Canadian SPG American Express

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Old May 6, 18, 5:08 am
  #1921  
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: somewhere north of stateside...
Posts: 3,644
Any guesses as to any upcoming changes to the Canadian SPG Amex as part of the merger. Particularly interested in points/dollar, as well as whether or not any Elite Qualifying Nights will be added to the proposition. The US card had offered five nights, but will offer 15 after the merger... a pretty significant difference for Canadians.
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Old May 6, 18, 9:09 am
  #1922  
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: YVR - Vancouver, with most winter weekends in Whistler.
Programs: Aeroplan, Alaska MVP, Marriott Platinum / Lifetime Gold
Posts: 4,161
I am hopeful the premium card will come to Canada; unsure if it will offer all the benefits of the US version however.

We have 2 personal and 2 business cards in our family and will not be keeping all 4 of them with the earning cut on everyday regular spend. One would hope Amex must realize this unless they are prepared to see a drop in card ownership.
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Old May 6, 18, 9:11 am
  #1923  
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Toronto, Canada
Programs: Liftime Titanium Elite Marriott
Posts: 1,746
Losing Costco was the nail in the coffin for Amex in Canada. I think they are pretty much done. I have the SPG Amex but will cancel it before the next years annual fee hits.
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Old May 6, 18, 11:27 am
  #1924  
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: YVR
Programs: AC S100K, Bonvoy Titanium
Posts: 4,335
AMEX is working to lower their merchant fees so that they can get increased presence. Anyone that has a premium AMEX card always has to carry a suitable backup. The Marriott Visa that used to be offered in Canada (by Chase) had two nice perks : no FX fees + 15 nights. The Canadian AMEX has neither of these, gives gold status at 30k (which many of us have), and 1 free cat 4 weekend night at 40k (which is not as useful given they're harder to come by).

Hopefully the updated offering will have better perks. Right now I'm keeping my AMEX for the next month or two to see what happens. I might call in next month to see if if I can get a retention promo. My spend is in the 6 figures.
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Old May 6, 18, 11:27 am
  #1925  
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: YXT
Programs: AC*E50, SPG Plat,
Posts: 524
Costco has zero relevance to me when it comes to Amex use as Amex is accepted 9/10 where I need to spend; the SPG card is my primary card. The big question for me is what the earn rate looks like. If the earn rate drops significantly as it has with the US card, they will need to add some serious benefits for me to keep the card. I'm really hoping they add elite qualifying nights with the card since Marriott is dropping the multiple room credits.
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Old May 6, 18, 1:31 pm
  #1926  
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: somewhere north of stateside...
Posts: 3,644
Has anyone been notified by Amex Canada that earnings will go to 6points/dollar? My expectation is that it will, but I haven't heard from them either...
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Old May 6, 18, 2:05 pm
  #1927  
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: YVR
Posts: 1,773
Originally Posted by tfong007 View Post
Losing Costco was the nail in the coffin for Amex in Canada. I think they are pretty much done. I have the SPG Amex but will cancel it before the next years annual fee hits.
I think there's some truth to this for mainstream card users, since I really don't know anyone that holds an Amex card for this exact reason. BUT there's still a ton of value with the Cobalt card - at least at the moment. Who knows what will happen as of Aug 1.

Amex needs to step it up though... with the loss of Aeroplan and now the SPG program, they need something to keep their point -lovin cardholders happy. The Cobalt is still pretty good for my grocery spends, but they need a good travel card. Let's hope the retrofitted SPG card will deliver...
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Old May 6, 18, 2:34 pm
  #1928  
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: YXU
Programs: RC LT PE, UA PS
Posts: 117
Does purchasing Marriott or Ritz Carlton gift cards qualify for bonus spend requirements? Thanks.
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Old May 6, 18, 8:05 pm
  #1929  
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Posts: 514
Originally Posted by makin'miles View Post
Has anyone been notified by Amex Canada that earnings will go to 6points/dollar? My expectation is that it will, but I haven't heard from them either...
6 points/dollar? I'm not sure why you would be expecting that?

