Apply Now: New SPG Luxury Card

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Update: This offer for the Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express has expired. Learn more about the current offers here.


The much anticipated Starwood Preferred Guest® American Express Luxury Card is now open to new applicants. This is the most premium card available for Marriott & Starwood loyalists, and I imagine quite a few people will be interested in this.

SPG Luxury Card details

The SPG Luxury Card has a $450 annual fee, and is offering a welcome bonus of 100,000 points after spending $5,000 within the first three months. This is marketed as a limited time offer, which ends on October 31, 2018. To be honest that bonus is a bit weaker than I was expecting, especially if it’s limited time.

So, what should you expect from this card otherwise?

It offers 6x points for spend at Marriott and SPG hotels, 3x points for spend at U.S. restaurants and on flights booked directly with airlines, and 2x points on all other eligible purchases. That’s not all that great of a rewards structure compared to Starwood’s old cards.

What potentially makes this card worthwhile is the other perks:

  • A $300 annual SPG and Marriott statement credit; each year you’ll get a $300 credit that will be applied when you spend that amount at a Marriott or SPG hotel
  • An anniversary free night award that can be redeemed at a property costing up to 50,000 points per night
  • Platinum Elite status when you spend $75,000 on the card in a calendar year
  • Complimentary Gold Elite status for as long as you have the card
  • Starting in 2019 you earn 15 elite qualifying nights per year just for having the card (you can receive this benefit for at most one card)
  • A Priority Pass Select membership that allows you to take up to two guests into eligible lounges
  • A TSA Pre-Check or Global Entry fee credit once every four years
  • Premium internet access when staying at Marriott and SPG hotels
  • Complimentary Boingo wifi on up to four devices at over a million hotspots around the world

Is this card really worth it?

I’d say this is a pretty good card, though I don’t think it’s as much of a no brainer as some other premium cards. Let me share my situation, for example. I’m an SPG Platinum member and I already have both the Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express and Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express:

  • I already get premium internet
  • I already have other Amex Cards that get me a Priority Pass membership, Global Entry and TSA Pre-Check credits, and Boingo access
  • I’ll earn Platinum status without spending $75,000 per year

So for me, the math comes down to whether it’s worth essentially spending $150 per year for a free night certificate that can be redeemed at a hotel costing up to 50,000 points per night. I arrive at that math because I’ll easily maximize the $300 credit, so my real out of pocket is $450 minus $300. That seems worth it, but only marginally so, in my opinion.

Keep in mind, however, that you only get your first free night certificate after your first anniversary, so the math doesn’t even work out that well the first year.

New SPG Luxury Card eligibility terms

Here are the eligibility terms of the new SPG Luxury Card:

Welcome offer not available to applicants who have or have had this Card. We may also consider the number of American Express Cards you have opened and closed as well as other factors in making a decision on your welcome offer eligibility.

Effective 8/26, welcome offer not available to applicants who (i) have or have had The Ritz-Carlton Rewards® Credit Card from JP Morgan in the last 30 days, (ii) have acquired The Marriott Rewards® Premier Plus Credit Card from Chase, The Marriott Rewards® Premier Credit Card from Chase, or The Marriott Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card from Chase in the last 90 days, or (iii) received a welcome or upgrade offer for The Marriott Rewards® Premier Plus Credit Card from Chase, The Marriott Rewards® Premier Credit Card from Chase, or The Marriott Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card from Chase in the last 24 months.

As you can see, if you apply in the next few days you’re eligible for this card as long as you haven’t had it before. However, starting Sunday, August 26, 2018, the offer won’t be available to a lot more people, based on whether or not you have or have had select Marriott Chase Cards.

So that’s why a lot of people are going to want to apply in the coming days, given the option.

Don’t forget other excellent lower annual fee SPG Cards

If you’re looking for a lower annual fee card with a big welcome bonus, don’t forget the other options available.

