The popular SPG AmEx Card goes away on February 12 — here are 5 reasons to apply for it before it’s too late

The Insider
Picks 
team writes about stuff we think you’ll like. Business
Insider may receive a commission from The Points Guy Affiliate
Network.


SPG AmEx

In February, Marriott is finalizing the merger of its loyalty
program with Starwood Preferred Guest’s by rebranding the combined
program as Marriott Bonvoy. The name hasn’t been the most popular,
and a few changes to the program have left some former Starwood
die-hards less than thrilled. But overall the Bonvoy program still
offers great value to Marriott loyalists; following its merger with
Starwood, which closed in 2016, Marriott has more locations than
any other hotel brand.

The merger has been especially complicated when its come to the
rewards credit cards offered under the Marriott and SPG brands. All
of the cards are being rebranded, while some are being closed to
new applications; although current cardholders will get to keep
those cards indefinitely. You can read
more about the changes here
.

One of the cards that’s being closed to new applications is an
old favorite in the rewards world: the original
Starwood Preferred Guest Card from American Express
.

The last day to apply for it is February 12.

Anyone who holds or applies for the card before the cutoff date
will be able to keep it — and all of its current perks — when
it’s renamed the Marriott Bonvoy American Express Card. After that,
new applicants looking for the entry-level personal Marriott card
will have to apply for the version issued by Chase, soon to be
known as the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card from Chase.

While the SPG AmEx has similar benefits to the Chase card, it
one may be easier to be approved for if you’ve already opened five
credit cards in the past 24 months. There are also a few other
compelling reasons to go for the AmEx, including perks, fees, and
even aesthetics.

Read on to learn more about the card.

Annual free night

Each year on your card member anniversary, you’ll get a free
night certificate, which is good at any Marriott hotel that costs
up to 35,000 points for an award night. While that rules out most
higher-end properties, it still includes a ton of hotels, and can
easily outweigh the card’s annual fee.

A waived annual fee the first year

Both the
SPG AmEx
and the Chase Marriott Premier Plus (soon to be
re-branded the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Card) have a reasonable
$95 annual fee.

But only the SPG AmEx waives that fee for the first year. That
alone makes it compelling to open the card before applications are
closed on February 12.

Complimentary Silver elite status

By simply having an open
SPG AmEx
(or, as it’s soon to be known, Bonvoy AmEx) account,
you’ll automatically get Silver elite status in the Marriott Bonvoy
loyalty program.

Silver doesn’t get you much, but it’s still something — you’ll
get a 10% bonus on points earned, priority for late checkout,
access to a dedicated customer service line, free Wi-Fi, and more.
While it’s not a published benefit, you may also be given
preferential rooms.

If you spend $35,000 on the
card
 in a given year, you’ll earn Gold status instead. That
gets you a 25% bonus on points earned, complimentary internet
during stays, room upgrades based on availability, and a small gift
of bonus points at check-in.

Useful rewards, and a large welcome bonus


The SPG AmEx
offers 6x points on every dollar spent at Starwood
and Marriott hotels, and 2x points on everything else. 

It also offers new cardholders 75,000 points after spending
$3,000 in the first three months. That’s a useful bonus, and
despite some restrictions on eligibility for Chase Marriott
bonuses, if you’ve recently received one from an AmEx Marriott
card, you’ll still be eligible for the other bonuses later down the
line.

Keep in mind that starting February 28, the Chase Marriott
Bonvoy Boundless card will have a limited-time, 100,000 point bonus
for new card members who spend $5,000 in their first three months.
But that requires an extra $2,000 of spend, and the annual fee
won’t be waived the first year. You also won’t be able to be
approved by Chase if you’ve opened five or more cards in the past
24 months.

A cool, unique new look


Marriott Bonvoy American Express Card_Card Art

Obviously, you shouldn’t make decisions about credit cards or
rewards based on what the card looks like, alone. However, when the
card’s benefits and terms make it a good fit anyway, aesthetics can
make a great bonus.

According to Eva Reda, an executive vice president of global
co-brand partnerships at American Express, mural and studio artist
Tony “Rubin” Sjöman collaborated with AmEx on the card’s new look,
which is meant to invoke sunrise reflecting off city buildings with
a geometric design inspired by travel and exploration.

Bottom line

This is the last chance — possibly ever — to get the

SPG AmEx
.

Under the new Bonvoy brand, Chase will be the primary issuer of
the brand’s mainstream credit card, while the premium and small
business credit cards will be American Express’ domain.

If the card seems like a good fit, now is the time to apply.

Click
here to learn more about the SPG AmEx from Insider Picks’ partner:
The Points Guy.

SEE ALSO: Big
changes are coming to the Marriott and Starwood rewards programs
and their credit cards — here’s what you need to
know

SEE ALSO: The
best credit card rewards, bonuses, and perks of
2019

Join
the conversation about this story »

Source: FS – All-Travel destinations-News
The popular SPG AmEx Card goes away on February 12 — here are 5 reasons to apply for it before it’s too late