Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’d know that Starwood and Marriott are merging. Both have co-branded cards in the Canadian space – the Starwood American Express and Business SPG AMEX, as well as the Chase Marriott Visa.
These cards are must haves if you want to collect miles and points in Canada.
Why Should You Get These Cards?
The Starwood American Express Card is by far the best card in Canada for everyday spending. You earn 1 Starpoint per dollar spent, which yields 1.25 points in over 30 different airlines when transferred. There are some incredible transfer partners available. Many of them aren’t accessible with any other credit card, so this is your only way if you want to redeem for some sweet spots.
SPG points are tremendously flexible for hotels as well, from cheaper properties all the way up to the top 500 hotels in the world. Your points could go towards resorts that cost over $1500 a night. With their annual sale on luxury resorts, you can get over 5 cents in value per point on those redemptions.
The Chase Marriott Visa is only one of two cards in Canada to offer no foreign transaction fee on purchases abroad, so it’s a must have if you travel internationally at all. While I only value Marriott points at around 0.55 cents, they’re worth potentially a lot more if you’re saving up for a nights and flights package, for instance.
Keep in mind that Starwood and Marriott points are transferrable at a 1:3 ratio. Thus, you’re easily able to combine the points from both cards towards a larger redemption. The Starwood American Express and Business American Express currently has a bonus of 20,000 SPG miles apiece. If you got both and met the low spending requirements of $1000 over three months, you’d end up with 42,000 SPG miles (or 126,000 Marriott Points).
Since the Chase Marriott Card comes with a 50,000 point bonus (16,666 SPG), getting all three of these cards would mean you could earn a whopping 176,000 Marriott or 58,888 Starwood points.
What are the new Benefits?
Recently, Chase and AMEX have improved earning opportunities on their cards as a result of the merger.
From the press release –
Starting today, Canada-based Chase Canada and American Express Card Members can now enjoy the following NEW benefits:
- Marriott Rewards Premier Visa Credit Card from Chase Canada Card Members in Canada can earn five Marriott Rewards points for every eligible dollar spent using their Card on qualifying purchases made at participating global SPG properties. These Card Members already currently earn five Marriott Rewards points for every eligible dollar spent using their Card on qualifying purchases made at participating global Marriott Rewards properties.
- Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card by American Express Card Members in Canada can earn two Starpoints® for every eligible dollar spent using the Card directly at hotels participating in Marriott Rewards and SPG globally. This promotion will run through November 2017.
This is quite good, because it means that you now don’t have to choose between earning valuable points and paying foreign transaction fees at SPG properties internationally. With the new benefits, you can earn 1.66 SPG/5 Marriott points for spend at Marriott and Starwood properties internationally, with no foreign transaction fees! Furthermore, you can 2 SPG/6 Marriotts at all SPG and Marriott properties in Canada.
I’ve stayed at a few Marriott and SPG properties this year, so I’m really glad to be earning those few extra points from these stays.