Front Running the Marriott & SPG Merger (Details Monday 16 April)

Lots of details (or wild speculation) out there regarding the August 2018 merger of SPG and Marriott points systems. Now many of you have both the Chase Marriott Products as well as the AmEx SPG products. The two major banks have reached an agreement where Chase would serve the basic bitch cards and AmEx would take the baller cards. This may mean those with the Chase Ritz card may be converted into a CSR much like how the Fairmont card got turned into the CSP. This is a good way to bypass the 5/24 rule for those way over. Also some AmEx SPG (Personal and Business versions) card holders may have their products become Chase cards. This will hopefully free up AmEx cards since we are all restricted to 5 Credit Cards with AmEx.

The downside is if we had the cards are older than Sept 2017 from AmEx, we may not get the MLA fee waiver from Chase once converted. Now if we open new AmEx cards after Sept 2017 we can anticipate the conversion to Chase cards and get the MLA protection as well as bypass 5/24. Apply for the AmEx SPG now to front run the conversion to Marriott and then the free night and MLA waiver.

This is again all speculation, here is what we know for sure, on Monday 16 April 2018 you can go here and get the details right from the source. In the meantime I would consider getting some cards in anticipation for the merger. Here are my referral links and the current perks of each card:

The Chase Marriott Premier Rewards Card

Referral link here and here.

This card offer right now gives you 75,000 bonus points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. You get a free night Cat (1-5) and the $85 annual fee is waived for military on new accounts per the MLA. If you had the bonus within 24 months before or if you currently have the card, they won’t approve you. If you had 5 new cards at any bank in the last 24 months, you won’t get approved (5/24 restriction).

The AmEx SPG Personal Card

Referral link here.

This card offers the exact same points value as the Marriott product since 1 SPG = 3 Marriott. You get 75k Marriott or 25,000 SPG after $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. I hope this becomes another Marriott card so you can get a free night Cat (1-5) and the $95 annual fee is waived for military on new accounts per the MLA or because it is AmEx. If you had the SPG card bonus ever in the past you won’t get it again (although they forget after 7 years), but if you have 5 (including business) CREDIT cards now (charge cards like Platnum don’t count) then you won’t get approved.

The Business Version of Chase Marriott

The strategy is to get cards with free nights that don’t charge an annual fee. Reports are that Business Cards with Chase don’t get MLA protections. This then makes the business version of the Chase Marriott Card less appealing, but it appears to not be 5/24 restricted. If you have the card, please share a link below and I can host it for other readers.

The Business Version of AmEx SPG

I have the business version of the SPG card which has the additional benefit of lounge access at the Sheraton with the same features of the personal version listed above. Note that the spend is $5,000 instead of $3,000. The referral link can be found here. It will be interesting to see if the fee waiver will extend to the possible Chase version of the card under the MLA.

Chase Ritz-Carlton Rewards Card

I will miss this card when it is gone or converted! The $100 flight benefit pays for itself, the $300 flight waiver works for AA gift cards, and the one time 2 free nights at the Ritz (Tier 1-4) have been awesome for us. Good chance this will become the AmEx Product either as the same thing or as another hotel brand. My wild speculation is it will become the St Regis card, but who knows. There is no referral link to host here, but I plan on downgrading my current Ritz card I pay $450 a year to a non-fee waived Marriott Card for the annual free night. Then I will apply for another Ritz card since it has been over 24 months since my bonus for another 2 free nights!

Other Marriott Cards

There are some products you can’t even get from Chase. A summary can be found here. I have no experience with any of them, but they are downgrade targets.


Monday we find out what will happen to these 5 credit cards:

Time to get them if you want to bypass 5/24!


2 thoughts on “Front Running the Marriott & SPG Merger (Details Monday 16 April)

  1. Clay says:

    Good analysis. I think that I need to pick up the Ritz-Carlton card (should get MLA and not subject to 5/24) before the transfer. I’ve also read reports of the Marriott Gold status that a lot of us have through the AmEx Platinum will no longer have lounge access, which is pretty concerning. I’ve saved $1,000 or so over the past two years by eating breakfast for free at Marriott Concierge Lounges/M Clubs.

    • uiucderp2011 says:


      Yeah that Gold Status downgrade would be terrible, but on the upside we switch our loyalty to Hilton and milk our diamond via aspire for that lounge access there! Now in the report form frequent miler it says our Marriott gold may be considered low Platinum 25 which would expand our free breakfast to the SPG brands that didnt have it before. I guess we just have to wait till Monday!


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