Positive Change: Amex SPG Offers Free Night


With all the changes coming to the SPG program, one that caught my attention was the change to the Amex SPG cards, both business and personal:

Beginning with your first renewal on or after August 1, 2018, you will receive a Free Night Award that you can redeem for a one-night stay at participating SPG and Marriott Rewards properties with a redemption level at or under 35,000 points (additional mandatory resort fees may apply) every year of Card Membership.

I’m not sure what 35k will get when the hotels are reclassified. However, at the current level of 11.6k points, it seems more than enough to justify the annual fee, though I’ll still go through the Keep Vs. Cancel calculus when the pesky fee is due.

So far the SPG/Marriott announcement is not Festivus worthy. And that’s a good thing.



  1. Did Amex pay you to run this piece? Because Amex SPG earn rate just got devalued 33% as you will now get 2 points per $1 instead of 3 for $1 I’m everyday spend. Plus reward chart will be skyrocketing. So the addition of a worthless free night at low end properties is simply a bone that should be taken in full context.

    • I don’t get why I get comments like this when I literally said that it depends on the award chart and where it goes. Where did I say this is amazing? Nowhere. The context is very clear: didn’t have free night before. Have free night now. Kept card before for reasons in link, will evaluate like I always do as I said.

      Don’t throw out accusations of payments and twist my words. Also, when I do get paid I obey FCC law by putting a disclaimer at the top! heesh

  2. Good for you to come back with a snappy reply, TPOL! I find the free night info very helpful. I would consider it easily worth more than the $95 annual fee.

    • From Gary: Very simple, the points required to earn miles multiplies by 3. So 60k points will -> 20k miles + 5k bonus in most programs

  3. Worth calling in for a retention offer – I received 3000 SPG points off the bat (no spend required). Obviously it really sucked that the timing of the card renewal means that I’ll only earn the free night the following year instead of this year.

  4. I’ve been calling out a whole lot of blogs for trying to say that the new program is not that bad, which is frankly bullshit. The new program is very bad, and worse for me than average, but lots of people are getting hosed, so I suppose that at least I’m in good company. What disturbs me is that the bloggers (particularly the titans) seem to be either complicit or at best oddly complacent. I just want bloggers to admit that these changes really suck, and call Marriott out on them.
    Diatribe aside, the free night is a good idea. Like you, I’ll see what value is there once the new charts are out. I do think that making these changes midyear is a bit strange, but that’s just me.

    • I can’t say that I like the changes. If aloft Bangkok isn’t 3 to 4k points or equivalent, life is not good. And that’s just from redeeming my current points. If earning is hard in comparison to the categories then this will be another Hilton. Right now, I’m going to ignore how bad it will he and deny change is happening. If this program ends up being terrible, where do I go from here? There’s no brands left.

  5. I just cancelled. Marriott is going to hose the program. Ever have a Marriott visa before? Redemption was rediculous which is why we got the SPG. After 12 years with SPG we finally cancelled since our renewal was in a few weeks.

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