SPG Credit Cards Will Be Updated in August

Marriott made a major announcement this week regarding a new unified loyalty program for Marriott, SPG and Ritz. They also revealed that they will launch the new Starwood Preferred Guest American Express Luxury Card soon. But there’s also an update coming to the two current SPG credit cards, the personal and the business version.

spg cards update

Amex SPG Card

In August 2018, the $95 Starwood Preferred Guest® Consumer Credit Card from American Express will be refreshed to match the new unified loyalty program that has yet to be named. The benefits will include:

  • For each dollar of eligible purchases charged to your Card, you can earn:
    • 6X points at participating SPG and Marriott Rewards hotels
    • 2X points on other eligible purchases
  • Annual Night Award (redemption level at or under 35,000 points) every year after your Card account anniversary
  • Automatic Silver Elite Status; and the ability to earn Gold Elite Status after spending $30,000 on the Card in a calendar year. Note: effective January 1, 2019, Card Members will earn Gold Elite Status after spending $35,000 on the Card in a calendar year.
  • No foreign transaction fees

Amex SPG Business Card

Also in August, the $95 Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express undergo some changes. The refreshed benefits for the Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express include:

  • For each dollar of eligible purchases charged to your Card, you can earn:
    • 4X points on everyday business purchases at U.S. restaurants, U.S. gas stations, on wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and on U.S. shipping purchases
    • 6X points at participating SPG and Marriott Rewards hotels
    • 2X points on other eligible purchases
  • Annual Night Award (redemption level at or under 35,000 points) every year after your Card account anniversary*
  • Automatic Silver Elite Status; and the ability to earn Gold Elite Status after $30,000 in annual spend on the Card. Note: effective January 1, 2019, Card Members will earn Gold Elite Status after spending $35,000 on the Card in a calendar year.

Better or Worse?

There’s some improvements but also some bad news for SPG cardholders.

First the improvements. You will receive an Annual Night Award (redemption level at or under 35,000 points) every year after your Card account anniversary and the annual fee will stay the same. That could make it worth keeping the cards long term for most people. Also, beginning in early 2019 all Marriott loyalty program co-brand Card Members will earn 15 Elite Night Credits towards the next level of Elite status, and annually every calendar year thereafter. But, there’s a limit one 15 Elite Night Credit per Marriott Loyalty Program member. Then, there’s new bonus categories on the business version. You will earn 4X points on everyday business purchases at U.S. restaurants, U.S. gas stations, on wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and on U.S. shipping purchases.

As for the bad news, Sheraton Club Lounge Access will also be gone from the business version. Non-bonused spend will also be less than expected. SPG cards currently earn 1X Starpoints on other purchases, but will only earn 2X instead of 3X after August. That’s a 33% drop in earning for those who put spend on SPG cards.

Should You Apply Now?

The big issue is whether you should get these cards or not, if you don’t already have them. The answer is an easy NO! Today they changed the signup bonus on both cards from 25,000 Starpoints, to just a tiered $200 statement credit. That’s a bonus that’s not even worthy for a no-fee card.

Guru’s Wrap-Up

There’s positives and negatives coming in August. Both cards will get an Annual Night Award and beginning in early 2019 will earn 15 Elite Night Credits towards the next level of Elite status every year (you can only earn 15 Elite Night Credits once). Earning will be lowered for non-bonused spend and Sheraton Club Lounge Access will be gone. The signup bonus though has been lowered and it doesn’t make sense to sign up. So this news for now will mostly affect those who already have the card. Unless, we see some increased bonuses before August.

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