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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 5, 15, 3:02 pm
  #106  
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Originally Posted by sierranevada View Post
Thanks - so I have a reservation in Aug and my son, who also works for us and has a Bus card in his name, is checking in 2 days prior than me, we are both on room. How will that work?
Is this on or after August 11th? If so, I'll have to get back to you.

Best regards,

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

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Old Jun 5, 15, 3:05 pm
  #107  
 
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Originally Posted by Starwood Lurker View Post
Is this on or after August 11th? If so, I'll have to get back to you.

Best regards,

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

[email protected]
Yes, check in 8/15 - San Diego Mission Valley Sheraton
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Old Jun 5, 15, 3:14 pm
  #108  
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Originally Posted by sierranevada View Post
Yes, check in 8/15 - San Diego Mission Valley Sheraton
Well, we have a little time between now and then. In the meantime, I'll check in with the marketing gurus and update the thread when I have an answer.

Best regards,

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

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Old Jun 5, 15, 10:55 pm
  #109  
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American Express and Starwood enhance cobrand credit card benefits

Am I understanding the "enhancements" correctly?

As a SPG Platinum as well as SPG AMEX Personal and SPG OPEN member, I'm getting no FTF/Boingo in exchange for more crowded lounges and slower/more congested Internet and higher AF?!?!?

Really seems like SPG is diluting SPG platinum benefits by signing off with AMEX on these changes.

Is there even a reason I should qualify for SPG platinum anymore? Seems like the only thing missing is suite upgrades and the amenity. Not really much incentive to do 25/50 a year for qualification when I can just pay $95 for the SPG OPEN.

These changes doesn't make any sense to me. Increase my AF but lose at least 25/50 nights to another chain. How does that even add up from SPG perspective?

Last edited by seawolf; Jun 5, 15 at 11:04 pm
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Old Jun 5, 15, 11:49 pm
  #110  
 
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Platinum is useless now there's almost no reason why one should not be using the SPG card.
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Old Jun 6, 15, 2:38 am
  #111  
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Originally Posted by TennisNoob View Post
Platinum is useless now there's almost no reason why one should not be using the SPG card.
I wouldn't say useless. I spend over $50K per year on this card and find 50K Starpoints to be pretty useful.
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Old Jun 6, 15, 3:23 am
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I am surprised there are so many up in arms over a $2.50/month fee increase. The removal of the FTF, alone, makes it worth it to me, but then again I travel internationally extensively. As an SPG Platinum, I think the lounge access for all blows, but if I were an SPG Gold or lesser I would be pretty happy with it, and that could also easily make the fee increase worthwhile.
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Old Jun 6, 15, 5:28 am
  #113  
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Originally Posted by whimike View Post
I am surprised there are so many up in arms over a $2.50/month fee increase. The removal of the FTF, alone, makes it worth it to me, but then again I travel internationally extensively. As an SPG Platinum, I think the lounge access for all blows, but if I were an SPG Gold or lesser I would be pretty happy with it, and that could also easily make the fee increase worthwhile.
My point as well. Not much incentive for me to qualify for SPG Platinum or even SPG Gold for that matter if I just carry this card.
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Old Jun 6, 15, 5:59 am
  #114  
 
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*wood is asking me to pay $30/yr extra for nothing. Not only that, I have to waste time figuring out if the points I get are worth $95/year. I have an AMEX plat acct that has no FEX + lounge access, so why do I need this?

All they had to do was leave me alone, but it seems that they are too stupid/lazy to even do that.

Odds that I will cancel the *wood Amex >= 30% and climbing.

CC companies, why won't you leave us alone?
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Old Jun 6, 15, 6:42 am
  #115  
 
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Originally Posted by seawolf View Post
Am I understanding the "enhancements" correctly?

As a SPG Platinum as well as SPG AMEX Personal and SPG OPEN member, I'm getting no FTF/Boingo in exchange for more crowded lounges and slower/more congested Internet and higher AF?!?!?

Really seems like SPG is diluting SPG platinum benefits by signing off with AMEX on these changes.

Is there even a reason I should qualify for SPG platinum anymore? Seems like the only thing missing is suite upgrades and the amenity. Not really much incentive to do 25/50 a year for qualification when I can just pay $95 for the SPG OPEN.

These changes doesn't make any sense to me. Increase my AF but lose at least 25/50 nights to another chain. How does that even add up from SPG perspective?
That's kind of the way this longtime Platinum sees it! Although I like the no foreign exchange fee option, it's not worth the negative changes as I get that benefit on numerous other cards already! Someone at Starwood didn't do their homework on how this change might upset their most loyal customers!
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Old Jun 6, 15, 8:43 am
  #116  
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Originally Posted by whimike View Post
The removal of the FTF, alone, makes it worth it to me, but then again I travel internationally extensively.
And you don't already have an FTF card? Almost every one of my other credit cards already has no FTF.
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Old Jun 6, 15, 8:48 am
  #117  
 
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Cancelled today and explicitly told them it was due to the AF increase. No retention offer. Even the $65 AF was too high for this card; $95 is just ridiculous.
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Old Jun 6, 15, 9:01 am
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Originally Posted by mahasamatman View Post
And you don't already have an FTF card? Almost every one of my other credit cards already has no FTF.
Does it matter? Almost every one of your other cards probably don't earn spg points at a ratio of 1:1.

