I am way past 5/24 and would have to wait till Sept 2019 in order to be free and clear to get the 5/24 restricted Chase products. I would be practicing this churning celibacy just for the Marriott, Chase Sapphire Reserve, Freedom, United products, and SouthWest Airlines cards. However with Premium AmEx Product coming for both HHonors and Marriott SPG I don’t think I can go without a fix for 24 months! The FOMO would be too great! Instead I am going to open all new accounts under me, give my card to my wife to use, and keep her account perfect so she can get her own MLA waived CSR and United Club cards. Maybe throw some under the 5/24 radar, AmEx Biz cards in there.
Getting The Chase Marriott Despite 5/24
Turns out you can downgrade the Ritz Carton Card to the $95 Personal Marriott Card to get a free annual night. Thanks to Frequent Miler for pointing out the Travel With Grant article! Since the Ritz Card is 5/24 exempt, you are free to apply for it for the first time and get the 2 free night bonus. After getting the bonus and spending all three annual Club Level Upgrades you can then downgrade the card into a Marriott Card, and have the card despite being over 5/24. Where this is genius is your downgraded card will only cost $95 a year instead of $450 and you would get a free Category 1-5 night every year which is more than reasonable to justify the $85 annual fee.
Who knows what this card will become after the points system merger, some sort of Marriott Preferred Guest or Starriott-Carlton Preferred Guest Rewards system? After 24 months from the initial Ritz Card application, just reapply for the Ritz Card (hopefully MLA waived this time) and rack up another free night. Do this Marriott Conversion 365 times to live at a category 1-5 Marriott for free the entire year (not recommended or supported by any datapoint).
The Ritz MLA Switch-a-roo
In my situation I could never get the Marriott Card so getting the bonus is out of the real of possibility, however the language is this:
This product is available to you if you do not have this card and have not received a new cardmember bonus for this card in the past 24 months.
Technically I could still get the bonus if I canceled this card in the future and reapplied since the product change didn’t get me the bonus. Since I am perpetually beyond 5/24 this lack of 85k bonus is a non-issue. The real magic comes in the fact I took my Ritz Card that I do not have SCRA waivers for since I got it after I joined, but I also don’t get MLA coverage since I got it before 20 Sept 2017. I can downgrade this card to Marriott and reap the free night, while applying for a new Ritz card that will now be MLA waived.
Not many datapoints out there for this one, I will report back on what I find out!