Amex SPG Annual Fee Increase + Changes

Discussion in 'Other Credit Card Programs' started by edekba, Jun 2, 2015.  |  Print Topic

  1. edekba

    edekba Gold Member

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    Haven't seen this posted on any other blog besides the one below, or heard it firsthand yet.

    http://www.doctorofcredit.com/chang...ccess-premium-in-room-internet-95-annual-fee/

    Basically changes are:
    • No foreign transaction fees (currently 2.7%)
    • Premium in room internet at all SPG hotels
    • Boingo internet access for up to four devices
    • Annual fee of $95 (currently $65)


    $30 increase for no Forex and Boingo is what I'll get since I'm already SPG PLT.
     
  2. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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  3. newbluesea
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    newbluesea Gold Member

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    Fair enough if you only get the card just to churn. But if you actually do stay at SPG properties then the $30 increase instead of forex fees becomes peanuts.. no?

    Still one of the best cards out there particularly for topping off airline program miles.
     
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  4. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    I have lots of "one of the best cards" and need to prune the wallet and safe.

    I have plenty of cards that give me zero Forex. And I don't stay at SPG properties (especially abroad) often enough that this is an enticing enough benefit. The annual fee has gone up by over 100% since 2010.
     
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  5. okrogius

    okrogius Silver Member

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    If you stay at SPG regularly, this card is probably worth it just for the night/stay credits - a small change to the annual fee is immaterial.

    Personally, removing FTF is long overdue though - one less step in changing cards as I travel. Adding Boingo just makes me reconsider the value of Plat card a bit more (which is effectively down to just Centurion lounge access).
     
  6. Ed Chandler
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    Ed Chandler Silver Member

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    A little bit of specificity about "Boingo for up to four devices" would be nice.
    Are we talking about in-flight? All the time? Or is this 4 one-day passes?
    Amex Plat already gives me ground-based Boingo, so whoop-dee-doo.
     
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  7. newbluesea
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    newbluesea Gold Member

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    Why in the world would SPG be interested in providing wireless services to airline pax?:)
     
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  8. Ed Chandler
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    Ed Chandler Silver Member

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    No idea, but then why would they be interested in providing Boingo's ground-based WiFi when they already offer it?
     
  9. mattsteg
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    mattsteg Gold Member

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    It's only worth it for the night/stay credits if you typically stay 23-24 stays, or 45-49, 70-74, or 95-99 nights. Otherwise those nights get you nothing.
    You need to spend ~1.1k at foreign SPG hotels to break evenish, vs other high-earning cards. So not that terrible, but not awesome either. And this is assuming that you value the starpoints high enough vs. alternatives to already use it for foreign hotel spend. The point valuation is crucial to driving this - if you don't already value the points enough to use the card anyway...then you come out worse. If your regular spending pattern puts spend on the SPG card on an everyday basis, vs other cards with more category bonuses, then you can now also do that overseas and come out even more ahead.

    But a lot of no-value benefit additions that make the product worse to counteract the FX fee removal.
     
  10. newbluesea
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    newbluesea Gold Member

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    So we agree then if you are spending less than $1000 (overseas or not) on the SPG Amex and don't have much use for the points if you stay domestically .. then why did you have at the $65
    ( even or $30 which was what it was a few years ago) annual fee?

    Stating the obvious (at least to me:) ) here .. that this discussion clearly demonstrates the difference of MP from say FT
    This is frequent spender (or frequent churner) board not a frequent flyer (stayer) BB.
     
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  11. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    Why in the world would SPG be interested in providing wireless services to people outside their hotels (via Boingo)?
     
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  12. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    Really? Is that the difference? ;)
     
  13. mattsteg
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    mattsteg Gold Member

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    Not sure where that comes from...
    I think you're nuts, essentially ignoring that this card exists in a competitive marketplace, and can't do math. Truly frequent spenders would have no problem spending enough to extend marginal advantages (if they are there) to overcome moderate fee increases.

    There is opportunity cost associated with putting spending on any card - and unless the benefits are big enough to be worth the AF on its own, the card needs to be worth the AF through differential value. It takes more than 1k in spend to manage that. Say I relatively generously call starpoints half a cent better than UR points. Then it takes ~$18000 in spend on the card to break even on holding it, or half that at SPG properties - unless you make the decision that it's worth holding instead of rather than in addition to alternatives. Depending on your average room rate you're into the frequent stayer + spender there...and if you spend a lot on categories that the UR cards bonus (including other hotels - SPG isn't everywhere) and SPG doesn't, extra hassle of carrying an additional card. If you value UR/Hyatt points closer to starpoints, or even higher (their top properties are quite nice and are cheaper in points, after all...) the break-even spend goes up more. Valuing the benefits brings the break-even spend down, of course, and a few bucks here and there are no big deal...but the SPG amex is moving into territory where it asks for more than it gives. The cost of holding competing cards is similar or less, and they arguably offer stronger benefits and at a minimum competitive earning...even on SPG stays.
     
