With great change comes great opportunities. Marriott’s new program means a lot of change, with several good and a few great opportunities…
Before April 19: Consider getting the SPG consumer card if you don’t have it already
Doctor of Credit reports a rumor that the welcome bonus for this card will be changing to $200 after $1K spend. That would be awful compared to the current welcome offer: 25K SPG points after $3K spend (the same links sometimes show up with a 30K offer). And I’ve learned from a source that the offer will be changing on or after April 19th. I don’t know whether the new offer will really be as bad as Doctor of Credit thinks, but it does seem unlikely that the new offer will be better.
Opportunity rating (Meh, Good, Very Good, or Awesome): Very Good. If you haven’t had the SPG card before, the 25K bonus is worth 75K Marriott points, and the 30K bonus is worth 90K Marriott points. That isn’t different than before but we now know that the points aren’t devaluing and we know that this may be the last chance to get a signup bonus for this card.
Before May 3rd: Consider getting the Chase Marriott Rewards Premier card if you don’t have it already.
This card is expected to become unavailable on May 3rd when Chase releases the new Marriott Rewards Premier Plus card, so consider getting this one now if you don’t already have it. Why? For this year only, the card’s 15 elite nights should be stackable with 15 nights from the Chase Marriott Business card plus 5 nights from the SPG personal card plus 5 nights from the SPG business card. You could get 40 nights total towards elite status from holding these cards alone. With 10 more nights spent in either Marriott or SPG properties, you will get Platinum status in August when the programs merge and that status will be good for the rest of 2018, all of 2019, and (probably) through February of 2020. Starting next year, though, credit card elite nights won’t stack anymore. Unfortunately this card is subject to 5/24.
|Chase's 5/24 Rule: With most Chase credit cards, Chase will not approve your application if you have opened 5 or more cards with any bank in the past 24 months.
To determine your 5/24 status, see: 3 Easy Ways to Count Your 5/24 Status. The easiest option is to track all of your cards for free with Travel Freely.
Opportunity rating (Meh, Good, Very Good, or Awesome): Good if you plan to seek elite status or are working towards lifetime status.
Before August: Spend $75K on the SPG consumer card
In August, regular spend on the SPG cards will drop in value by 1/3rd. The new Marriott SPG program in August will result in all existing SPG points tripling, but then the base earning rate for SPG cards will be only 2 Marriott points per dollar instead of the equivalent of 3 today. So spending a lot on SPG cards before August makes sense. Why $75K? In August, a new ultra-premium SPG card will be available: Starwood Preferred Guest American Express Luxury Card. Amex will likely have great upgrade offers for those who want to go from the SPG consumer card to the luxury card. And one of the features of the luxury card is Platinum status with $75K spend. The spend on your consumer card will carry over to the luxury card. This way you’ll get the equivalent of 3X Marriott points per dollar on that $75K spend and you’ll get Platinum status for the rest of 2018, all of 2019, and through Feb 2020 (most likely).
Opportunity rating (Meh, Good, Very Good, or Awesome): Very Good for those who can generate high spend easily. I know that I want to spend as much as possible on my SPG cards before August and if I can secure a year and a half of Platinum status too, I’ll take it.
Before August: Book stays with family and friends at SPG properties
SPG currently lets you earn elite nights for up to 3 rooms at a time. In the new program we’ll earn points for up to three rooms at a time, but only 1 elite night.
Opportunity rating (Meh, Good, Very Good, or Awesome): Meh. If you care about earning status through stays and you often stay with friends or family members in multiple rooms, then this is a big deal. That just seems like too narrow of a population to deserve more than a meh.
Before August: Sign up for the Ritz Carlton Rewards card
Nick detailed this trick yesterday. The current Ritz card offer is for 2 Free Tier 1-4 night stays after $4K spend. We believe that when the Marriott and SPG programs merge in August, those free nights will be usable at any property charging up to 70K points. That just happens to be all properties as long as you book before category 8 is introduced in early 2019.
Opportunity rating (Meh, Good, Very Good, or Awesome): Good. At first I thought that the opportunity sounded awesome, but then I realized that 40K SPG points would get you the same 2 nights anywhere during that same time period (since the points will triple in the new system). Plus, Chase has been shutting down the accounts of some heavy card churners who have been signing up for these cards that are not subject to 5/24. Personally, I’d rather not risk it.
