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Opinions on SPG card and program?

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Established Contributor

Opinions on SPG card and program?

Hey folks! For those of you that have the SPG AMEX, do you feel like the program is still as valuable now that they are a part of the Marriott world? Is it a good card to still have in your wallet if you’re a traveler? Before the merger, SPG points were super valuable so at first glance that 75k point SUB seemed amazing. But I don’t really know how valuable it really is under the new awards structure. Any thoughts to offer? Thanks in advance!
Thank you myfico for teaching me about the credit game!
Message 1 of 11
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Valued Contributor

Re: Opinions on SPG card and program?

The SUB for the card didn’t really change from what I remember. I think the public offer for the old SPG was 25,000 star points. So *3 = 75K Marriott points which is the current SUB.

I prefer Hilton over Marriott so I don’t really stay at Marriott all that much nor do I know all that much about the new program.

I do belong to a Facebook Group about Marriott and it seems like some of the members aren’t quite as happy with the customer service quality once the program switched over. Seems like a lot of Marriott hotels aren’t honoring the TOS regarding certain elite benefits.
I believe there was some slight devaluations when it came to hotels changing into higher categories.





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Message 2 of 11
Valued Member

Re: Opinions on SPG card and program?

For me personally, after three years of heavy usage, the card will likely be in the sock draw going forward. Prior to the merger, I was using the SPG card as my “all other” card for spend that would only get me 1% cash back on my other cards. I could easily redeem my Star points for a value of 2-3% cash back with little effort. However, when booking my most recent trip in March, I was unable to find a hotel that would have yielded me more than 1.3%. For me, the devaluation of the Star points makes my freedom unlimited card a better option.

 

The only good thing about the card now is the anniversary reward night. This will more than make up the $95 annual fee.

 

Everyone will have a different opinion, but I think you should check out a few potential hotel stays that you would actually book. Calculate the value that the 75K points would get you and see if the yield is better than what you can currently get with your credit card lineup. 

 

Message 3 of 11
Established Contributor

Re: Opinions on SPG card and program?

I appreciate your feedback it’s really helpful!
Thank you myfico for teaching me about the credit game!
Message 4 of 11
Community Leader
Super Contributor

Re: Opinions on SPG card and program?

Because of the devaluation of the SPG card as a daily driver it has become more of a niche card. If you don’t plan to make hotel stays with the Marriott portfolio there’s no point in getting the card IMO.
Message 5 of 11
Established Contributor

Re: Opinions on SPG card and program?

The card is really only worth it if you stay at Marriotts/SPG hotels often. I have the card but likely will cancel it even given the free night. I prefer Hilton’s over Marriott.

I wouldn’t get the card primarily for the free night especially if you would only stay there since you have the card. This is the main reason I am seriously considering dropping mine.
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Message 6 of 11
Moderator

Re: Opinions on SPG card and program?

Back story is required for the SPG cards.  There was a period where SPG offered insane value for those able to utilize Starpoints well for Marriott stays.  Amex Platinum or $30,000 spending on the SPG card gave SPG Gold, which generously matched status with Marriott Gold while when you actually compared the two side-by-side prior to the merger, SPG Gold was really much closer to Marriott Silver Elite status.  A lot of us got spoiled quick!  Add to that the fact that the SPG card was essentially getting 3 Marriott points across the board, and it was a great earner and the daily driver for many people, myself included.  At bare minimum, I was getting 7.5% to 8% back in travel on ALL spend!

 

The airline transfer program now combined the best of both worlds.  Not only do we have the legacy SPG airline partners, but all of the Marriott partners and a few new ones.  No other points system offers anywhere near this level of airline loyalty program choice!  Since 3 Marriott points have been equivalent to 1 Starpoint since the beginning of the merger, they kept the generous SPG transfer ratios too.  People have long raved over the 20,000 Starpoints to 25,000 miles ratio.  With the conversion, the 60,000 points to 25,000 miles ratio is the same for almost every airline.  United of course has the 10% bonus on top of that, and there are a few airlines where award flights are like 20 of that currency instead of 100,000 - so of course they're not going to be 1:1, otherwise a SUB alone on the credit card would get you close to 4,000 first class flights!  LOL

 

There is a lot of talk of points inflation for room rates, and while yes many properties did go up in the number of points required per night with the category changes, just as many properties went down in the number of points needed.  So far I have really seen no evidence of this being a widespread devaluation, and many Ritz-Carlton properties need fewer points today than prior to August 2018.  One place where things did unfortunately see a big decline are in the travel packages.  You used to be able to get 100,000 miles and 7 nights in a Category 1-5 for an insanely low 270,000 Marriott points.  That's no longer the case.  While those packages can still offer great value, it's not what it was.

