Frequent Miler has an article written on preparation for the SPG & Marriott points system merger next week. The biggest thing I wanted to get out of the way is booking hotels that will be going up in price such as the Ritz-Carlton Toronto from 50k a night to 60k a night! All the point tier changes can be found here.
I combined the points between my Wife, Mom, and myself by using the SPG household sharing since we all have the same address. I first converted each of our Marriott points over to SPG at a 3:1 ratio, then I combined them to my mom’s account.
Before the transfer I topped off the accounts 333 SPG points using 1,000 MR to bring the balance to the closest 1,000 since you can only transfer in 1,000 point increments. What I ended up with is 2 free nights at the Ritz using 100k in leftover points!
Now in preparation for the new SPG card I need to decide which AmEx card to kill:
- Blue Cash Preferred
- Delta Platinum
- Delta Reserve
- SPG Busisness
- Hilton Honors Aspire
It seems unlikely that SPG Business would be convertible to another SPG Luxury so there would be no point in me getting rid of another card just to hold on to both the SPG Luxury and the SPG Business. If we look at the new SPG Business perks they are as follows (with my unique commentary):
NEW! Receive 1 Free Night Award every year after your Card account anniversary. Award can be used for one night (redemption level at or under 35,000 points) at a participating hotel. Select hotels have resort fees.
35k points gets you a decent hotel room, including these Ritz hotels:
|The Portman Ritz-Carlton, Shanghai
|The Raphael Hotel, Autograph Collection
|The Ritz-Carlton Abu Dhabi, Grand Canal
|The Ritz-Carlton Beijing, Financial Street
|The Ritz-Carlton Coconut Grove, Miami
|The Ritz-Carlton Jakarta, Mega Kuningan
|The Ritz-Carlton Jakarta, Pacific Place
|The Ritz-Carlton New York, Westchester
|The Ritz-Carlton, Astana
|The Ritz-Carlton, Bangalore
|The Ritz-Carlton, Beijing
|The Ritz-Carlton, Cleveland
|The Ritz-Carlton, Doha
|The Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain
|The Ritz-Carlton, Guangzhou
|The Ritz-Carlton, Istanbul
|The Ritz-Carlton, Kuala Lumpur
|The Ritz-Carlton, Riyadh
|The Ritz-Carlton, Shenzhen
|The Ritz-Carlton, Tysons Corner
|The Ritz-Carlton, Wolfsburg
However 50k points with a new SPG Lux card would get me so much more!
NEW! Complimentary Silver Elite status: Earn Gold Elite status after making $30,000 in eligible purchases on your Card in a calendar year
I assume that we will continue receiving Gold/New Platnium Status with our SPG and AmEx relationship so this is worthless
Coming in 2019: Each calendar year you can receive credit for 15 nights towards the next level of Elite status. Limit one 15 Elite Night Credit per Marriott Loyalty Program member. Benefit is not exclusive to Cards offered by American Express. Terms apply.
(See above) I don’t plan on staying at hotels enough to earn any organic status.
Free, unlimited Boingo Wi-Fi at more than 1,000,000 Boingo hotspots worldwide. Enrollment required.
We already get this with out AmEx Plat
Receive free in-room, premium Internet access while staying at participating SPG and Marriott Rewards hotels. Booking requirements apply.
I also believe we get this with out gold status
So the SPG Biz may be worth it for the free 35K night per year, but I don’t see value in it since i can get 50k free with the SOG Lux. I don’t want to get rid of my Blue cash as I have had it for 12 years now and it is an anchor for my credit history. I can always use the companion passes from my Delta Reserve and Plat cards, and Hilton Honors Surpass is awesome for their $250 in airline gift cards and another $250 for resort spend. Here is my end game:
- Delta Reserve
- Delta Reserve (Upgrade from Platinum)
- SPG Lux (replacing Business)
- Hilton Honors Aspire
- Blue Cash Preffered
This means $250 in flight gift cards every year, $250 at Hilton Resorts, $300 for Marriott rooms and amenities, 1 free night at Marriott worth 50k points, 1 free night at Hilton every year, and one Delta companion pass for first class.
Now lets look at what my wife is holding:
- AmEx Everyday Preferred
- Delta Platinum
- SPG Personal
- Hilton Honors Ascend
End game for her would be waiting till end of 2019 when she is free and clear at 0/24 to get these Chase cards:
- Chase United Club Card
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase Marriott Rewards Premier Plus
- Chase Southwest Priority
- Chase Freedom
and then this one US Bank Card:
- US Bank Altitude card
The fun now begins, with 5/24 exceeded she would then use her free space to get a SPG Lux, then upgrade her SPG to another Lux. She would then get a Hilton Aspire to replace her Everyday Preferred, and then upgrade her Ascend to another Aspire. Then to top it off she would get a new Delta Reserve to replace her Platinum. The end profile will look like this:
- Hilton Aspire
- Hilton Aspire (Was Ascend)
- SPG Lux
- SPG Lux (Was personal SPG)
- Delta Reserve (Was Platinum)
This means $500 in flight gift cards every year, $500 at Hilton Resorts, $600 for Marriott rooms and amenities, 2 free nights at Marriott worth 50k points, 2 free nights at Hilton every year, and one companion pass for first class. When we add it all up we get this grand total:
- 3 Hilton Aspire worth 3 free Hilton nights, $750 Hilton Resor Credit and $750 in airline gift cards
- 3 SPG Lux worth 3x 50k nights and $900 in Marriott Hotel Stays
- 3 Delta Reserve worth 3 first class companion passes
- 1 Blue card for 6% cash back at the commissary
- 9 x $450 + $95 = $4,145 in annual fee waivers per SCRA
I think this should cover a modest travel budget for a year. I had previously outlined my plan here , and that’s churning with a long term plan my friend!