AmEx SPG Lux Upgrade Strategy

There are a lot of changes coming to the existing AmEx and Chase SPG/Marriott Cards and this chart from TPG sums it up pretty well:

User Orange Party Lamp suggests the strategy that I should of done for the Surpass to Aspire transition:

My plan is to apply for Amex card and then PC current SPG to the luxury SPG for another $300 and a free night

This was such a brilliant strategy because I am working on my 5/24 for my wife who has a SPG personal card. She can very quickly product change her SPG card when the SPG Luxury card is offered in 01 August 2018. I will then close out my AmEx Delta Reserve Card and open a SPG Luxury Card thereby giving our family $600 statement credit at Marriott/SPG Hotels for the year.

Edit: Better yet, as suggested by Tigris23, I Should just wait till she gets her own SPG Lux, then do the PC after I hit all the Chase cards in end of 2019! This ways she can get the sign on bonus as well as do the upgrade. I am thinking I should do the same with the Hilton Aspire card from the Surpass!

I currently hold the Business SPG card which will give me the free 35,000 free night every year, but I am not sure if they would let me Product Change that one to another SPG Lux card since it is a personal card and not business. AmEx is probably on to my plan because they pulled my ability to refer the SPG personal card. However the referral links still works for the Personal Marriott and Business SPG.

Referral link here and here.


SPG Biz link here.

On the Chase side I downgraded my Ritz to a Marriott to get the free 35k free night every year. I was not able to get the SCRA $450 annual fee waiver because I got the card after I joined. I also didn’t get the MLA waiver because I got the card before Sept 2017. However it has been 24 months since I got the bonus, and I was able to downgrade it making it a product I don’t own. I will apply for the Ritz card today and now I will hopefully have both products. I did this loophole as a way to bypass 5/24 and I suggest those that have the Ritz (and are on the hook for the annual fee) to do the same. In the future I want to bank on a possible Marriott Premier to Plus conversion that may be lucrative.

If you get that annual fee waived Ritz, this may not be for you! Just keep it as is like Andy.

If you got the current SPG cards from AmEx, do not close them! Hold on to them to upgrade to the SPG Lux card in the future to double dip the product like may people have done with their Hilton Surpass to Aspire cards!


13 thoughts on “AmEx SPG Lux Upgrade Strategy

  1. Andrew Sheep says:

    Jerry, by downgrading the Ritz, you’re missing out on $300 annual travel credit. You could’ve used that towards a ~35k Marriott room cash, and still had some left over. Also, you’re missing out on the heft of that block of solid iron. Finally, the Visa Infinite flight benefit. I’m keeping it as a Ritz.

    • uiucderp2011 says:

      Ah good call Andy, I just want to reiterate I am on the hook for the $450 annual fee. I intend to apply for a new ritz today to get one under MLA waiver!

      • Andrew Sheep says:

        Ahhh, ok that makes more sense. When you get the waiver, I assume you’ll keep it as a Ritz then?

  2. Tigris23 says:

    “This was such a brilliant strategy because I am working on my 5/24 for my wife who has a SPG personal card. She can very quickly product change her SPG card when the SPG Luxury card is offered in 01 August 2018.” Just curious…why would you PC her SPG to the Lux but NOT apply for the Lux instead and get the potential new sign up bonus (which mostly likely Amex will do as the Lux is a new product)?

    • uiucderp2011 says:

      Damn, you are right! I am thinking all backwards again. I should take advantage of the 2 month credit reporting float from AmEx and get 5 new cards from Chase for my wife: United Club, CSR, SouthWest, Freedom, Marriott Plus all while applying for the SPG Lux!

      • Tigris23 says:

        You sure those are the 5 best cards from Chase to fill those 5/24 slots? Personally if I have a clean slate, I would go for CSR (50k), CIP (100k), CIC (50k), Freedom/Freedom Unlimited (15k. depending on ur spending habit), & SW or Marriott. That’s at least 227k UR pts after meeting spending requirements.

        • uiucderp2011 says:

          Hmm, you are right about that too. I think the United club card should take the place of one of those freedoms because of the star alliance lounge access. Other than that you make a pretty good point! Do you ever want to write a guest post?

          • Tigris23 says:

            Sure, I’ll be happy to consider the offer to write a guest post! Just let me know what you have in mind!

          • uiucderp2011 says:


            You got some real great Ideas here! I like to write about anything interesting related to the military perks on travel. The guys out there like The Points Guide and Frequent miler are pretty tilted towards consumer credit cards. I want to report on the AD edge where we get the SCRA and MLA waivers. So I can either post your articles crediting you or I can link to your blog if you have one. Just let me know your thoughts. I work with Andy Sheep some times at The Military Frequent Flyer at boarding area. Let me know! I tried to email you but your email you used is down.


  3. Andrew Sheep says:

    -The best part about guest posts is Derp pays anywhere from $500-$1000 per guest post! Definitely hit him up for it!!

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