Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card Adds New Benefits, Increases Annual Fee
The SPG Credit Card from American Express has long been one of my favorite travel credit cards, primarily because SPG points have traditionally been quite flexible and among the most valuable, when it comes to loyalty points. Coming August 11, 2015, in addition to a new card design, several new benefits will be added to the card, making it more attractive to frequent travelers, at the cost of an increased annual fee.
What changes are coming to the SPG Amex?
In addition to the existing benefits of the card, which will not change, beginning August 11, 2015, SPG cardmembers will enjoy:
- No foreign transaction fees
SPG Credit Card Members can now enjoy international travel without foreign transaction fees from American Express when using their Card on purchases abroad.
For most people, this is the best of the changes that are coming, and is probably a change that was long overdue, as it’s a feature that has become standard on credit cards targeting the more upscale traveler.
- Complimentary, unlimited Boingo Wi-Fi:
SPG Credit Card Members will enjoy complimentary, unlimited Wi-Fi access when they enroll in the Boingo American Express Preferred Plan. They can receive Wi-Fi access on up to four devices to more than 1,000,000 hotspots worldwide and pay no Wi-Fi roaming fees.
The complimentary, unlimited Boingo Wi-Fi benefit is the same as the benefit that was added last year to the American Express Platinum card. The Boingo plan provided by American Express provides access to land-based Wi-Fi services and does not include in-flight Wi-Fi. For a complete listing of Wi-Fi hotspots in Boingo’s network, visit http://wifi.boingo.com.
- Complimentary premium in-room internet access
SPG members who book a stay through an official Starwood channel–including SPG.com, one of the SPG brand websites, the SPG App, or through a travel professional–already receive complimentary *standard internet access. Gold and Platinum SPG members also already receive premium in-room internet access when it is available, so this benefit puts SPG credit card holders on par with elite members.
*Standard internet access is defined as sufficient for web browsing and emailing, while premium internet access allows for streaming content and downloading large files. Not all hotels will have differentiated standard and premium internet access.
- Access to Sheraton Club Lounges for SPG American Express OPEN cardmembers:
Card Members with a SPG Business Credit Card will earn access to Sheraton Club Lounges, which includes a complimentary daily breakfast, evening selection of premium beverages and hors d’oeuvres, and space for hosting a friend or colleague.
At the same time, the annual fee will rise from $65 to $95. The first year of Card Membership will remain free, and is $95 annually thereafter.
For a more detailed review of the Starwood Amex, see this post.