The Shangri-La Credit Card is a hotel co-branded credit card issued by Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts in partnership with a major bank. With luxury hotel brands like Shangri-La, the affiliated credit card aims to provide cardholders with elite benefits and rewards for staying at Shangri-La properties worldwide.
But is the Shangri-La Credit Card worth getting, especially with its $395 annual fee? In this review, we’ll take an in-depth look at the key benefits, eligibility, alternatives, and ultimately whether the card is worth it for luxury travelers.
Overview of the Shangri-La Credit Card
The Shangri-La Credit Card offers a wide range of premium benefits optimized for frequent guests at Shangri-La hotels and resorts. Key perks include:
- Complimentary nights and room upgrades: Receive 1 free night at any Shangri-La hotel or resort on your card account anniversary, plus space-available room upgrades.
- Bonus reward points: Earn 5x points per $1 spent at Shangri-La hotels, 2x points on dining and airfare, and 1x points on other purchases.
- Premium travel privileges: Enjoy elite Gold-level status, complimentary breakfast, early check-in/late check-out, and other VIP amenities when staying at Shangri-La.
- Annual fee waived: Get the $395 annual fee waived for the first year.
In exchange, there is a $395 annual fee beginning the second year, so the card is best suited for regular Shangri-La guests who can maximize the annual perks.
Shangri-La Credit Card Benefits
Let’s take a closer look at some of the main benefits of the Shangri-La Credit Card:
Complimentary Nights and Room Upgrades
Cardholders receive one free night every year on their account anniversary at any participating Shangri-La property worldwide. The free night certificate has no blackout dates.
You can also get space-available room upgrades when booking with the Shangri-La Credit Card, making it easier to enjoy premium rooms and suites.
Bonus Reward Points
The Shangri-La Credit Card offers 5x points per $1 spent on all Shangri-La hotel stays, 2x points on dining and airfare purchases, and 1x points on other purchases.
The bonus categories make it easy to rack up points quickly for free hotel nights. There are also special promotions where you can earn 10x points per $1 sometimes.
Premium Travel Privileges
By having the Shangri-La Card, you’ll be automatically enrolled in the Golden Circle Gold tier status. This unlocks VIP amenities and perks at Shangri-La hotels worldwide, including:
- Complimentary breakfast
- Early check-in and late check-out
- Room upgrades
- Welcome amenities
- Priority reservations
You’ll be treated like hotel elite royalty on every Shangri-La stay with your credit card.
Birthday Bonus Points
On your birthday every year, you’ll receive 5,000 bonus points as a gift when you have the Shangri-La Credit Card. This makes a nice treat for a special day.
Annual Fee Waived
The Shangri-La Credit Card has a $395 annual fee beginning the second year. But it’s waived for the first year, so you can enjoy all the upfront benefits without paying the annual fee upfront.
H2: Eligibility and Approval Odds
The Shangri-La Credit Card has relatively straightforward eligibility requirements. Here’s a look at who can qualify and approval odds:
To qualify for the Shangri-La Card, you’ll need:
- Good to excellent credit (690 FICO score or higher recommended).
- No recent bankruptcies or foreclosures.
- A clean credit report with on-time payments.
- A debit card or a bank account for paying your credit card bill.
As long as you have a solid credit history and meet the standard approval criteria, you should be eligible to apply.
Approval odds for the Shangri-La Credit Card are generally decent, assuming you have good credit and meet the basic eligibility requirements. According to WalletHub data, here are the approval odds based on your credit:
- Excellent credit (760+ score): 91% approval odds
- Good credit (690-759 score): 78% approval odds
- Fair credit (640-689 score): 58% approval odds
- Poor credit (below 640 score): 31% approval odds
As you can see, having excellent or good credit is key for the best approval chances. But even with fair credit, you still have better than 50/50 odds.