August through Early 2019: Book top tier SPG properties with points
When the programs merge in August, the SPG properties that currently cost 35K Starpoints (105K Marriott) will cost only 60,000 points (20K Starpoints). That’s a huge drop in price! Nick detailed how some properties may see much more extreme bargains as well (See: The huge wins in yesterday’s Marriott announcement). In early 2019 an 8th category will be added to the new program’s award chart and peak and off-peak pricing will be added as well. At that point, many of those same properties will cost 70K (off peak), 85K (standard), or 100K (peak). All of those prices are still lower than today, but if you can lock in the August to early 2019 prices you’ll be ahead. Note that it is fine to book at the lowest prices for later stays.
Opportunity rating (Meh, Good, Very Good, or Awesome): Awesome. Some amazing properties that were previously out of reach due to their extremely high award prices will suddenly be more accessible.
Since the big announcement on Monday, my head has been swimming with ideas. I’m sure I’ve forgotten to list some here. And I’m sure that readers have thought of their own, even better opportunities. What have you dreamt up? Comment below.
Im trying to see if its better to book a rewards hotel stay for the end of September with SPG points now, or wait till August 1. Currently it will cost 60k SPG points, wondering if my points will multiply x3 and the hotel gets devalued per night.
If you have enough points, then book it now. In August, if the award price drops you can call and reprice it at the new award price.
The Ritz-Carlton Rewards Card currently comes with Marriott Gold Membership after $10,000 annuual spend. I wonder if this card’s benefit would become Platinum(50) membership in the new program, since Marriott Gold members become Platinum(50) members in August . No one has written about this.
very good point….it hasn’t been covered by any one.
You’ll have Platinum status. That’s covered in our complete guide to the transition:
Awesome. Thank you.
I had been trying to get SPG Gold by spending 30K on my SPG Amex, hoping this would convert to Marriott Platinum come August. From what I’m hearing now though, it sounds like SPG Gold earned through spending on the SPG Amex will only convert to Marriott Gold in August. Is this your understanding?
If the above is correct, it seems like signing up for the Ritz card before August is my best bet to get Marriott Platinum in August, and should give me Platinum through early 2020. Being that you get auto Gold status in year 1, if I sign up for this card before August 1, I should get Platinum as of August 1, correct? Couple this with the ability to use my free nights at any hotel booked after August 1 through the end of 2018, this seems like an awesome way to go. What am I missing?
You’re not missing anything. That’s correct.
Hi Greg – did Chase already remove the 15 elite night credit for the Marriott Rewards Premier Business credit card? When I go to the Offer Details for the Marriott Business card on the Chase page there is no reference to the 15 elite nights. The Offer Details for the Marriott Rewards Premier personal card still has the reference to “15 Elite Night Credits Annually.” Thoughts? Already removed for Business card?
It is strange that they don’t list the 15 elite nights anymore, but I believe you still get them.
Do you know if there will be a way to get plat status on any business card spend? If not would you recommend picking up the personal and using it solely for business spend?
I’m guessing that Marriott will come out with a high end biz card that will allow earning Platinum through spend. For now, though, spending with the personal SPG card makes sense.
in which post do u talk about hitting status strategy before the AUG 1 and Jan 1 cut-over? i thot it would be clearly spelled out in “Marriott Platinum Premier 75. Should I go for it?”, but it really focuses on your personal situation. which is fine, but where do you talk about the overall strategy for various situations? meaning, lets talk about qualifying for 2019/2020 status under current rules and what will happen after the cut-over.
for example, someone who has already qualified for SPG plat for all 2018/2019 until 2020 based on 25 stays. same for SPG golds. what do we need to do before Aug 1st if anything and what about before Jan 1st 2019? SPG plat should get Marriott PP until 2020.
furthermore, the new program eliminates stay-based elite qualification and has min spend for 100 night Ambassador status. so it looks like we have to gun it for the SPG status before Aug 1st right? all SPG Plats get Marriott PP right? but until when? until 2020 if we are SPG Plat by Aug1st?? and i would think people want to qualify for Ambassador status without meeting the $20,000 minimum spend requirement. so all your 40 EQN via CC may be good but for those that dont have the cards, theres a different strategy too. thats key for many i would think.
also you have a few posts on the merger announcement, but there should be one big MASTER THREAD POST to summarize all the various posts so your fans have one place to reference. that would be a huge help for us or maybe im just talking for myself.
I know that you saw the new guide, but just to follow-up here: https://frequentmiler.com/marriott-spg-ritz-transition-guide/
(I’ve added a list of all posts to that guide too)
Looks like SPG & Marriott Card will require $35,000 points in 2019 to keep Gold Elite. What about getting the Ritz Carlton card now? Only requires $10,000 per year for Gold status. Would that Status give me Marriott Gold Elite in 2019 as well?
