Chase and Amex hit back at heavy hitters, an accidental SPG outcome, and more


This week kicked off with Chase taking a shot at “churners” by modifying language to exclude those who opened the CSR at debut 2 years ago from earning another Sapphire bonus for the next two years (don’t worry, there’s a way around it). Amex went straight to the pocket book, claiming that they are going to charge the accounts of those they have deemed overused an offer for cash back. We’ve also got tips to make your travel better: from getting into Sky Clubs to getting a cheap massage near the Hyatt Ziva Los Cabos, here is the Frequent Miler week in review:

Which Marriott or SPG card is best?

Have you been wondering which Marriott or SPG card should stay in your wallet? The answer is simple: none of them should stay in your wallet. But you might want a couple in your sock drawer if you can make good use of the annual free night certificates. Since my status finally updated to Platinum Elite yesterday thanks to doing $10K spend on my Ritz card before the merger (I was an existing cardholder for years, so I had to spend to get 50-night Gold status before the merger in order to get 50-night Platinum status after the merger), I am now significantly more interested in the annual free night certificates for the next year than I had been. My question now is this: do I upgrade to the Lux for a 50K free night, and if I do should I also hold my Ritz for its 50K free night to put together a weekend getaway? Or do I opt for three 35K nights next year through the SPG personal and business and an upgrade to the Marriott Premier Plus? See Greg’s post for an analysis of what to do and why.

Ouch: Amex clawing back Amex Offers credits


If you synced the Staples offer for 10% back on multiple business cards back in June, you might be in for a nasty surprise: Amex is notifying cardholders that they will be retroactively clawing back statement credits and charging accounts for those who received more than $100 in total statement credits across their cards. Is that fair? Is it just another warning shot to alert those maximizing the system to back off — or foreshadowing for a larger clawback to come? Time will tell.

Hyatt Ziva Los Cabos: Six things to know

I recently enjoyed a terrific vacation at the Hyatt Ziva Los Cabos. This place exceeded my expectations in terms of how much we would enjoy a beach resort where you can’t go in the ocean, the food, the view, and without a doubt the service. We also picked up a couple of good tips that might help should you be considering this spot in the future — see this post for where you can get a massage for $40/hr and where to do your laundry for less than $5 a load nearby.

Why the SPG Lux upgrade may be the best way to go

Do you have an offer to upgrade your SPG personal card to the Lux and get 100K after $5K in purchases? You might notice that matches the best public offer for signing up as a new cardholder. That’s pretty awesome for an upgrade offer, especially since it won’t affect your 5/24 status. But it gets even better than that — you may come out well ahead by upgrading now depending on when your anniversary will fall. See this post for more on how to maximize this potentially lucrative offer.

The Amex 5 credit card limit stands. And an update regarding my accidental SPG card applications

Greg recently accidentally applied for two new SPG cards (before the Lux came out). Here, he updates us with the latest — both on whether his accident has been repeatable and where he stands on earning the welcome bonuses.

The easy way to add an infant to an award flight (most of the time)

Well, this didn’t necessarily turn out to be quite as easy as I’d initially expected….but in the end, I think this method would work most of the time. If you’re planning to travel domestically (within the US) with a lap infant, you’ll want to check out what should be a painless method — and what might cause you some pain.

Sapphire Reserve and Preferred move to 48 month restrictions, but 24 month links still available

Sapphire Reserve vs Preferred

Youch. Chase has tightened the noose on churning Sapphire cards by moving to a four year restriction on earning the welcome bonuses. This was clearly aimed at stopping those who opened the CSR for 100K from earning the bonus on a Sapphire card again this fall. But there is good news: there are still links available with 24-month language. See this post for how to find them.

How to get into Delta Sky Club lounges

I’ll hand it to Delta: I was at the main JFK Sky Club a couple of weeks ago, and it was probably the best lounge that I’ve seen from one of the major domestic US carriers– though it looked decided less swanky than Greg’s photos of the newly-remodeled DC lounge. The San Francisco lounge didn’t amaze me, though customer service within the lounge was excellent, especially when we ended up with a delay of a couple of hours. The staff were very helpful with our son (who as you can see above, fell in love with Isabel) and with keeping us updated. If you’re looking for how to get access, see this post.

That’s it for this week at Frequent Miler. Check back soon for our week in review around the web and this week’s last chance deals.

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