Canadian SPG American Express

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Old Jul 18, 18, 6:19 am
  #2026  
 
Join Date: Jun 2016
Location: Prince Edward Island
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As of this morning, Amex Canada has stopped accepting applications for the SPG Amex cards (both business and personal) with a note on their website to check back on August 7th to apply and a link to view the upcoming changes: https://www.americanexpress.com/ca/e...d-credit-card/
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Old Jul 20, 18, 5:51 pm
  #2027  
 
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Old Jul 21, 18, 11:17 am
  #2028  
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: YVR
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Originally Posted by Low Roller View Post
As of this morning, Amex Canada has stopped accepting applications for the SPG Amex cards (both business and personal) with a note on their website to check back on August 7th to apply and a link to view the upcoming changes: https://www.americanexpress.com/ca/e...d-credit-card/
Interesting...3 weeks with no apps! Don't think I've seen that before!
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Old Jul 22, 18, 11:51 pm
  #2029  
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This is what showing for Canadian AMEX Membership Rewards for SPG transfer

Product Information

Due to Membership Rewards website maintenance, we will not be able to facilitate points transfer requests from the Membership Rewards Program to the Starwood Preferred Guest Program from July 27 - August 9, 2018, inclusive.

Important updates to the Starwood Preferred Guest Program including Membership Rewards points transfers to the Starwood Preferred Guest Program

As of August 4th, the current transfer option of Membership Rewards points to Starpoints will end. The new transfer option will be Membership Rewards points to “points” under the new Starwood Preferred Guest Program. The new transfer rate will be 1000 Membership Rewards points = 1200 points. Please visit members.marriott.com for more information regarding all of the changes to the Starwood Preferred Guest Program, including redemption rates.

Make the most out of your Membership Rewards points by enrolling in the Starwood Preferred Guest program. Starpoints® can be used for stays at more than 1,000 hotels and resorts in 100 countries. Giving you access to some of the world's most celebrated hotel and resort brands including: Sheraton®, Four Points® by Sheraton, St. Regis®, Westin®, The Luxury Collection®, W Hotels®, Le Meridien®.

Transfers to a Starwood Preferred Guest® program account may take up to 5 business days.
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Old Jul 23, 18, 12:03 am
  #2030  
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Originally Posted by yeunganson View Post

As of August 4th, the current transfer option of Membership Rewards points to Starpoints will end. The new transfer option will be Membership Rewards points to “points” under the new Starwood Preferred Guest Program. The new transfer rate will be 1000 Membership Rewards points = 1200 points.
With these changes, it makes SPG AMEX only good for charges at Marriott/Starwood hotels. So people will just keep it just for the welcome bonus and the annual free night.

AMEX Colbalt dominates every day charges on Dining Out, bars, restaurants and grocery stores, the with $CAD 1 = 5 AMEX MR = 6 new Marriott/Starpoints (compared to 2 points with SPG AMEX)
Gas & Transit AMEX Colbalt still edges out with $CAD 1 = 2 AMEX MR = 2.2 Marriott/Starpoints (Compared to 2 points with SPG AMEX)
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Old Jul 23, 18, 7:16 am
  #2031  
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
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Last edited by Canada101; Jul 23, 18 at 7:18 am Reason: Error
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Old Jul 23, 18, 9:38 am
  #2032  
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: YVR
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Originally Posted by yeunganson View Post
With these changes, it makes SPG AMEX only good for charges at Marriott/Starwood hotels. So people will just keep it just for the welcome bonus and the annual free night.

AMEX Colbalt dominates every day charges on Dining Out, bars, restaurants and grocery stores, the with $CAD 1 = 5 AMEX MR = 6 new Marriott/Starpoints (compared to 2 points with SPG AMEX)
Gas & Transit AMEX Colbalt still edges out with $CAD 1 = 2 AMEX MR = 2.2 Marriott/Starpoints (Compared to 2 points with SPG AMEX)
Yeah...i was contemplating turfing my Cobalt but I think I'll keep it a while longer. I'm not sure it justifies the annual fee for my grocery and restaurant charges. Same goes with the Gold card (if you transferred MRs to SPG). I'll use my SPG at Wal-Mart and PC FINANCIAL at Loblaws and my Cap One MC at Costco... that leaves only a few hundred a month tops of normal food spending on the Cobalt.

