I applied during one of the 35,000 bonus point sign up offers and was instantly approved for a $20,000 limit. My scores are all over 800. I had seen the 35,000 point offer before but didn't apply since I'm never around any Starwood properties and don't fly much these days. What changed it for me this time was the 1:3 transfer ratio from Starwood to Marriott after the buyout. Once you link your accounts, the transfer is instantaneous. To meet the bonus requirement, I had to spend 3k within the first three months and another 2k within the first six months. Once I met it, that's 40,000 SPG points, or 120,000 Marriott points. So now, the vast majority of my non bonus spend goes on this card. Its easy to redeem Marriott points for 1 cent per point and it's not that hard to get 1.5 or even 2 cents per point on some redemptions. That means a 3-6% return on non bonus spend. There is a $95 annual fee but there are usually enough Amex offers that come out throughout the year enabling you to nix out your $95 fee through cash back from the offers. I actually got $120 back last year from several different offers. As far as I'm concerned, that more than takes care of the annual fee. Bottom line: I definitely recommend this card, especially if you want to rack up Marriott points fast. I hope this helps!
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