I don’t know. Marriott hasn’t gotten back to me regarding my Ritz card questions.
Wouldn’t it also make sense to get the Marriott Rewards Premier Business Credit Card right now, especially because the business card is not subject to 5/24?
[…] a lot about different options for earning high level elite status (see this post for ideas: Marriott SPG Windows of Opportunity). The new program has three levels of meaningful elite status: Platinum 50* (requires 50 nights […]
If I apply for and obtain the Chase Marriott business card, will I receive the 15 nights credit right away (before August), or not until the card anniversary, which would be too late? I tried to read the T&C, but wasn’t clear on it–sorry. Thanks for your help!
I don’t know how soon the nights will post but you will get them this year so it will count even if they post after August
I have Marriott Gold through SPG Gold. If I apply for both the Chase Marriott personal and business cards, will the 30 Elite nights (15 from each Marriott card) fulfill the 25 additional nights needed to bump me to Platinum Elite in the new Marriott program?
I have a similar q, Greg. If my gold status is from cc and not dtays, can I get the platinum challenge (and stay the nights for that, of course)? Thanks so much for all this great info!
Yes, you can qualify for the platinum challenge regardless of how you got Marriott Gold status
No, simply having SPG Gold doesn’t give you any nights towards the next level of status.
Each year, I generally book a few spg properties with the excess points in my SPG account. This is usually at properties that will likely sell out at the time I’m considering to stay there, or at hotels that are rising in point cost. Once in a while, I make use of my speculative reservation. More often than not, I cancel the reservation before the cancellation deadline and the points fall back in to my account, with no harm done. I currently have a few of these reservations. Am I right in my assumption that if I cancel before August, the points refunded due to the cancellation will convert to Marriott points at 1 —> 3. However, I suppose if I cancel after August 1, the points will automatically convert to Marriott points at 1–> 2. I don’t recall this issue being discussed. What do you think?
I would fully expect to get the 1->3 conversion as you paid in Starpoints, which are worth 3 Marriott points.
There is no 1->2 “conversion”. The SPG credit card is just going to start earning 2 Marriott points per dollar instead of 1 Starpoint and your existing Starpoints balance will convert to Marriott Rewards at a rate of 1 SPG to 3 Marriott.
I hope Marriott gets this right, anyway. I’m sure there will be a lot of people in the same boat.
FrequentMiler says: “This card is expected to become unavailable on May 3rd when Chase releases the new Marriott Rewards Premier Plus card, so consider getting this one now if you don’t already have it. Why? For this year only, the card’s 15 elite nights should be stackable with 15 nights from the Chase Marriott Business card plus 5 nights from the SPG personal card plus 5 nights from the SPG business card. You could get 40 nights total towards elite status from holding these cards alone. ”
That’s not what I’m seeing, but it was what I was hoping. I have both personal and both biz cards (MR and SPG). My SPG profile reflects the posting from both the personal and biz, but my MR summary shows only 1 posting of the 15 nights. Now, I just recently got the biz card and I’m not sure what the anniversary date is for my personal (don’t weight my wallet down with that one for every day spend).
1. You sure on this one?
2. When to the MR Visa nights post? Jan 1 (like SPG AMEX) or the earlier of (a) anniversary date of the card or (b) the approval date for the card if it is a new issue?
My 30 elite nights took quite a while to show up this year (I’ve never paid attention to it in the past). Finally 15 days posted in March and then another 15 in April. I had applied for both cards in March a couple years ago, but the Biz card took much longer to get approved and to arrive. So, I think my cards have different anniversary dates and I think that the elite nights are tied to anniversary date.
Thanks Greg. I don’t see a way to tell when the nights post. On the SPG site, I see them hit but MR doesn’t show anything more than just a YTD number / lifetime number…no attribution as to source or date. I’m thinking my anniversary date is July so hopefully I’ll see them hit then. Having 40 stays toward annual status is huge! Glad I made the decision to get the biz version and jump through all of the hoops I had to in order to get it two months ago.
Looks like not only did the sign-up bonus for the SPG personal card go down today, but they also removed the 5 nights/2 stay credit. If I was approved last night, will I still get the 5 nights credit for this year? Hoping to stack with my Marriott cc 15 nights for an easy route to Platinum…
Don’t worry, even the new terms show the 5 nights / 2 stay credit for this year as long as you get the card before August 1. Specifically the terms state:
Credit For 5 Nights And 2 Stays
For accounts opened on or after August 1, 2018
This benefit is not available for Card accounts opened on or after August 1, 2018.
