Meet the New American Express Starwood Preferred Guest Card

Aug 4, 2015

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Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available. View the current offers here – Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American ExpressStarwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express

New perks are coming to the Starwood Preferred Guest Amex cards later this month, but this morning TPG Intern Kevin Song received another SPG surprise, courtesy of Apple Pay.

Two months ago, American Express announced a slew of new benefits for the Starwood Preferred Guest Card, including a much-desired foreign transaction fee waiver, as well as complimentary Boingo Wi-Fi access and premium in-room internet access. Meanwhile, customers with the Starwood Preferred Guest Business Credit Card will get the perks above, plus Sheraton Club access on every eligible stay.

American Express is now rolling out an updated design for its new and improved SPG cards. This week, I received an email from Apple and American Express notifying me that my card was automatically updated in Apple Pay, because I had recently changed my card or requested a replacement card. Since I hadn’t done either of these things, I looked into it further and found that I was issued a new card that reflects an updated look.

My Passbook app has already updated with the new card art, though other TPG staffers reported that their accounts hadn’t been updated yet. Starwood has confirmed that all new and existing members will receive the new card within the next few weeks.

As a reminder, the major changes coming to the card on August 11, 2015 include:

  • No Foreign Transaction Fees — You can now enjoy international travel without foreign transaction fees from American Express when using the card for purchases abroad.
  • Complimentary, Unlimited Boingo Wi-Fi — You’ll get complimentary, unlimited Wi-Fi access when you enroll in the Boingo American Express Preferred Plan. Receive Wi-Fi access on up to four devices to more than a million hotspots worldwide, and pay no Wi-Fi roaming fees.
  • Complimentary Premium In-Room Internet Access — You won’t miss a beat while away from family, friends, or the office with complimentary premium in-room internet access at participating Starwood hotels.
  • Sheraton Club Access — If you have the Starwood Preferred Guest Business card, you’ll get free access to Sheraton Clubs when you book rates that are eligible to earn Starpoints.

Unfortunately, the annual fee is also going up from $65 to $95, but if you can make use of the waived foreign transaction fees and internet access options, it can definitely be worth the tradeoff.

Historically, however, American Express has offered an enhanced 30,000 point bonus sometime in August, so if you’re thinking about getting the card, it might be best to wait and see if Amex will have a similar offer this year.

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