Not only has the Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) credit card from American Express been redesigned, but it now offers new perks for travelers.
The card is also dropping its foreign transaction fee, which will save cardholders 2.7 percent on purchases made outside the United States. Note that although American Express will no longer charge you, overseas ATMs or merchants may still impose their own fees.
Free Boingo Wi-Fi
Among the new benefits, cardholders can now get free, unlimited Wi-Fi access in airports and other places on the road. Users have to join the Boingo American Express Preferred Plan (AXP Plan). Boingo offers more than 1 million hotspots across the globe, and members receive access on up to four mobile devices, with no roaming fees. The AXP Plan only includes land-based Wi-Fi, not in-flight Wi-Fi.
Eligible cardholders who already have a paid Boingo account and want to take advantage of the free SPG/Amex offer should cancel their current plan when they enroll in the AXP Plan. Existing subscriptions will not be automatically discontinued.
To confirm eligibility for the AXP Plan, call the hotline number on the back of your SPG card. When you sign up, you’ll need to give your card number to Boingo for confirmation of eligibility and authentication.
In-Room Internet and Access to Sheraton Club Lounges
Cardholders will also get free in-room Internet at participating SPG hotel properties when they book their stay at a Starpoint Eligible Rate. Group rates and third-party bookings will not be eligible for this benefit, and members must provide their SPG member account number when booking their stay and at check-in. Only one room will get the complimentary Internet, even if the member reserves more than one room.
If you’ve got an SPG OPEN business credit card, you’ll now get access to Sheraton Club lounges when you stay at Club properties. These VIP lounges offer free breakfast in the morning and free drinks and hors d’oeuvres in the evening.
Third-party or group bookings will not be eligible for this benefit. The cardmember must pay for the room directly. The cardholder and one guest have access to the lounge throughout their Sheraton stay.
New Perks, New Price
These new benefits come with a price. The annual fee for the SPG card is increasing by $30, from $65 to $95. The fee is still waived for the first year you have the card.
The APR for both purchases and balance transfers ranges from 15.24 percent to 19.24 percent, depending on creditworthiness. The balance transfer fee is $5 or 3 percent of the transfer amount, whichever is more.