You can have whatever card that doesn't have a FTF, but if you are overseas often and want spg points, this is a plus.
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Old Jun 6, 15, 9:03 am
  #119  
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Originally Posted by Dasanii View Post
Does it matter?
Yes, it does.

Originally Posted by Dasanii View Post
Almost every one of your other cards probably don't earn spg points at a ratio of 1:1.
Does it matter?
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Old Jun 6, 15, 9:38 am
  #120  
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Originally Posted by TravelinSperry View Post
I may be wonked - but not because I am OK with this change

I spend multiple thousands minimum at Starwood abroad - so this will easily save me the $30 increase plus I'll earn 2 pts per dollar at those properties. An easy win if you spend > $2,000 abroad.

I don't stay at Marriott - card is meaningless to me.

I have the IHG card but it doesn't have a chip (yet) which makes it somewhat more annoying to use abroad. I assume they'll fix at some point but for the moment it doesn't have it. Further IHG points are valued at about a penny per - whereas I value Starwood at about three cents per. So I'd rather use Starwood where I can.

I agree the United Explorer card is the best. Better than Starwood abroad (except at Starwood hotels). So I'll likely use that for all non-Starwood purchases and United Explorer for everything else.

If you don't travel at Starwoods abroad and spend a goodly sum I can see why you'd hate the increase. Otherwise it's an easy win.

I don't have an issue with your calculations or where you spend your lodging $$, only your original assertion that the IHG card annual fee was a lot more than it actually is -- You said it was $95.00 and it is $49.00 and it gives you 1 FREE NIGHT at ANY IHG PROPERTY.

Therefore, it is far less than the $95.00 that you had claimed and it gave you 1 free night that you totally omitted.

I mentioned that the Marriott card barely squeezed out value @ $85.00/night and 1 Free Night at Cat 1 - 5 properties.

Factory 81 correctly observed that the Hyatt card gave even better value with it's annual free night for the annual fee.

All of the above all have no Foreign Transaction Fee as will the SPG card.

Inasmuch as your point was that the increased annual fee of $95.00 for the new SPG card w/o a transaction fee was a fair offset to you -- that is fine, but then you compared it erroneously to a number of other credit cards that had no FTF while stating that they, too, charged a $95.00 AF.

As demonstrated above, many of those that you had mentioned -- and some that you did not -- DO NOT CHARGE A $95.00 AF, AND NOT ONLY DO THEY PROVIDE NO FTF, YOU ALSO GET 1 FREE NIGHT AT VARIOUS OF THEIR PROPERTIES.

That is a much better straightforward deal than the new SPG card, period.

I can accept that SPG points are more valuable to you and that the increased fee will be more than offset by your spending overseas, but by tying to make your case, you undid your argument for same by providing erroneous information and by not providing the other benefits that comparable FTF free hotel cards provide.

Therefore, comparing the new SPG card to the competition it still comes up lacking, although the improved benefits may work for you -- they certainly won't work for most, especially when a straight comparison is made between the products being offered.

Finally, as others have noted, the Hilton cards similarly shine -- put enough spend on the card and you are rewarded with not only an annual free weekend night, but also guaranteed Gold status and with increased spend, top tier Diamond status.

Again, the SPG card comes up short.

It may work for you but the card as proposed is still inferior to what is currently on the market.

I just don't understand AMEX anymore.

They are continually hemorrhaging transfer partners with respect to Membership Rewards and the two big American giants they have left -- Delta and Hilton -- are the butt end of points value compared to their competition -- consequently the 1:1 transfer ratio is not all that great for Membership Rewards.

They are losing the Costco card and the Jet Blue card -- so therefore, another transfer partner bites the dust.

Now, they are raising the annual fee on the SPG Amex by almost 40% for very little value in return for most American customers who won't spend all that much overseas, anyway.

Membership Rewards is a shell of what it once was with Chase having stolen the best bits of the program and reconstituted it under their Ultimate Rewards moniker.

If you think that transferring into Delta or Hilton is a worthwhile investment, well then more power to you.

Just yesterday, AMEX also announced that they are decreasing the ratio of 1:1 Avios transfers from Membership Rewards to a 250 MR points: 200 Avios ratio.

Again, they really are trying very hard to have people up and cancel their AMEX accounts of various stripes.

Last edited by NJUPINTHEAIR; Jun 6, 15 at 10:13 am
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