The Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card from American Express has long held cult-like status among frequent travellers who find tremendous value in the SPG hospitality loyalty program. Starpoints collectors have been anxiously awaiting what’s in store for their beloved program ever since Marriott International acquired Starwood Hotels to become the world’s largest hotel chain in 2016.

In April 2018, members were given a taste of what’s to come when Marriott announced it will introduce one set of unified benefits across Marriott Rewards, The Ritz-Carlton Rewards and Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) for its members later this summer. At that time, members will be able to combine their separate Marriott Rewards, The Ritz-Carlton Rewards and SPG accounts into a single account spanning the entire loyalty portfolio. The combined loyalty programs will also get a new name in 2019.

American Express Canada announced changes to its Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card and Starwood Preferred Guest Business Credit Card, both of which relaunched publicly in August 2018.

Debuting alongside Marriott International’s newly unified loyalty programs, the cards offer business and leisure travellers updated benefits and ways to earn points across 6,500 properties in 127 countries and territories, across 29 brands.

Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card

Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card from American Express

The new look Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card from American Express will be refreshed and benefits will include:

  • An updated earn rate. Cardmembers will earn 5 points for every dollar spent at SPG and Marriott Rewards properties, and 2 points for every dollar spent everywhere else.
  • An Annual Free Night Award. This no longer includes a spend requirement and will now be redeemable any night of the week at SPG and Marriott Rewards properties with a room rate of up to 35,000 points. This means you can redeem at over 5,000 hotel properties. It will be awarded automatically after a Cardmember’s anniversary date.
  • Automatic complimentary upgrade to Silver Elite Status. This entitles Cardmembers to priority late checkout where available, exclusive member rates, and more. In addition, Cardmembers will be eligible for complimentary Gold Elite Status after spending $30,000 each year.
  • Free supplementary Card. Cardmembers will no longer incur an annual fee on supplementary cards.

Get a 50,000 point welcome bonus when you spend $3,000 in the first three months (sign up here)

Starwood Preferred Guest Business Credit Card from American Express

The refreshed benefits for the Starwood Preferred Guest Business Credit Card from American Express include:

  • An updated earn rate. Cardmembers will earn 5 points for every dollar spent at SPG and Marriott Rewards properties, 3 points for every dollar spent on eligible gas, dining and travel, and 2 points for every dollar spent everywhere else.
  • An Annual Free Night Award. This no longer includes a spend requirement and will now be redeemable any night of the week at SPG and Marriott Rewards properties with a room rate of up to 35,000 points. This means you can redeem at over 5,000 hotel properties. It will be awarded automatically after a Cardmember’s anniversary date.
  • Automatic complimentary upgrades to Silver Elite Status. This entitles Cardmembers to priority late checkout where available, exclusive member rates, and more. In addition, Cardmembers will be eligible for complimentary Gold Elite Status after spending $30,000 each year.

Get a 50,000 point welcome bonus when you spend $3,000 in the first three months (sign up here)

Existing Starwood Preferred Guest American Express Cardmembers and consumers who apply for the Starwood Preferred Guest consumer and business credit cards will automatically receive the refreshed benefits that launched in August 2018.

For SPG fans it’s a slight downgrade in value from the previous program but as far as hotel rewards go it’s still far and away the best loyalty program in the country.

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