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FlyerTalk Forums Thread Wiki: SPG American Express [Master Thread]
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For discussion of the now expired offer for a 35K signup bonus, see Amex SPG 35,000 business and personal cards-2016 [No referral offers in this thread.]

USA-issued card benefits changed on August 11, 2015. (Announcement & extended discussion at American Express and Starwood enhance cobrand credit card benefits.) The benefits are slightly different for personal and business cards:
These are the benefits common to both cards:
  • SPG Gold status with $30K spend
  • 1 Starpoint per $ spent
  • 2 Starpoint per $ spent at SPG hotels.
  • Preferred Plus benefits
  • Free premium in-room Internet access
  • Free unlimited Boingo wifi
  • Annual fee $95.00 (first year free)
  • No foreign transaction fee
In addition, the SPG Business Amex provides access to the Sheraton Club lounge for the member and one guest, provided the stay is booked through Starwood directly. Award stays are included in this benefit.

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Old Aug 5, 04, 2:55 pm   #1
Original Poster
  
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Dallas, TX
Posts: 40
Arrow SPG American Express [Master Thread]

My wife and I love our Starwood AMEX cards and believe they are great values. But like many people, I want it all. We have recently been charged our $30 annual fees. On other cards I have had success in calling customrer support and asking for renewal points/miles. I tried this approach with no success calling 1-800-AXP-1000. I'm looking for any success stories of people getting bonus starpoints or getting their $30 annual fee waived.

I suspect that there is a thread on this somewhere, but I could not find it. Any pointers would be appreciated.
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Old Aug 5, 04, 6:05 pm   #2
  
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: BOS
Programs: AA Gold 1MM, SPG Plat Life, HH Silver, Amtrak S+, Delta
Posts: 734
Quote:
Originally Posted by pacman777
I think the SPG50 cert is worthless... I can always get better rates using corp code or AAA than the 50% off rack rates which are ridiculously high.
I consistently use the 50% off award in certain places where my company would have me staying at another hotel for less money than a Starwood property. I suppose it all depends on which hotels you try to use them at. They work great for me.
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Old Aug 6, 04, 11:55 am   #3
  
Join Date: Jul 1999
Posts: 2,744
As a person who holds *Wood Amex, AA Citibank Platinum MC, and AA Citibank Debit cards, I have no problem with the *Wood fee. Citibank reams me on both of their cards. I tried dumping the AA MC last year, but they gave me 10k AA miles to keep it (we'll see what happens this year). The *Wood card is half of the others, and 1 *Point/$ is better than 1 AA Mile/$.

It's the best value of any Point/Mile affinity card, IMO.
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Old Aug 6, 04, 12:16 pm   #4
  
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: From: PWM
Programs: United GS, Fairmont Platinum,SPG LTPlat, Hilton Diamond, MarriottGold..like the rest of the world
Posts: 4,398
Quote:
Originally Posted by izzik
wow, it's amazing what some people will do for free points.

Yeah, I agree. This is one of the few threads that routinely appears that really makes me a little mad. This is a most reasonable expense per annum. AMEX, like any other business, generally does not like to see consumers walking out the door, so they may bend a little if they think a good customer is about to walk on them by issuing a "one time" credit or good faith point transfer, etc.

However, I put this in the same category as the folks I have seen in Sheratons this year trying to squeeze points or $$$s out of the front desk clerks using the Sheraton promise. In one case, the complaint was a light bulb that burned out after the guests checked in -- now, I ask you, was that guest R E A L L Y entitled to the 2000 Starpoints he got? I think not. Nevertheless, his rude manner and persistence won him 2000 points. I was disgusted -- he only pushed the point since he knew he stood a good shot at getting something for nothing.

SPG AMEX holders know full well that the annual fee is what it is -- quite low and offers a tremendous payoff for most of us. Just please leave it at that.

I'm stepping down off the soapbox now ........
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Old Aug 6, 04, 12:58 pm   #5
  
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Dallas
Programs: SPG, AA Elite, HHonors, Hyatt Gold
Posts: 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ready2Go
I'm quite happy to pay the $30 fee, because as many have said, this card is a great value. I'd hate to see them do what a lot of other issuers do -- charge an exorbitant fee but waive it for any squeaky wheel who asks.