Thank you so much! That’s what I thought, but I couldn’t find it on the website.
Please help, I cannot figure the answer out.
If I qualify for SPG gold prior to 8/1 by way of 6 stays plus 4 nights from SPG AmEx cards. Will my new status in August be Gold or Platinum?
How long will it last for if known?
Thanks so much if anyone can answer this…
If you don’t link your SPG and Marriott accounts, then your status will be Gold. If you link your accounts before August, then you’ll have Marriott Gold and that way you’ll have new Marriott Platinum in August. You’ll be Platinum only until end of Feb 2019 then will revert to Gold.
How confident are you that we would get an upgrade offer from Amex? Also, how long would the platinum status be valid for?
It seems very likely, but I can’t promise anything
[…] Frequent Milier is reporting that this card will no longer be available on May 3rd. It currently has a sign up bonus of: […]
Thanks Greg for the great post! Always! You did answer quite a lot questions……
Greg – I have 36 Marriott nights this year (30 of them from the 2 Marriott CC’s) and 9 SPG (5 from the SPG Bix Amex). if I get 5 more nights before August and have 50 total, will that get me Platinum through 2019? If so, great! Thanks
Yes you will. In fact, I don’t think you need to get those extra nights by August. As long as you get them this year you’ll be good to go through 2019 and into Feb 2020
Thanks – tempting to go for 75 then 🙂
[…] Frequent Miler has been told the current deal will end tonight. That also lines up with when the Canadian bonus […]
I was wondering what the Marriott chart will be for the travel packages after the August 1st transition? I was going to use my points to book a stay in Maui and get as many miles as I can from a yet to be determined airline. Now, I’m thinking about aiming higher if I can stay at almost any property for 60k marriott points per night with 5th night free. Any thoughts as to which way will give the better value?
I think that the opportunities for relatively cheap top tier award nights, especially with 5th night free, are going to be so good that I wouldn’t recommend doing the travel package at this time if it would mean not having enough points left for a top tier property
I plan on waiting as long as possible to see what the new(interim) award chart will be for the travel packages. Hopefully Marriott will let us know before August 1st because I want to be ready to book on that date. I was thinking about the Ritz-Carlton on Maui but maybe I can aim higher.
Greg, thanks so much for your specific advice. Question: Does the new “free night award chart” apply to all suite resorts like Bora Bora?
That’s the million dollar question. We were explicitly told that those properties will have standard room types and will be placed on the standard award chart. And we got follow-up confirmation of that. Meanwhile, two other bloggers we’re told the opposite!
Curious, do you think you could you concievably get the new Amex Lux sign up bonus THEN upgrade your SPG consumer card with the 75K spend to Lux to get the plat status? Or are you pretty much forgoing that new card sign up bonus to earn status (and just hoping amex offers a compelling upgrade bonus)? Debating the costs/benefits of persuing this option. Thanks!
Yeah I think that would work as long as you have room for another Amex credit card (Amex limits you to 5 credit cards and any number of charge cards)
Will the new program charge resort fees on award booking I wonder?
I don’t remember seeing any info about that one way or another. Good question!
I can’t imagine resorts giving in on these fees. Good question though.
Any word on if the 5th night free with SPG will be going away through all these changes or if it will be carried over in some capacity?
Both programs currently offer 5th night free, and yes it will continue as is.
I currently have booked an SPG stay for late August for 140k SPG points (5 nights at 35k + fifth night free). It sounds like, as of August 1, that same redemption will cost 80k SPG points. Can I call Marriott in early August and have them credit me the 60k SPG (180k Marriott) point difference?
Yes that’s what I would do. That should work if the system lets them reprice it in-place. Otherwise they may have to cancel and rebook you.
Any word on if we will be able to transfer points freely between household members – as could be done with SPG – or will we have to pay a fee like with Marriott? This could be something to take advantage of before August…
We were told that it would be free, but didn’t get any other details. It will be interesting to see which way they go because each program is generous in a different way. SPG transfers to household members are free and unlimited. Marriott charges a small fee unless you have Gold status or above then its free, and Marriott lets you transfer to anyone in the world, but they cap it at 100K per year.
So as long as I’m SPG gold by August I’ll get Platinum in the new program for 2018/2019?
It somewhat depends on how you earned SPG Gold. If you earn it this year with nights & stays before August and you have your account linked to your Marriott account, then yes you should have Platinum in the new program for the rest of 2018 and all of 2019. If you got Gold from holding a credit card then I think your Platinum will only last through Feb 2019
I would have 10 stays by August – 8 stays plus 2 stay credits from SPG card. Do I need to get all 10 stays without card credits?
That’s fine. That should work.
What is your opinion on the SPG Business card. Any sense if the Bonus will go away or not.
It’s going to stick around. I’d recommend waiting until the 35K offer comes back or (in August) we might see 100K (which would be equivalent to 33.3K today)
Doctor of Credit seems to indicate that the bonus on the SPG business card is changing to $200 statement credit as well (instead of current 25K offer)? https://www.doctorofcredit.com/should-you-sign-up-for-the-american-express-spg-cards-now/
And he was right. I’m still hoping that a better offer will come along for the SPG biz card, but I don’t expect to see anything better for the consumer card.
Do award nights count toward the Platinum Status challenge through Marriott? How about the 7 night “flights and nights” certificate? Do you think that’ll count toward the status challenge as well?
I believe that the challenge still requires paid nights
I am short of 4 stays for platinum challenge. I have till July 31st. Where is best place to go for cheap stays? I can fly anywhere for free on United Airlines stand by
Just to confirm, come August you won’t be able to stack nights from the Marriott personal + business cards anymore? I already got my 15 business nights in Feb but my 15 personal nights won’t come until Nov – will that still stack?
I believe they will stack through the end of this year. Starting in 2019 they won’t stack.
EDIT: I’m not 100% sure that your new elite credits after August will stack, but it’s my best guess
I think they will have to as the 15 elite nights are a function of the old card upon your anniversary.
As the new cards will not have their anniversary until some time in 2019, they are unaffected by same, and the new stipulation that only 1 credit card provides you with 15 nights maximum, I believe it has been stated is operative in 2019, not 2018.
Also, remember that those who are doing a Platinum challenge might be upgraded to Platinum 50 or Platinum 75, but unless they complete the 50 or 75 night requirements, they won’t be getting the respective Suite Night Awards allocated to each level, respectively.
Greg – Do you know if status earned by spending $75k on Ritz or the new Luxury card will come with the Suite Night Awards or will earning those actually require the requisite number of nights?
I’m not sure. I’ve seen conflicting information about that. I’ll try to get a final answer
From my perspective the spend $75,000 on the SPG personal Amex and the combine status night credits on the SPG personal/business/Marriott personal/business are an either or sort of thing bc both are going towards platinum (ie you wouldn’t want to do both).
However, the 4 card get 40 nights towards status (5 each for spg personal and 5 spg business, 15 marriott personal, 15 marriott business) do allow you the option of getting platinum premier at 75 nights with “only” 35 nights stayed or platinum with 10 nights stayed, while SPG personal $75,000 spend only gets you platinum. Additionally if you convert to the SPG premium card you loose the ability to get the once in a lifetime signup SPG luxury bonus.
Lastly, both the Marriott personal and business cards get 1 night credit for every $3000 spend in addition to the 15 nights for having the card. If you opened both NOW or this year earlier (I already got the Marriott business for my wife last month), and meet the minimum spend you will receive and additional night credit per card. Thus someone who has both spg cards now could say open a marriott personal and business before May3rd, and after meeting the minimum spend end up with 42 nights towards status once the programs combine in August. They also should have the option to add additional nights with each $3000 spend on the Marriott cards.
Greg, can you comment on whether the one status night per $3000 spend will continue past January 2019 on these legacy Marriott cards to be able to get over 15 nights going forward? I have not seen this confirmed anywhere, and seems important in the calculus of keeping a spg vs marriott legacy card going forward since they will apparently be very similar.
Great analysis, thanks!
No, I don’t know what will happen past this year with the ability to earn elite nights with spend on the legacy Marriott cards.
I also got a status night for my birthday as some sort of automated process.
I just took a look at the SPG card link on the site and didn’t see the lifetime language. Did I just miss it? I may pull the plug anyway, but that would seal the deal. Thanks.
I checked once you said that and I saw the lifetime language on the clicked terms of offer small print.
You missed it. As RabbMD said, click “Offer & Benefit Terms” and you’ll see this at the top:
Welcome bonus offer not available to applicants who have or have had this product.
If I’ve applied for two Amex credit cards (SPG Business and BBP) in the past couple months, is it worth even trying to apply for the SPG Consumer before tomorrow, or will I be automatically rejected?
Amex sometimes restricts people to 2 credit card signups per 90 days but it won’t hurt to try. If they reject you they won’t do a hard pull
Was denied instantly! Oh well. Hopefully the bonus offer is still compelling enough when my 90 days are up.