The Starwood Personal Amex Card offers:

  • Welcome bonus: 75,000 points after spending $3,000 within the first three months
  • Annual fee: $95 annual fee, waived for the first year
  • Return on spend: 6x points per dollar spent on eligible purchases at Marriott properties, 2x points on all other purchases

The Starwood Business Amex Card offers:

  • Welcome bonus: 100,000 points after spending $5,000 within the first three months
  • Annual fee: $95 annual fee, waived for the first year
  • Return on spend: 6x points per dollar spent on eligible purchases at Marriott properties, 4x points at US restaurants, US gas stations, wireless telephone services purchased directly from US service providers, and US purchases for shipping, and 2x points on all other purchases

Then both cards offer the following perks:

  • A free night award every year after your card account anniversary, valid at a property retailing for up to 35,000 points
  • Silver Elite status for as long as you have your card
  • Gold Elite status when you spend $35,000 on the card in a calendar year
  • Starting in 2019 you earn 15 elite qualifying nights per year just for having the card (you can receive this benefit for at most one card)
  • Unlimited Boingo wi-fi on up to four devices at more than one million Boingo hotspots worldwide
  • No foreign transaction fees

Bottom line

A lot of people are going to want to apply for the SPG Luxury Card in the next few days, given the stricter approval requirements that kick in as of August 26. This welcome bonus isn’t quite as good as I was hoping, but it’s still a fairly solid card, assuming you plan on earning SPG Platinum status through spend, and/or can fully maximize the anniversary free night certificate at a property retailing for up to 50,000 points.

For others, the Starwood Personal Amex Card or Starwood Business Amex Card may be a better option.

Do you plan on picking up the SPG Luxury Card?


Non-Affiliate Product Disclaimer: The information for the Starwood Preferred Guest® American Express Luxury Card has been collected independently by One Mile At A Time. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

Regarding Comments: The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.

Comments

  1. Does the new card give you the same 15 elite nights toward qualification (starting in 2019) as the old cards?

  2. @Lucky is there any benefit other than the sign up bonus to get this card if we already have the Ritz Carlton Card?

  3. This card would really shine if it came with hotel lounge access with guest access as well, instead of Priority Pass. Coupled with the $300 credit, then it’d be a no brainer for me.

  4. Could you upgrade your spg card to this by calling? Don’t want to apply for another card but being military with thebfee waives it’s a better deal to swap accounts. Thanks!

  5. @lucky great observations. I am in the same boat as you…have both SPG (personal) and SPG (biz) and I’m not sure I am seeing the value that this card adds. Your “is the card worth it?” section creates a little doubt for me. are you pulling the trigger?

  6. @lucky I agrew with with you that is marginally worth it. Specially since the first “free night” would be next year after paying $900 in fees. Also next year there will be used in the new marriott award chart. So most likely you eill be able to redeem for a “peak” cat 5 hotel.

  7. Are the signup bonuses on Starwood Amex cards available to those that have received the Amex bonuses before but meet the 8/26 Chase Marriott language, or are they still held to the once-in-a lifetime Amex bonus language?

  8. The apt comparison would be vs. that other co-branded premium hotel loyalty CC from AMEX, the AMEX Hilton Honors ASPIRE card, and there is really no comparison: the Aspire card wins hands down.

  9. I currently have the Ritz chase and 2 spg Amex cards now. So the real benefit to this card would be to be able to stack two 50000 pt nights together (Ritz + spg premium) and maybe also creating a new login for Amex offers since it does appear that you can only add one offer per login now instead of per card now.

  10. @Lucky,

    If I convert from the old SPG card where I’ve already spent 75k this year, does that transfer over to the new card for Platinum status in 2019? Thank you!!

  11. @ Andrew — I believe it doesn’t, unfortunately. It’s my understanding that only money spent on this card, post-conversion, would qualify towards Platinum status.

  12. @ AJ — I’m not pulling the trigger right now because I’m trying to get under 5/24, and I’m almost there. 🙂

  13. @hal it is per SSN not per login either anymore. And I am in the same situation, but next year those “up to 50k” would mean more like 40k certificates which are the same cat 5 that the regular spg card and marriott card give this year.

  14. Maybe not the best long term card play, but I reckon if i get it now, and hold it for a year and a half or so, i still come out ahead. $300 in fees for 100,000 points and a free 50,000 night stay, plus an additional point per $ over my standard mr cc. Still a win just marginally.

  15. No reason to get this since I already AMEX Plat and AMEX Hilon Aspire TBH. The 300USD is tempting, but not sufficient for me to consider the card.

  16. I already have regular SPG. I wonder if you can downgrade to regular personal SPG after a year? Chase allows multiple freedom, but what about amex?

  17. @Elias, thanks for the tip. If it’s per SSN then the offers are way less valuable now. I remember when I had a hotel split my bill on 3 Amex cards because they each had a spend $300 get $60 back for spg.

  18. Current SPG card holder. It seems like an upgrade to this card (bonus aside) may make sense because really it’s $50 incremental over the current fee I”m paying. I think the math then becomes can you find a hotel in a higher category that’s worth that incremental $50. My guess would be I can. Other benefits seem pretty lame as does that spend categories (esp compared to the creative bonus categories on the new Hyatt card).