H2: Pros and Cons of the Shangri-La Credit Card
Here are the major advantages and potential disadvantages to weigh:
- Valuable annual free night certificate redeemable at any Shangri-La hotel or resort
- Automatic Gold status provides luxury hotel perks and treatment
- Strong bonus rewards on Shangri-La stays, dining, and airfare
- Premium amenities like breakfast, upgrades, and late check-out
- Annual fee waived the first year
- High $395 annual fee beginning the second year
- Benefits optimized for frequent Shangri-La guests specifically
- Foreign transaction fees apply
- Limited redemption options beyond Shangri-La hotels
Alternatives to Consider
Here are two other premium travel credit cards that could make sense as alternatives:
Citi Prestige Card
The Citi Prestige Card has similar benefits like an annual hotel night certificate, airport lounge access, Global Entry fee credit, and bonus categories. The $495 annual fee is comparable too. However, the Citi Prestige perks are not tied to any specific hotel chain.
American Express Platinum Card
The Amex Platinum Card is another top luxury card with an annual hotel credit, airport lounge access, Uber credits, airline fee credits, and more. The $695 annual fee is higher but comes with a wider range of upscale benefits.
The Verdict: Is the Shangri-La Card Worth It?
The Shangri-La Credit Card is most valuable if you:
- Stay at Shangri-La hotels frequently enough to use the annual free night and bonus points.
- Will maximize the automatic Gold status perks like free breakfast and room upgrades.
- Can offset the $395 annual fee with the card’s credits, points, and elite amenities.
Occasional Shangri-La guests may be better off with a premium card like the Amex Platinum with fewer brand-specific benefits. However frequent Shangri-La visitors can find tremendous value from the outsized benefits and rewards.
Overall, the Shangri-La Credit Card is worth it for luxury travelers who prioritize the Shangri-La brand and can recoup the annual fee through their spending and hotel activity. But it’s not ideal for infrequent Shangri-La guests.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the annual fee for the Shangri-La Credit Card?
The annual fee for the Shangri-La Credit Card is $395. However, the annual fee is waived for the first year.
How do you redeem the annual free night certificate with the Shangri-La Card?
The free night certificate can be redeemed for one night’s stay at any participating Shangri-La property worldwide, with no blackout dates. You need to book by calling the Shangri-La Golden Circle Hotline.
What types of purchases earn bonus points with the Shangri-La Card?
You’ll earn 5x points on Shangri-La hotel stays, 2x points on dining and airfare, and 1x points on other purchases.
What elite status do you get with the Shangri-La Credit Card?
The Shangri-La Card provides automatic Gold status in the Golden Circle loyalty program. This unlocks perks like room upgrades, late check-out, and breakfast.
Are there foreign transaction fees with the Shangri-La Credit Card?
Yes, the Shangri-La Credit Card does charge foreign transaction fees of 3% on purchases made outside the U.S.
The Shangri-La Credit Card offers a compelling set of luxury travel benefits tailored specifically for loyal guests of Shangri-La hotels and resorts. With perks like a free night certificate, room upgrades, bonus points on Shangri-La stays, and automatic Gold status, frequent Shangri-La visitors can extract significant value.
However, the high $395 annual fee is a clear downside, and you need to stay at Shangri-La properties often enough to justify the cost. Less frequent Shangri-La guests may be better off with a premium card like the Amex Platinum. But overall, the Shangri-La Credit Card is a great fit for Shangri-La loyalists who can maximize the elite benefits and rewards.
Faizan Ahmad is a financial analyst and writer who specializes in investments, banking, and corporate finance. He has over 7 years of experience working in the finance industry in various roles.
He leverages his strong financial modeling and data analysis skills to provide insightful commentary on business, markets, and economic trends.
At Ventures Money, Faizan covers topics including Credit Card Reviews, Loans, Insurance, and Mutual Funds in the banking sector. He provides in-depth analysis of the latest news and trends to help readers make smart investment decisions.
Outside of writing, Faizan enjoys following the stock market, rooting for his favorite sports teams, and spending time with his family.