SPG Credit Card Changes- $30 Fee Increase Worth the Perks?

SPG AmexI currently have both the personal and business Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) American Express cards.

Both cards currently have a $65 annual fee although it is free for the first year you have it.

The biggest benefit to the card is when transferring points to airlines, 20,000 SPG points will become 25,000 airline miles/ points! You also earn 2 Starpoints on eligible purchases at participating Starwood properties.

Well now the annual fee for the SPG Amex cards will be going up $30 as of August 11, 2015. This means that the card will soon have a $95 annual fee. However, this might not be such bad news…

With the increased annual fee, cardholders will now have better benefits when using the card. Hopefully you’ll find them to have a greater than $30 value.

New benefits being offered to SPG card holders (personal & business):

  • No Foreign Transaction Fees: I usually leave my SPG Amex cards home when traveling outside of the US. The foreign transaction fee is the main reason that I don’t bring it. (Why would I want to pay any additional fees when other cards don’t charge this?)
  • Complimentary-Unlimited Boingo Wi-Fi : Sign up for the Boingo American Express Preferred Plan to stay connected at over 1,000,000 hotspots worldwide. The plan is free for cardholders. Boingo can be used on up to four devices .
  • Complimentary Premium In-Room Internet Access: The card will give members free premium in-room internet access at participating hotels.

And something extra for SPG Business Card holders:

  • Access to Sheraton Club Lounges: This benefit could really save you some $$$. Lounges include a “complimentary daily breakfast, evening selection of premium beverages and hors d’oeuvres, and space for hosting a friend or colleague“.

Thoughts on the new SPG credit card benefits:

I feel that the SPG cards are offering a solid amount of new benefits in exchange for the $30 increase in annual fee.

The SPG card will now be in my wallet while taking international trips since their will no longer be foreign transaction fees. However, this new benefit doesn’t add any actual monetary value to the card.

While I wouldn’t necessarily pay for Boingo, I did like having it (from my Amex Platinum) recently. The best way it helped me out was by giving me a free internet connection in my room. This allowed me to avoid having to go down to the hotel lobby to get stuff done online at times.

I’ve never upgraded the internet in a hotel room to a premium package. I’m interested to hear about or try out the premium wi-fi to see if it is substantially better.

How do you feel about the increased annual membership fee on SPG Amex cards? Do you feel the added benefits are worth paying $30 extra per year for?

6 thoughts on “SPG Credit Card Changes- $30 Fee Increase Worth the Perks?

  1. Def worth the AF increase. Countless times during the past many years of international travel where I used my Hyatt Chase card to pay for SPG stays because of the FX factor. Don’t really care for the other new perks but I get it… it’s geared towards the average Joes’ who don’t have status.

  2. Am a leisure traveler with mixed feelings. Will probably keep it one more year and see how much I use it compared to my other cards. There’s no annual free Starwood night and it wasn’t too long age that this card was $49 annually!

  3. Not worth it to me. I will probably drop the card to avoid the fee increase. I rarely stay at SPG properties, due to their lack of properties where I travel, so mostly used it for transfer to airline miles.

  4. Not worth it? I have both at the moment, and I do like getting the extra nights/stays with the cards, and I use them for Amex Sync offers all the time, but still, another $30 each? I’ll probably just cancel one after the stays/nights have posted early in a year and then reapply the following year. Even if I can’t get the bonus points again, I presume I’ll still get the stay/night credit. And the waived annual fee first year.

  5. Though $30 doesn’t seem like much, it is a 46% increase in the fee. This doesn’t match the so called new benefits. I’ve been a loyal Starwood AEx holder for many, many years. It is the ONLY card I’ve ever paid a fee for. This increase is overkill and the new benefits are of limited value to me.

  6. I’ve been using this card and staying at SPG hotels. However, I still feel that the rate increase is too much. I also have the Marriott rewards Visa Signature card which has a similar annual fee but it gives you a free night every year. and there is no foreign exchange fee with that card. The SPG has great point values but for $95 you get limited benefits. The free wifi is nice but not something I want to pay $30 extra for.

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