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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 21, 15, 8:54 pm
  #211  
 
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If someone has an SPG Business Am Ex and let's say the property is sold out of club rooms. Does the property have the right to deny access onto access of the club based on availability?
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Old Jun 21, 15, 9:08 pm
  #212  
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Originally Posted by FlyGuy24 View Post
Does the property have the right to deny access onto access of the club based on availability?
Not based on availability per se, but they always reserve the right to deny entry to anyone.
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Old Jun 21, 15, 11:13 pm
  #213  
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Originally Posted by FlyGuy24 View Post
If someone has an SPG Business Am Ex and let's say the property is sold out of club rooms. Does the property have the right to deny access onto access of the club based on availability?
The benefit is access to the lounge, not necessarily with upgrade to the club floor.
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Old Jun 22, 15, 7:31 am
  #214  
 
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Originally Posted by mahasamatman View Post
Not based on availability per se, but they always reserve the right to deny entry to anyone.
That is interesting as that is not noted on the terms of conditions of the benefit. To me the only reason they could deny access is if you booked via a third party.

"Sheraton Lounge:
(4) Available at select Sheraton Hotels® & Resorts for the duration of a Card Member's stay. Visit www.sheratonclubroom.com/find for a full listing of Sheraton® Club properties. This benefit is for Basic Card Members only on Starpoint Eligible Rate reservations. Exclusions of Starpoint Eligible Rate reservations might include rooms booked through a group rate as part of an event and the SPG Member does not directly pay the SPG Participating Hotel for such room; tour operator; or online travel channel or third party channel, such as expedia.com, hotwire.com, priceline.com, orbitz.com, booking.com, Travelocity.com, ctrip.com, or elong.com. A full description of Starpoint Eligible Rates can be found at www.spg.com/terms. 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."
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Old Jun 22, 15, 8:16 am
  #215  
 
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Originally Posted by ASUDan130 View Post
If you had the personal SPG card and then sign up for the business, then you should get that bonus. The product refers to the SPG Biz card speficially and the personal is a different product.
Current SPG card is a business card, business A. I have another company, business B, with a separate FEIN. Both businesses tie to my SSN. So who is the applicant, me personally or the business?
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Old Jun 22, 15, 10:01 am
  #216  
 
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Originally Posted by HangarGas View Post
I acquired the AMEX SPG personal card (my first travel rewards card) in 2013 because returns of 3% to 5% after the $65 yearly fee were possible with about $10,000 yearly spend. Starwood points were the most valuable, the program was relatively transparent, and it offered varied redemption options and aspirational hotels. My first Starwood stay was after acquiring the card. My 30,000 point signup bonus was initially good for 10 nights at a local Four Points hotel near the ocean but 2014 devaluations from a hotel category increase resulted in only a 4 night stay value for the same bonus. After reviewing the August 2015 changes, I would prefer to be grandfathered into the current benefits and $65 yearly fee since the added card features do not offset the additional yearly spend required to justify me keeping the card. With $13,000 yearly spend after the $65 yearly fee, one needs to achieve at least $0.020 dollar returned per dollar spent to earn an after fee return of 1.5% equivalent to a no annual fee Capital One Quicksilver card. With $13,000 yearly spend after the $65 yearly fee, one needs to achieve at least $0.025 dollar returned per dollar spent to earn an after fee return of 2.0% which is about equivalent to a no annual fee Citibank Double Cash card. The dollar returned per dollar spent is equivalent to the room rate divided by the points for a free night since one point is earned per dollar spent. With the $95 yearly fee, $19,000 total yearly spend (more preferably) is required to achieve the same after fee returns. Some hotels will offer dollar returned per dollar spent above the numbers cited, but most will not - especially in California. Since the AMEX SPG card pays in credit card spend and the Starwood loyalty program does not award much for stays for non-elite members, further Starwood stays are unlikely after the card is cancelled. Also, since the signup bonus is a significant aspect of the overall return, and since there is only a once-per-lifetime signup bonus for AMEX personal cards, the likelihood of acquiring the AMEX SPG card in the future is slim unless the value proposition is appealing without the signup bonus. Maybe there will be enough business card members that value lounge access to offset the personal card members leaving the program.
You're forgetting about the various Amex Offers that personally more than offset even the $95 annual fee.
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Old Jun 22, 15, 11:10 am
  #217  
 
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leaving due to the fee

Two of us hold separate Starwood accounts, so that's almost $200 to have a card that does not give us a free night (as our Hyatt cards do) and that we don't really use that often.