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  14. newbluesea
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    newbluesea Gold Member

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    Ugh your explanation hurts my head:rolleyes: and the silly "cant do math" comment should really be interpreted "as I have no interest in the gobbly-goop machinations about (others) point values
    Added to that I haven't got the time (now) to go into it.
    I have no idea with regard to UR points and I don't stay at Hyatts (I am also Diamond with HH) In addition to stay earnings my wife and I spend about $40 annually on our SPG Amexs which we use for award stays at mostly International cat 5 or higher properties.

    So in the final analysis an extra $30 doesn't mean squat to me.:)
     
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  15. Counsellor
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    Counsellor Gold Member

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    I used to worry about the trade-off of putting Starwood stays overseas on the SPG AMEX. Sure, you got an extra Starpoint per dollar, but you were losing $0.027 cents on the foreign conversion fee As I value the Starpoint on average at about 3 cents per dollar, I would charge the stay to the SPG AMEX and figure the difference one way or the other was just budget dust.

    Now the decision is easier.
     
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  16. okrogius

    okrogius Silver Member

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    You can get both the personal and business cards for a combined 10-nights/4-stays (with the new cost of $19/night or $47.5/stay), doubling your ranges a bit. I personally find it as a great cheap way to boost towards SPG50 or SPG75, but presumably stay credits might work too for some people.
     
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  17. okrogius

    okrogius Silver Member

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    This isn't an SPG choice really - Amex is trying to add features to make the card more attractive despite a larger fee. Since they already have this Boingo program setup with the Plat card, adding it to SPG is likely both easy and cheap.
     
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2015
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  18. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    Well yeah, but look at the post I replied to to understand the context.

    Of course, SPG/Amex (I assume they work out the benefits together) could offer GoGo wifi as a benefit if they wanted to. It likely would be a lot more expensive to them (and more useful to their customers). I have Boingo via my Plat card and haven't used it even once.
     
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  19. Zomby Woof

    Zomby Woof Silver Member

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    I don't feel the extra benefits are worth the $30 extra. I'll probably drop the card when the $95 fee is due next year. Would have been nice if they changed the $30K spend to get Gold to getting a night credit for each $1500 spend. If they offer a no/low fee version like Amex's regular Hilton card, then I'll sign up for it. Here's what I'd like to see for a no/low fee version:
    1. Same point earning as the current card
    2. No forex fee for spend at Starwood Hotels
    3. 1 night credit for each $1500 spend.
     
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  20. edekba

    edekba Gold Member

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    Not going to happen. Maybe just #1 but 2 and 3 ... doubtful
     
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  21. Counsellor
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    Counsellor Gold Member

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    If I read SPG Champion 2's post correctly, #2 has already been scheduled for the SPG AMEX, and it applies to all foreign spend, not just at Starwood properties. So maybe not so impossible after all.
     
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  22. mattsteg
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    mattsteg Gold Member

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    Might want to reread zomby's post...
     
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  23. satman40

    satman40 Gold Member

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    SPG is 1.25 for AA Miles, they did raise the spend for Gold,

    Last year our conferences were at Hilton, this year seems SPG gave us a better deal.

    I'll keep the card, and have held it many years.

    Amex really protects card holder...in a dispute.
     
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  24. Counsellor
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    Counsellor Gold Member

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    Sorry, what am I missing?

    zomby postulated what he'd like SPG to offer in a no-fee card. Of his three desires, I think the least unlikely for a no-fee would be #2, to do away with the foreign transaction fee for charges made at an SPG property. It wouldn't cost SPG/AMEX much, just foregoing the 2.7% fee on a limited number of transactions that directly benefit SPG, and it looks as though SPG is willing to join Hilton (Citi), US Air/AA (Barclay), BA (Chase), Marriott (Chase) and United (Chase) in doing away with all foreign transaction fees anyway on their fee card (a long-overdue change to come in line with what the competition have been doing).
     
  25. mattsteg
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    mattsteg Gold Member

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    I do not see a correlation between waiving FX fees on a $95 card and on a no-fee card. And offering a no-fee card that's better than the $65 annual fee one that is being replaced? Not exactly likely. Least unlikely does not equate with likely.
     

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