Update: American Express has confirmed that all holders of the Premier Rewards Gold card will receive 15K bonus points for spending $30K in 2015.
That comes on top of double points on restaurants, gas, and groceries in the US and triple points on airfare. If you can spend $30K this year that bumps up the double point categories to 2.5 points per dollar and the triple points category to 3.5 points per dollar.
Originally posted on 06/03:
American Express is a DansDeals.com advertiser.
Effective June 1st AMEX made some excellent changes to the Premier Rewards Gold Charge Card. The Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN will see a positive change on July 28th.
Here’s a recap of the details:
The Premier Rewards Gold card’s annual fee has increased from $175/year to $195/year. The fee is waived for the first year.
But the benefits provided for that $20 increase are awesome:
1. You can register here for a $100 airline fee credit per calendar year. That means in your first cardmember year you can get $200 back with $100 in 2015 and $100 in 2016. Officially these are intended to be used for bag fees, seat upgrades, and lounge passes/memberships. However they also work for items like $100 American Airlines gift cards or $100 United gift registry contributions and more.
In my mind that effectively drops the annual fee to a far more palatable $95/year.
2. The card no longer charges a foreign transaction fee.
3. The card will now give double points at restaurants in addition to double points on gas and groceries in the US and triple points on airfare.
That’s a very nice mix of bonus spend categories and comes out top of Membership Rewards promotions like the one earlier this year that offered 40% bonus points for transfer to British Airways Avios.
4. Officially this card was supposed to stop offering a 15K point bonus for spending $30K in a calendar year, but there have been numerous reports that it’s still working in 2015. That’s pretty sweet as it bumps the effective earn rates of the double point categories to 3x and the triple point category to 4.5x.
5. The card also continues to offer 5 additional cardholders without any additional annual fee, each of which qualify for promotions like Small Business Saturday. Last year SBS gave a $30 per card credit, so someone who had a Premier Gold card with 5 additional users was able to get $180 in free spending.
The Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN will no longer charge a foreign transaction fee effective 07/28.
The card offers triple points in one of these categories of your choice and the other 4 categories get double points:
-Airfare purchased directly from airlines
-U.S. purchases for advertising in select media
-U.S. purchases at gas stations
-U.S. purchases for shipping
-U.S. computer hardware, software, and cloud computing purchases made directly from select providers
DDF user Maurice broke the news 2 weeks ago about upcoming Starwood changes and AMEX has now confirmed that information.
The Starwood Preferred Guest Consumer Card and the Starwood Preferred Guest Business card’s annual fees will increase from $65/year to $95/year. The fee is waived for the first year. The spend threshold to get the signup bonus on the consumer card has dropped from $5K to $3K.
The new benefits that will take effect on 08/11 include:
1. The cards will no longer charge a foreign transaction fee. It will finally make sense to pay for Starwood hotels overseas with your Starwood credit card 🙂
2. Free premium in-room internet. All SPG guests get free internet, but elites and cardholders get the faster version for free.
3. Unlimited Boingo Wi-Fi worldwide. Search from over 1 million hot-spots here.
4. The Starwood business card will now provide free access to Sheraton Club lounges. The business card is also eligible for Open Savings rebates on purchases from Fedex, HP, Hertz, Hyatt, and more. (1 Starpoint per dollar + 5% cash back at Hyatt makes this card better for Hyatt stays than the Hyatt card…oh the irony.)
5. Both cards continue to offer Preferred Plus status which gives complimentary 4pm checkout at SPG hotels. If you spend $30K you’ll get Starwood gold status, though that status comes free with the Platinum Card or Business Platinum Card. Some people even get it free for asking nicely 😀
6. Both cards continue to offer up to 99 additional cardholders without any additional annual fee, each of which qualify for promotions like Small Business Saturday. It’s not hard to make up the annual fee thanks to these promotions (you should see how many diapers I now have thanks to the recent Sam’s Club promotion 😉 )
While the Starwood card still only offers 1 point per dollar (except at Starwood hotels where you’ll earn 2 points per dollar), you do earn a 25% bonus when you transfer Starpoints into miles from dozens of airlines at a 20K:25K ratio. Of course Starpoints can also be used at SPG hotels starting at 2K points for a free night or with other redemption options like nights & flights, cash & points, and 5th night free awards.