Key August Dates for SPG American Express Cardmembers
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Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available – Marriott Rewards Premier Plus Credit Card, Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express, Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express
Chase’s new co-brand offering, the Marriott Rewards Premier Plus Credit Card, has already been out in the world for the past couple months, complete with its new earning rates and other benefits. The existing SPG Amex cards have remained unchanged during that period, however, awaiting adjustments to Marriott’s loyalty programs overall. With a launch date confirmed and quickly approaching, it’s now time to take a closer look at what’s in store for SPG cardmembers, too.
As I outlined back in April, Amex’s two cards — the Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express and the Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express — are sticking around for the time being, and you can even sign up for a new account, although the welcome bonuses aren’t nearly as attractive as they once were. Changes are on the way, though, coming in two waves.
Due to the great return offered by Starpoints, which we value at 2.7 cents, and the fact that you previously earned one point per dollar spent, the SPG Amex cards were a frequent go-to for everyday spend. But as you’ll see below, the earning rate for non-bonus spend will effectively drop from 1 Starpoint to 0.67 Starpoints (from the equivalent of 3 Marriott points per dollar, to just 2). Moving forward, consider charging everyday spend to one of these cards, instead.
The first batch of adjustments kick in on August 1, and include an annual free night upon card renewal (valid for redemptions of up to 35,000 points) and new earning rates of 6x points at SPG and Marriott hotels and 2x points on all other purchases (down from the equivalent of 3x points cardmembers earn today).
Additionally, customers with the Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card from American Express will be eligible for a new Baggage Insurance Plan, with details yet to be confirmed, while those with the Starwood Preferred Guest Business Credit Card from American Express will earn 4x points on purchases at US restaurants, US gas stations, US wireless phone services and US shipping — replacing the Sheraton Club access available today. Note that points earned beginning August 1 will post once the new program kicks in, on or after August 18.
To recap, here’s the full breakdown of earning rates:
|Card||Annual Fee||Marriott Earn||Bonus Cat Earn||Everyday Earn|
|SPG Luxury Credit Card||$450||6x||3x*||2x|
|SPG Consumer Credit Card||$95||6x||N/A||2x|
|SPG Business Credit Card||$95||6x||4x**||2x|
|Marriott Rewards Premier Plus (Chase)||$95||6x||N/A||2x|
* Purchases at US restaurants and on flights booked directly with airlines
** Purchases at US restaurants, US gas stations, US wireless phone services and US shipping
Then, on August 18, SPG balances will be tripled (10,000 points will become 30,000, for example) and cardmembers will receive complimentary Silver elite status — of course if you’ve already earned a status level above silver, that higher level will prevail.
Amex has not yet confirmed the launch date for the upcoming Starwood Preferred Guest American Express Luxury Credit Card, however, which we’ve detailed here. That premium product, which carries a $450 annual fee and comes with a range of fantastic benefits, is still expected to become available sometime next month.
For more on August’s changes and Marriott’s card lineup, see: