Marriott SPG Windows of Opportunity

Mystique, a Luxury Collection SPG Category 7 hotel in Santorini, Greece that currently starts at 60K Starpoints per night (180K Marriott points)

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. Some exceptions that are NOT subject to the 5/24 rule include: British Airways, Hyatt, IHG, Iberia, Aer Lingus, Marriott Business, and Ritz Carlton.

To determine your 5/24 status, see: 3 Easy Ways to Count Your 5/24 Status.

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.

Reader Suggestions

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.

About Greg The Frequent Miler

Greg is the owner, founder, and primary author of the Frequent Miler. He earns millions of points and miles each year, mostly without flying, and dedicates this blog to teaching others how to do the same.

More articles by Greg The Frequent Miler »

167
Leave a Reply

avatar
53 Comment threads
114 Thread replies
33 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
70 Comment authors
Greg The Frequent MilerAndyCRichKNick ReyesBo knows Recent comment authors

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

  Subscribe  
Notify of
MarkG
Guest
MarkG

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…

Jonathan K
Guest
Jonathan K

Greg
One more thing.. everyone should try to do Marriott challenges this year.

Baqa
Guest
Baqa

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?

Dan
Guest
Dan

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.

Brian H.
Guest
Brian H.

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.

atxtravel
Guest
atxtravel

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?

Kate
Guest
Kate

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?

al K
Guest
al K

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?

James bacon
Guest
James bacon

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

Jl100
Guest
Jl100

that’s a lot of things to do! great list – nice post!

David
Guest
David

Opportunity: Marriott platinum challenge should yield platinum premier status though January 2020.

Brooke
Guest
Brooke

Think the challenge needs to be completed by July 31 (aka before the new program begins) to receice Plat P?

sam
Guest
sam

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.

Maria
Guest
Maria

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.

Ramzi
Guest
Ramzi

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.

jan
Guest
jan

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.

JWHPN
Guest
JWHPN

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.

Ianf
Guest
Ianf

How about getting Chase Marriott Rewards Premier business card?

Blue
Guest
Blue

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.

DSK
Guest
DSK

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.

sam
Guest
sam

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?

Eddy
Guest
Eddy

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.

RabbMD
Guest
RabbMD

I checked once you said that and I saw the lifetime language on the clicked terms of offer small print.

RabbMD
Guest
RabbMD

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.

Blue
Guest
Blue

I also got a status night for my birthday as some sort of automated process.

EJV
Guest
EJV

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?

Nick
Guest
Nick

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?

jan
Guest
jan

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

Ben
Guest
Ben

Hey Greg,

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?

Joe
Guest
Joe

Greg,
What is your opinion on the SPG Business card. Any sense if the Bonus will go away or not.
Thanks,
Joe

Andrew
Guest
Andrew

So as long as I’m SPG gold by August I’ll get Platinum in the new program for 2018/2019?

flybyFIRE
Guest
flybyFIRE

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…

Rick
Guest
Rick

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?

Brent
Guest
Brent

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?

P-jump
Guest
P-jump

Will the new program charge resort fees on award booking I wonder?

SDO
Guest
SDO

I can’t imagine resorts giving in on these fees. Good question though.

Brooke
Guest
Brooke

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!

5150d
Guest
5150d

Greg, thanks so much for your specific advice. Question: Does the new “free night award chart” apply to all suite resorts like Bora Bora?

Buddy M.
Guest
Buddy M.

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?

trackback

[…] Frequent Miler has been told the current deal will end tonight. That also lines up with when the Canadian bonus […]

Paul
Guest
Paul

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

Ozzi
Guest
Ozzi

Thanks Greg for the great post! Always! You did answer quite a lot questions……

trackback

[…] Frequent Milier is reporting that this card will no longer be available on May 3rd. It currently has a sign up bonus of: […]

jediwho
Guest
jediwho

How confident are you that we would get an upgrade offer from Amex? Also, how long would the platinum status be valid for?

Michael
Guest
Michael

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…

flybyFIRE
Guest
flybyFIRE

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…

mdtravel
Guest
mdtravel

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?

Larry D.
Guest
Larry D.

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?

Nick Reyes
Editor

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.

Lisa W
Guest
Lisa W

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?

Mbh
Guest
Mbh

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!

Michelle
Guest
Michelle

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!

trackback

[…] 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 […]

Steven S
Guest
Steven S

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?

Rick R
Guest
Rick R

Greg
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?

NinjaX
Guest
NinjaX

hey greg/nick.

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.

Aaron
Guest
Aaron

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?

RichK
Guest
RichK

Hey Greg.

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?

Thanks.

Seafan
Guest
Seafan

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.

Bo knows
Guest
Bo knows

very good point….it hasn’t been covered by any one.

Nick Reyes
Editor

You’ll have Platinum status. That’s covered in our complete guide to the transition:

https://frequentmiler.boardingarea.com/marriott-spg-ritz-transition-guide/#elite

RichK
Guest
RichK

Awesome. Thank you.

AndyC
Guest
AndyC

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.