Anyone done the math to determine what you'd need to spend each month (for cardholders that also hold SPG) to justify the annual fee?
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Old Jul 23, 18, 11:42 am
  #2033  
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Originally Posted by pokee View Post
Yeah...i was contemplating turfing my Cobalt but I think I'll keep it a while longer. I'm not sure it justifies the annual fee for my grocery and restaurant charges. Same goes with the Gold card (if you transferred MRs to SPG). I'll use my SPG at Wal-Mart and PC FINANCIAL at Loblaws and my Cap One MC at Costco... that leaves only a few hundred a month tops of normal food spending on the Cobalt.

Anyone done the math to determine what you'd need to spend each month (for cardholders that also hold SPG) to justify the annual fee?
Colbalt's fee is $10 per month (not an annual fee). So if you are spending at the 5x catagories (restaurants, bars, grocery stores) then you get $1CAD = 5 AMEX MR points (about 5 pennies worth). So you need to spend $200 on these 5x catagories to make it worth it.
Gas and transit Colbalt AMEX matches the Gold AMEX on $1CAD = 2 AMEX MR Points (2 pennies worth) = 2.4 merged SPG/Marriott point - beating the SPG AMEX of $1CAD = 2 merged SPG/Marriott point.

The SPG AMEX can be used for SPG/Marriott hotels and the annual renewal fee pays for the SPG hotel free night cert. I messaged AMEX saying this devaluation is a disaster because the Cobalt is outclassing the SPG AMEX in important everyday spending categories (resturants, gas, groceries, bars, taxi fares...etc) in earning SPG points. Colbalt MR tier tries to block their members from transferring to airlines but they can transfer to SPG and thus to airlines anyway. So with the added of out-of-province insurance for Colbalt AMEX, the value gap between "new" SPG AMEX and Colbat is appearing (the gap is even bigger for Colbat and my AMEX Plat Biz after year 1).

AMEX screwed up. I told them their fix should be enhancing the SPG AMEX card to overcome the Cobalt advantage (and every one is happy) or remove Colbat's ability to transfer to SPG (have winners and losers). You cannot have a general AMEX earning more SPG points than a specialized SPG AMEX card. There is also a need to greatly improve the Plat or Plat Biz AMEX so it becomes more competitive.This isn't the first time this type of screw up happened.

When AMEX introduced the Aeroplan AMEX, then the AMEX Plat was earning 1CAD = 1.5MR and can transfer to Aeroplan 1:1. It put the Aeroplan Plat AMEX card in a disadvantage and within months, AMEX reduced the earning rate for AMEX Plat to $1 = 1.25 MR that we have now. So it's not that there are no precedent on modifying earning ratios.
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Old Jul 23, 18, 11:55 am
  #2034  
 
Join Date: Nov 2017
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Originally Posted by yeunganson View Post
Colbalt's fee is $10 per month (not an annual fee). So if you are spending at the 5x catagories (restaurants, bars, grocery stores) then you get $1CAD = 5 AMEX MR points (about 5 pennies worth). So you need to spend $200 on these 5x catagories to make it worth it.
Gas and transit Colbalt AMEX matches the Gold AMEX on $1CAD = 2 AMEX MR Points (2 pennies worth) = 2.4 merged SPG/Marriott point - beating the SPG AMEX of $1CAD = 2 merged SPG/Marriott point.

The SPG AMEX can be used for SPG/Marriott hotels and the annual renewal fee pays for the SPG hotel free night cert. I messaged AMEX saying this devaluation is a disaster because the Cobalt is outclassing the SPG AMEX in important everyday spending categories (resturants, gas, groceries, bars, taxi fares...etc) in earning SPG points. Colbalt MR tier tries to block their members from transferring to airlines but they can transfer to SPG and thus to airlines anyway. So with the added of out-of-province insurance for Colbalt AMEX, the value gap between "new" SPG AMEX and Colbat is appearing (the gap is even bigger for Colbat and my AMEX Plat Biz after year 1).

AMEX screwed up. I told them their fix should be enhancing the SPG AMEX card to overcome the Cobalt advantage (and every one is happy) or remove Colbat's ability to transfer to SPG (have winners and losers). You cannot have a general AMEX earning more SPG points than a specialized SPG AMEX card. There is also a need to greatly improve the Plat or Plat Biz AMEX so it becomes more competitive.This isn't the first time this type of screw up happened.

