From March 1st, 2009, Thankyou network fixed flight award option will be discontinued, which means the most rewarding program for credit card spending will be gone forever.
With 90K fixed business class award flight option, I get approx 8.5%-14.5% back for every dollar I charged on my Citibank Credit Card. After March 1st, only flexible award option is avaiable which value 1 point = 1 cent. This will make the cashback for Citi credit card to 5% max when u use Citi AMEX PLAT at Grocery store, gas station and 3% for everything else and less cashback on other cards.
With discontinue of this option, Starwood Amex Credit card and Hilton Amex Credit Card are back to primary cards along with Citi PLAT Amex Card. Hilton Program is improving, so their points are value more than before.
Let's do some comparison here, If you charge 60K per year and 5K of them are from selected catergories such as Gas station, wireless bill, Grocery store and postal office.
You are getting
190K Hilton points if using Hilton card
190K Thankyou network points if using Citi Amex PLAT(I know there is 150K points annual cap, but let's assume you and ur spouse each has one)
60K starwood points if using Amex SPG.
190K can give you 6 nights free at some top Hilton resorts such as Seychelles, Mauritius, Maldive, Tahiti, Europe and 15K left over. Approx value > 2700 USD.
190K Thankyou network points can give 1900 Cashback on tickets or other gift cards. If you use 1900 to buy the ticket, the ticket will get miles, so assume you get 50K miles on these tickets, the value is 1900-210(2 cards annual fees)+1000(worth of miles)>2690.
60K starwood can get u 13 nights at Cat 4 hotels with C+P option, if each 4K worth at least 100, those 60K worth >1300. However, you can have option to transfer these points to airline on 1:1.25 ratio, which equals to around 70000 miles, Value of 70000 miles> 2000 depends on how u use them.
I personally value those points and miles higher than above estimate.
As you can see, there is no signifant difference on these cards, so all depends on which rewards program you want and flexibility of these awards. I would say, all three cards will be best cards now.