SPG Amex Canada Review

When it comes to travel rewards credit cards in Canada, American Express is the leader. I’ve already featured the Amex Gold and Amex Platinum where you can earn 25,000 and 60,000 Aeroplan points, but now it’s time to focus on the Starwood Preferred Guest credit card from American Express.

As you’ve probably figured out by now, the SPG Amex Canada card is linked to Starwood Preferred Guest which is the loyalty program from Starwood Hotels. The signup bonus is 20,000 points which doesn’t seem like much at face value, but once you read my SPG Amex Canada review, you’ll know why those points are so valuable.

SPG Amex Canada

Starwood Credit Card Canada benefits

  • 20,000 signup points after charging $1,500 in purchases in the first 3 months
  • Transfer your points to 35 different airline partners
  • Earn 2 Starpoints for every $1 of eligible purchases charged at participating SPG & Marriott Rewards hotels
  • Earn 1 Starpoint for every $1 in all other purchases charged to the Card
  • Receive a Free Weekend Night Award when you reach $40,000 in purchases each year
  • Enjoy an automatic upgrade to Gold Status when you reach $30,000 in purchases each year
  • Earn 5,000 Starpoints Starpoints by referring a friend

The obvious appeal of the SPG Amex Canada benefits is the ability to earn Starwood points. The signup bonus of 20,000 points is worth up six free nights, but that’s only with Category 2 hotels. If you were to book a category 4 hotel, you’d only get two free nights.

That may not seem like a good value, but two free nights could easily be worth $400 – $600 Canadian. The card does have an annual fee of $120, but that would still give you a value of $280 – $480! If you’re interested in the SPG Amex Canada card, use my referral link now to sign up.

One of the major selling points of the SPG program is the fact that there are no blackout dates. You can use your points at over 1,200 hotels worldwide. But wait, don’t forget that Marriott bought Starwood last year so you can now link your SPG Points to Marriott Rewards which means you’ll have access to even more hotels.

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Converting your SPG points to airlines

One of the reasons people overlook the SPG Amex Canada card is because it’s tied to a hotel chain. If you don’t use hotels, why would you bother with a co-branded credit card right?

What you might not realize is that the Starwood Preferred Guest program allows you to transfer your points to more than 30 airlines.

Since this is a Canadian card, most people are probably thinking about converting their SPG points to Aeroplan. The regular transfer rate is 1:1, however, for every 20,000 SPG points you transfer, you’ll get an additional 5,000 points. In other words, 20,000 SPG points can be transferred for 25,000 Aeroplan points. That’s a 25% bonus or a ratio of 1:1.25 for every dollar spent on your SPG Amex Canada card.

In other words, this credit card can be used as a co-branded credit card for 30+ airlines without having a formal affiliation. That’s a pretty good deal when you think about it.

Earn more SPG Points by referring your friends

Another reason people love American Express is the fact that as a cardholder, you can refer your friends. With the Starwood Preferred Guest credit card from American Express, you get r,000 bonus points for every approved referral.

If you travel with a partner, you could easily rack up those points. First, you sign up on your own (or use my referral link) and get the 20,000 bonus points. Then refer your partner for 5,000 points while they get 20,000 points after meeting the minimum spend. You now have a total of 45,000 SPG points.

Those points give you a lot of flexibility since you can use them on a variety of hotels or convert them to the airline program of your choice to book flights. Remember, you can refer anyone you like, so tell your friends and family this trick and give them your own referral link.

Final word

My SPG Amex Canada review is positive. Although you have to pay an annual fee of $120, the signup points more than makes up for it. The ability to transfer your points to various airlines and the referral points means this card will stay in my wallet for a long time. Use my referral link now if you’re interested in adding it to yours.

SPG Amex Canada Review

By | 2018-02-17T21:11:39+00:00 February 13th, 2017|Credit cards, Personal Finance, Travel|

10 Comments

  1. Mike June 20, 2017 at 12:18 pm - Reply

    Hi Barry,

    Thanks for all the great posts.
    A few questions here: If I refer my wife, who already has a supplementary SPG Amex card, will I still get the referral bonus points? Will the supplementary card my wife holds prevent her from getting the signup points? Thanks!

    • Barry Choi June 20, 2017 at 1:22 pm - Reply

      Hi Mike,

      I don’t know for sure, but I don’t see why you wouldn’t get the bonus points for referring your wife. There’s really no reason why she wouldn’t be approved. In the even she is not approved for that reason, just remove her as a supplementary user from your card.

  2. Mat January 31, 2018 at 7:54 am - Reply

    What can 25,000 aeroplan points get you? Ive never used aeroplan as i prefer cash back cards

    • Barry Choi January 31, 2018 at 8:32 am - Reply

      Hi Mat,

      25,000 Aeroplan points gets you a return flight to anywhere in the continental US and Canada. Note that you still have to pay taxes and fuel surcharges.

      You’re commenting on the SPG post, so for reference, 25,000 SPG points is enough for two nights in a Category 5 hotel which is worth anywhere from $300 – 600.

  3. Angela February 11, 2018 at 1:05 pm - Reply

    Hi Barry,

    Just came across your blog (love it!) and the sign up bonus is a great incentive! After receiving the bonus, am just debating the use of the card outside of Canada with the foreign transaction fees.

    If we are a SPG Preferred Plus Member and automatically get 2 points per dollar per stay … if we use our SPG AMEX Card to pay for our stay, does that give us 2x points or 4 points per dollar at all Starwood properties?

    Thanks!

    • Barry Choi February 11, 2018 at 1:19 pm - Reply

      Hi Angela,

      I personally wouldn’t use this card for foreign purchases due to the exchange fees. You’re better off using a credit card with no foreign transaction fees.

      As for your question about 4X the points. I’m not sure about that, but I suspect that you wouldn’t get double the points. That being said, you should probably check with American Express directly for confirmation (and SPG for that matter).

  4. Angela February 11, 2018 at 2:36 pm - Reply

    Hi Barry,

    I checked with SPG and they confirmed yep, 1 point for every $1 after Feb 15/18 with SPG card PLUs 1 point for every $1 if using SPG AMEX Card = 2 points for every $. As you suggested, this would only be good using the SPG Amex Card in Canada for the extra points 🙂

    fyi, I checked AMEX link and it looks like AMEX special offer of 2 points for every $ expires Feb 15/18

    Earn 2 Starpoints for every dollar of eligible purchases charged to the Card at participating SPG®* and Marriott Rewards®* hotels from November 15, 2016 through February 15, 2018

    Thanks Barry!!

    • Barry Choi February 11, 2018 at 2:48 pm - Reply

      Hey Angela,

      Thanks for sharing that update. I’m actually a bit shocked that they’re letting you double as that’s pretty rare.

      Also, thank you for alerting me about the expiry date of Feb. 15, 2018. This seems to be a pretty crap deal as you’re essentially earning 50% less points at Starwood / Marriott properties which kind of defeats the purpose of having the card.

    • Angela February 11, 2018 at 2:49 pm - Reply

      Sorry Barry, to edit above, I think it’s 2 points per US$ for SPG Preferred Members + 1 point per $ for SPG AMEX Canada card = 3 points per $ if charged on the SPG Amex Card.

      The SPG Chat person told me 1 point per US$ for Premium members… yet their website says 2 points per US$.

      If you can explain it better, please let me know 🙂

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