I’ve held the SPG American Express credit card for years. I consider it my primary car for expenses that don’t earn a bonus on other cards. I’m quite loyal, but as we know, that rarely is rewarded anymore. For cards with an annual fee that posts after August 1, 2018, the new card benefit includes a free night. With even a little planning, a booking that far exceeds the $95 annual fee shouldn’t be too difficult to find. Unfortunately, my anniversary date with the card is late July.
My history with SPG
I’ve chronicled my journey to SPG Lifetime Platinum status, and at least that will roll over into the new combined program later in August 2018.. I’ve had some great redemptions with SPG points. I’m relatively optimistic that will continue, but as with anything, it will take more work and likely more cost for the most desirable properties. While I earned most of my SPG points from hotel stays, having the SPG Amex has helped keep that balance growing even if slowly from everyday spending.
Until this year, I always considered this card a no brainer to keep. I believe I’ve had it for close to a decade. It had benefits I utilized regularly, and most of all I considered SPG points very valuable. Even only earning 1 SPG point/$ of spend, made for a solid value. After August 1, that value drops to 2 Marriott points/$, which is at least a 33% devaluation by Marriott’s own calculation (3 Rewards points = 1 SPG point). So I see no reason to keep this card at the top of my wallet going forward. A free hotel night for $95 is a good deal as i mentioned before, but due to my unfortunate timing, I won’t earn that until July 2019. Based on this, I can’t figure out how to justify paying the $95 for another year.
Should I stay or should I go?
A few weeks ago, I called retention feeling out what I might get, and wasn’t impressed the offer. 7000 SPG points for $1000 in spending is decent I guess, but just not enough to make up for $95 fee and greatly devalued benefits and points earning going forward. I’m annoyed my renewal date is a few days before the new benefits kick in, so I miss out on the free night for a whole year. Maybe I’ll get a better offer now since I’m actually likely to cancel the card, but I’m not sure what it would take for me to renew this card, if anything. I’d like to keep my long card history open, but I can’t figure out a good value here.
Maybe a fee waiver of some sort would provide enough incentive to keep the card for another year, and then at least I’d finally earn the free night. I expect if I do keep it going forward, I’ll only using it sparingly. This is my MO with the Hyatt Visa, where I only rarely spend on it, but keep it mostly for the free night. It isn’t difficult to redeem for a night costing much more than the annual fee.
What should I do?
So I’m seeking some advice on how to handle the impending renewal of my SPG Amex. I’ve gone back and forth on this, lately I’ve been leaning strongly in the direction of cancelling the card. What would you do?
Update: Thanks to the discussion here, I went ahead to kept the card open. I’ll likely finish this spending, get my points, and then greatly reduce my use of this card other than at
SPG/ Marriott/(Insert new loyalty program name here).