The SPG American Express Luxury Card Is Now Live, Should You Care?
I am sure you have seen the many SPG American Express Luxury card is now live posts. I for one don’t find the card very interesting but I know that some of you will. And if you are planning on applying sooner is better than later with the new rules. I will take a look at who the card could work for and explain why I am not at all interested in the card.
SPG American Express Luxury Card Details
Let’s do a quick overview of the credit card
Welcome Bonus Offer:
- 100,000 points after spending $5,000 within the first 3 months
- $450 annual fee is not waived
- $300 in statement credits that can be used at SPG and Marriott properties
- Annual “free” night for properties up to 50,000 points each cardmember anniversary
- Gold status (Platinum status after $75,000 in spend – don’t do this)
- Priority Pass membership
- Global or TSA Precheck fee credit
- 6X at Marriott hotels & resorts
- 3X at restaurants & on airfare booked directly with airlines
- 2X on all other purchases
Bonus Restrictions – Why You Should Apply Now
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.
SPG American Express Luxury Card Makes Sense For…
This card makes sense for Marriott/SPG loyalists. The annual fee is offset by the $300 in statement credits and the annual free night. If you maximize the 50,000 free night that is like getting $350 in points (.7 cents per point) to spend on one night and $300 in property credit for $450. So a decent little discount. But there is almost no reason to put any kind of meaningful spend on the card. Even paid stays only produce a return of 4.2%. That return for hotel stays can be bested by some cards out there like the Chase Sapphire Reserve or the Citi ThankYou Premier.
Why the SPG American Express Luxury Card is a Pass For Me
First off, I need another $450 annual fee like I need a hole in the head. But with the welcome offer it would still be a profitable deal. I just don’t see the yearly value like I did for the Aspire card.
You are essentially getting $650 worth of Marriott stays (if you max out the perks) for $450. Getting 30% off is always nice but it forces you to spend money at their properties and to do it with an inferior product. Plus you all know that I avoid paying for travel at all costs.
The real problem I have with the Marriott program is that there is no way to accumulate large amounts of points outside of paid stays. After neutering the SPG personal and business card earning rate you can only earn 2 points per dollar instead of 3. That is a return of 1.4% which just isn’t good enough to bother with the program. There is also no free night spending bonus like with the World of Hyatt card or American Express Hilton Ascend card. And those cards come with actual useful bonus categories to boot. Heck even the IHG cards offer extreme value when the situation is right.
This card does not offer enough value to keep for the perks and it does not have a good enough earning structure to put meaningful spend on. I don’t feel like shelling out $450 to get (a max of) $650 worth of Marriott credit. The bonus isn’t enticing enough for me either since it is now near impossible to add meaningful points to the bonus. This card is essentially a one off. I will stick with Hilton and Hyatt where I can amass points with ease and at a reasonable cost outside of paid stays.
I know my view will not be the popular view but I hope I gave you some things to consider. If you have a lot of business travel and frequent Marriott properties then I could see this being a good fit. But overall I think the card is kind of a dud and the less expensive Marriott/SPG personal cards offer similar value in my opinion.