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American Express and Starwood enhance cobrand credit card benefits

American Express and Starwood enhance cobrand credit card benefits

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Old Apr 14, 16, 7:51 am   -   Wikipost
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This thread is for discussion of the new benefits & fee structure announced in June 2015. For general discussion of the SPG Amex, see SPG American Express [Master Thread].

Will the additional cardholders on my Starwood Business Amex account get access to the Sheraton Club lounge? What about guests in additional rooms I'm also paying for?
"This benefit is for Basic Card Members only on Starpoint Eligible Rate reservations...Sheraton Club lounge access is limited to the eligible Card Member and a guest staying in the same room for the duration of the stay, regardless of how many rooms have been reserved." (See Starwood FAQs.)
Which hotel brands with the Sheraton name will offer the lounge benefit?
The benefit is offered at all Sheraton-branded properties, including Sheraton Grand hotels, with the exception of any Luxury Collection property. It is not available at Four Points by Sheraton hotels.
Wiil I still get Club access if I book my stay with points or cash+points?
Per Starwood Lurker in post #104, yes.
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Old Jun 6, 15, 4:32 pm
  #136  
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Originally Posted by TravelinSperry View Post
You are correct, I erred when describing the annual fee of the IHG card. So many of my cards charge $95, I forgot IHG was less.

However annual fee is just one way to analyze a cards worth. As you correctly identify you must look at the benefits offered. With IHG you are given a free night. Let's assume the value of that night is $300. So with IHG you pay $49 and get $300 in value plus when you redeem points you earn approx $.01 per point.

Let's assume you spend $2,000 per month on your card. This gives you 24,000 points (more if some of your spend is actually at IHG properties). But for simplicity - let's assume it all isn't. That is worth $240 dollars in redemption (+ the $300 free night) for a total of $540 annually.

For SPG the same spend gets you 24,000 points but since Starwood points are worth more (about $.03 per point) you get $600 in value. More than IHG - but of course since the annual fee is more ($95) you must subtract that. That makes the SPG card worth $554 in value. So at this spend - about break even without considering the other benefits. Starwood allows you to transfer to Airlines at 1:25 to 1. A nice perk over IHG. And of course if you spend more than $2,000 per month the Starwood card is even better. Now not everyone does and I'll be the first to admit this is a rudimentary analysis. But my point is that you cannot just look at the annual fee. You must look at your spend pattern and then what points are valued at to identify which is better for you.
TS --

Many people wish to value SPG points at that level otherwise the rate of return on the points is not that good because point accumulation of SPG points is so much slower than with other brands.

I agree that the ability to transfer to airlines is a nice perk, but I always have felt that render unto Caesar that which is Caesar's and that the best value often to be found with hotel points lies within redemption at hotels and not other areas. Therefore, I confine most of my beliefs to this area.

Again, I think that it works for you and that is fine, on the whole, however, although you may find much support on this mostly Road Warrior board, I don't think that in actual practice most people who have the card will use it strategically as you will.

For me, and I believe for them, the Chase hotel cards provide more spending power and return for comparable hotel cards.

I have been hotel card heavy and airline card light, but with the change in accumulation of airline miles and the cutting of mileage accumulation to spend, the calculus or earning airline miles now shifts for those who don't travel all that frequently by airplane to accumulation of airline miles by credit card spend -- all things being equal.

Now, SPG which was a laggard in benefits with respect to the other hotel cards comes along and ups the fee for the privilege of holding the card -- No Thanks.

I would be better served by obtaining any number of airline cards with the comparable annual fee --many of which don't hit me with one in the initial year, as well as the scads of bonus miles -- 55,000 miles recently for obtaining the United card and have a modest spend and a companion card for my spouse. Then additional spend gets me another 10,000 miles, as well.

Not to mention, a free checked bag on all flights -- saving me $50.00 per person on a R/T flight.

Sorry, I like hotel points for you can use them without having to take a flight, but with market consolidation and expansion amongst the other brands, I just don't need to stay at an SPG property as there are usually other alternative most anywhere.

