The SPG American Express is now one of the worst credit cards to hold. Here’s why I’m cancelling mine

Marriott bought Starwood about 2 years ago. SPG gold status transferred to Marriott so we stayed at the Ritz in Cairo, JW in Phucket, and Marriotts in Brisbane and San Francisco. We got lots of great perks.

This week Marriott announced changes to their rewards program and their credit cards. I’ve had the Starwood American Express credit card for over 15 years. During most of that time it was my go to card for all purchases.

Now I believe it’s one of the worst credit cards available.

What’s changing?

  • Starwood and Marriott rewards programs are merging into a single program
  • When you make purchases with the Starwood credit card, you will earn 2 Marriott points per dollar spent
  • When you transfer Marriott points to airline programs, you get 1 mile for every 3 Marriott points

It’s pretty confusing. But the bottom line is that Marriott points are only worth 1/3 as much as other points or miles. So while it might sound good to get 2 points per dollar, it’s actually a really shitty return.

I really hate how sneaky this is. By creating an inflated points system that doesn’t map 1:1 with other programs, they are tricking consumers into thinking they are getting good returns on their spending.

I loved my SPG American Express card. While I now turn to my Citi or Chase cards for travel and dining purchases, I still went with SPG for everything else. Now I’ll be cancelling this card.


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