How Does the New Marriott Bonvoy™ American Express® Card Compare to the Old Starwood Preferred Guest Card?
Adieu SPG! Bonjour Bonvoy! Well it’s official, the Amex SPG credit card is no more. After months of waiting (since the merger of SPG and Marriott loyalty programs in August, 2018), Marriott has finally rebranded its loyalty program and has launched the Marriott Bonvoy™ American Express® Card, displacing the SPG card.
But just how different is the Marriott Bonvoy™ American Express® Card from its predecessor? Not so different, as it turns out— at least for now. While the Marriott Bonvoy™ American Express® Card rebranding brought with it a new elegant card look (though I was personally a fan of SPG’s snazzy red rather than Bonvoy’s sedate slate), relatively little has changed with respect to the card features themselves.
In This Article:
The most notable difference between the old Amex SPG card and the Marriott Bonvoy™ American Express® Card is a change of its welcome bonus, which was a decidedly positive step. New Marriott Bonvoy™ American Express® Cardmembers earn 60,000 Welcome Bonus points after you charge $3,000 in net purchases to your Card in your first three months of Cardmembership*. Plus, get a $120 statement credit when you charge $10,000 in net purchases to your card in your first twelve months of card membership. Offer subject to change at any time*. Readers should note that Amex has indicated this big sign-up bonus will be a limited-time offer rather than a permanent card feature.
It’s also worth noting that, as announced in January, Marriott’s Platinum Premier Elite was replaced with Marriott Bonvoy Titanium Elite for members who stay at eligible properties for a combination of 75 nights. Furthermore, Platinum Premier Elite Ambassador level was replaced with Marriott Bonvoy Ambassador Elite once a member stays more than 100 nights and spends over $20,000 annually. This is the highest membership level.
The realigning of elite tiers has had positive benefits for members, according to Marriott, which claims that, “Members now earn on average 20 percent more points per dollar spent.”
Aside from the Bonvoy’s tres bon welcome bonus, the rest of the card’s offerings stayed more or less the same, including:
- You’ll still earn 5 points per every $1 you spend at participating Marriott Bonvoy properties and 2 points per $1 for all other purchases
- You’ll continue to be able to redeem your points (now known as Marriott Bonvoy points) for free nights with no blackout dates at participating hotels
- You can transfer points to a variety of frequent flyer miles programs
- The card keeps the yearly free night award after your anniversary (with a redemption value of 35,000 points or under)
- Each calendar year you’ll continue to get 15 elite night credits
- The card also still comes with complimentary Marriott Bonvoy Silver Elite status. Each year when you spend $30,000 on your card you can upgrade to Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite status
- Cardholders will also still be able to enjoy free in-room, premium internet access at Marriott Bonvoy hotels
- Don’t forget that nice referral perk: For every approved referral you make you could earn 10,000 bonus points
- The annual fee remains $120
The Future for Bonvoy
Is the future bon for Bonvoy cardholders? At this point, there’s no news that more changes are in the works for the Marriott Bonvoy™ American Express® Card. But after the last couple of years of ups and downs for Canadian Marriott fans, we can at least enjoy a period of relative calm. That said, we wouldn’t object to beefing up the Marriott Bonvoy™ American Express® Card with maybe one more key travel feature, like the exemption from foreign transaction fees offered by Canada’s now-deceased Marriott card, the Chase Marriott Rewards Premier Visa.
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* This post was sponsored by Amex Bank of Canada. The views and opinions expressed in this blog, however, are purely our own.