Canceling The SPG Amex – My Suggested Improvements

The day has finally come for my SPG American Express card. I suppose it’s bittersweet. This is the card that really propelled me into the points and miles hobby. Starpoints are incredibly valuable, and for a long time the card worked really well as an everyday spend option. Unfortunately, nostalgia is never a reason to pay an annual fee. I’ll give a little detail of why I’m canceling the SPG Amex, how Amex could have kept me, and the process for canceling the card in two minutes.

How Could Amex/SPG Keep Me?

The answer here is pretty straightforward. American Express needs to offer a little more to justify a $95 annual fee. I don’t mind keeping inferior cards like the Marriott Rewards Card, Southwest Airlines, or even Hyatt’s credit card because the annual fee is offset by something of comparable value. This allows me to keep it open, which in turns helps my credit score by increasing the duration of my accounts. Unfortunately, the $95 fee for the SPG Amex doesn’t offer any sort of award, or bonus points.

Not The Best Card For SPG Stays

I suppose the nail in the coffin for the SPG card is that it’s not even the best card to use for stays at SPG properties. Instead, I’m now using my Chase Sapphire Reserve to earn 3X Ultimate Rewards points in addition to points earned as an SPG member. Alternatively, the SPG Amex earns just 2X points at SPG properties. If Ultimate Rewards are worth ~ 1.8 cents each, and SPG points are worth ~ 2.1 cents each, the math is clear. The Sapphire Reserve is a much better option for SPG stays.

My Everyday Spending Plan

After retiring my SPG Amex, I’ve moved to a new three-card rotation for all of our spending: Amex Everyday Preferred, Chase Sapphire Reserve, and Amex Blue Business. Remember, Amex Membership Rewards and Chase Ultimate Rewards points are typically valued at ~ 1.8 cents each. As a result, our earning structure looks like this:

  • Travel & Dining: 3X Points Chase Sapphire Reserve (5.4% Value)
  • Gas: 3X Points Amex EDP (5.4% Value)
  • Groceries: 4.5X Points Amex EDP (8.1% Value)
  • Everything Else: 2X Points Amex BBP (3.6% Value)
American Express Everyday Preferred

There’s not a scenario where I can justify using/keeping the SPG card, especially without any offset of the annual fee.

How To Cancel The SPG Amex

Canceling the card is really simple. Just login to your American Express account and click the “chat” button on the bottom right of your screen. Simply let the chat agent know you’d like to cancel the card. They’ll likely ask for the reason. I just said the Everyday Preferred had better rewards. That was good enough for her, and she processed the cancellation. The whole process took 2 minutes max.

Bottom Line

I know many bloggers talk about carrying 10-20 cards at a time, but that just doesn’t seem logical if more than a few of them have annual fees. Fortunately, the Business Blue Business card doesn’t come with an annual fee. This allows us to maximize rewards while only paying two annual fees. I don’t know what the future holds for the SPG Amex in light of Marriott’s purchase of SPG, but I won’t be around to find out. We had a good run, but it’s time to move on.

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