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If you’re in the miles and points earning hobby, or someone who’s keen with travel news, you’d know that It’s been raining Marriott and SPG news. That’s what happened these past few days. PwaC’s, Dan Miller, wrote this entry after the announcement where he pointed out the 3 Worst Devaluations from the Marriott/SPG Program Changes.

  1. Reduced earning on the SPG cards
  2. Introduction of “peak” pricing at hotels
  3. People who get status from anything but LOTS of stays

Click here for details on Dan’s entry.

Part of the big news was the announcement of the new Starwood Preferred Guest American Express Luxury Card, and the news about refreshing the Starwood Preferred Guest Consumer and Business Cards. Amex confirmed with PWaC that SPG Amex Consumer (personal) Card will, in fact, continue to be issued after August 1, along with the business Card. It will not be discontinued. The news came alongside with rolling out a new Marriott Premier Plus Card, along side with unified benefits across Marriott Rewards, The Ritz-Carlton Rewards and Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) for its members in August 2018. Here’s what you need to know about these SPG and Marriott credit cards.

Image courtesy of Amex SPG

Starwood Preferred Guest American Express Luxury Card

  • Launching in August 2018
  • Welcome bonus – TBD
  • Annual fee of $450
  • Complimentary Gold Elite Status
  • No-fee additional Card
  • Statement credit of up to $300 for purchases on the Card at participating hotels worldwide

Earnings potential with this card

  • For each dollar of eligible purchases charged to your Card, you can earn:

    • 6X points at participating SPG and Marriott Properties
    • 3X points when used for dining and airfare
    • 2X points on other eligible purchases

Additional benefits

  • Up to $300 in statement credits each Card renewal year for purchases at participating SPG and Marriott Rewards hotels
  • Annual Night Award (redemption level at or under 50,000 points) every year after your Card account anniversary*
  • Automatic Gold Elite Status and the ability to earn Platinum Elite Status after spending $75,000 on the Card in a calendar year
  • $100 Global Entry or $85 TSA Precheck fee credit
  • Priority Pass Select membership giving you access to over 1,000 airport lounges in the Priority Pass network
  • Complimentary Boingo Wi-Fi
  • No foreign transaction fees

Image courtesy of Amex SPG

Starwood Preferred Guest Consumer Credit Card

  • Annual fee of $95
  • Automatic Silver Elite Status
  • Ability to earn Gold Elite Status after spending $30,000 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.

Earnings potential

  • 6X points at participating SPG and Marriott Properties
  • 2X points on other eligible purchases

Additional benefits

  • Annual night award on your card account’s anniversary
  • Redeemable at properties that are 35,000 points or under
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees

What’s not good

As PWaC pointed out:

Currently the 2 SPG cards earn 1 Starwood point per dollar spent, with very few bonus categories. Because of the ability to transfer 1 SPG point to 3 Marriott points, you’ve essentialy been able to get 3 Marriott points for $1 spent. But now the new and existing SPG cards will only earn TWO Marriott points for every dollar spent..

Image courtesy of Amex SPG

Starwood Preferred Guest Business Credit Card

  • Annual fee of $95
  • Automatic Silver Elite Status
  • Ability to earn Gold Elite Status after spending $30,000 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.

Earnings potential

  • 4X points on everyday business purchases at
    • U.S. restaurants,
    • U.S. gas stations,
    • wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers
    • U.S. shipping purchases
  • 6X points at participating SPG and Marriott Rewards Properties
  • 2X points on other eligible purchases

Additional benefits

  • Annual night award on your card account’s anniversary
  • Redeemable at properties that are 35,000 points or under
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees

What’s not good

  • Sheraton lounge access perk with the business card goes away
  • 2x per dollar earning rate has been lowered

For an at-a-glance look of these Amex cards, click here.

Image courtesy of Marriott

Marriott Rewards Premier Plus Credit Card

This is a new premium rewards card with Chase

  • Sign-up bonus – 100,000 points for new card members
  • Annual fee is $95 (the non-Premier Plus version is $10 less = $85)
  • Earn 6x points for Marriott hotel spend (the non-Premier Plus version earns 5x)
  • 2x for all other purchases
  • No foreign transaction fees

Premier Plus Benefits

  • Anniversary free night award (any property up to 35,000 points in value vs. up to 25,000 points value or Cat 1-5 with the personal premier version)
  • Guaranteed Silver Elite, and to get Gold Elite status after spending $35,000 on purchases each account year
  • In 2019, receive 15 Elite Night Credits each calendar year
  • Beginning in August 2018, receive free in-room, premium Internet access during your stay at a participating Marriott/SPG property

The SPG and Marriott Mashup

All three of the Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Cards from American Express are linked to Marriott’s award-winning guest-loyalty programs, Marriott Rewards®, which includes The Ritz-Carlton Rewards®, and Starwood Preferred Guest®, providing Card Members with the choice to redeem at a portfolio of nearly 6,500 participating hotels across 29 brands around the globe.

 

Existing Starwood Preferred Guest® American Express Card Members and consumers who apply for the Starwood Preferred Guest® consumer and business Credit Cards from American Express will automatically receive the refreshed benefits launching August 2018.

Decisions, decisions

To those with the Marriott Rewards Premier Credit Card, the personal card (the one with $85 annual fee, and anniversary night up 25K value using Cat 1-5). I think of the new Premium Plus card as the card on steroids. Can we get both the Premier Plus and regular premier? DoC followed up with Chase’s website. “Cardmembers can have either the Marriott Rewards Premier credit card or the Marriott Rewards Premier Plus credit card. We will be offering points to upgrade to the new Marriott Rewards® Registered Trademark Premier Plus card. Check back on May 3rd.” Hmmmm, looks like we won’t be able to get both cards. This reminded me of the changes that took place with Chase last year where you could only get one Sapphire card. I’m sure we’ll hear more over the next few weeks.

A big pain point shared by many is with the new and existing SPG cards will only earn TWO Marriott points for every dollar spent. You were able to earn 3 Marriott points with $1 spent.

How about you? What struck you the most with these new offers and refreshed benefits? Will you be upgrading or getting one or more of these cards soon?

HT (Doctor of Credit)

KEY LINK: As always, you can compare current hotel card welcome offers here – I may receive a commission if you’re approved for a card through that link

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