Coming Soon: Canadian SPG Amex Elite Qualifying Nights And New Welcome Bonus

By |2018-12-29T11:28:31+00:00July 8th, 2018|Categories: News|Tags: , |

Canadian SPG Amex Elite Qualifying Nights Announced

A couple of weeks ago we learned details of changes coming to the American Express Cards in Canada, effective August 4th, 2018, just after the merger of Marriott Rewards and Starwood Preferred Guest is complete. Shortly after that post, I received some mail from Amex going over the changes, which seemed to be no different than the email they sent the previous week, though admittedly I only glanced at the letter. However, reader Jayson pointed out that the letter actually had a flip side, and on the back Amex has indicated that elite qualifying stays are coming soon! We’ve never seen Canadian SPG Amex elite qualifying nights, with the now discontinued Chase Marriott Rewards card previously offering this benefit, so this definitely makes the new SPG cards more appealing despite their devalued earnings on everyday spend.

Unfortunately Amex is being vague on what’s being offered, though I think it’s probably safe to assume we will see 15 elite qualifying nights on both the Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card and The Starwood Preferred Guest Business Credit Card (though probably not stackable similar to the American products).

American Express hasn’t announced when this benefit will be launched, other than to say we can expect it by the new year, which hopefully means before the end of 2018 for 2019 status, though I’m only cautiously optimistic that will be the case.

SPG Amex Elite Qualifying Nights May Mean Platinum Status (And Lounge Access) In As Few As 35 Nights

SPG Amex Elite Qualifying Nights May Mean Platinum Status (And Lounge Access) In As Few As 35 Nights

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Strategy To Take Advantage Of Canadian SPG Amex Elite Qualifying Nights

If you don’t have the SPG Amex:

I would suggest waiting to apply for a card until Amex offers a more lucrative welcome bonus. Currently new cardmembers are eligible to receive a $100 statement credit after spending $1,500 in the first three months of membership, and an additional $150 after charging at least $200 to the card at any participating Marriott Hotel. I predict we will see a new and improved welcome bonus as of July 18th, as indicated by some language on the referral page (we’ve seen similar language on other cards which resulted in changes to both the referral and welcome bonuses).

Expect A New Welcome Bonus In Canada Effective July 18th

I honestly can’t see the welcome bonus getting any worse than this, and fully expect Amex to offer some sort of points bonus once the new program launches with a new name (they still haven’t announced that). My best guess: 50,000 Marriott points after spending $1,500 in the first three months of membership.

If you do have the SPG Amex:

Definitely hold on to it for now, as I suspect the annual free-night certificate could be posted on August 4th when the new card benefits kick in. If not, you can always cancel and re-apply once a new welcome bonus is being offered, especially considering the elite qualifying nights benefit isn’t expected until the end of the year.

Bottom Line

All said, this is probably a card worth having for most, despite the devalued earnings on everyday spend. An annual free-night up to 35,000 points and elite qualifying credits probably justify the fee, and that’s not even considering whatever welcome bonus will be offered beginning July 18th.

If you currently have the SPG Amex, I would hold on to it for now to see if the free-night certificate posts on August 4th. If not, you can always cancel then and re-apply for the improved welcome bonus and elite qualifying nights before the end of the year. If you don’t have the SPG card, you’ll definitely want to check back on the 18th to see what American Express is offering!

What do you make of the SPG Amex elite qualifying nights? Is it enough for you to keep the card despite the poor return on everyday spend?

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About the Author:

Champagne taste on a beer budget has always been reminiscent of Tyler’s travel style. Raised in British Columbia, Tyler has an unquenchable thirst for more adventure, which is fueled by leveraging airline and hotel loyalty programs to travel the world in luxury and style.


  1. David July 8, 2018 at 1:59 pm - Reply

    Thanks for the update, I have yet to apply for the SPG card and was wondering when to do so. I will be checking back in 10 days to find out what to do next. Until then, thanks for keeping me updated Tyler!

    • Tyler Weatherup July 8, 2018 at 2:15 pm - Reply

      Hey David

      Great to hear! I definitely think we’ll see an increased offer – hopefully even as high as 75,000 Marriott Reward points (Amex was previously offering 25K on the SPG cards, so it’s not entirely unrealistic).


  2. John Bucher July 8, 2018 at 6:36 pm - Reply

    What is your strategy for the Cobalt card sfyer Aug1?

    • Tyler Weatherup July 8, 2018 at 8:48 pm - Reply

      Hey John,

      That’s going to depend on what the Membership Reward -> SPG (or whatever it’s called) looks like after August 1st. If it still comes out better than everyday spend on the SPG cards, I’ll probably keep it.


  3. John Bucher July 8, 2018 at 6:36 pm - Reply

    By the way, great post!

  4. Etienne July 8, 2018 at 9:44 pm - Reply

    Hi Tyler, very good article. I thought, if you already have a card and you cancel it to get the bonus, you have to wait at least 3 months otherwise there are chances that it is not the bonus or as it would be a brand new product there would be no need to wait? What do you think about it?

    • Tyler Weatherup July 9, 2018 at 7:25 am - Reply

      Hi Etienne,

      You’re right – I normally wait between 3 and 6 months, otherwise there’s a chance they could just reinstate the old account. Since this isn’t actually a new card, but rather just a change to the benefits and earnings, I would suggest waiting at least 3 months before re-applying.


  5. John August 30, 2018 at 7:41 pm - Reply

    Anyone have any update on this? Will they be elite nights for 2018?

    • Tyler Weatherup August 30, 2018 at 8:42 pm - Reply

      Hi John,

      Originally Amex said this benefit would be available before the end of the year. I’m trying to get clarification on whether that will be for 2018 0r 2019. Will definitely update with a post as I learn more!


  6. Sarah September 28, 2018 at 12:22 pm - Reply

    Still hoping to get clarification on those 15 credit nights. I would have been okay this year without them but not sure about next year. I want to wait on the new card until we get some clarification if possible.
    I expect you’ve still not heard anything or you’d have updated but wanted to check in case you’ve done this elsewhere.

  7. Andre October 24, 2018 at 8:37 pm - Reply

    Looks like this will not happen before dec 31 2018.

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