Canadian SPG American Express

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Old Feb 1, 19, 6:56 pm
  #2236  
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
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Originally Posted by yeunganson View Post
An update on this. I received a reply today by management. In our conversation, I outlined that the Colbolt AMEX Card would earn 6 Bonvoy Points per $C 1 spent on eats and drinks and that would out-earn the yet-to-be-release Marriott Bonvoy AMEX 5 Bonvoy Points per $C 1 spent in Marriott hotels. Secondly, for catagories of Travel & Transit, the Colbalt would earn 22 Bonvoy points for every $C10 spent while there is no other bonus catagory for Bonvoy AMEX and thus only earn 20 Bonvoy Points for every $c 10 spent... Again, the Colbalt out earns Bonvoy AMEX on the specialty card. Management brought my feedback during meeting and this process would go to marketing department to further impact study before changes may be implemented (or discarded). I am hopeful stuff may happen.

As for what my suggestion was.. I told them to increase normal earning back to 3 Bonvoy points per $C 1 spent and a more generous bonus in flights and hotels catagory. I said if they can't put money in, the other non-as good blunt tool of stopping the bleeding is to block Cobalt from transfering to Marriott Bonvoy. The original intent of blocking Cobalt MR points to Aeroplan was to prevent leak from Aeroplan cards to Colbalt but there was a loophole of Colbalt MR -> SPG/Marriott -> Aeroplan. You close that and there won't be cannabalization of members keeping the Bonvoy AMEX for the free night while making purchases on other cards.
While I appreciate your efforts to gain more for the SPG/Bonvoy card, I am very unhappy that you would even suggest they downgrade Cobalt. My solution - have both cards and stop whining.
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Old Feb 1, 19, 7:39 pm
  #2237  
 
Join Date: Jun 2016
Location: Prince Edward Island
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Originally Posted by prmetime View Post
While I appreciate your efforts to gain more for the SPG/Bonvoy card, I am very unhappy that you would even suggest they downgrade Cobalt. My solution - have both cards and stop whining.
Agreed. If you think the Cobalt is a better card, then get a Cobalt. I don't see what you expect to gain by pointing out that the Cobalt is too generous in comparison to the SPG cards. Actually, I do see what you hope to gain but I think that hope is unrealistic. I assume that one complaint from some random person won't have any effect on Amex, but if you did convince them to achieve parity between the 2 cards, it's unlikely to be achieved by improving SPG.
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Old Feb 1, 19, 9:12 pm
  #2238  
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Originally Posted by patiolanterns View Post


What in the world? This has to be one the most bizarre posts I’ve ever read on this forum. Why would you suggest that they “close the loophole”? It’s not some bug, it’s a feature. If one card earns more than the other in some kind of spending, that’s a good thing, as we can put that spending on the right card. If features are removed to try to make the cards identical, then it strongly hurts the consumer.
How serious would Amex take anyone who can’t even spell Cobalt?

Colbolt
Colbalt
Colbat
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Old Feb 1, 19, 10:00 pm
  #2239  
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Originally Posted by prmetime View Post
While I appreciate your efforts to gain more for the SPG/Bonvoy card, I am very unhappy that you would even suggest they downgrade Cobalt. My solution - have both cards and stop whining.
I must be fearless in giving my own opinions - North American taught me that. If I am afraid of being ridiculed and not speak my mind, I would have failed the awesome education I gained here. That doesn't mean all my ideas are great ones and when AMEX management talks to me, I don't represent flyertalk, I represent myself and be more objective on the issue. I indicated a design problem that seems the Cobalt AMEX would outshine the Bonvoy AMEX and I want some enhancements so the Canadian Bonvoy card can be better. Through the course of conversation and idea bouncing, the Colbat inability to transfer to Aeroplan came to topic and I showed them it is done indirectly. We touched on a variety of topics as well.

If you got better ideas, you can also provide feedback to AMEX too. Change don't come by when people keep quiet, you need to exercise your free speech and provide feedback in hopes for better tomorrow.
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Old Feb 1, 19, 10:10 pm
  #2240  
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
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Originally Posted by yeunganson View Post
I must be fearless in giving my own opinions - North American taught me that. If I am afraid of being ridiculed and not speak my mind, I would have failed the awesome education I gained here. That doesn't mean all my ideas are great ones and when AMEX management talks to me, I don't represent flyertalk, I represent myself and be more objective on the issue. I indicated a design problem that seems the Cobalt AMEX would outshine the Bonvoy AMEX and I want some enhancements so the Canadian Bonvoy card can be better. Through the course of conversation and idea bouncing, the Colbat inability to transfer to Aeroplan came to topic and I showed them it is done indirectly. We touched on a variety of topics as well.

