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So I am having what Milenomics likes to call the “Eleven Month itch” – several of the credit cards that I got back in my first ever churn are coming due, and while there were annual fees for the card, they were waived for the first year. But with the anniversary of the card coming up, so are the annual fees.
One of the cards that I got was the Starwood Amex. Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) rewards are one of the best ones out there, being able to be used not only for stays at Starwood hotels (where you can get a pretty nice hotel for only 2000 points), but also transfer to most airlines (with a 25% bonus if you transfer at least 25,000 points.
I’ve used it for 1 night at a Starwood hotel, but other than that I have a balance of about 30,000 points. I currently have no plans for any stays, and I have a few other hotel options (Hilton, Club Carlson) where I have more attractive redemptions and point levels.
Similarly, I currently have enough miles in the airlines programs where I am most likely to travel.
So, why do I want this card? Well, I don’t know, which is why it’s hard for me to justify paying the annual fee for the card!! The only thing that I can think of where SPG points would be great, is that Starwood has 2 properties actually on-property at Disney World (the Dolphin and the Swan).
We have vague plans of a family Disney trip in a few years when my youngest is a bit older, and these two hotels are (to my knowledge) the only points-redeeming hotels on-property at Disney World. Still, I don’t need to have the card open to redeem points, but what I DO need are a few more points.
There is currently an expanded offer for the SPG Amex (30,000 SPG points instead of only 25,000), PLUS you can refer a friend for an additional 5,000 points. So is the extra 10,000 SPG points worth paying the $65 fee? I’m not sure about that but it’s probably close.
I’ve chatted twice with Amex agents to try and get the fee waived but am 0/2! Not even an offer of a retention bonus (I’ve heard talk of bonuses anywhere from 2,000 to 6,000 SPG, though my spending on this card hasn’t been a ton). My plan is to call on the phone one more time and see how my luck goes, and if I’m 0/3 well then I’ll have to make a decision on that.
What about you? Has anyone had luck getting the annual fee on the SPG (or any Amex for that matter) waived?