What's Covered by the SPG Luxury Card's $300 Credit?
Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available. View the current offers here.
The SPG Luxury Card is now the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card. See this post for information on what counts toward the $300 credit on the Bonvoy Brilliant.
The Starwood Preferred Guest® American Express Luxury Card opened for applications just two weeks ago and is a solid option for Marriott and SPG loyalists. TPG reader Jonathan wants to know what purchases are covered by the new card's yearly hotel credit...
[pullquote source="TPG Reader Jonathan"]Does the $300 annual credit cover the cost of a room or only anything else you'd spend in the hotel?[/pullquote]
Many high-annual-fee cards offer annual travel credits, which can cover things like incidental airline fees or can go toward stays at resorts — and if you take full advantage of them, they help offset a card's annual fee.
The Chase Sapphire Reserve offers a $300 annual travel credit that automatically applies to nearly every travel purchase, while The Platinum Card® from American Express comes with a total of $200 in Uber credits each year and $200 toward airline incidentals every year.
Like many other premium credit cards, the SPG Luxury Card comes with a $450 annual fee (See Rates & Fees). Fortunately it offers a $300 credit toward purchases at SPG and Marriott hotels. More specifically, Amex says that cardholders will "enjoy up to $300 in statement credits each year of Card Membership for eligible purchases at participating SPG® or Marriott Rewards® hotels."
But what does "eligible purchases" mean specifically? Does it apply to the cost of a room or just hotel incidentals like room service? Marriott has confirmed with TPG the $300 credit will in fact cover the cost of a stay. So, the cost of booking the room itself will be covered by the credit, as will other incidental charges.
The credit card's terms and conditions further explain how this credit works:
Eligible SPG or Marriott Rewards property purchases must be made directly with the participating SPG or Marriott Rewards property and charged to your Starwood Preferred Guest® American Express Luxury Card account for the benefit to apply. Incidental charges (including charges made at restaurants, spas and other establishments within the hotel property) must be charged to your room and paid for with your Starwood Preferred Guest®American Express Luxury Card at checkout in order to be recognized as SPG or Marriott Rewards purchases.
After paying for the stay itself, make sure that you charge any other incidentals to your room and then pay your bill at checkout with the SPG Luxury Card to ensure the credit applies. You'll earn 6x Marriott points on all purchases made at Marriott or SPG hotels, plus a 25% bonus points on paid stays as a Gold elite member — a complimentary benefit of the Luxury Card.
If you plan on staying at least one or two nights a year at an SPG or Marriott hotel, it'll be quite easy to get the full $300 from this credit — making the effective annual fee on this card $150. You can extract even more value if you maximize the card's annual free night award (up to 50,000 points) and stack it with a paid or points-powered stay.
Amex says it could take 8 to 12 weeks for the credit to appear on your statement, but TPG readers report that it's visible just days after making an eligible charge.
Like with other high-end travel cards, the SPG Luxury Card's effective annual fee becomes much lower after factoring in its yearly travel credit. Travelers can squeeze even more value out of it considering the current 75,000-point welcome bonus after spending $3,000 in the first three months and annual free night award.
For rates and fees of the SPG Luxury Card, please click here.