The new American Express SPG Luxury credit card is here (see this morning’s post)and the application link is live. This is the first premium credit card offered under the SPG title and it is the first one introduced under the new Marriott program. Is this credit card worth the premium annual fee it comes with?
Review: American Express SPG Luxury Credit Card
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Link: New Amex SPG Luxury Credit Card(scroll down to the bottom of the page to apply for the SPG Luxury card – not the one at the top. If approved, I will receive points as well – thanks!)
TL:DR: Is it worth it? Definitely a decent first year card but after that, it will really depend on what kind of value you can get from the annual free night.
First Year: The value on this card for the first year (after deducting the annual fee) should be $700 at the low end and $995 at the high end. This is a nice offer for anyone seeking to grab more Marriott points while they can and that have at least a few stays per year at SPG/Marriott hotels.
After First Year: The value going forward would be between $225 on the low end and $445 on the high end. It should only be kept past the first year if you have a great value redemption for the annual free night and would be spending $300+ at SPG/Marriott hotels anyway.
Sign-Up Bonus – 100,000 Bonus Points
The SPG Luxury credit card comes with an introductory sign-up bonus of 100,000 points after spending $5,000 in 3 months. This point total is in the new Marriott program but if compared to how SPG points used to stack up to Marriott, it could be considered as being about 33,000 SPG points (a little shy of the best-ever public offer on the old SPG card – with an annual fee of $95).
Value: I think it is safe to consider this 100,000 sign-up bonus to be worth between $750-900, based on general valuations of Marriott points. This is a one-time offer and not an annual bonus.
Annual Statement Credit – $300
The SPG Luxury card comes with a $300 statement credit that is for purchases made at SPG and Marriott hotels. This means it is good for reservations as well as any other bills you accrue at a property that can be charged to your room.
This annual statement credit is reset on each cardmember anniversary so it is not based on a calendar year.
Value: This would be worth $300 (it could be worth a bit less since you could have put that spending on a card like the Chase Sapphire Reserve and earned 900 points which would be worth $9) and is an annual benefit.
Anniversary Free Night
Each member year, cardholders will receive an electronic certificate that is good for a free night at hotels up to a 50,000 point redemption. This means it is good for hotels up to a Category 6 (except during peak seasons when those hotels would require 60,000 points). It will also work for hotels in Category 7 during off-peak seasons (since those cost 50,000 points).
Value: If you use this anniversary free night at a top category hotel, it could get you several hundreds of dollars in value. I would peg the value of this at what the points would be worth (assuming you are going for the highest hotel you can) so between $375 and $450. This is an annual benefit.
The SPG Luxury card comes with Marriott Gold status. This status normally requires 25 nights to qualify for. However, it does not come with breakfast so remember that.
This card does come with the ability to earn Platinum Elite if you spend $75,000 in a year. This elite status would otherwise require 50 nights in a year to qualify for it. The card also comes with 15 elite night credits each year.
Value: I would peg this one a bit low since Gold is not that much of a value (considering that you get 15 elite night credits with other cards that have lower annual fees). Maybe $70 per year?
This card comes with the Priority Pass Select membership that has unlimited visits and you can bring up to 2 companions for free on each visit. This membership must be activated but is definitely one of the more generous memberships that are made available as a card perk. This lounge access can be used at thousands of lounges worldwide, regardless of the airline you are flying on.
Value: This value will wholly dependent on how much you travel by air and how many people travel with you but I think it would ok to place this at $75 value. There are other cards, like the Hilton Aspire, that have a low annual fee and 10 free visits.
The Amex SPG Luxury card earns at the following rates:
- 6X points at SPG/Marriott hotels
- 3X points at US restaurants or airline tickets purchase through airline websites
- 2X points on all other spending
The earning rates are pretty weak for a premium card since you can also earn that 6X points on the cheaper cards. Also, the everyday earning of 2X points is lower than the old SPG cards used to earn at (they would earn 1 SPG point per dollar which transferred to Marriott as 3 points). I would not consider this a card to actually spend on.
Global Entry Reimbursement
This comes with Global Entry or TSA Precheck reimbursement, up to $100. It resets every 5 years.
Value: This should be valued at $100 but because it is only once every 5 years and so many other cards already have it, I would look at it as being worth $15 per year.
This card comes with an annual fee of $450 and it is not waived the first year.
From the American Express website
Effective 8/26, welcome offer not available to applicants who (i) have or have had The Ritz-Carlton Rewards® Credit Card from JP Morgan in the last 30 days, (ii) have acquired The Marriott Rewards® Premier Plus Credit Card from Chase, The Marriott Rewards®Premier Credit Card from Chase, or The Marriott Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card from Chase in the last 90 days, or (iii) received a welcome or upgrade offer for The Marriott Rewards® Premier Plus Credit Card from Chase, The Marriott Rewards®Premier Credit Card from Chase, or The Marriott Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card from Chase in the last 24 months.
At present, there are no upgrade offers but I would imagine we will see on eventually.
I think this card presents enough value for the first year to offset the $450 annual fee to go for it – especially if do it before August 26. The anniversary free night and statement credit will also help to offset the annual fee each year, should you stay at SPG/Marriott hotels enough to cover that $300.
If you are able to get it and to handle the $450 annual fee, I think this is definitely a good card to get.