Amex SPG Cards Relaunched: Earn up to 175k Marriott Rewards Points

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As a part of the new unified Marriott & SPG loyalty program, we learned about the changes happening with all of the hotel chain’s co-branded credit cards back in April.

Yesterday, American Express relaunched their co-branded personal and business versions of the Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) credit cards which were previously unavailable for new applications.

While the Amex SPG cards will not be as rewarding for everyday spending as the old cards were, they offer a few new benefits that should be worth your attention. Learn more about these cards and other travel rewards cards here. 

 

Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card

  • Welcome Offer: Earn 75,000 Marriott Rewards points after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months of card membership.
  • Earn 6 points per dollar SPG & Marriott hotels. Earn 2 points for all other spending.
  • 1 Free Night Award every year after your account anniversary. Can be used for 1 night at a hotel with a redemption level of 35,000 points or less.
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • $0 introductory annual fee for the first year (then $95)

Learn more about this card and other travel rewards cards here. 

 

Starwood Preferred Guest Business Credit Card

  • Limited Time Welcome Offer: Earn 100,000 Marriott Rewards points after spending $5,000 in the first 3 months of card membership.
  • Earn 6x points per dollar at SPG & Marriott hotels.
  • Earn 4x points at U.S. restaurants, U.S. gas stations, wireless telephone services & shipping
  • Earn 2x points for all other spending.
  • 1 Free Night Award every year after your account anniversary. Can be used for 1 night at a hotel with a redemption level of 35,000 points or less.
  • Complimentary Marriott Silver Elite status
  • Spend $35,000 in a calendar year and receive Gold Elite status through the end of the next calendar year.
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • $0 introductory annual fee for the first year (then $95)
  • This limited time offer expires on 10/31/18. 

Learn more about this card and other travel rewards cards here. 

 

Our Analysis

Back in April, we learned that once the Marriott, SPG & Ritz Carlton brands all combine under one umbrella (2019) with new branding and a new name, Chase will have exclusivity on the regular consumer credit card. American Express will have rights to issue the small business credit card and a premium personal card which has yet to launch (the SPG Luxury Card).

What this means is that this is essentially your last chance to pick up the SPG personal credit card before it is no longer available for new applications. As long as you pick the card up before it is no longer available, you will be able to keep it for the free award night benefit it provides. The card will be discontinued for new applications in 2019 once the new brand launches.

 

Return On Spending & Benefits

The old SPG cards earned 2x points per dollar spent at Marriott and SPG hotels and 1x point on all other spending. Historically, 1 SPG point transferred to 3 Marriott points. In the new program, you will earn 2x points on all spending that doesn’t earn a category bonus.

Because of this, your everyday non-category bonus spending is not as rewarding on the new card as it would earn the equivalent of 0.667 SPG points per dollar spent in the old program. This has triggered me to shift my everyday non-category bonus spending to my American Express Blue Business Plus card which earns 2x Membership Rewards points on all spending (up to $50,000 in a calendar year).

On the flip side of this, the Amex SPG cards have a strong welcome offer bonus and the annual free night the card added is worth its weight in gold. You shouldn’t have to try hard to get more value out of the free night certificate than you are paying for the card’s annual fee. 

 

Who is Eligible to Apply?

Earlier this week, I wrote about some harsh new restrictions that are coming to all of the co-branded Chase and American Express Marriott & SPG cards. The rules will essentially make it harder to qualify for welcome bonus offers on both the Chase Marriott and Amex SPG cards. The following rules will go into effect on these cards on August 26th, 2018:

SPG Credit Card from American Express ($95 Annual Fee): You will not be eligible to earn the welcome bonus on this card if any of the following are true:

SPG Business Credit Card from American Express ($95 Annual Fee): You will not be eligible to earn the welcome bonus on this card if any of the following are true:

 

Amex SPG Cards

Image courtesy of Marriott & View from the Wing

 

Bottom Line

If you haven’t had the SPG American Express cards and don’t have plans to open a Chase Marriott card on or after August 26th, now is a great time to open them, especially if you are already over Chase’s 5/24 restriction.

Further, holding the Amex SPG cards will not impact your ability to get the SPG Luxury card which hasn’t yet launched. Learn more about this card and other travel rewards cards here. 

 

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Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews, or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer.

4 Responses

  1. Rosie says:

    I have an SPG card, not sure if should I keep it or get rid of it? What is the benefit of keeping it …

    • Nick Serati says:

      The benefit of keeping it is the annual free night at a category 5 hotel. If you think you will use this, you should come out far ahead on your annual fee.

  2. Karth says:

    Do these cards count as “new” and different SPG cards from Amex, therefore eligible for the sign on bonus if I’ve had the old SPG cards before?

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