I was strongly leaning towards cancelling my SPG Amex because the $95 fee was due and I couldn’t justify paying it. In terms of cards with annual fees, I’ve had this one the longest. I opened it back in December of 2011 when I watched a Nightline segment that featured The Frugal Travel Guy and figured that I too could travel for free*. That December, I went to the Sugar Bowl to hit the minimum spend the old-fashioned way, spending money. Now it’s 2015 and I’m going to the Citrus Bowl. Some things never change.
Enough reminiscing, I’m not keeping the card for nostalgia. I’m keeping it because I have referred two people who were approved for the SPG personal card and I am awaiting the 10,000 points bonus. When I book SPG hotels with points, I try to get 3 cents per point. Even if the value of SPG points is a modest 1 cent, I’m still coming out ahead of the annual fee assuming those points post.
I initially considered keeping the card because I receive 2 stays towards the 25 required to requalify for platinum. This benefit may prove to be useless with the merger of Marriott and SPG. Like many SPG loyalists, I am in an interesting predicament: If Marriott guts the SPG program, my points will be worthless and so will my status. This probably would happen in 2017.
The next question is whether it is worth going for platinum again or if I should focus my efforts on preserving my Hyatt Diamond status. That’s a question for another day.