What are SPG AMEX Retention Bonus Offers? As I wrote in New Marriott and SPG Rewards Program: 5 Reasons to Hate It, come August 1, 2018 you'll only earn 2 Marriott points per dollar spent on your SPG AMEX for all unbonused (non-Starwood) spend. Since each SPG Starpoint converts to 3 Marriott points, that's equivalent to only earning 2/3 of an SPG point per dollar, that is, 33% less than you currently do.
And while the SPG AMEX will add a Free Night Award, the free night will be limited to hotels that charge 35,000 points or fewer for an award night. There are several problems with this:
- The 35,000 point maximum for the anniversary award night is very limiting. There's scarcely a 35K point property on the New SPG Award Chart (sample for NYC, Paris, Dubai, Bali and Mexico City, full award chart not released yet ) that I'd be excited to stay at, with the possible exception of The Grosvenor House Dubai, or likely would stay at, since we've no plans to visit Dubai anytime soon. Think Sheratons, Marriotts, Residence Inns, Westins, Courtyard by Marriott, and a few JW Marriotts.
- The Free Night Award is ONLY for renewals as of August 1, 2018 or later. Since I was already charged my annual fee, I wouldn't even receive an anniversary award night until April 2019.
- Effective August 1, 2018, the SPG Business AMEX will lose its Sheraton Club Lounge access benefit
- In the meantime, I can't even earn any referral bonuses for my SPG Business AMEX, since the refer a friend program has been discontinued for this card.
For this reason I planned to close my SPG Business AMEX, which I just was charged the $95 annual fee for. You have a 30 day grace period after being charged the annual fee to close your card and have AMEX refund your annual fee.
Predictably, when I called AMEX stating I intended to close the card, I was transferred to AMEX Membership Consulting Services, which is the department responsible for retention. The representative initially tried to persuade me that the new card was actually BETTER since it would earn not 1, but 2 points per dollar spent on non-Starwood purchases, which I found galling in light of the 1 Starpoint = 3 Marriott points. Does AMEX think we can't do the math?
She was unapologetic and unfazed after I pointed this out to her, and moved right on to her next talking point about the new anniversary night award, until I pointed out I wouldn't even receive this until April 2019, and was therefore ready to close my card.
Only then did she offer up 10,000 Starpoints, with no spend requirement, which I decided to take, since I value SPG points at ~2.2 cents per point, or $220, which is over double the $95 annual fee. I'm still sock drawering the card, but the 10K Starpoints = 30K Marriott points is sufficient for me to keep it open one more year.
If you have the SPG AMEX personal card, the recent reported retention bonus offers aren't quite as generous. On Flyertalk, the 2018 data points are all 7000 SPG points for either $1000 spend in either 1 month or 90 days, or 7000 SPG points for $1500 spend in 90 days.
If you received an SPG AMEX or SPG Business AMEX retention bonus offer in 2018, what was it?
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