In early August, American Express first confirmed the launch date of their new SPG Luxury credit card. Today the card has officially launched and I will be honest, I am a bit disappointed with the welcome bonus the card is offering.
After spending $5,000 in the first 3 months of card membership you will receive 100,000 Marriott Rewards points. This is the same welcome bonus offer currently available on the SPG business card which only has an annual fee of $95 which is waived for the first year.
In three days, the harsh new restrictions that were put in place by Marriott, Chase and American Express will go live. On August 26th, If you have received a welcome bonus or an upgrade bonus on one of the co-branded Marriott credit card products from Chase in the past 90 days, you will not be eligible to earn the welcome bonus on the new SPG Luxury card.
However, starting today, you will have a short 3-day window to grab the card without being impacted by the restrictions. If you want this card and are subject to the new restrictions, you will need to act fast (before 8/26/18).
American Express SPG Luxury Card Benefits
- Welcome bonus offer of 100,000 Marriott Rewards points after spending $5,000 in the first 3 months of card membership.
- $300 in annual statement credits for purchases at Marriott hotels each cardmember year.
- $100 Credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck
- Priority Pass Select Membership (will allow you to bring up to two guests into lounges)
- Annual Free Night Award for properties costing 50,000 points or less after card renewal
- Automatic Marriott Gold Status for holding the card
- Ability to earn Platinum status after spending $75k in a calendar year
- 15 elite night credits (beginning in 2019 with the launch of the newly branded loyalty program).
- Earn 6x points per dollar spent at Marriott Hotels
- Earn 3x points per dollar spent at U.S. restaurants and flights booked directly with the airlines.
- Earn 2x on all other spending.
- $450 Annual Fee (not waived in the first year of card membership)
- Link to the Application on the Amex website
We were expecting the welcome bonus offer on the card to be 125,000 to 150,000 Marriott Rewards points. The offer on the SPG Business card is currently 100,000 Marriott Rewards points after spending $5,000 in the first 3 months and has a much smaller annual fee that is even waived for the first year. Granted the Luxury card includes a host of additional benefits, the welcome bonuses being equal makes this a tougher sell in my opinion.
However, I am intrigued by the statement credits and the annual free night the card provides. If you spend enough time in Marriott hotels, the $300 statement credit will effectively make your annual fee $150. This is $55 higher than the annual fee on the regular consumer & business SPG cards and I would argue that the elevated free night award more than offsets that.
The free night award offered by the regular consumer & business SPG cards only allows the night to be booked for properties costing 35,000 Marriott Rewards points or less which is a category 5 hotel. Being the SPG Luxury card allows you to book a free night for a property costing 50,000 points or less (category 6 hotel), you will have a lot more options that should allow you to offset that additional $55 each year.
Not to mention, come 2019 you will be able to use the free night from the SPG Luxury card to book category 7 hotels during off-peak times as is outlined below.
At the end of the day, if you are not impacted by the new restrictions going into place on August 26th, I wouldn’t rush to grab the SPG luxury card. There is a chance that we see a higher welcome bonus offer in the future.
If you are not impacted by the new restrictions coming on August 26th, now is a great time to grab the regular SPG cards that relaunched earlier this month as they will not impact your ability to get the SPG Luxury card. The Limited time offer on the SPG Business card ends on 10/31/18.
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.