New Card Design For The Starwood American Express Cards

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As I first wrote about in early June, the SPG AmEx Cards — both the Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express and Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express — will be undergoing a refresh as of August 11, 2015.

As I explained at the time, the changes to the cards include the following:

  • The annual fee being raised by $30 per year, from $65 to $95
  • The elimination of foreign transaction fees
  • Complimentary unlimited Boingo wifi
  • Complimentary in-room premium internet access
  • Sheraton club lounge access (for those with the business version of the card only)

All in all, I’d consider the changes to be a win. That’s especially true for the SPG AmEx Business Card, as those card members will now receive access to Sheraton club lounges.


What hasn’t been revealed until now is the actual physical refresh the cards are going through. As a reminder, here’s what the cards currently look like:


I actually think the current cards are pretty stylish to begin with, at least when you consider that the design has been around for a long time.

Well, the new card designs for the SPG AmEx Personal Card and SPG AmEx Business Card will definitely stand out in your wallet, as the cards will be purple! Here’s the new card art you can expect:


Personally I love it, as I think it nicely reflects the Starwood brand and certainly stands out. That being said, I realize purple might not be everyone’s color.

As a reminder, the sign-up bonuses on the cards are presently as follows:

Historically American Express has sometimes offered increased sign-up bonuses on the cards in August (leading up to Labor Day), though it remains to be seen whether that increased offer will return this year. It’s something to keep in mind if you’re considering applying, though.

What do you make of the new card design on the SPG AmEx Cards?

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  1. I hope that’s just a fake/demo new card, because you have not blacked out your account number on the new card. I like the new design.

  2. The vertical “American Express” on the left in a different font is horrid, the rest looks fine. Do you think AmEx will consider this a “new” product with the fee/benefit/card change?

  3. Same question as Ford’s: does Amex consider this a new product since the benefits and annual fee have changed?

  4. The annual fee is getting a bit high – do you know how churnable this card is? I’m thinking of cancelling the regular card (keeping the business), and then maybe applying again.

  5. @Brian – You can’t really churn AmEx cards anymore, since they have language in their T&Cs barring you from getting a bonus if you’ve ever had that specific card before.

  6. I like the new card design even though I’m not a fan of SPG’s site redesign overall.

    FWIW, the current look isn’t very old (perhaps, a couple of years). Prior to that, there was no silver border and the card was all-red.

  7. Bless! This is the type of frequent traveller news we cannot do without. Next time with pictures of kittens, please.

  8. Lucky – would you know if Amex is refreshing the features and card design on the Canadian SPG as well?

  9. Thanks for posting this Lucky, it jogged my memory to cancel my card before my annual fee hits at the end of the month!

  10. Hi Lucky,

    I know SPG Amex has a perk that gives 2 stays and 5 nights credit towards elite status. I’m confused about how it works. Do I have to achieve Gold Statue which requires 25 nights to get the 5 nights credit back, or SPG will give me 5 nights credit regardless of my status, even though I’m on the lowest tier (preferred guest). Does it mean if I only stay 5 nights through the year, all my nights will be free?

    Another question is how to define stay? I assume if I book few consecutive nights, that is ONE stay.

    Thanks a lot

  11. About time that this card dropped the foreign transaction fee. No card touted as a travel card should ever have one, especially a card with an annual fee.

  12. I personally don’t see the increase in annual fee and additional benefits as a win. Most people probably already have another CC that doesn’t have any FX fees. As a Platinum SPG member, the lounge and Internet access isn’t appealing. If it was still $65 I would consider keeping the card but I might have to close it out after this year.

  13. I don t mean to paint the whole wall with one brush, but I would dare to assume that most people who use the SPG AMEX are loyal to SPG and have a vested interest in the benefits provided to them by the company, thus, SPG and AMEX should treat those who are dedicated to the brand loyalty by giving them a voice in the card design replacement process. Can you please post the pictures of your existing red card without the large black boxes over the #s?

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