Like others, we got the cards ten + years ago, just as the program started raising fees, and this is our third increase and zero change to benefits for us.

My notification did not include anything about club access, it was just a basic, your fee is $95, take it or leave it. we've been Starwood members for, like 20+ years (or however long the program has existed).
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Old Jun 22, 15, 7:49 pm
  #218  
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Originally Posted by uprightposition View Post
Two of us hold separate Starwood accounts, so that's almost $200 to have a card that does not give us a free night (as our Hyatt cards do) and that we don't really use that often.

Like others, we got the cards ten + years ago, just as the program started raising fees, and this is our third increase and zero change to benefits for us.

My notification did not include anything about club access, it was just a basic, your fee is $95, take it or leave it. we've been Starwood members for, like 20+ years (or however long the program has existed).
I've been a Starwood member since it was the Sheraton Club (and would probably have lifetime status if the old club counted). At this point, I don't see the value in the card; sure, Starwood points are worth more than 3 Hilton points, but I get over $0.02/point value from Hyatt and that card provides actual value (e.g. a room night per year for the annual fee).

If this provided me anything new I'd be more likely to keep it, but I already get Boingo "free" (included), and I haven't stayed in a non-US Sheraton in the last few years (and I wouldn't mind using the Hyatt card for that, blasphemous as that might be).

So all it gets me is a few extra points on Starwood stays, not worth $95/year for me. (Lounge access might make the difference, except I have the personal card so it doesn't include that.)

What happens if I'm supposed to get lounge access but the lounge is closed, anyway?
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Old Jun 22, 15, 8:00 pm
  #219  
 
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Originally Posted by Songer5 View Post
You're forgetting about the various Amex Offers that personally more than offset even the $95 annual fee.
How many offers are card specific though? Could someone get the same offers with a no-AF card like Blue Cash EveryDay?
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Old Jun 22, 15, 9:08 pm
  #220  
 
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For the personal card the only thing of value is obviously the no-FTF, which is something people have wanted for a long time. Right now internationally I'd use Barclay Arrival Plus and earn 2.2% or Hyatt card which provides a roughly similar value. If you value an SPG point at 2.5 cents, the break even point for the extra $30 is ~$1071 of spending on SPG hotels where you earn 2 points per dollar. However, for general international spend, the break-even point is $10K.

So basically for those who travel more than once a year to foreign SPG properties, they will easily recoup the additional annual fee. But with general international spend it will take a lot of $ to justify the extra $30.
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Old Jun 22, 15, 10:40 pm
  #221  
 
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Originally Posted by Hawaiian717 View Post
How many offers are card specific though? Could someone get the same offers with a no-AF card like Blue Cash EveryDay?
That matters on some offers but not others, like small business saturday where the more cards you have, the more you save.

Not saying it's a strong reason to get the card, because it is a bit of a pain, but with the Smart and Final $25 off a $50 purchase, it was good on each card for three times. So with all the cards I have, and the fact I love Amazon, I made out well.
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Old Jun 22, 15, 10:59 pm
  #222  
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Originally Posted by sethb View Post
What happens if I'm supposed to get lounge access but the lounge is closed, anyway?
The same thing that happens if you pay for the lounge and it's closed. You go elsewhere.

Originally Posted by ASUDan130 View Post
To me the only reason they could deny access is if you booked via a third party.
The most frequent reason is when it's overcrowded.
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Old Jun 23, 15, 9:29 am
  #223  
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Originally Posted by mahasamatman View Post
The same thing that happens if you pay for the lounge and it's closed. You go elsewhere.
Some hotels provide meals and/or other benefits if a lounge you're supposed to have access to is closed.

If I pay for the lounge and it's closed I get my money back, at least.
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Old Jun 23, 15, 10:02 am
  #224  
 
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I was just at the Sheraton Times Square and at peak times it was pretty crowded just with the 3-4 floors of rooms that are included - would that have also included anyone with the Amex biz card or is this a new thing?

We made it a point to go early or late and we always got a place to sit. I also liked that it was open 24/7 even if no food was out - you could always get a drink (water/soda) and a granola bar.
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Old Jun 23, 15, 10:09 am
  #225  
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Originally Posted by Eujeanie View Post
I was just at the Sheraton Times Square and at peak times it was pretty crowded just with the 3-4 floors of rooms that are included - would that have also included anyone with the Amex biz card or is this a new thing?...
This benefit has not rolled out to SPG AMEX Open cardholders yet and won't until August 11th.

Best regards,

William R. Sanders
Social Media Specialist
Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide

[email protected]
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