With respect to return on my investment, as I have said above, since mileage earning has now changed, the value of spend on an airline credit card has taken on more meaning and if I am to spend a $95.00 annual fee, I can get a generous sign up bonus now with the prospect of many more miles from the Chase United card and free bags on those flights.

What I am presented with now with the SPG card, is no increased bonus incentive for a sign-up -- I am long past that -- and to me useless additions to a card, offset by a higher fee, as well.

Again, no thanks.

When my card is up for renewal later this year, it is curtains for it.
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Old Jun 6, 15, 4:33 pm
  #137  
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Originally Posted by aeg42 View Post
Do you need to pay for a stay with the SPG Business Amex to get the club lounge benefit, or just have the card?
You still need to be a hotel guest, of course.
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Old Jun 6, 15, 5:32 pm
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Originally Posted by bhrubin View Post
Hey guys, I realize everyone has their preferred valuation for different points/miles, but everyone also should recognize that everyone's valuations are their own and only their own. Differences between your calculations matter little when you use different values for different points/miles.

The question here is for those who already have the SPG Amex or want to get that card: is the $30 extra fee worth the value add/value for you?

If it isn't, then don't get or keep the card. As you all realize, you have plenty of other hotel credit cards from which to choose.

If it is, then get or keep the card.

All this constant whining and bellyaching about which card is best for everyone or "best overall" is just plain silly. There is no such thing.

I also think that people's opinions of hotel cards varies partly because of where their travels take them most (and which hotel chains best serve those locations) and what kind of travel you prefer. If you like free hotel nights and/or often stay in budget/midscale hotels, then SPG and thee SPG Amex may not be the best for you. If you like premium travel, then it's likely the SPG card is going to appeal...because the SPG points permit airline transfer for premium awards and because SPG has more upscale/luxury hotel options than the other major chains. If you value points towards upscale/luxury hotels, then it's likely the SPG Amex and Chase cards are of more appeal because SPG and Hyatt hotels have the best upscale/luxury hotels in more locations. But if you travel to or want to travel to places where SPG And Hyatt don't have those hotels, then they may not appeal as much.

We all have different travel budgets, travel patterns, travel preferences, and travel priorities, just as we have different spending patterns and preferences. All of these create scenarios where any of the many different hotel or transferrable point cards have different relative values to each of us.

So get the one that has the best value to you. And shut up about the fact that others will see it differently.

If everyone agreed with whatever valuation you use, then everyone would drop other cards and get the same cards as you, and use them as you do, which would force your hotel/point system to more quickly devalue what you so prefer. Be happy that people don't always agree!
Although I agree with several of your points regarding the subjectivity of a credit card's value and doing what is best for oneself, it is wrong to suggest that some "shut up about the fact that others will see it differently". It is fair to compare SPG American Express to other credit cards tied to comparable loyalty programs (not necessarily to compare the loyalty programs themselves).

This is a forum to express our opinions, knowing that not everyone will agree. I was disappointed that the SPG American Express card is not more competitive in supporting Starwood, its partner. It doesn't mean I am ready to cancel the card. I understand those who feel like it's time to cancel; those who want to cancel should feel free to share their opinions too. I also understand those who believe $30 is not enough to get worked up about, or that the new benefits outweigh the cost.

American Express merely matching no-FTF benefits of other cards does not mean that it is equal to other issuers' comprehensive credit card benefits. Most may agree that Starpoints are worth more than other loyalty program points. American Express might pay more for the Starpoints. American Express also likely charges merchants more on swipe fees than Visa or MasterCard. It is fair to express disappointment when American Express doesn't offer the consumer more when it does a benefit refresh, and increases the annual fee. Just my $.02.
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Old Jun 6, 15, 6:31 pm
  #139  
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Originally Posted by conde View Post
Although I agree with several of your points regarding the subjectivity of a credit card's value and doing what is best for oneself, it is wrong to suggest that some "shut up about the fact that others will see it differently".
As you, yourself said just a few lines later:

This is a forum to express our opinions, knowing that not everyone will agree. It is fair to compare SPG American Express to other credit cards tied to comparable loyalty programs (not necessarily to compare the loyalty programs themselves).
Bolding is mine. I did exactly what you said the others did. I expressed my opinion, knowing that not everyone will agree--nothing more. I wasn't decrying comparisons of credit cards as much the ridiculous justifications based on point valuations that are ridiculously subjective.

