Despite previously stating that I would send my SPG / Marriott cards off into the sunset, I bit the bullet last week and upgraded to the SPG Lux card. Do as I say, not as I do. You can read more about why I went from likely canceling a card with a $95 fee to instead upgrading it to a $450 card in this post: Why the SPG Lux upgrade may be the way to go. In short, I faced the same situation as Greg’s wife: an imminent renewal and the potential to get outsized value out of an upgrade based on timing. However, since I was upgrading close to my renewal date, I was curious as to how soon after renewal my spend would count towards the minimum spend for the upgrade offer and begin to trigger the annual $300 SPG / Marriott credit. In my case, the answer was the same day I upgraded.
I upgraded my account from the regular SPG personal card to the SPG Lux card last week on September 5th. I pulled up chat right away (minutes after upgrading) to ask how soon my purchases would count toward the spending requirement. I was curious because I had a couple of large purchases to pay for and wondered whether they would count if I paid for them the same day I upgraded. I figured I would likely wait on those payments a couple of days to be sure that spend counted, but I was still curious and I thought it might help some readers to know how soon purchases would count after upgrading. If you’ve ever owned a car, a pet, or a home, you know that unexpected expenses can pop up at any time. If you suddenly find yourself incurring an expensive bill, it might be worthwhile to take an upgrade offer if you know you can trigger it or knock out the majority of the spend in a single purchase.
The chat representative told me that the upgrade should take effect within 24 hours and purchases would “be converted to the new card”. I said I understood that I should wait 24 hours before I begin spending toward the bonus requirement and he told me that I would not need to wait — he said that they tell you 24 hours as a maximum amount of time, but purchases should begin counting right away. I was curious as to whether he was correct. To test the theory, I could have spent $5K immediately and waited to see if the 100K bonus points posted. However, what if he was wrong? I would have wasted a large chunk of spend on a pretty poor return if the system still counted it as regular SPG spend for the first 24 hours after upgrading. A much less risky method would be to make a small Marriott charge the same day I upgraded. I figured that if that charge triggered the annual $300 in statement credits for purchases at participating SPG or Marriott Rewards hotels, that would be a good sign that my spend was counting as SPG Lux spend on day 1 (the day I upgraded).
However, I logged out and back into my account and still saw the regular SPG Personal card art. I took this to mean that the system had not yet updated my card to a Lux. Several hours later, on the same day I upgraded, the card art and card name in my online account had updated to the SPG Lux. Shortly after that change, I made my test charge. Sure enough, my purchase posted on the day of my upgrade and two days later I had received a statement credit for that eligible Marriott spend.
Clearly, that purchase on the day of my upgrade counted as SPG Lux spend since it triggered an SPG Lux benefit and therefore I would expect that all purchases I made on the day of my upgrade (after upgrading) would count toward the $5,000 in purchases I need to make for my upgrade offer.
If you take an upgrade offer to the SPG Lux card, your purchases should begin counting toward the spending requirement within 24 hours. In my case, I waited until the card name and card art updated in my online account and then I made a test purchase the same day I upgraded and it triggered the SPG Lux statement credit. I did not need to wait for the new card to arrive (and in fact the word is that Amex has run out of SPG Lux plastic, so they are advising people to spend on their current cards for the time being), nor did I have to wait 24 hours after upgrading. That’s good news if you decide to go for the upgrade and want/need to make purchases right away toward the spending requirement.