Card Conundrum: 5/24 Abstinence or 100k SPG?

Thank you all for the wonderful Data Points regarding a very successful roll out of the new SPG Lux card! Now what about all of the existing SPG Personal Card Holders? Apparently some people are getting 100k offers to upgrade according to DoC.

Reader Dan writes:

After I was approved for the SPG Luxury card I went ahead and upgraded my SPG basic card to a 2nd luxury card via the below link. In order to get the option upgrade it, I had to remove the SPG basic card from my main amex login and add it to its own login temporarily, similar to what we’ve had to do in the past to upgrade cards into Platinums and enroll in the Saks credit. Sadly, I did not get a promotion offer with my upgrade (ie, spend 5k get 100k points), but it’s still worth it for the $300/year credit and free anniversary night.
Just a mere 12 hours ago I applied and got approved for my own SPG luxury card. Unfortunately I checked and my wife did not get an offer of anything to upgrade her SPG Personal to Lux. As you might have read, I am abstaining from applying for any new cards for my wife so she can finally get under 5/24 in mid to late 2019. I went ahead and logged into her account and sure enough, just like Dan said, I got a very simple one click solution to upgrade her Personal SPG to the Lux version:
But then the FOMO got the best of me, do I say fuck it to the 5/24 fast and just get a new SPG Lux card for her? She is currently at 4 of her 5 card limit: Personal SPG, Delta Platinum, Everyday Preferred, and Hilton Ascend (was Surpass). Her open date on her SPG is September 2015. Her 5/24 drop off dates are as follows:
Card Age (In Mo) Drop Off Month
Chase 12 Jul-19
Chase 12 Jul-19
AmEx 10 Sep-19
Chase 9 Oct-19
Chase 7 Dec-19
Then I thought I was being an idiot here and throw away 100k points with an upgrade, but keep in mind she also had a Ritz card so we would have to get her a new card before 26 Aug 2018, and I would be on the hook for $10,000 spend for both of our cards in a 3 month period. This would require a bit of Manufactured Spending. Perhaps in the form of Bitcoin and Krugerrands (not smart). I decided to click ahead:
The terms were interesting because it spoke of the free annual night as well as the credits. According to the conditions, the $300 credit pays out like so:

$300 SPG/Marriott Rewards Statement Credit

During each year of your Card Membership (“reward year”), you are eligible to receive up to $300 total in statement credits on your Card Account for eligible purchases made directly at participating SPG® or Marriott Rewards® hotels on your Starwood Preferred Guest® American Express Luxury Card during that reward year. Your first reward year begins on your account opening date. Each subsequent reward year begins on the anniversary of your account opening date.
Eligible SPG or Marriott Rewards property purchases must be made directly with the participating SPG or Marriott Rewards property and charged to your Starwood Preferred Guest® American Express Luxury Card account for the benefit to apply. Incidental charges (including charges made at restaurants, spas and other establishments within the hotel property) must be charged to your room and paid for with your Starwood Preferred Guest® American Express Luxury Card at checkout in order to be recognized as SPG or Marriott Rewards purchases.
Visit for the list of participating SPG properties or for the list of participating Marriott Rewards properties. Purchases made by both the Basic and Additional Card Members on the eligible Card Account are eligible for statement credits. However, each Card Account is eligible for up to a total of $300 per renewal year in statement credits across all Cards on the Card Account. Please allow 8-12 weeks after the eligible SPG or Marriott purchase is charged to your Card Account for statement credit(s) to be posted to the Account. Please call the number on the back of your Card if statement credits have not posted after 12 weeks from the date of purchase. Card Members remain responsible for timely payment of all charges.

The terms of the free night read like this:

Free Night Award (up to 50k points)

Each year, after renewal of your Starwood Preferred Guest® American Express Luxury Card, you will receive one Free Night Award from Starwood Preferred Guest®. The Free Night Award can be redeemed for a one-night stay inclusive of room rate and applicable taxes at participating SPG® and Marriott Rewards® hotels with a redemption level at or under 50,000 points.

The Card Member may be responsible for payment of additional mandatory resort fees at properties where resort fees are applicable, and is responsible for all incidental charges. This benefit is only available to the Basic Card Member on the Card Account.

The Free Night Award will be automatically deposited into your loyalty member account within 8-12 weeks after your Card Account anniversary date in the form of an e-certificate. You will receive an email from SPG to the email address listed on your loyalty member account confirming that the Free Night Award e-certificate has been deposited into your loyalty member account. The email will also provide instructions on how to redeem your Free Night Award e-certificate. To redeem the Free Night Award e-certificate, you must log into your loyalty member account and apply the e-certificate during booking. The Free Night Award e-certificate will expire after 1 year from issuance. E-certificates may not be transferred, extended beyond the expiration date, or re-credited for points. To qualify for the Free Night Award, your account must be open and not in default at the time of the Free Night Award e-certificate issuance. Please visit for a list of participating properties.

American Express is not responsible for fulfillment of Free Night Award e-certificate redemptions. Redemptions are subject to the terms and conditions of the loyalty program.

Free Nights – No Blackout Dates

There are no blackout dates for free nights, which apply to standard rooms only as defined by each participating property; contact the property before booking to check availability.

I am not sure if the September date of initial SPG Personal opening or if the upgrade date would be considered the anniversary date upon reset. This would mean I could squeeze out $300 credit from today till September, and then another $300 and the 50k free night after the original September anniversary date! That would be more than enough to justify forgoing the 100k bonus, so I clicked along:

Luckily there was one more step, because I now had my doubts about maintaining 5/24 here. Come July 19 she could get the CSR, United Club, Southwest Priority, Marriott Plus, and Freedom. If I got a new SPG Lux card and revived the bonus then according to this Frequent Miler chart:

I would have to wait 90 days and 24 months from the SPG Lux bonus to get the new bonus. If I was to just upgrade today, we could get the Marriott Plus bonus of 75K as well as another 35k free night a year when July 2019 hits. If I get the new SPG Lux Bonus, then no dice on the 75k bonus on the Marriott plus. Net loss would be only 25k Marriott by upgrading today!

So I could not go through with the upgrade without asking the readers out there! What should I do?

  • Upgrade my Wife’s SPG Personal to SPG Lux for $300 and another free night, because I could not hit the spend anyways and I would preserve her 5/24 dreams of having all these Chase Cards: CSR, United Club, Southwest Priority, Marriott Plus, and Freedom.
  • Forgo 5/24 and apply for a new SPG Luxury Card for 100k points, but be on the hook for a total of $10k spend in 3 months.

Let me know your thoughts!


5 thoughts on “Card Conundrum: 5/24 Abstinence or 100k SPG?

  1. Joe says:

    I applied and pushed out my 5/24 until Nov as opposed to June. I did get a 14 day notification (I currently have 5 cards). Wish I had closed out one of the cards before applying. Reason I applied was I won’t be able to get the card after the 26th (have a Ritz).

  2. steve says:

    Tough situation. I looked at the lux, but absolutely no point offers at all for a new app. Plus I still need to try and get my sign on bonus for the biz plat.

  3. Andrew Kim says:

    Any idea what properties the $300 can be applied at? It seems there could be a list of certain properties but cannot find any on the spg or Marriott websites…

    Also some question on whether normal room charges can be applied?

    • uiucderp2011 says:

      It should work like a credit on the statement. When a coded charge (to a Marriott SPG hotel) post it should be auto credited like the Hilton card.

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