Much better to keep the fee low, and spread the burden by making (almost) everyone pay it. If that's what they're doing, I'm all in favor.
Ready2Go, this isn't aimed at you...just my general rant on the topic...

A fee-free *wood card would hardly be a 'burden' for AMEX. AMEX is only charging the annual fee because they know people will pay it. It's all about consumer perception. $30 really is a good value in comparison to other fee-based cards.
There are (and always will be) plenty of financially inept persons paying exorbitant finance charges to keep AMEX's ivory towers shining without my 30 bucks in the kitty.

...end of rant...
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Old Aug 6, 04, 1:37 pm   #6
  
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: From: PWM
Programs: United GS, Fairmont Platinum,SPG LTPlat, Hilton Diamond, MarriottGold..like the rest of the world
Posts: 4,398
Unhappy

Quote:
Originally Posted by LSU Fan

A fee-free *wood card would hardly be a 'burden' for AMEX. AMEX is only charging the annual fee because they know people will pay it.

Yes, but ........

The contract that SPG AMEX holders enter into when we enrolled very clearly spells out the terms -- including the annual fee. This is not some submersively added fee that sneaks up on us as cardholders. In other words, the annual fee is made quite clear up front and most of us can agree that this particular fee is most reasonable.

That's my only point. I have to scratch my head at folks who will post on FT how much they love the SPG AMEX card and how, in their opinions, it is hands down the very best affinity card on the planet, and that even though they are happy to pay the $30 fee, they are just hoping to find someway to avoid it.

Are these the same folks who listen to public radio and hope that everyone else will make a contribution since they don't? Are these the folks that throw a dollar bill into the offering plate at church? Are these the folks that always make sure that when they split the dinner tab with several friends that they come out just a little ahead by making sure the others put in the extra dollar when one is needed?

Arrgh...
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Old Aug 6, 04, 1:40 pm   #7
  
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: From: PWM
Programs: United GS, Fairmont Platinum,SPG LTPlat, Hilton Diamond, MarriottGold..like the rest of the world
Posts: 4,398
Quote:
Originally Posted by asiaFT
Amex not only makes money from interest charges, but also high transaction fees that business/vendors pay for accepting the
Yes, but ....

it is only because of this built in profit margin that the SPG AMEX card can be so good.

If AMEX charged 0.07% and had no annual fee, my friends, the SPG AMEX (if one existed at all) would look very different. Something more like what my crappy HiltonHonors MasterCard looks like -- takes me a year to get one night at the lowest level Hampton Inn around......
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Old Aug 6, 04, 2:41 pm   #8
  
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: TTT302009
Programs: Lifetime Executive Diamond Platinum VIP with Braniff, Eastern, Midway, National & Pan Am
Posts: 4,241
For the sake of argument though, why would anyone keep the SPG AMEX card and pay a $30 annual fee when they could just cancel and reapply a couple months later with a first year fee waiver and new sign-up bonus of up to 10,000 points?

I recently canceled my SPG AMEX account not because of the annual fee but because of AMEX's refusal to ever target me for double points promos.

Incidentally, I did try to see if they were willing to throw some SPG points my way to get me to keep the card (mostly as a test because I really did want to cancel, barring a really rich offer) and they offered absolutely nothing.
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Old Aug 6, 04, 3:17 pm   #9
  
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: From: PWM
Programs: United GS, Fairmont Platinum,SPG LTPlat, Hilton Diamond, MarriottGold..like the rest of the world
Posts: 4,398
Quote:
Originally Posted by Herb687
For the sake of argument though, why would anyone keep the SPG AMEX card and pay a $30 annual fee when they could just cancel and reapply a couple months later with a first year fee waiver and new sign-up bonus of up to 10,000 points?

Herb687 --

I don't see any issue with this at all. There is no agreeing to a plan and then midstream complaining about what you agreed to. If AMEX allows the above to transpire for consumers, then that's AMEX's decision. Can anyone out there confirm that AMEX has indeed allowed customers to cancel and reapply weeks or short months later? Interesting....
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Old Aug 6, 04, 3:28 pm   #10
  
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Oak Park, IL USA
Programs: AA Gold, UA Premier, *Wood, Marriott Silver Elite
Posts: 133
Quote:
Originally Posted by sbtinme
Yes, but ....

it is only because of this built in profit margin that the SPG AMEX card can be so good.