Greg – separate question – would you recommend using Freedom Unlimited with Reserve (effective 2.25% through UR travel) for everyday spend, or the Amex Blue Business Plus (2%)?
Both options are very good. You should look at the transfer partners to decide which you think you’ll really use. Or if you prefer to pay with points for stuff at 1.5 cents per point value, Chase is the way to go
If you drop out of the 2/90 window before your application expires, you can recon it and still get the bonus. (30/60 days from app date?)
@Redbluefire When does an application expire? I applied yesterday while the 25k offer was still around and immediately was denied. My 2/90 drops off June 8.
Really surprised none of the bloggers have picked up on this major downgrade (to my knowledge).
Anyone who obtained the Ritz Carlton card for the purpose of obtaining Marriott Platinum/SPG Platinum/United Silver/Delta Crossover Rewards (going away) should try and finish up their $75K spending. As you noted in your Q&A session with Marriott, at least for now, Marriott Platinum obtained through the Ritz Carlton card will give you Platinum Premier (I assume to January 2020). Marriott has already said (interview with a different blogger) that they expect the Ritz Carlton card to offer in the future the same or comparable benefits to the new $450 AMEX card. Would be shocked if Marriott will continue to let $75K of spending on the Ritz Carlton card give you Platinum Premier while the same spending on the new AMEX card gives you just Platinum. This is a major downgrade to the program, since it going forward you won’t be able to get Platinum Premier (i.e., the existing Platinum) through just credit card spend alone.
Unfortunately, I am about a year away from Marriott Lifetime Platinum under the old program, so no chance to get grandfathered Platinum Premier status in the new program. So I’d like my old Platinum/new Platinum Premier status to last as long as possible.
I can’t speak for bloggers in general, but in our case we have a million things to write about and only so much time. I thought about adding the idea of spending $75K on Ritz card before August to this post, but I’m waiting for clarification from Marriott about it so I didn’t want to lead people astray in case the assumptions are wrong.
Totally understand there is so much information to digest. Hope I’m wrong, but I think Marriott will be removing the only way to get to “Platinum 75” through credit card spend alone. That is a biggie. Looking forward to your report when you hear back from Marriott.
I think you’re right.
Are we sure the CC nights will stack that way? Because if so having Marriott Plat while tapping the SPG aspirational properties is a really good idea.
Edit: Even for those of us who have churned one or both of the SPG cards reapplying for 5 nights would be a really cheap way to get them.
I’m not 100% sure, but Marriott has been pretty clear that the number of nights you have in each program will combine in August so I’d be very surprised if it didn’t work
I hope so! I just applied for the Marriott Biz
How about getting Chase Marriott Rewards Premier business card?
Yes do that. I should have listed it. I just don’t know when it will stop being available.
thank you very much. I don’t have the Ritz Carlton Rewards card either.. So which card is better to open now???
That could be a long discussion.
Some Marriott Biz card advantages:
-It won’t add to your 5/24 status, but the Ritz card will.
-It will give you 15 nights elite credit
-The signup bonus is for points which don’t expire as long as there’s activity in your account every 2 years (I think)
More about the Marriott biz card here: https://frequentmiler.com/mrbiz/
Ritz card advantages:
-2 free nights could be much more valuable than the other card’s 70K point signup bonus
-Instant Gold status which will map to Platinum status in August
-Ability to spend to Platinum status if you can spend $75K well before August and that will map you to Platinum Premier status
-Various other high end card benefits you can see here: https://frequentmiler.com/ritz/
Can you explain what you mean by the Ritz instead gold will “map” to platinum status in August?
In August when the programs merge, there will be new status levels. At that time Marriott/Ritz Gold status will become New Program Platinum status (with similar benefits as Marriott/Ritz Gold)
I just closed my Marriott Business card. Should I reopen it? I focus on collecting points for airlines, but use them for hotels occasionally.
The advantage of opening the Marriott Business card now is to get the signup bonus before its too late and/or to get 15 nights elite credit and/or to get a free night certificate each year for hotels up to 25K points. Only reopen your card if the latter two reasons are important to you (you won’t get a new signup bonus)
Do we have any info on how points will/can be used for better rooms or suites? Or what the cash & points rates might be?I know that was a feature of both programs prior to the merger, I’m curious as to how they’ll work after August.
We know that both options will be available in the new program, but we don’t yet know the details.
I closed my Marriott Personal card in January 2018 as I didn’t want to pay the annual fee. Can I ask Chase to reopen the card without being noticed for manual check? If Chase does this, will I receive the 15 elite nights. I don’t want chase to shut my account. Then I will be able to make the 15 nights before august 1.
