My Favorite Credit Card Just Got Better

a close up of credit cards
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Just got an email that a whole slew of new benefits are coming for the Starwood Preferred Guest Personal and Business cards on August 11!

  • No foreign transaction fees on international purchases.
  • Free, unlimited Boingo Wi-Fi at more than a million Boingo hotspots.
  • Complimentary premium internet access when staying at SPG hotels.
  • Business Card only: Complimentary access to the Sheraton Club lounge on Starpoint eligible stays.

The elimination of foreign transaction fees is a big deal! My Chase Sapphire card had become my primary card for international travel mostly for that reason. Even when staying at Starwood properties the foreign transaction fee wasn’t worth the extra point per dollar I could earn.

And now that everyone has access to free internet at Starwood hotels, getting a free upgrade to faster speeds is meaningful.

I originally got the SPG credit card because it offers of the amazing redemption value. Free nights at Starwood hotels start at 2,000 points which only requires $2,000 in credit card spend. Basically getting a free room at a Category 1 hotel for the equivalent of ~$20 cashback with most credit cards.

I kept the SPG card because of all the other great perks it offered. And even with the annual fee increasing from $65 to $95 (h/t nguyener) it’s still worth it:

  • Fast track to elite status with a 5 nights/2 stays credit each year you keep the card
  • Automatic Gold Status if you spend $30,000 on the card in a calendar year
  • Free ShopRunner membership which gets you free shipping at numerous stores, including Dominoes delivery and
  • Extra Starpoint per $ spent on Starwood stays
  • Purchase protection — great if you do things like shatter your brand new smart phone or laptop…
  • Ability to transfer points to almost 30 airline programs with a 5,000 point bonus when transferring 20,000

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  1. No, the AF increase is not mentioned in the email. I appreciate the no foreign transaction fee, but the other new benefits have little value to me. Now, if the personal card got club access like the business card, that would be another story.

  2. After 10 years with this card (it was my first “real” points card in college) I am dumping it. I’m paying $95 to have access to the ability to earn SPG points (read: not worth it). This card provides nothing to supports its outrageous $95 annual fee.

    They should waive the annual fee for gold/platinum members who qualify through actual paid stays.

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