A Pointshogger reader alerted us today that American Express Canada has revamped its Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card, one day after the Marriott unification announcement. The major change is the elimination of the 20,000 sign up bonus points and changed into a statement credit instead.
Let’s take a closer look at the highlights of the card:
- $120 annual fee
- $50 annual fee for a supplementary cardholder
- Earn $250 statement credit (earn $100 after spending $1,500 in the first 3 months and another $150 after spending $200 at participating Starwood or Marriott properties in the first 6 months)
- Earn $25 statement credit for every referral (up to a maximum of $375 per calendar year)
- Earn 2 Starpoints for every $1 spent at participating SPG and Marriott Rewards hotels (between November 15, 2016 and July 31, 2018)
- Earn 1 Starpoint for every $1 spent on all purchases
- Spend $30,000 a year (anniversary year) to receive Gold elite status with Starwood Preferred Guest
- Spend $40,000 a year (anniversary year) to receive a Free Weekend Night Award
The biggest change is the sign up bonus. We have seen 20,000 or 25,000 sign up bonuses, which to me is worth $540 or $675 respectively. So the $250 is a pretty big devaluation.
The other point worth noting is that the 2 Starpoints for every $1 promotion expires on July 31, 2018, which is in line with the August launch date of the Marriott, Ritz-Carleton and Starwood loyalty program merger.
As bad as this may seem, this card was bound to either have some major changes or discontinued. From August 2018 onward, we will probably not use the term Starpoints anymore anyway.
Rumour has it that there will be a new credit card that will be launched in May 2018. The U.S. is about the launch a Luxury AMEX SPG card. I really hope to see something similar in Canada, along with a more day-to-day co-branded Marriott card.