I don’t know whether Chase would re-open a card that has been closed more than 30 days, but it can’t hurt to ask. Worst case is that they’ll tell you that you have to reapply. I think that the Marriott cards assign the free nights on your card anniversary date so if they do reopen the card, it will depend on the anniversary date as to when you’ll see the elite nights but it should still work
So the 75k spend will earn you Platinum (not Platinum Premier) so no United Premier Silver status, right? It seems like regular Platinum really doesn’t offer that much more the Gold.
Right, but regular Platinum gives you free breakfast and lounge access. I think that’s pretty good.
Gotcha, those aren’t benefits of Marriott Gold any longer. Thx
I have no hotel loyalty. I only collect SPG points for airline transfers. With that said, is the AmEx Business card worth keeping? I did enjoy the occassional lounge access to Sheraton, but other than that, is it worth keeping anymore, considering the earning rate is going to be 33% less? Why is no one talking about that in great detail? Looking at you FM and Nick.
Haha, I did point this out as the biggest “con” (as in pros and cons) in the new program. We plan to do a post about best alternatives for earning airline miles from spend. A couple obvious great options are: Blue Business Plus (2X everywhere MR, up to $50K per year), or Freedom Unlimited (1.5X unlimited) paired with a premium chase card for transfers to airlines.
Thank you for the quick reply, FM. The problem with AmEx MR points is that their list of airlines is not as robust as SPG. This 33% decline in the earning rate should be a huge negative that outweighs most of the pros. Am I the only person seeing that?
Are the new Marriott cards affected the same way? Will I earn 1 mile per $1? I just cancelled my Marriott Business card.
No, you’re not the only one seeing this. If your whole interest in SPG is acquire points through credit card spend and then transfer to airlines, then you’re absolutely right: the program is dead to you as of August. For those who earn points through stays and spend points for stays, there’s a lot to like in the new program.
I’m in the same boat as Maria above. I put quite a bit of spend on the SPG card for the purposes of transfers to JL (similar award chart from USA to Asia as NH but allow you to book one-ways for half the price so it was possible to get premium seats during peak periods with some advance planning). Since JL is not a transfer partner of Chase or Amex, this is devastating to me. (I actually only redeemed SPG points for a hotel stay once in about 3.5 years.)
You might be one of the people that the Barclays Arrival Premier is perfect for. See: https://frequentmiler.com/bcaprem/
This might be a great opportunity for Amex, Chase or Citi to court JAL and get them on their platform. Not sure how successful the Barclays card has been, but my sense is not a lot.
As Greg notes, the Arrival Premier earns more JAL miles per dollar than the SPG card unless you spend more than $200,000 per year (though it comes at a cost of a higher annual fee — $150 vs $95). See:
Can you explain why it is dead if I only transfer SPG points to airline miles? It does not involve converting from SPG points to Marriott points so the transfer ratio from 1:3 to 1:2 should not matter.
The SPG card will go from earning 1.25 miles per dollar (spend $20K, get 25K miles) to less than 1 mile per dollar (spend $30K, get 25K miles). So if that was your only reason to spend with the SPG card, you won’t have a good reason to do so starting in August. Until then, spend away!
They absolutely botched up the launch of Barclays Premier card. I was hoping it would fill the gap by offering 1:1 transfer to airlines that Amex and Chase do not.
Or, a combo of Blue Plus and EDP.
Greg- Quick question- I have Platinum status through Ritz Carlton spend that I did once on $75K spend 3 years ago. They continued to give me Platinum Status each year. For example I started in 2015 with the $75K spend which originally was good for 2015 and 2016 and through Feb 2017. It continued Platinum status in 2017 and again in 2018 with no spend at all. Not sure what triggered this. Any suggestions on whether I should go ahead and spend $75K before August 1st to lock in Platinum possibly for through Feb 2020?
I hope this makes sense. Thanks for your opinion.
I haven’t been able to get answers about the Ritz card yet. My guess is that if you do nothing you’ll be matched to Platinum Premier, but only through Feb 2019. If you want to ensure keeping Platinum Premier for a long time, then spending $75K before August is a good idea. After August I’m not sure if it will give you Platinum or Platinum Premier with that spend.
Greg- Thank you! Please let me know if you receive any clarifications from Marriott on the Ritz Carlton card and spending before August 1st.
Opportunity: Marriott platinum challenge should yield platinum premier status though January 2020.
Yep, good one. I think I’ll do a whole post on that option.
Luckily, the Marriott challenge seemed easier than the SPG challenge, so that’s the one I chose and completed in March.