Compare away. But please don't force feed us your point valuations as if those are statements of fact. They are all relative to how one actually uses points--despite the many bloggers out there who try to convince us how one type of point or mile is better than another. (Though we all can agree that DL SkyPesos suck.) And if one has the right to force feed us one's point valuations, then I have the right to respond in kind.

I was disappointed that the SPG American Express card is not more competitive in supporting Starwood, its partner. It doesn't mean I am ready to cancel the card. I understand those who feel like it's time to cancel; those who want to cancel should feel free to share their opinions too. I also understand those who believe $30 is not enough to get worked up about, or that the new benefits outweigh the cost.
I agree. Share. But if one wants to belabor the point relentlessly in these back and forths that go nowhere, I want to express my opinion, too! Again, in my opportunity to share my opinion, I say put up or shut-up to those who constantly are waging this back and forth discussion of what isn't that troubling of an issue about a credit card annual fee being jacked by $30. If it is that troubling to you, feel free to cancel.

American Express merely matching no-FTF benefits of other cards does not mean that it is equal to other issuers' comprehensive credit card benefits. Most may agree that Starpoints are worth more than other loyalty program points. American Express might pay more for the Starpoints. American Express also likely charges merchants more on swipe fees than Visa or MasterCard. It is fair to express disappointment when American Express doesn't offer the consumer more when it does a benefit refresh, and increases the annual fee. Just my $.02.[/QUOTE]

Express away! But I say again then those should either put up or...again, dare I say...shut up. The constant back and forth between is unnecessary.

These back and forth exchanges are not about trying to better articulate a point but about trying to convince everyone that their view is better. That is ridiculous. Denial isn't just a river in Egypt, and martyrdom because of a $30 increase in an annual fee is just as comical.
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Old Jun 6, 15, 6:32 pm
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Originally Posted by conde View Post
Although I agree with several of your points regarding the subjectivity of a credit card's value and doing what is best for oneself, it is wrong to suggest that some "shut up about the fact that others will see it differently". It is fair to compare SPG American Express to other credit cards tied to comparable loyalty programs (not necessarily to compare the loyalty programs themselves).

This is a forum to express our opinions, knowing that not everyone will agree. I was disappointed that the SPG American Express card is not more competitive in supporting Starwood, its partner. It doesn't mean I am ready to cancel the card. I understand those who feel like it's time to cancel; those who want to cancel should feel free to share their opinions too. I also understand those who believe $30 is not enough to get worked up about, or that the new benefits outweigh the cost.

American Express merely matching no-FTF benefits of other cards does not mean that it is equal to other issuers' comprehensive credit card benefits. Most may agree that Starpoints are worth more than other loyalty program points. American Express might pay more for the Starpoints. American Express also likely charges merchants more on swipe fees than Visa or MasterCard. It is fair to express disappointment when American Express doesn't offer the consumer more when it does a benefit refresh, and increases the annual fee. Just my $.02.
I think so. I would have preferred to keep the old benefits and save the $30. There's nothing game changing in this "enhancement". But that's just my opinion.
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Old Jun 6, 15, 6:33 pm
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If I have the SPG Personal card and it has a balance and I cancel it. Does that impact my credit at all? Also, I have a really high credit limit on the personal card so would that really affect me negatively to cancel it? Also, to get all the new SPG business benefits can you apply for the card before August 11th or do you have to apply on or after the date?

