New Marriott / SPG card restrictions

As has been rumored for a while, View from the Wing has confirmed new restrictions coming on the Marriott and Starwood credit cards. In a nutshell (more details to follow), those who have opened new Marriott, SPG, or Ritz credit cards in the last 2 years or who had one within the 30 days prior to applying will not be eligible for most new Marriott/SPG welcome offers. This is going to effectively lock most of us out from these bonuses for the next couple of years and make it difficult if not impossible to stack together multiple cards for multiple annual free night awards in the future.

Gary Leff has screen shots of the official chart guidelines from Chase. Here I’m quoting his summaries in bold italics with my reactions in blue. See his post for his full analysis and the official charts.

Amex SPG rules

To be eligible for a new ‘Luxury Card’ initial bonus you cannot be a current Ritz-Carlton cardmember (or have had that card in the last 30 days), have signed up for a new Chase-issued Marriott card in the last 90 days, or received an initial bonus or upgrade offer for a Chase-issued Marriott card in the past 24 months.

My reaction: This hurts those who hurried to sign up for the Ritz card before it died, though I still think opening the Ritz card now was a better value play for those who would not have otherwise qualified for status with Marriott based on this year’s activity. I’m more surprised that those who received an upgrade offer in the past 24 months are excluded. That seems kind of harsh after pushing those upgrades as hard as Chase has. It certainly changes the calculus moving forward for those who have not upgraded and were considering it.

To be eligible for a new Starwood Amex card initial bonus (the personal card that will be available only until the programs rebrand next year), you cannot have (or have had in the last 30 days) a Chase-issued Marriott.

This effectively means that in the future, you will not be able to stack multiple free nights by opening all of the various cards. However, those who currently have multiple versions of the various cards (Starwood consumer, Starwood business, Marriott Premier Plus personal, Marriott business) will get a free annual night certificate on each card (that will be true for the Stawood cards after your next anniversary post-8/1/18 and for the Marriott business card when the benefits change later next month). That might make it more advantageous to keep multiple cards if you value those free night certificates highly.

To be eligible for a Starwood business card initial bonus, you cannot have a Chase-issued Marriott business card (or have had one in the last 30 days), have signed up for one in the last 90 days, or have received a new cardmember bonus for one in the last 24 months.

Again, this makes it hard to have multiple cards in the future. The good news here is that it seems the Starwood business card will not be restricted for those who have opened / upgraded Chase-issued Marriott personal cards.

Chase rules

To be eligible for a new Chase Marriott personal card initial bonus you cannot be a current Starwood American Express cardholder (or have had that card in the last 30 days), have signed up for a Starwood American Express card in the last 90 days, or received a new cardmember bonus for a Starwood American Express card in the last 24 months. 

Again, those with any Starwood credit card (business or personal) are locked out of Chase Marriott personal cards. It’s notable that the restrictions from Chase and Amex include both having signed up for a new card in the past 90 days or received a new cardmember bonus for the past 24 months (on top of those who currently hold the cards). This makes an impressive effort to make sure that they close most loopholes you could dream up.

To be eligible for a new Chase Marriott business card initial bonus you cannot be a current Starwood American Express cardholder (or have had that card in the last 30 days), have signed up for a Starwood American Express card in the last 90 days, or received a new cardmember bonus for a Starwood American Express card in the last 24 months. 

Same as above – locks out anyone with a Starwood card now, who signed up in the last 90 days, or who got a bonus in the last 24 months.

To be eligible for a new Chase Ritz-Carlton Rewards Visa Infinite, you must have a time machine.

Ok, Gary didn’t really say that last one. But it’s true. Ding dong the Ritz is dead for new applicants. Existing cardholders will continue to have the card, though it’s certainly possible that Chase will sunset it someday.

Interestingly, Gary reports that it’s not Chase and Amex sharing information, it’s Marriott sharing with each issuer which members have which credit cards (or, in their words, sharing “who is eligible for a new cardmember bonus”). That obviously means that there is some expense for Marriott in this. While that wouldn’t be surprising to me on its own, it is surprising (to me) in an environment with two banks competing for Marriott’s business.

While it had been previously announced that Chase would issue a mass consumer card and Amex would issue a business and ultra premium personal card, it was notable to us in hindsight that the press releases did not say any of that would be exclusive (even if that was insinuated, the continued issuance of the Ritz card and SPG personal cards indicated that perhaps too much had been read into the exclusivity of those parameters). The death of the Ritz card yesterday and these restrictive moves indicate that the card portfolio will eventually line up with what was announced and it is going to be much harder to qualify for most new cards.

