Wait, What? American Express Deposited 100,000 Points Into My Marriott Account

a group of buildings next to a body of water

I was 100% sure there was a catch when I read the e-mail that arrived in my inbox earlier this week.

a screenshot of a cellphone

And yet, the company name on my Marriott AMEX Card (my old SPG AMEX) was spelled exactly as it appears on my card.  That’s the only place I use that specific spelling.  The e-mail looked legit, the headers checked out.  Was there really 100,000 extra points in my Marriott account?

Invalid request error occurred.

Sure enough, there it was.


It’s no secret that I’m probably not on Marriott’s Christmas card list.  I haven’t been particularly encouraging on the changes since the merger.  I was openly critical of how they responded to the massive data breach.  And, the points appeared to be coming from American Express, not Marriott.  Now, they could certainly create an illusion from their partnership if Marriott thought this would somehow influence me.

I’ve been an American Express cardholder for 25 years.  I’ve held that particular business AMEX for almost 20 years if my memory serves me correctly.  I have been a very loyal customer when it comes to spending on that card.  But, I’ve never received a bonus like this in the past.  For that matter, I haven’t heard of any fellow bloggers receiving one.

I find this particular American Express card less valuable these days, mostly because I find Marriott points less valuable than Starpoints.  I haven’t gone back to check how my spending lately compares with previous years.  I’m 100% certain the spend hasn’t gotten higher.

Hyatt used to perform various surprise and delight actions for their members back in the days of Gold Passport, and I loved it.  These were extra benefits that not every member got.  Some folks complained that they weren’t targeted for surprise and delight.  I just saw that as sour grapes.  If everyone got the same surprise, it wouldn’t be very unique.

I also thought Hyatt did a great job retroactively applying extra benefits to accounts when they made some loyalty changes last year, bestowing free points and even free nights upon some members.  That ran counter to Marriott’s attempts to shortchange lifetime SPG members in a new combined program.

The Final Two Pennies

What can I say?  I’m impressed with the gesture by American Express here.  Huge kudos to them for getting into the surprise and delight game!!!

I had literally removed this card from my wallet within the past month.  There were still plenty of transactions that auto-charged to the card each month, so still plenty of spend.  But, since I’ve had exactly two paid Marriott stays this year, carrying the card in my wallet has become less necessary.  That’s about the only thing I should be putting on the card.  I guess we’ll see if this big chunk of points changes my behavior.

Thanks, American Express!

Did American Express put points in your account?

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  1. I stopped using my card post merger, and also received this email and gift. Still not enough to use the card.. too heavily devalued.

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