Last edited by ASUDan130; Jun 6, 15 at 6:40 pm
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Old Jun 6, 15, 6:35 pm
  #142  
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Originally Posted by broadwayblue View Post
I think so. I would have preferred to keep the old benefits and save the $30. There's nothing game changing in this "enhancement". But that's just my opinion.
I would have preferred the old benefits for the $65 fee, too. I'm just not getting worked up about the new benefits and $95 fee. Things change. I deal with it and move forward.
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Old Jun 6, 15, 6:44 pm
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Originally Posted by bhrubin View Post
I would have preferred the old benefits for the $65 fee, too. I'm just not getting worked up about the new benefits and $95 fee. Things change. I deal with it and move forward.
Yeah, I probably won't cancel it over $30 either. Although as I have already moved quite a bit of my spend elsewhere it is unfortunate that the price is going up. I'm just disappointed they didn't make the benefits more attractive (to me). As they say, you can't please everyone. At least I hear the card itself will get a refresh...the current version has been an eyesore in my wallet for years. lol
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Old Jun 6, 15, 6:54 pm
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Originally Posted by ASUDan130 View Post
If I have the SPG Personal card and it has a balance and I cancel it. Does that impact my credit at all? Also, I have a really high credit limit on the personal card so would that really affect me negatively to cancel it? Also, to get all the new SPG business benefits can you apply for the card before August 11th or do you have to apply on or after the date?
?? You want to cancel your card when it's not paid off? You need to pay the balance off if you don't want your credit rating negatively impacted. And no need to cancel it before the anniversary date.

If you get the SPG business card prior to 11 Aug, you will still get the new benefits on 11 Aug.
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Old Jun 6, 15, 6:56 pm
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Originally Posted by broadwayblue View Post
Yeah, I probably won't cancel it over $30 either. Although as I have already moved quite a bit of my spend elsewhere it is unfortunate that the price is going up. I'm just disappointed they didn't make the benefits more attractive (to me). As they say, you can't please everyone. At least I hear the card itself will get a refresh...the current version has been an eyesore in my wallet for years. lol
I'm still not sure what benefits people were expecting the SPG Amex to give for the extra $30. Free nights weren't on the table--you don't give away the store when you already have a solid customer base and desirable higher end portfolio of hotels (especially when compared with Hilton, Marriott, IHG, and even Hyatt). SPG and Amex's issue isn't not having enough people getting the SPG Amex cards; it's not having customers using the cards abroad.

Last edited by bhrubin; Jun 6, 15 at 7:20 pm
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Old Jun 6, 15, 6:57 pm
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Originally Posted by yulhammeryyz View Post
Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (BB10; Kbd) AppleWebKit/537.35+ (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/10.2.1.2141 Mobile Safari/537.35+)

Hopefully a new and improved Canadian SPG AMEX is in the works
Waived FX fees won't happen until a few other premium cards start offering it. I'm kind of annoyed that we don't get the 5 free SPG nights or the additional points on SPG properties.
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Old Jun 6, 15, 7:46 pm
  #147  
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Originally Posted by bhrubin View Post
The question here is for those who already have the SPG Amex or want to get that card: is the $30 extra fee worth the value add/value for you?
Definitely would keep the OPEN card, cancel the personal but SPG no longer the go-to-brand even if more expensive because I no longer need to qualify for SPG elite to get elite benefits. IMO, the SPG AMEX is a "backdoor" elite status for a bargain price of $95.

Only thing I'm really missing is the "upgrade" and breakfast (associated to the SPG50 level) which is a hit or miss depending on property.
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Old Jun 6, 15, 8:26 pm
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Originally Posted by bhrubin View Post
I'm still not sure what benefits people were expecting the SPG Amex to give for the extra $30. Free nights weren't on the table--you don't give away the store when you already have a solid customer base and desirable higher end portfolio of hotels (especially when compared with Hilton, Marriott, IHG, and even Hyatt). SPG and Amex's issue isn't not having enough people getting the SPG Amex cards; it's not having customers using the cards abroad.
Double points at restaurants, instead of Boingo, is what I want for the extra $30.
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Old Jun 6, 15, 8:38 pm
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Originally Posted by NYCRuss View Post
Double points at restaurants, instead of Boingo, is what I want for the extra $30.
How would double points at restaurants get people to increase their use of the card abroad? All AmEx cards that give double points at restaurants limit that to US restaurants.
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Old Jun 6, 15, 8:41 pm
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Originally Posted by LETTERBOY View Post
How would double points at restaurants get people to increase their use of the card abroad? All AmEx cards that give double points at restaurants limit that to US restaurants.
No FTF for abroad, and double at restaurants for home. They can keep the Boingo.
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