When AMEX introduced the Aeroplan AMEX, then the AMEX Plat was earning 1CAD = 1.5MR and can transfer to Aeroplan 1:1. It put the Aeroplan Plat AMEX card in a disadvantage and within months, AMEX reduced the earning rate for AMEX Plat to $1 = 1.25 MR that we have now. So it's not that there are no precedent on modifying earning ratios.
I just looked up the Cobalt card and IMHO appears to be slightly better than the Gold card in terms of earning (5x on Eat & Drinks versus 2x with Gold) and offer better travel protection (i.e. flight delay insurance). The only thing that the AE Gold has on the Cobalt is the $5,000,000 travel insurance which in my case is essential to have. Fortunately in Canada, there are few grocery stores that accept AE (i.e. Sobey's in Ontario), everywhere else I use my Aeroplan Visa. The equations for earning will change a lot next year as I determine what to do with all those Aeroplan miles I have.

As for the SPMarriott AE card, I never applied for the card intending to rack up SPMarriott points with them. For hotels I'm a free agent (at least for now) given I have Gold with Hilton and Diamond Select with Best Western so the key is what hotel is the nicest and cheapest (sometimes SPMarriott ends up being the winner). I initially signed up for the card to get the Welcome Bonus of 25,000 SPG = 75,000 Marriott points since that would cover a number of hotel nights at the places I'd be staying at. In the last 12 months I probably put through maybe $2000 in transactions or so, just to earn the sign up bonus. Now that they are introducing a free night cert, it has gone from a maybe card to a keeper card since I suspect I'll always be in a situation at least once a year where a night at a hotel costs more than the annual fee I'm paying. For instance, I'm using my free night cert this year to stay at an AC Hotel at Times Square for NYE (retail price tag $1000 USD). Also if UA ever ditches SPMarriott, I'll lose my Gold status, so it's nice to at least be guaranteed Silver and to have the complementary Wifi.

Safe Travels,

James
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Old Jul 23, 18, 10:06 pm
  #2035  
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: YVR
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Originally Posted by j2simpso View Post
... Now that they are introducing a free night cert, it has gone from a maybe card to a keeper card since I suspect I'll always be in a situation at least once a year where a night at a hotel costs more than the annual fee I'm paying. For instance, I'm using my free night cert this year to stay at an AC Hotel at Times Square for NYE (retail price tag $1000 USD). Also if UA ever ditches SPMarriott, I'll lose my Gold status, so it's nice to at least be guaranteed Silver and to have the complementary Wifi.

Safe Travels,

James
I am also planning to use my free night on a NYC hotel during the holiday season when rates are around $400-$600+ US. I booked 3 different hotels a looong time ago for slightly different dates, as I wasn't sure when I'd be travelling - and never did I think that the redemption levels would go down! Only a few went up - one of which I booked before it went from 40K to 45K - and now it's going up to 50K (Renaissance Midtown). I have to decide if I want to fork out a bunch more points to stay there, or stay at the Courtyard Herald Square (which went down to 35K and I can use one of my free nights on). I am Gold - and under the new program I'll be Plat, so I was kinda looking forward to staying at a classy joint. Good thing I have over 4 months to decide!

I will always keep the SPMarriott card for the free night and the status. That's a no brainer for me.
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Old Jul 24, 18, 12:26 pm
  #2036  
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My Annual Fee (both for Plat Biz and SPG AMEX) was due this month. I called in to SPG AMEX to see if there is a retention offer - none offered partly because I got some points last year. They asked me why I wanted to cancel (double annual fee was one reason) and that's when I asked for a serious talk and the rep should write down my points to higher up.

We started talking and the rep finds this is complex enough that he put me on hold and then I get to talk to another person that is supposed to be from marketing department.