If AMEX charged 0.07% and had no annual fee, my friends, the SPG AMEX (if one existed at all) would look very different. Something more like what my crappy HiltonHonors MasterCard looks like -- takes me a year to get one night at the lowest level Hampton Inn around......
I agree with you, and I am not arguing that AMEX should lower that charge.
My point was a credit of $30 is not affecting AMEX bottom line at all. They are not making their money off this $30.
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Old Aug 6, 04, 3:32 pm   #11
  
Join Date: Jul 2003
Programs: Hilton Diamond, Starwood Lifetime Platinum, Marriott Gold, Hyatt Diamond, Delta Platinum
Posts: 2,188
Quote:
Originally Posted by jmittle
Do what I do and just did....apply for another Starwood Amex card...especially during the 10K bonus promo...you get the fee waived and earning the bonus points all over!!!
Wow, I'm surprised that they allow this. The terms and conditions actually address the bonus for stays during the first year.

"3. Your stay bonus eligibility starts from the date that you receive your Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card from American Express. Only first-time Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Cardmembers are eligible for stay bonuses. Stay bonuses will post to your Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Cardmembership account 4-6 weeks after qualifying stays are charged to the Card. "

Last edited by bigjim; Aug 6, 04 at 7:08 pm
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Old Aug 7, 04, 5:52 pm   #12
  
Join Date: Nov 2002
Posts: 344
Smile

I am really grateful for the starwood card. If it wasn't for flyertalk I'd still have my amex gold paying $75.00/year and $40/year for membership rewards with a selection of only a few airlines. I got my spg card last year and got out of membership rewards in December when they had a 15% promotion to transfer miles to Delta. It was all perfect timing. Then MR started charging for transfers of miles this march. I mean isn't $40.00 enough?

I am so glad to be out of that program. For me $30/year is such a great value I can't believe it. and all the choices of airlines! It is so much easier to accumulate miles on this program than on MR. I love it!
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Old Aug 7, 04, 7:49 pm   #13
  
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Mid-Atlantic
Posts: 1,711
$30 is a bargain for this card given the value of an SPG point--assuming Starwood doesn't feel it time to once again "enhance" their point levels. However, I still get a little miffed that AmEx does not charge an annual fee for their HHonors card, but feels as though they have to for the Starwood card. My guess is that their HHonors card cas to compete with the Citibank HHonors card that does not carry a fee. Yes, I know that you earn an additional point with the AmEx card, but acceptance of AmEx over Mastercard is also an issue.
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Old Aug 8, 04, 8:37 pm   #14
  
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 866
$30 or 3000 Starpoints?

I called Amex today because my renewal was up. I said that I noticed a $30 fee on my stmt and that I'd like a) the fee waived or b) a *point renewal bonus instead. The Indian rep explained that such things were simply beyond the reach of the living, at which point I suggested that I'd like to cancel my card.

A few phone transfer beeps later I was connected to Shawn who I gladly re-explained again my predicament. I mentioned that there are simply too many fee-free based reward cards out to be accepting a $30 charge and re-iterated that *points in lieu of $30 are acceptable.

He offered without hestitation to either waive the fee or give me 3000 points. I took the points. He turned on the recorder and reiterated the offer after which we parted cordially.

This is my first renewal and I charge about $2.2k monthly. I do not know if either had an impact.

I did not but could have pressed further as I was actually ready to cancel the card.
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Old Nov 19, 06, 8:54 pm   #15
  
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Philly, Madrid
Programs: DL Plat, Hyatt Dia, IC RA
Posts: 2,490
To add a more current experience:

I called and asked to have the fee removed from this month's bill and was told a definite no. I then tried to encourage a point offer by saying that "I would therefore like to cancel the card". Well, instead of a point offer, the CSR gave me the fastest and easiest credit card cancellation that the world has ever seen! No kidding, in under 30 seconds my card was cancelled and the CSR was saying "Have a nice day!"

It's just my luck, every other credit card that I have tried to cancel in my life turned into an hour long struggle of convincing a dozen people that I really didn't want the card anymore, and then the one time I don't really want to cancel is the one time that they don't give me any hassle!

Oh well, I'll wait a few months and then apply for a new one. Maybe I'll even get another sign-up bonus.
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