If you’ve kept up with the Marriott, Starwood and Ritz Carlton loyalty program merger, you probably have a headache by now. Recently the loyalty programs merged and the value of SPG points increased. There is now one booking site, and member information and redemption chart. However, they’ve managed to keep separate co-branded hotel cards. There is a Marriott Chase Card offer and a SPG Amex Card offer.
It’s officially a little more than 2 years year since I obtained the SPG (Starwood Preferred Guest) American Express. I decided to sign up for the card because I have several airline cards and since I was already an AMEX holder, there was not an additional hard pull. There were also a lot of perks that led me to sign up. In this article, I will give you the pros and cons of the SPG AMEX card.
Details of the current signup offer
-Annual Fee of $99 but the first year is waived
-Earn 6X points for Marriott and SPG purchases
-Earn 2X points for other purchases
-Receive 1 Free Night Award every year after your Card account anniversary.
-Automatically receive complimentary Silver Elite status with your SPG AMEX Card.
-No Foreign Transaction Fees
Fine Print: “Purchases” do not include balance transfers, cash advances, cash-like charges such as traveler’s checks, foreign currency, and money orders, any checks that access your account, overdraft advances, interest, unauthorized or fraudulent charges, or fees of any kind, including the annual fee.
The personal investment includes:
-3K spend in 3 months for 75,000 bonus points. It is easy to obtain this with purchases and bills you would normally make.
-The variable APR on purchase can range from 17.49% to 26.49% but I NEVER let interest accrue on these cards. This is where people can get into trouble.
-Annual fee of $99 after the first waived year, it will apply on your card anniversary.
To compare what 75,000 points will get you, here is the latest redemption chart.
What did I get in Return?
Since sign up, I have been able to at receiving four stays at high category hotels at a redemption value averaging of 30,000 points per night but there are other hotels available at fewer points. The stays ranged from New Orleans, Toronto, Nice and Niagara Falls. With the new rewards program, effective August 18th my SPG points were multiplied by three and depending on the amount I can possibly redeem for 1-2 nights. With the credit card, I automatically receive complimentary Silver Elite status. The Silver Elite status (normally available after you stay 10 nights in a year) gives you bonus points on stays, late checkout, no blackout dates and more.
Here’s a look into a few of my reward stays
Delta Hotels By Marriott Toronto
Check out the current deals here
New Orleans Aloft hotel
Check out current deals
Boscolo Exedra in Nice, France
Check out more of the hotel here.
Boscolo Exedra in Nice, France
With the new Marriott rewards program and the credit card, I will be eligible for delayed baggage protection and the complimentary night on anniversary which was not available before.
Would I recommend the Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express?
Yes but with a caveat. With the new changes to the new Marriott program, I am waiting to see if I will keep this card. I am not thrilled that some hotels have increased in category/redemption value
If you’re interested in applying for The Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express check out the details with this link. We can both get rewarded if you’re approved! To be totally transparent, I will receive points as a referral but I don’t receive any information on who applied or money.
Check out related articles to help you maximize your experience and earn more points!