Possible 30K Offer Coming Soon For Amex SPG Cards?
For several years now, American Express hikes up the normal 25,000 point offer on their SPG cards to 30,000 points for a limited time. The timeframe of when they do that is typically between June and September. While 5,000 points may not be that much, Starpoints are very valuable both in redemption and earning so to receive a bonus of an extra 5,000 points is very nice!
The SPG cards do not have bonus categories (outside of their hotel spending) so that means you earn 1 Starpoint per $1 spent. To get an extra 5,000 points saves you $5,000 spending on that particular card. To put things in perspective, putting that same $5,000 on the Hyatt credit card will get you a free night at a category 1!
Changes Coming To SPG Cards
Fee Going Up
American Express announced a while ago that they were adding some features to the SPG cards while also raising the annual fee from $65 to $95. That fee bump now puts it in the premium hotel card category, joining the Fairmont card and the Hilton Reserve at the $95 price point. While well below the Ritz-Carlton’s $395 fee, the SPG cards are now more expensive each year than the Hyatt, IHG, Marriott, Club Carlson, and Wyndham credit cards (as well as some of the Hilton cards).
Unfortunately, they did not add any benefit that just about all of those cards offer – a complimentary free night each year or the ability to earn it with some spending. Instead, they have chosen to add the following features:
- No foreign transaction fees (finally!)
- Free, unlimited Boingo WiFi
- Complimentary, in-room premium internet
- Complimentary access to the Sheraton Club lounge for SPG business credit card customers
Of course, the card retains all of its current features such as the 5 nights and 2 stay credits each year towards elite status. That alone has been worth it for many cardholders at the current annual fee.
When Will The Increased Bonus Come?
People have been asking me lately when I think the increased bonus will come. While I do not have any information on a certain date, my best guess is that it will be either on August 11 or within a few days after that. The reason for that date is that is the day when the new features and fee will kick in.
The 30,000 point limited-time bonus is a big selling feature for Amex and it gets a lot of new customers. While the current bonus waives the annual fee for the first year, we have seen Chase bump up a bonus while adding the annual fee for the first year. It is possible that American Express may do that in which case they would not want the flood of new sign-ups until after the fee increases.
Of course, even if that fee theory is incorrect, the date of August 11 or after also makes sense for an increased bonus because Amex will be able to advertise the new features as current features instead of spending marketing/affiliate dollars talking about the current features and then mentioning future features.
Should You Apply Now Or Wait?
So, should you apply now? Unless you absolutely need the points right now, I would hold off. As I said, 5,000 Starpoints is a nice increase for sure and it won’t hurt to wait a little bit. Besides, if you plan to apply for the personal SPG card, remember that you only get that bonus once per lifetime.
If you are planning on applying for the business SPG card, you can get the bonus as long as it has been 12 months since you had the card. If you currently have the business SPG card, you cannot get the bonus this year so you don’t have to worry about this question. 🙂
To me, I value Starpoints high enough that I would wait for the increased offer if I did not already have the cards. There are enough great uses and wonderful ways that the extra 5,000 points could help that I think they are worth waiting for.
Are you waiting for the 30,000 point limited-time offer or do the extra 5,000 points not get you that excited?