 

If you will stay at a Marriott property at least once or twice a year, any of the SPG cards can make sense.  SPG Luxury was perfect for me in 2018 as I was able to product change from SPG and keep my year-to-date spending, which allowed me to spend the $75,000 needed to keep my Platinum Elite status for 2019.  Going forward, I will be able to do this by reaching the required 50 nights.  The free night certificate alone can more than pay for either the $95 SPG or $450 SPG Luxury card.  With the Luxury, the AF is really only $150 if you use the $300 credit which works for any and all charges made directly with the hotel, including room rates.

 

Today, I find the Marriott and SPG cards to be a lot like airline cards - you have them for the perks, but actually spending on them may not make sense depending on what else is in your wallet.  For Marriott stays, I'll continue to use the card for 6x points per dollar on top of the 15x per dollar I get on my hotel charges anyway.


Message 7 of 11
Senior Contributor

Re: Opinions on SPG card and program?


@K-in-Boston wrote:

 

The airline transfer program now combined the best of both worlds.  Not only do we have the legacy SPG airline partners, but all of the Marriott partners and a few new ones.  No other points system offers anywhere near this level of airline loyalty program choice!  Since 3 Marriott points have been equivalent to 1 Starpoint since the beginning of the merger, they kept the generous SPG transfer ratios too.  People have long raved over the 20,000 Starpoints to 25,000 miles ratio.  With the conversion, the 60,000 points to 25,000 miles ratio is the same for almost every airline.  United of course has the 10% bonus on top of that, and there are a few airlines where award flights are like 20 of that currency instead of 100,000 - so of course they're not going to be 1:1, otherwise a SUB alone on the credit card would get you close to 4,000 first class flights!  LOL


Air New Zealand: 200:1

JetBlue: 6:1

United: 3:1.1

 

Wasn't it once 2 "old" Starpoints to 1 United mile? IIRC, United was a bad transfer exception among SPG airline partners, now it's a good exception. When did that change?

 

Mostly just curious. I'm still earning plenty of URs.

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Message 8 of 11
Valued Contributor

Re: Opinions on SPG card and program?


@wasCB14 wrote:

@K-in-Boston wrote:

 

The airline transfer program now combined the best of both worlds.  Not only do we have the legacy SPG airline partners, but all of the Marriott partners and a few new ones.  No other points system offers anywhere near this level of airline loyalty program choice!  Since 3 Marriott points have been equivalent to 1 Starpoint since the beginning of the merger, they kept the generous SPG transfer ratios too.  People have long raved over the 20,000 Starpoints to 25,000 miles ratio.  With the conversion, the 60,000 points to 25,000 miles ratio is the same for almost every airline.  United of course has the 10% bonus on top of that, and there are a few airlines where award flights are like 20 of that currency instead of 100,000 - so of course they're not going to be 1:1, otherwise a SUB alone on the credit card would get you close to 4,000 first class flights!  LOL


Air New Zealand: 200:1

JetBlue: 6:1

United: 3:1.1

 

Wasn't it once 2 "old" Starpoints to 1 United mile? IIRC, United was a bad transfer exception among SPG airline partners, now it's a good exception. When did that change?

 

Mostly just curious. I'm still earning plenty of URs.


Don't look back at the old SPG-United relationship.  Look back at the old Marriott-United relationship.

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Message 9 of 11
Moderator

Re: Opinions on SPG card and program?

Yeah, I don’t fly United but again this is a case of where they kept the better option. With the transfer bonus, it’s actually 2.4:1.1 for United. While Marriott had the close relationship with United, Starwood had the close relationship with Delta. I was very sad to see Crossover Rewards go away in favor of the sole United partnership.


Message 10 of 11
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