Keep these restrictions in mind when evaluating your next moves with regard to keeping, cancelling, or upgrading.

H/T: View from the Wing

About Nick Reyes

Nick Reyes is a (fairly) regular guy with an animalistic passion for maximizing the value of miles and money to travel the world in comfort and style. There is little in life that he loves more than finding a fantastic deal and helping you shop smarter & harder to achieve your travel dreams.

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swag
Guest
swag

As I read it, there’s nothing to stop you from opening multiple cards to get the stackable anniversary nights. You just won’t get the signup bonus points when you do.

Greg The Frequent Miler
Admin

I agree

Playerx
Guest
Playerx

What are the chances that those restrictions will be bases on a query from Chase or Amex to Marriott using the Marriott account number (a query asking “did account number xxx receive a welcome bonus recently ?”) provided by the credit card application, but if applicant uses a new/different account number the query will return a negative ?

Greg The Frequent Miler
Admin

Great question!

Blue
Guest
Blue

Certainly makes my decision to hit SPG and Marriott as hard as possible over the last 6 months look pretty good. All I need to do is pick up an upgrade on the Marriott personal and then swing back around for the SPG Luxe in a couple of years.

Tom
Guest
Tom

I took the bait on the Chase upgrade offer on the base Marriott and I now have a pretty bitter taste in my mouth being locked out of the SPG Luxe for 24 months

Rob
Guest
Rob

If you don’t have any Chase Marriott cards, but you have gotten the SPG Business and SPG Personal in the past 2 years, will you still be able to get the SPG Luxe and bonus points? I.e. is Amex allowing you to have all 3 of the SPG cards as long as you don’t have any Chase Marriott cards?

BigMac
Guest
BigMac

That’s what it implies but given the rest of the restrictions, even if Amex allows you to get the Luxe card don’t think they will give a signup bonus?

Greg The Frequent Miler
Admin

We’ll have to see what kind of restrictions Amex puts directly in the welcome offer. They might exclude SPG Personal, for example (I hope not though!)

MIP
Guest
MIP

Does this suggest I am better of cancelling my Chase Marriott Business now so that I can get the bonus on the Amex SPG luxe post 30 days?

Greg The Frequent Miler
Admin

You would have to wait 24 months after receiving the bonus on the Marriott Business card / or 90 days after acquiring the business card if you didn’t get the bonus.

Brian
Guest
Brian

Well it makes sense to me that they are going to squeeze as much as possible out of this merger. They have already devalued the programs. Cutting costs , synergies, and more profit is why they merged.

Jim Lovejoy
Guest
Jim Lovejoy

Driving business toward Hilton is why they merged?

If that’s what they want.

Rick
Guest
Rick

I currently have eight or nine Marriott reservations and replacing most of them with Hilton stays, where double points the rest of this year on my AMEX Ascend and Gold status will be appreciated. Thank you, Hilton!

James
Guest
James

I think this only applies to the sign up bonus? As a Ritz holder, I fully plan going for spg lux even without a sign up bonus.

Rob
Guest
Rob

No, It says you are not eligible for the SPG luxe card if you are a current holder of the Ritz card. That means you can’t even get it with no bonus if you have the Ritz card.

James
Guest
James

Ouch… Maybe a backdoor method would be to get SPG personal now and then product change when it’s released?

Greg The Frequent Miler
Admin

I don’t agree. The chart says you are not eligible for a bonus. It doesn’t say that you are not eligible for the card.

AlexL
Guest
AlexL

I think you are right. You just do not get the initial bonus.

Alex Z.
Guest
Alex Z.

I didn’t quite get it – is it already in effect ?
Or do we still have some time left to apply for current versions ?
I have both SPGs – Bus and Personal, can I still apply for Chase Marriott Business and get the current bonus ?

Rob
Guest
Rob

These will be the rules come August 26. You can still sign up for things now with the old rules. But the SPG Luxe won’t be available until the 26th so you can only get that card with the new rules once it is out.

Sean
Guest
Sean

Yes that’s my question here too. I just got the Ritz and my plan was to follow up with a Marriott card to get some points (don’t have any other Marriott and at 3/24). Can I still do that prior to the merger date?