If you got better ideas, you can also provide feedback to AMEX too. Change don't come by when people keep quiet, you need to exercise your free speech and provide feedback in hopes for better tomorrow.
Free speech is absolutely fine, but the question we have for you here is why would you suggest changes to the Cobalt card? The Bonvoy card has a lot of advantages that the Cobalt card has not such as the free anniversary night each year, the 15 nights and Silver status. Don't suggest decreasing the value of one card in hopes of making your preferred card more attractive. That's all that's being suggested to you.
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Old Feb 1, 19, 10:37 pm
  #2241  
 
Join Date: Jul 2018
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I feel like it would be difficult (hopefully!) for them to remove the ability to transfer to hotel programs from the Cobalt as every tier of Membership Rewards points can be used to do this. They'd have to make a whole new category of Membership Rewards points to facilitate that.

I can't see them making any changes (hopefully!) to the Cobalt based on this feedback, it's not like they weren't already aware of this.

And if someone has both the Marriott Bonvoy card and the Cobalt card, isn't that better for Amex anyways?
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Old Feb 2, 19, 6:23 am
  #2242  
 
Join Date: Jun 2016
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Originally Posted by yeunganson View Post
I must be fearless in giving my own opinions - North American taught me that. If I am afraid of being ridiculed and not speak my mind, I would have failed the awesome education I gained here. That doesn't mean all my ideas are great ones and when AMEX management talks to me, I don't represent flyertalk, I represent myself and be more objective on the issue. I indicated a design problem that seems the Cobalt AMEX would outshine the Bonvoy AMEX and I want some enhancements so the Canadian Bonvoy card can be better. Through the course of conversation and idea bouncing, the Colbat inability to transfer to Aeroplan came to topic and I showed them it is done indirectly. We touched on a variety of topics as well.

If you got better ideas, you can also provide feedback to AMEX too. Change don't come by when people keep quiet, you need to exercise your free speech and provide feedback in hopes for better tomorrow.
Make all the suggestions you want for improving the SPG cards, but don't give them suggestions for making the Cobalt worse. That's just hurting other people for no reason.
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Old Feb 2, 19, 3:47 pm
  #2243  
 
Join Date: Jul 2018
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This is a bit off-topic but can't find a better place to ask, and since we're talking about the Cobalt anyway, I had a question:

Does transferring Amex MR Select points to your Marriott account qualify as an activity that will extend your Marriott points expiration date?

My current expiration date does seem to reflect that (it's 2 years from my last Amex transfer, and it shows up under "qualifying activity" on my Marriott profile), but I was wondering what other's experiences were.
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Old Feb 2, 19, 4:15 pm
  #2244  
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
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Originally Posted by sameruval View Post
I feel like it would be difficult (hopefully!) for them to remove the ability to transfer to hotel programs from the Cobalt as every tier of Membership Rewards points can be used to do this. They'd have to make a whole new category of Membership Rewards points to facilitate that.
I don’t think it’s terribly likely either, but they can definitely selectively restrict cobalt “MR-select” points, as these already cannot be transferred to Aeroplan or Avios, likely because of the 5x bonus category on the cobalt. They could easily add Marriott/bonvoy to the list. Or, they could devalue to 1-to-1 instead of 5-to-6.
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Old Feb 2, 19, 4:39 pm
  #2245  
 
Join Date: Sep 2016
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Originally Posted by yeunganson View Post
I must be fearless in giving my own opinions - North American taught me that. If I am afraid of being ridiculed and not speak my mind, I would have failed the awesome education I gained here. That doesn't mean all my ideas are great ones and when AMEX management talks to me, I don't represent flyertalk, I represent myself and be more objective on the issue. I indicated a design problem that seems the Cobalt AMEX would outshine the Bonvoy AMEX and I want some enhancements so the Canadian Bonvoy card can be better. Through the course of conversation and idea bouncing, the Colbat inability to transfer to Aeroplan came to topic and I showed them it is done indirectly. We touched on a variety of topics as well.

If you got better ideas, you can also provide feedback to AMEX too. Change don't come by when people keep quiet, you need to exercise your free speech and provide feedback in hopes for better tomorrow.
you’re arguing in support of devaluating a credit card ‘s features.