  19. For someone who won’t ever hit Gold status on their own, this card sounds compelling. But that $300 statement credit is confusing. I just looked up the terms on Marriott’s website and below is what it says. It never defines what “eligible purchases” means. Can I book a one night stay at a Marriott, pay $300, and I get that $300 back?

    $300 SPG/Marriott Rewards Statement Credit
    During each year of your Card Membership (“reward year”), you are eligible to receive up to $300 total in statement credits on your Card Account for eligible purchases made directly at participating SPG or Marriott Rewards hotels on your Starwood Preferred Guest American Express Luxury Card during that reward year. Your first reward year begins on your account opening date. Each subsequent reward year begins on the anniversary of your account opening date.

    Eligible SPG or Marriott Rewards property purchases must be made directly with the participating SPG or Marriott Rewards property and charged to your Starwood Preferred Guest American Express Luxury Card account for the benefit to apply. Incidental charges (including charges made at restaurants, spas and other establishments within the hotel property) must be charged to your room and paid for with your Starwood Preferred Guest American Express Luxury Card at checkout in order to be recognized as SPG or Marriott Rewards purchases.

  20. @Lucky, this does look like a pretty weak initial bonus offer. If I am purely out for airline miles, would you agree that the Chase Marriott Premier Business card at 75k bonus pts with $3k spend and $99 annual fee is better than this one (already have/had the SPG personal & SPG bus.)? Thanks!

  21. Not seeing a whole lot of benefit to this card if one already has an SPG card and a Marriott card (along w/high status), unless you want to keep paying more AFs to get more free nights.

    (Still thankful Marriott didn’t introduce a card that would immediately devalue top tier status as Hilton stupidly did…)

  22. Since the $300 credit is annual, would new card holders get the credit for 2018, and then the credit again in 2019, totaling up to $600 in credit for only a $450 annual fee?

  23. – Do the free nights kick in during the first year, or only after renewal?

    – For someone new to the SPG/Marriott cards like me, this is pretty weak compared to the Chase or “regular” SPG cards. I plan to apply for the regular Amex Card by year end.

    – UANYC: how big of an impact is Aspire, really, on Hilton Diamond status? In the US, Hilton Diamond elites don’t seem to have been getting tons of upgrades anyway. Diamond with the Aspire gets you a slightly better upgrade chance, lounge access and a better earnings structure. That doesn’t seem like all that costly to give, especially since Aspire Diamonds may not be spending tons of nights at Hiltons. I think Marriott would do a lot better with this Luxury Card it simply offered lounge access (even on 5 or 10 stays a year) instead of higher status.

  24. Also, I applied for the SPG personal (75k points) about a month ago.
    Am I eligible for the Luxury version?

  25. HOLD THE PHONE. What’s that about ‘we may use other factors to determine your eligibility’ crap? So this offer isn’t really an offer at all. It’s an apply-and-if-we-like-you maybe we’ll give you the points. Borderline comes consumer fraud/misrepresentation if you ask me.

    Also, offer not good enough for $450.

  26. @Anthony – we all know Hilton has the worst mix of top-tier benefits among all the majors. There is even less incentive for them to improve it now that they are basically giving away top tier for free. May even see some downgrades, who knows…

    Also frees up former Diamonds who actually, you know, stayed a lot of nights to get Diamond, to no longer have to do so 😉 Hilton is making it easier on them to shop around

  27. Any idea how long after the first renewal will the free night post? I am afraid it will always post after the ability to cancel the card and get a full refund on the annual fee. So in effect you will always be lagging one free night behind annual fees paid. Any thoughts?

  28. I’ve had the SPG personal and SPG business cards this year which I’ve closed both accounts.
    Would I still be eligible for the 100,000 points welcome bonus after 8/26 ?

    P.S: I never had any chase marriott cards just amex spg cards.

    The language says only chase marriott cards holders are not eligible for welcome bonus offer after 8/26 ? So I guess AMEX SPG card holders (who never had any chase marriott cards in the past) are OK to get the bonus even if they apply AFTER 8/26 ?

    Did i get this correctly ?
    Thanks!!

  29. @Elias, can you elaborate on how the up to 50k will turn into 40k next year? Do you mean that Cat 6 hotels cannot be redeemed with free night certs because of peak season conditions introduced?

  30. If you have an existing Marriott cat 1-5 free night cert, how can that be used now that merger is official? Is it now capped based on points?