Edit: I just re-read the rules and it looks like I’m good to go. I can wait til after the merger and still be fine (which I’ll probably do since I haven’t met the Ritz’s 4K spend yet)

king
Guest
king

From VFW

David Flueck cautioned that “For statement date closes August 1-18, there will be a little delay until after August 18th for points to show up” in accounts because of this transition.

I am planning to buy a package , once my statement closes on Aug 3. I am waiting on nearly 30k points to post. Any suggestions ?

Greg The Frequent Miler
Admin

Yikes. It’s possible that they’ll hold onto your points until August 18th. It may be worth calling Amex to see if they can close your statement July 31 or find some other way to get you your points sooner.

Stannis
Guest
Stannis

What if you haven’t had any of these disqualifying cards, could you do the mother of all AORs and get all the cards simultaneously?

Greg The Frequent Miler
Admin

Great question. Maybe. But it seems risky as you could invalidate ALL of the welcome bonuses. My guess is that Marriott’s determination of whether you are eligible for a bonus will not be in real time during the application process. So, imagine this sequence:

Day 1: You apply for 5 cards and are approved for all of them
Day 2: Marriott checks your bonus eligibility but sees that you currently have the other cards within 30 days and have acquired the other cards within 90 days. Marriott determines that you are ineligible.
Day N: You get nothing.

David
Guest
David

For the luxury card, does that include the chase Marriott business card?

Greg The Frequent Miler
Admin

Having the Marriott Rewards Premier Business card makes you ineligible for the SPG Lux welcome bonus. The non-Premier business card is fine.

J Rey
Guest
J Rey

I have 39 elite nights with Marriott and 5 nights in SPG, mostly from credit cards. The anniversary of my Chase Marriott Business card is in November. Do I have a chance of reaching 50 nights by December?

Rob
Guest
Rob

No, your boss won’t give you any more time off from work.

J Rey
Guest
J Rey

Do I get another 15 elite nights from the anniversary?

Rob
Guest
Rob

Also, beginning January 1, 2019, if you have more than one Marriott Rewards, Starwood Preferred Guest, or Ritz-Carlton Rewards credit card, you will only receive a total of one 15 Elite Night Credits benefit per calendar year, which will be credited to one of your Marriott Loyalty Program accounts.2

So you should get it this year.

J Rey
Guest
J Rey

Thanks.

TMouse
Guest
TMouse

This sucks!

trackback

[…] New Marriott / SPG card restrictions […]

Probowl2
Guest
Probowl2

So I just signed up for the Marriott premier card and still haven’t hit my minimum spend and haven’t received my 100k yet, and signed up for the amex personal 5 months ago and got the bonus points already. My question is am I still eligible to get the Marriott 100k points when I do get the minimum spend in September?

Greg The Frequent Miler
Admin

Yes. The rules only apply to those who sign up on or after August 26.

Probowl2
Guest
Probowl2

Thanks for replying

nana
Guest
nana

I had gone to my Chase banker and tried to get the ritz. I was told that Chase no longer has an agreement for the ritz card, but it will be issued by AMEX going forward. Has anyone else heard that?

Greg The Frequent Miler
Admin

I suspect that your banker was confused. Amex will be offering a similar ultra-premium card (SPG Luxury Card), but not the Ritz card.

Christine Bonfante
Guest
Christine Bonfante

If we signed up prior to August 26th, but will not have met the minimum spend and received our new cardmember bonus payout until after August 26th, are we out of luck?

Vic
Guest
Vic

Regarding: “Again, this makes it hard to have multiple cards in the future. The good news here is that it seems the Starwood business card will not be restricted for those who have opened / upgraded Chase-issued Marriott personal cards.”

Family member just tried applying for SPG Biz and was given the “because you have or have had a Marriott consumer…you are not eligible for the welcome offer”.

They got the Marriott Personal card back in December 2016. They don’t have any other Marriott or SPG card.

Bummer, looks like it was restricted in this scenario.

Greg The Frequent Miler
Admin

A better summary of the rules is found here: https://frequentmiler.boardingarea.com/2018/07/30/navigating-marriotts-byzantine-credit-card-rules/

The Marriott consumer cards do limit you from getting the SPG Biz card if you have either acquired the card in the past 90 days or have received a signup bonus or upgrade bonus in the last 24 months. Since your family member got the Marriott card in December 2016, they probably got the signup bonus in early 2017 and would have to wait until early 2019 to get the SPG biz card.

Vic
Guest
Vic

Makes sense. Thanks. Greg.