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I tried to give a warning about the likely coming end of the SPG Amex cards and bonuses as we knew them yesterday, and unfortunately, some major changes arrived very shortly thereafter last night. Signaling at least a temporary end of a long-standing era, the SPG personal and business American Express cards have stopped awarding SPG points as a welcome bonus, and instead are currently only offering statement credits.
New Welcome Bonuses for the SPG Amex Cards
The welcome bonuses for both the personal and business SPG Amex cards are now a $100 statement credit after you make $1,000 in purchases on the cards in the first 3 months and an additional $100 statement credit after your first purchase at a participating SPG or Marriott hotel in the first 6 months. Both cards are offering a $0 introductory annual fee the first year, and then $95 in subsequent years.
The terms indicate that the welcome bonuses are not available to those of have or have had the products.
While it seemed that the plan was for Chase to be the issuer of the $95 per year consumer card for the combined SPG and Marriott program while Amex kept the rights to issue a small business card, it has now been clarified that both the Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card and the SPG consumer Amex will continue to be issued in the new combined program. This is certainly new information to me that was just clarified by the SPG Amex team.
Of note is that the terms in both the personal and small business now cards state that you will get credit for five nights and two stays towards earning SPG elite status in 2018 as long as the account was opened on or before August 1, 2018. Remember that 2018 will be the final time you can earn SPG Platinum elite status based on earning 25 stay credits in one year. You can earn a total of four stay credits just by having the personal and small business SPG Amex cards. The business version will provide Sheraton lounge access only until July 31, 2018.
These new welcome bonuses of up to $200 in total statement credits are significantly weaker than the previous versions that awarded SPG points, but I have been told there should be a “very rich welcome bonus later in the summer”, so don’t worry too much about the temporary change in the bonus.
Do be aware that existing personal and small business SPG Amex cardholders will see their everyday earnings drop on August 1, 2018, from the current 1x SPG point per dollar charged that translates to 3x Marriott Rewards points, to a flat 2x Marriott Rewards points on non-bonused spending. The small business version of the card will have 4x bonus categories at U.S. restaurants, U.S. gas stations, on wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers, and on U.S. shipping charges. That is the equivalent of 1.33x SPG points per dollar today.
Effective on August 1, 2018, both the personal and small business SPG Amex cards will earn 6x at SPG and Marriott properties, which is the equivalent to the 2x the cards provide at those properties now.
I’m very sad to see the cards currently offering statement credits instead of SPG points, but all is not lost as the new Chase Marriott Rewards Premier Plus Credit Card with a $95 annual fee and a 100,000 point new cardmember welcome bonus with $5,000 in spending the first 90 days will be available May 3rd, Amex will launch a new premium SPG card product in August, and this move to just $200 in statement credits isn’t necessarily permanent.
Were you able to get the SPG Amex cards while they were offering points instead of statement credits?