  31. The beauty of the ASPIRE card is that it does not do one any good unless one actively patronizes Hilton Honors, which is very smart because that protects the highly compelling elite status that comes with it. The notion that it dilutes the status is hogwash and mind-numbingly ignorant (see a discussion yesterday vs. the WoH card).

    You want an inferior product, then just go ahead and get this card, with its weak rewards earning structure that is no better than one gets with any of the other MR co-brand cards. I think that AMEX is having a hard time here because they are essentially competing against themselves, after having gained exclusive rights to offer Hilton cards. They should just discontinue all SPG cards, and leave MR to Chase…

  32. The DCS claim that “The beauty of the ASPIRE card is that it does not do one any good unless one actively patronizes Hilton Honors, which is very smart because that protects the highly compelling elite status that comes with it.” is beyond rich.

    Per the HH web site, to earn Diamond it takes
    (1) 30 stays in a calendar year, or
    (2) 60 nights in a calendar year, or
    (3) 120,000 Hilton Honors Base Points in a calendar year

    Instead of actually spending thousands (or tens of thousands of) dollars, one can get the card for in effect free, and get the same status level. Whoops.

    At least Marriott makes you 1) spend the nights in their beds to get Plat or 2) spend $75K to get Plat. You get what you pay for…

  33. That bonus effectively equates to about 38,000 airline miles if you transfer them…that’s a really poor return for a $5,000 minimum spend and a $450 annual fee. Given that this is the same incentive as the regular SPG card has had for years, I would have expected 150,000 or 200,000 Marriott Rewards points as the bonus for the card.

  34. Hi Lucky…It used to be the case that $1 got 1 point on the SPG Amex. With the 3:1 conversion, it sounds like 2 pts on all other spend is like getting a 33% devaluation. You would do us a great service if you were to put all these programs on a level playing field. To me, a 75k point bonus sounds like 25k in the old program… doesn’t that make this a disappointing sign up bonus? If I were the cynical type I’d say Marriott is purposely obfuscating mediocre benefits at premium prices.

  35. Completely went over his head and I have no time edify someone so ignorant he thinks he has points after stating the obvious: For years, Hilton has always made it easy to achieve status in their loyalty program: (a) number of nights, (b) number of status, (c) number of base points or hotel spend, and (d) CC spend, which may or not go hand in hand with hotel spend.

    The company’s philosophy that “if you give them status, they will come” has ensured a vibrant loyalty program, without dilution of elite status. Free breakfast for Golds still sets the industry standard, and the rewards earning structure for Diamonds remains industry-leading, while the benefits at top combined with those offered by the Aspire are virtually unbeatable…unless one does not actively engage with HHonors to take full advantage them.

    In simple English: Anyone who gets the Aspire card but does not stay at Hilton properties ON REVENUE won’t take advantage of the industry-leading 14X to be able to earn lots of points for stay for free later; no $250 resort credit; no uncapped milestone bonuses, etc, etc. All you will have is just another credit card

  36. The damned autofill and autocorrect feature of ‘smart’ devices sometimes drives me mad!

    “number of status” should be “number of stays”

  37. Tried for the new Amex luxury spg plus card. Even on that card I get no bonus ….
    anyone else blocked even on new cards ?

  38. I am very disappointed. I was expecting to make a tough decision on whether to use up a Chase slot (3/24). This is the same lame earning ability as the regular SPG card and the Marriott cards. The bonus is equivalent to 33,333 SPG points with a $5,000 spend and a $250 fee.

    PS Gold status does not give you a free breakfast/lounge access. The AMEX Platinum (Marriott Gold status) or the Hilton Aspire card offers better value.

  39. @b yes you will be able to redeem for cat 6 or even 7, however, only on ” low season” which would be, if they do it like hilton, 3 weeks a year during the time were a paid stay in the same hotel would cost $150-$200 because there is bad weather etc etc. So to get “good value” or break even you would need to book a cat 5 on peak. Remember the first night is costing you $900 (two annual fees)

  40. @Lucky –

    Haven’t joined spg yet but is this the same as starpoints?

    I looked at spg transfer partners and it seems they transfer to most airlines at a 3:1 ratio which seems like a big loss!!

    I thought starpoints were super valuable!!

