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  • CREDIT CARDS: Starwood (SPG) Moves with American Express

    Posted on April 12th, 2010 1 comment
    Canadian Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card by American Express

    Canadian Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card by American Express

    After being a die hard Starwood Preferred Guest and using my no fee SPG credit card via MBNA, I’m sad to announce that it has come to an end. SPG has decided to move with AMEX, where the customer service will be great, but the rewards will be less. American Express has decided that it needs to charge customers a $120 annual fee for the same rewards we would of received at MBNA. Clearly this was a business decision on SPG’s end and not a move to help their customers.

    Canadian credit cards are going to become more difficult to choose now, simply because it seems like every company is forcing annual fee’s and rediculous interest rates. The new interest rate will be 19.99% with AMEX. How they justify such extreme interest rates and annual fee’s is beyond me. But only we are to blame for this mess.

    Here are some notes on the new American Express (AMEX) Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) credit card:

     The Pro

    • $1 = 1 point, the same rate as MBNA’s SPG card
    • Free weekend night after $40,000 in annual purchases
    • Automatic upgrade to Gold Preferred Guest after $30,000 in annual purchases
    • 10,000 welcome bonus points
    • TRAVEL: Car rental & damange insurance, travel accident insurance, travel emergency insurance, baggage insurance, plus more.

    The Con

    • Removal of the 5000 point bonus for every $10,000 spent annualy, up to 15,000 bonus points
    • $120 annual fee
    • Mastercard is more widely used then American Express (MBNA was Mastercard)
    • No more travel insurance, just regular insurance.

      Canadian MBNA Starwood credit card

      Canadian MBNA Starwood credit card

    All in all, you’d expect that that SPG would off their customers more for moving with American Express.  AMEX has higher merchant fee’s, annual fee’s, and they decided to offer much less then MBNA. There is no need to switch over with AMEX unless you like to be ripped off, they simply aren’t offering the same program as MBNA. It looks like us Canadian customers will have to look at a new credit card because AMEX SPG outright stinks.

    You can visit any of their websites here:

    Starwood Preferred Guest / American Express / MBNA Canada