In the US, it looks like after Aug 1, AMEX SPG is going 2 points/dollar.
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Old May 7, 18, 1:48 pm
  #1930  
cur
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Programs: fwp diamond, dykwia elite
Posts: 7,032
so the spg amex will still exist? there won't be a new amex cc program that's more in line? i thought spg is ceasing to exist and the marriott program name stays in august.

what is the best strategy here? bearing in mind spg<>marriott points are combined 1 august:

cancel my spg now and look for signup bonuses on a theoretically new amex card? that way i'm not transferred over to this theoretically new card therefore ineligible for signup bonus?
or hang on and hope for a sweet deal like the marriott visa (free remaining of year and free cat 1-5 night)

Originally Posted by tfong007 View Post
Losing Costco was the nail in the coffin for Amex in Canada. I think they are pretty much done. I have the SPG Amex but will cancel it before the next years annual fee hits.
losing one low hanging fruit of a merchant isn't a nail in a coffin.
cancel it next year assuming this card exists next year?
i thought annual fee refunds are pro rated?
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Old May 7, 18, 3:07 pm
  #1931  
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Join Date: Apr 2005
Programs: Starwood:Lifetime Platinum, Air Canada:Basic, Asiana:Lifetime Diamond Plus, ANA: Basic
Posts: 958
Originally Posted by pentiumvi View Post
6 points/dollar? I'm not sure why you would be expecting that?

In the US, it looks like after Aug 1, AMEX SPG is going 2 points/dollar.
I agree.

US cards set the tone of the transfer ratio. Our Canadian cards have has a history of being inferior to the American counter parts. So the odds are likely we will have a worse exchange rate.

One of Colbat card's main attraction is the SPG transfer. Once that gets devalued, I wonder how users are going to respond.
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Old May 7, 18, 3:18 pm
  #1932  
cur
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Programs: fwp diamond, dykwia elite
Posts: 7,032
Originally Posted by yeunganson View Post
I agree.

US cards set the tone of the transfer ratio. Our Canadian cards have has a history of being inferior to the American counter parts. So the odds are likely we will have a worse exchange rate.
we are not inferior to the usa cards. being that canadians are frequently ripped off, you pay more for stuff therefore you get more spg. so in reality we are totally ahead.
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Old May 7, 18, 4:12 pm
  #1933  
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Join Date: Apr 2005
Programs: Starwood:Lifetime Platinum, Air Canada:Basic, Asiana:Lifetime Diamond Plus, ANA: Basic
Posts: 958
Originally Posted by cur View Post
we are not inferior to the usa cards. being that canadians are frequently ripped off, you pay more for stuff therefore you get more spg. so in reality we are totally ahead.
I am at awe of the amazing insight. I have reached a new level of zen-like epiphany.
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Old May 7, 18, 10:15 pm
  #1934  
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: YVR - Vancouver, with most winter weekends in Whistler.
Programs: Aeroplan, Alaska MVP, Marriott Platinum / Lifetime Gold
Posts: 4,161
One way of looking at it is that the Canadian Amex was $1 CAD = 1 Starpoint. This is a 22-28% advantage against the US card. Staying at a hotel, everything gets converted to US dollars then $1 USD = 1 Starpoint.

I think this was to be competitive against all other card programs like Amex Rewards, Aeroplan etc...
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Old May 8, 18, 2:03 am
  #1935  
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: YVR
Programs: AC S100K, Bonvoy Titanium
Posts: 4,335
Originally Posted by pentiumvi View Post
6 points/dollar? I'm not sure why you would be expecting that?

In the US, it looks like after Aug 1, AMEX SPG is going 2 points/dollar.
Right now you AMEX gives you 1 starpoint/dollar and 2 starpoints are SPG properties . After conversion this would be 3 / dollar (Standard) and 6 / dollar at SPG properties.

The new Marriott cards give you 2 / dollar (standard) and 6 / dollar at all Marriott properties. So a 50% devaluation for standard purchases but the same for hotels. Technically the bonus at SPG properties is a time limited promo that was introduced last year.

If this holds true to the Canadian card, then I'll likely use my card for SPG properties and another card for regular purchases.
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