  41. Whoa! – Tricky limitation on Platinum Status!
    Here is the term I found, “You cannot receive enrollment in Platinum Elite status through this reward program if you are already enrolled at Platinum Elite status or any higher status”.
    With the 33% devaluation in my earning ability and the elimination of the 25 Stays qualification, I was planning on obtaining Platinum Elite Status every year by spending $75,000 with the AMEX SPG Luxury card. I have Platinum Elite Status now thru 2019 (earned on SPG Stays).
    But according to this term, I cannot qualify for the $75,000 spend Platinum Elite Status until my current status expires in January/February 2020?? And to make matters worse, if I qualify for the $75,000 spend status in 2020, then I need to let it expire in January/February 2021 in order to earn it again? So there will always be a gap in my status, and I will need to spend $75,000 quickly starting every February in order to get Platinum Status back? Oh and worse again… the terms provide that the $75,000 Platinum Elite Status may take 3-4 months to activate after hitting the $75,000 spend mark! Surely this is a mistake?

  42. @Mike It is actually very good, because you need to spend 75k every 2 years if you can spend it in a few months. So you dont have to spend the 75k until 2020. It goes by calendar year…so you can start spending on the card January 1st. Let say that it take you 3 months to spend the 75k, by the time you spend it you will have no status. In my experience status posted like a week after statement closed. So worst case scenario you will be like a month without status. Now, you get status in march 2019 by spending…that status is good for the year that you complete the spending and next year…so your status from spending will end feb2021…and that year you do the 75k spending again. So it is 75k spending every 2 years….not every year (if spending 75k is fast and easy for you)

  43. I applied and got the pop up saying I was ineligible for the signup bonus…..? How can that be possible…?

  44. Very disappointing initial offer. I will pass and keep my regular SPG personal card for now. Hoping that AX will increase the SUB or offer a nice upgrade bonus. Not holding my breath for either. I will now get the Aspire card and close my Ascend.

  45. Whoa! – Tricky limitation on Platinum Status!

    Here is the term I found, “You cannot receive enrollment in Platinum Elite status through this reward program if you are already enrolled at Platinum Elite status or any higher status”.

    With the 33% devaluation in my earning ability and the elimination of the 25 Stays qualification, I was planning on obtaining Platinum Elite Status every year by spending $75,000 with the AMEX SPG Luxury card. I have Platinum Elite Status now thru 2019 (earned on SPG Stays).

    But according to this term, I cannot qualify for the $75,000 spend Platinum Elite Status until my current status expires in January/February 2020?? And to make matters worse, if I qualify for the $75,000 spend status in 2020, then I need to let it expire in January/February 2021 in order to earn it again? So there will always be a gap in my status, and I will need to spend $75,000 quickly starting every February in order to get Platinum Status back? Oh and worse again… the terms provide that the $75,000 Platinum Elite Status may take 3-4 months to activate after hitting the $75,000 spend mark! Surely this is a mistake?

  46. I got the card for an additional free night and the $300 credit, plus the bonus points, but for use at a Marriott property it and the Chase Marriott cards are marginally less rewarding than the Chase Sapphire Reserve. With Chase I can get 3 airline points per dollar. With the Amex/Chase Marriott, one only gets 2.5 (assuming convert 20,000 miles). It really needs the lounge benefit to make it compelling, even if a bit more expensive, but for a Marriott Platinum it would not be worth the additional cost. Would be a nice add-on option.

  47. @Mike Great catch on that Plat limitation!

    @Lucky Perhaps you can bring to the attention of the powers that be at Marriott/SPG/Amex how ridiculous this is.

    Was going to upgrade to the Luxury, rolling over my 2018 SPG Basic spend for Plat for next year. There goes that plan.

  48. This is one card that is of no value to me. I don’t get the buzz. Maybe they should call it the Centurion SPG Luxury Card and charge $2500 for even fewer benefits.

    I ask any regular readers: how many PP cards do you have already?
    Platinum status isn’t worth much anymore unless you are overseas. I refuse to beg for upgrades or food. The card earnings are weak . No thanks.

  49. This card is really bad for me! If it gives me Platinum elite status without that $75K spending requirement, I will apply for it immediately. I have already gotten Gold elite status with AMEX Platinum so this card has little interest to me. I am still upset at the new SPG/Marriott program, so this card unfortunately does little to change my perception.

  50. Do you know if you’ll be ineligible if you’re an authorized user on the Marriott Premier Plus? I don’t think I need to rush, but wondering if you knew.

  51. I think the Platinum limitation is perfectly reasonable otherwise it would be like rollover nights which no program allows.

  52. Can I buy a $300 gift certificate or gift card from spg (do they sell those?) and have that count as my $300 in spend to receive $300 credit?

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