Card from American Express. The ad highlights a limited-time offer to earn up to 35,000 bonus Starpoints. It details that you can earn 25,000 bonus Starpoints after making $6,000 in purchases within the first 3 months and an additional 10,000 bonus Starpoints after making an additional $4,000 in purchases within the first 6 months. The offer ends on 11/1/2017. The introductory annual fee is $0 for the first year, then $95. The ad includes a picture of the credit card and a button to apply now. There are also links to terms and conditions, rates and fees, and the Starwood Preferred Guest program details.

This is the first time I have seen American Express where they actually may be sticking to their policy and in my specific experience, the timeline has gone a little something like this:

10/5/2017 – Sign-up for SPG Business card under following bonus structure: 25,000 bonus Starpoints after making $6,000 in purchases within the first 3 months and an extra 10,000 bonus Starpoints after making an additional $4,000 in purchases within the first 6 months.

10/26/2017 – Met $6,000 spend requirement – triggering the initial 25,000 point bonus

10/27/2017 – 1st Statement Close

11/24/2017 – Met additional $4,000 spend requirement – triggering the additional 10,000 point bonus

11/24/2017 – 2nd Statement Close

11/25/2017 – Chat Amex utilizing the online tool confirming the sign-up bonus offer. Investigation opened…

11/282017 – Call Amex referencing the above investigation

12/3/2017 – Chat Amex referencing the above investigation

12/13/2017 – Chat Amex referencing the above investigation. Instructed to wait the full 8-12 weeks…

12/22/2017 – Still no bonus yet…

1/5/2017 – Chat Amex – Representative AGAIN confirmed bonus – Screenshot taken and saved down to my desktop.. just in case!

3/16/2018 Bonus appears as earned per my YTD Starpoints tracker, though not available in my SPG account. Chat Amex – Confirmed that the bonus would post within 7-10 business days from 3/26/2018

The image shows a screenshot of an American Express online account dashboard. The dashboard is divided into several sections:

1. The top section displays three columns:
   - The first column shows the "Remaining Statement Balance" as $0.00, "Payment Due" as $0.00, and "Total Balance" as $1,118.97. There is a button labeled "Review & Credit Tools."
   - The second column shows "Payment Not Required" with a green checkmark and a button labeled "Make Payment."
   - The third column shows "Pay It® Plan It® Balance" as $37.96 with an APR of 15.99% and a button labeled "Review Payment."

2. Below these columns, there is a banner encouraging users to "Tap, swipe or insert your American Express® Card at more places than ever."

3. The bottom section contains a chat window with an American Express representative. The chat window shows a conversation where the representative is asking how they can assist the user and providing options for help.

4. There is also a small section with a promotional image of two people and text about using the American Express card.

The overall layout is clean and organized, with a focus on account information and customer service.


The image is a screenshot of a rewards or points activity statement from a loyalty program. The table includes columns for "Type," "Starpoints," "Eligible Nights," "Post Date," and "Description." The entries in the table show various types of bonuses and points earned, with specific details such as the number of points, the date they were posted, and descriptions of the activities that earned the points. Two entries are highlighted in red, showing significant bonuses of +25,000 and +10,000 Starpoints, both posted on 03/28/2018.


Is this the new normal?

Fortunately, I don’t think so. It seems like this whole fiasco related to a glitch in the Amex system. It affected a limited number of American Express applications for a limited period of time and mine just happened to be one of them. Word on the street is that the problem has been fixed and future applicants are not subject to the waiting game. If you applied around the same time as me (October 2017) and you still have not received your bonus, make sure to stay with it!

Final Thought/Moral of the Story?

Be persistent! Track your bonuses, compile evidence, and NEVER give up hope!

No longer are the days where you can hurry up and meet spend shortly before your desired redemption. Lucky for me I was not in pressing need of these bonus points in order to book upcoming travel, but  I would still prefer them to be safe in my account rather than subject to this 8-12 week holding period.

Be careful applying for American Express cards in the future with upcoming redemption contingent on the sign-up bonus and expect delays in bonus posting!

Did you experience a delay in your SPG Business Amex sign-up bonus posting? Are you still waiting!?

Happy Travels!


The image shows a simple white line drawing of a paper airplane inside a blue circle.

One Comment

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