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Changes to the American Express Canada SPG Co-Brand Credit Cards

UPDATE- Explanation below on clarifying why I gave this 2 thumbs up!

(June 28, 9am PST) I unfortunately have to retrack one of my thumbs up to American Express, see this post: First Glimpse of New Marriott/SPG Reward Redemption Schedule.

American Express Canada issued a Press Release informing the changes to its Starwood Preferred Guest Co-Brand Credit Cards that are set to come into effect in August 2018. Which should correspond with the full integration of Marriott and Starwood.

Below are the key highlights of the changes to the business and personal versions of the credit cards. I put the expected changes in bold with a commentary in brackets:

Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card

  • $120 annual fee (no change)
  • No annual fee for supplementary cardholders (no change)
  • Earn 5 points for every $1 spent at SPG and Marriott Rewards properties (currently offering a promotion of 2 points for every $1 spent)
  • Earn 2 points for every $1 on all other purchases (currently earning 1 point for every $1 spent)
  • Receive an Annual Free Night Award redeemable at any room up of up to 35,000 points (will no longer require the $40,000 spending requirement)
  • Receive complimentary upgrade to Silver Elite Status (none before)
  • Receive upgrade to Gold status after spending $30,000 each year (receive Silver status before)

Starwood Preferred Guest Business Credit Card

  • $150 annual fee (no change)
  • $50 annual fee for supplementary cardholders (no change)
  • Earn 5 points for every $1 spent at SPG and Marriott Rewards properties (currently offering a promotion of 2 points for every $1 spent)
  • Earn 3 points for every $1 on gas, dining and travel (currently earning 1 point for every $1 spent)
  • Earn 2 points for every $1 on all other purchases (currently earning 1 point for every $1 spent)
  • Receive an Annual Free Night Award redeemable at any room up of up to 35,000 points (will no longer require the $40,000 spending requirement)
  • Receive complimentary Silver status (none before)
  • Receive Gold status after spending $30,000 each year (receive Silver status before)

Thoughts

A lingering question is how much will 1 point be worth after the full integration?

Regardless of how they change the value of each point, it should be offset by the increase in earning ratios. Furthermore, the annual free award night with no spending requirement is just icing on the cake. So I am giving 2 thumbs up to American Express and Marriott for the time being!

CLARIFICATION- I have been getting a lot of feedback that Marriott converts at a 3:1 ratio to SPG. So this is essentially a devaluation, because it should have gone up to 6 points for every $1 spent at Marriott properties and 3 points for every $1 spent on all other purchases. The reason I held off saying that this is a devaluation is because I think that Marriott Rewards has not finalized their reward program yet. I will give my first thumbs up to the annual free night award and my second thumbs up to the Business version offering a higher earning ratio to gas, dining and travel, which I think will come in handy!

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Pointshogger aims to provide analysis and updates on earning loyalty reward points and maximizing the value of your points. We hope to inspire our readers to experience the joy of travel and make the most out of what they've already got!

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