Starwood Preferred Guest has announced the details of its new co-branded American Express credit card offered to members residing in Canada. The card will offer one point per CDN$1 spent plus a 10,000-point sign-up bonus. Every year in which CDN$40,000 in qualifying charges is made to the card, cardholders will receive a free weekend night award that can be used for a night at any participating Starwood Category 1-4 property on a Friday, Saturday or Sunday. Plus, when you spend CDN$30,000 per year, you’ll receive Gold elite status. The new card has a CDN$120 annual fee. For more details and to sign up, visit http://www.SPG.com/canadacreditcard — The AMEX replaces the no-fee SPG MasterCard from MBNA. Existing MBNA cardholders will need to apply for the new SPG AMEX credit card to continue earning points with Starwood.
Bottom line: For Canadian SPG members who want to continue earning Starpoints for credit card spending, you will now need to pay an annual fee with the new American Express, which has deterred many members from applying for the new card. If you think you’ll reach the CDN$40,000 spending threshold, Gold elite status and a free weekend night every year are worth the annual fee. If you were considering signing up just for the sign-up bonus, take into consideration that the annual fee is not waived for the first year.