This is not what most people would classify as a “better tomorrow”
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Old Feb 2, 19, 4:41 pm
  #2246  
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
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Originally Posted by sameruval View Post
This is a bit off-topic but can't find a better place to ask, and since we're talking about the Cobalt anyway, I had a question:

Does transferring Amex MR Select points to your Marriott account qualify as an activity that will extend your Marriott points expiration date?

My current expiration date does seem to reflect that (it's 2 years from my last Amex transfer, and it shows up under "qualifying activity" on my Marriott profile), but I was wondering what other's experiences were.
it used to count with SPG, but two years have not passed since Amex started transferring directly to Marriott accounts (this started in August 2018), so nobody will have any 100% conclusive data. However, it’s obviously a very good sign that the expiry date moved back in your account, and a line in the terms and conditions is definitely in your favour: “converting Points to Miles or Miles to Points does count toward maintaining an active status;”. It’s a little ambiguous since an Amex MR point isn’t exactly a “mile”, but I think the spirit of the rule includes all transfers in from external loyalty programs, including Amex transfers.

If you are worried about some IT sweep disallowing the transfer as an eligible transaction and changing your expiry date, I would screenshot your account now showing the longer expiry and use if you ever had any trouble. But I think it’s a very low risk.
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Old Feb 2, 19, 7:32 pm
  #2247  
 
Join Date: Jul 2018
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Originally Posted by patiolanterns View Post


it used to count with SPG, but two years have not passed since Amex started transferring directly to Marriott accounts (this started in August 2018), so nobody will have any 100% conclusive data. However, it’s obviously a very good sign that the expiry date moved back in your account, and a line in the terms and conditions is definitely in your favour: “converting Points to Miles or Miles to Points does count toward maintaining an active status;”. It’s a little ambiguous since an Amex MR point isn’t exactly a “mile”, but I think the spirit of the rule includes all transfers in from external loyalty programs, including Amex transfers.

If you are worried about some IT sweep disallowing the transfer as an eligible transaction and changing your expiry date, I would screenshot your account now showing the longer expiry and use if you ever had any trouble. But I think it’s a very low risk.
Yea my transfers from Amex to SPG/Marriott were done just before August 2018. For what it's worth they all show up under the category of " Bonus* " on both the Marriott Website and App with the * indicating it's a qualifying activity. I'm assuming it should likely be the same moving forward, but if anyone has done a transfer after August 2018 I'd be interested to hear.

Interestingly I can only find my expiry date explicitly stated on the app and not the website.
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Old Feb 2, 19, 7:44 pm
  #2248  
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I don't see why the Cobalt should be downgraded. (and its ridiculous to suggest as much). CObalt is great, the 5X on food and groceries makes it a go-to card for those categories. If you can pull off efficient use of the points against the fixed pt travel program, you can extract ~.017-0.02 CAD/pt, which is a solid rebate in those categories.

OTOH, the SPG/bonvoy card could use some love. The 35k/cert is good (makes sense for the annual fee) but in terms of encouraging spend, it doesn't do much, even though 2 marriott points is probably equivalent to ~2% rebate at the 0.7-0.9 US cents/pt, but not the bonanza it was at 1 starpoint/cad . If they did something for F&B and travel that would be nice, or at least threshold bonuses like they have on the US cards to get spend (e.g. extra 25k per 25k in spend, etc)
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Old Feb 2, 19, 8:01 pm
  #2249  
 
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If you want to earn more for dining, gas and travel spend, get the SPG Business card.

Ron.
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Old Feb 2, 19, 11:55 pm
  #2250  
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Originally Posted by I came to fly View Post

you’re arguing in support of devaluating a credit card ‘s features.

This is not what most people would classify as a “better tomorrow”
I disagree with your statement. I provided an range of suggestions when asked my AMEX management including enhancements for Bonvoy AMEX on earning ratio and a range of other ideas. When I have a chance to provide my feedback to AMEX management, of course I will give them a piece of my mind and my honest thoughts, why would I ever need to consider the response from flyertalk members before speaking?

Regardless, there is no point arguing it here on Flyertalk because back and forth here won't help make a better Bonvoy AMEX card of the future. If you have some wonderful ideas, please make your voices heard by take time to write to AMEX. They do respond when you send a thoughtful letter and you may get a call too by management. Positive change happens when there are lots of thoughtful feedback.
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