The following is the run-down of my points

1) I gave them feedback about disappointment on devaluation and told them many with higher elite status holds SPG AMEX and unlike SPG Gold status in the past that gives 4:00pm check out, the new silver status really is a useless status (that don't have late check out or lounge access). I said if you are targeting frequent stayers of SPG/Marriott, they already should have higher status than silver. This is a useless perk and gimmick and see right through.
2) Now that the Membership Rewards to merged SPG/Marriott program is 1MR = 1.2 SPG/Marriott point, I pointed out the AMEX Colbat outearns the specialized SPG AMEX on SPG points - especially in those 5x categories like dining, bars, groceries. The Cobalt even out earns SPG AMEX on gas and travel. AND Colbalt have better insurance package than SPG AMEX. Without further SPG AMEX enhancements (or a devaluation of the Colbalt), Cobalt is going to cannibalized profits that would have gone to the SPG AMEX and make the SPG product noncompetitive and unprofitable. The earning gap is widening even for the Plat Biz and if no enhancements, this would be the last year I am paying 499 annual fee. Have you ever considered those Platinum card holders maybe heavy travellers too (thus already would have airlines/lounge status)?
3) AMEX Rep says correctly Colbalt Membership Reward Tier doesn't allow to transfer to Airlines while Biz Plat or AMEX Gold allows that. I then gave rep insight that SPG does allow transfer to airlines and the rate isn't hostile - 1SPG = 1.25 Aeroplan (if transferred in bulk of 20000). By allowing transfer to SPG, blocking the Colbalt AMEX from transfer to airlines is a mute point.
4) I told the marketing department what would happen in a year if nothing changes (and myself is just a educated consumer and not even churning cards). I would apply for the new SPG/Marriott AMEX for to get your welcome bonus and only charge hotels on it. The annual cert with no spending requirement will pay for the Annual Fee. AMEX will make litterally nothing off of the SPG/Marriott AMEX because all my other charges will not go to it. I will cancel my Plat Biz and get the Cobalt (A loss of 300+ in difference in Annual fee for AMEX) and I will charge all the not-really-profitable 5x categories on the Colbalt and the slightly-profitable 2x catagories like gas and plane tickets on the Colbalt. The "other" charges (ie the most profitable ones for AMEX) likely be a lot less and going to be split between SPG AMEX and my mastercard.
5) The new merge SPG AMEX is betting the regular spend is going to compensate the more generious 5x rewards at hotels but I promise AMEX you'll see the card mostly used in the 5x rewards category and a fraction of what it was pre-merger because of bad card benefit design and a very generous Cobalt.

The rep took notes and promised the feedback would be used. I reminded the rep there was precedent of quick modifications. When AMEX Aeroplan cards came out, the AMEX Plat outearned the Aeroplan Plat on Aeroplan and AMEX devalued the AMEX Plat from earning ratio "1 to 1.5" reduced to "1 to 1.25". You can remove hotel redemption (SPG,Hilton) for the Colbalt Tier and make a lot of unhappy customers or enhance the SPG AMEX to widen the gap between Colbalt and SPG AMEX. The plat cards need enhancements to keep the benefit gap as they are no longer competitive.

At the end, I cancelled my SPG Card and await for the launch of the new merged program.
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Last edited by yeunganson; Jul 24, 18 at 4:29 pm
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Old Jul 24, 18, 1:20 pm
  #2037  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 594
After Aug:
Amex Cobalt -> $1 is either 6 or 2.4 or 1.2 Marriott points.
Amex SPG -> $1 is either 5 or 2 Marriott points.
Amex Plat -> $1 is 1.5 Marriott points

I may not even keep my Amex Plat. Seems Amex Cobalt is the way to go.
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Old Jul 25, 18, 7:01 am
  #2038  
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Quebec and Ontario, Canada
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Originally Posted by khkchan View Post
After Aug:
Amex Cobalt -> $1 is either 6 or 2.4 or 1.2 Marriott points.
Amex SPG -> $1 is either 5 or 2 Marriott points.
Amex Plat -> $1 is 1.5 Marriott points

I may not even keep my Amex Plat. Seems Amex Cobalt is the way to go.
Amex Plat has always been awful for points earning. You should not keep this card if the benefits don't worth the fee for you...
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Old Jul 28, 18, 4:24 am
  #2039  
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: YYZ
Posts: 248
When do the new (lower) earning rates kick in on the SPG personal AMEX? I just had my billing statement for July and wonder if its time to stop using it as my workhorse.
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Old Jul 28, 18, 4:35 am
  #2040  
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Join Date: Jun 2007
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Originally Posted by sxc234 View Post
When do the new (lower) earning rates kick in on the SPG personal AMEX? I just had my billing statement for July and wonder if its time to stop using it as my workhorse.
Looks like Aug 4 per the letter Amex sent out. See post # 2004 if you didn’t get it.
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