Think the challenge needs to be completed by July 31 (aka before the new program begins) to receice Plat P?
That would be a safe way to go. Not sure what will happen if you complete it later
that’s a lot of things to do! great list – nice post!
Should i spend 60k marriott points to increase my 7 night travel package to a CAT 7 from (1-5) before August or after? Or will it matter? please help
It’s unclear how they’re going to map the travel packages to the new program. My guess is that it won’t matter much either way. In other words, I’m guessing that if you upgrade now vs later you may save 10K to 15K if you happen to pick which way will be best, but for a 7 night stay that’s hardly worth worrying about. Personally I’m going to wait to see what they do with the existing certs before making any decisions about my cat 1-5 7 night stay cert
If we have points, do you recommend buying travel package before August? If so, cat1-5 or which one?
Only if you need the miles now. I don’t think there will be much advantage to getting a package now vs in August
If I am signing up the old Chase Marriott Rewards Premier by 5/3, and sign up the AMEX SPG Lux in August this year, theoretically, will I receive 30 nights credit for the year of 2018?
No, the new cards like the SPG lux don’t offer elite credits until 2019
I see an offer of Chase Marriott Rewards Premier gives 200 USD and 2 Cat 5 (old chart) award, 7500 Authorized user and 0 AF, do you think this offer is better than the 75000 points and 0 AF one? What do you think the 2 Cat-5 vouchers would be valid for under the new chart?
2 Cat 5 certs should be worth two 25K points awards in the new system. Personally I’d much prefer 75K points
Can you ms on the spg card? I know Amex has been ending points on cash equivalents on some other cards, not sure if it has hit spg?
I haven’t heard of people not getting their points, but there’s always some risk of the RAT team coming after you if do extreme ms
Good info but Meh, I’ve had all the cards and over 5/24, and have zero hotel loyalty. For someone like me it’s great that a bunch of “new product” is coming online.
I would imagine Amex will consider these all new cards and not lump them with any past versions of SPG card for the purposes of welcome bonuses?
The only new card that’s been announced so far in the Amex lineup is the SPG luxury card. I’m sure that will be considered new (just as the Hilton Aspire card is a new product, but the Hilton Ascend is not)
The other ones seem new as well, but maybe it was just the reduced earning that’s different. We’ll see how they handle it. Either way I’m ineligible for the bonuses 🙂 I’ve had them all thrice so far.
The other ones will be considered the same product with changes to earning rate, ability to spend for free night, # of elite nights, etc.
When you mention $75k spend on the SPG Amex Personal, it’s the same idea with SPG Amex Business, right? I don’t have the personal (had it in the past) but I do have the Business SPG amex.
I don’t think so. The new premium card is a personal card so you wouldn’t be able to convert and retain history from the SPG business to the SPG luxury card.
Exactly what Brian said. Spending on the business card still makes sense for the 3X value through end of July, but you don’t get the double dip with status
So it’s not a big deal using the SPG Business instead of the Personal for spend, right?
You’ll only have plat to the end of the year or through Feb 2019, but after that you’ll be gold again.
But will that count towards lifetime platinum if we spend the $75k on the luxury card?
It will help with the “years Platinum” part of the requirement, but won’t help with the number of nights
Greg, one last question: I have 4 suite nights left from SPG and good until December 31, 2018. After August 1, 2018 what will happen to them if I have not used them yet? Is it like the Marriott free night whereby I have to book it before August 1 and use anytime afterwards? Many thanks.
I’d guess that after August 1 you can use them at Marriott hotels too as long as it’s before the expiry.
I haven’t seen it asked/answered anywhere (maybe it is just obvious to everyone else?) – has anyone confirmed whether award nights and free certificate nights will count toward elite status in the new program?
Yes they’ll still count
One more thing.. everyone should try to do Marriott challenges this year.
Good one. Especially to go from Gold to Plat
Just registered. If I book and pay for a senior rate using my account, will this count as a stay? Do I need to call Marriott ahead of time to add my friend’s name on reservation or just show up at European hotel and have him show his ID?
Definitely add your friend if you’re booking for someone else. How is the hotel supposed to know the guy at the front desk is supposed to stay in the room under your name otherwise?
my senior friend will be in the same room as me. Will this count as a stay for the Marriot challenge?
Yes senior rates, AAA, etc. count as valid stays
Question regarding spending on SPG card. We should spend until August 1…or until the closing date of our card BEFORE August 1? Because if my card statement close July 5…whatever I spend after that date will post on the statement closing August 5…
Your closing date shouldn’t matter. Spend by end of July