12 Feb Deadline To Figure Out Bonvoy

BLUF: There are changes taking place 13 Feb 2019. The current Chase and AmEx card line up will look like this:

In the time it took me to write this one Marriott Bonvoy post, Greg from Frequent Miler Wrote these 8 posts:

Overall, Greg has an excellent posts and charts, I won’t repeat all the information here and urge you to check out his posts linked above. His chart is also a masterpiece:

(From FM) I’m Going To Need At Least Till March to Figure This One Out

A Navy O-6 from Jacksonville reached out to me asking if he should take advantage of this last chance to get some cards before they get discontinued before the merger takes place on 13 Feb 2019. I was disappointed in myself in not having a clue on what was going on, so I decided to write this post to figure out my own situation. Here is where I stand currently:

  • Ritz Carlton Card (MLA Waived in April)
  • Wife’s Ritz Carlton Card (MLA Waived in December)
  • Marriott Premier ($85 Every Aug)
  • Wife’s Marriott Premier ($85 Every July)
  • Mom’s Marriott Premier ($85 Every Dec)
  • SPG Luxury Card (SCRA Waived in July)
  • Wife’s SPG Luxury Card (SCRA Waived in Aug) (Upgraded from SPG)

I had the lowest SPG and SPG Business in the past which makes me ineligible for the bonus for the new Marriott Bonvoy™ American Express® Card  and Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card.  However with the application going away for the lowest AmEx SPG card on 12 Feb 2019, I am considering getting the card even if I wont get the bonus again. I would just have to drop my Delta Platnium or Blue Cash to make this happen. I also have a non-MLA Ritz that I downgraded to the Marriott Premier.

Regarding my wife’s cards. We got into this weird situation of upgrading my wife’s SPG personal to SPG Luxury because she has the MLA waived Ritz Card. We would have been ineligible for the 100k points since I missed the deadline of 26 Aug 2018 before the new rules kicked in. She is also not in the business of applying for any new cards until July 2019.

What makes this one of the most challenging mind games is the other Frequent Miler Chart here:

Greg’s Amazing Chart of Anti-Churning Absurdity

Here is the situation the chart outlines, my wife and I both hold on to the Marriott Premier Card and did not take the 20,000 point upgrade offer to Premier Plus when it came out a year ago. This means my wife could cancel her non-MLA waived Marriott Premier when she is under 5/24 and get the 75,000 point bonus by applying for a new Marriott Premier Plus Card.

After one year she would upgrade this new Marriott Premier Plus card to another MLA Waived Ritz Card, and I urge anyone that has an MLA waived Marriott Premier or Premier Plus Card to do the same.

I don’t think I will ever be under 5/24 and I should jump on the next time an offer is made to upgrade the Premier to the Premier Plus. On the Chase side I should consider the Business Marriott Card before it goes away forever:

Marriott Bonvoy Premier Plus Business card (was Chase Marriott Business Premier Plus) comes with:

  • 35K free night award each year upon renewal
  • Silver status
  • 15 elite night credits each calendar year
  • NOT 5/24 Restricted
  • Must Pay Annual Fee (No MLA Waiver)

I would then keep my SPG Luxury cards and Ritz cards and enjoy the following each year after these plans are executed:

  • 5 x (50k Nights) 3 Ritz, 2 SPG Lux
  • 5 x ($300 credits) 3 Ritz, 2 SPG Lux
  • 1 x (35k Night with $99 AF) Chase Biz Marriott
  • 2 x (25k Night with $85 AF) 2x Chase Marriott Premier

Now the real question to ponder is do I drop a Delta Card and have a dead space of a non bonus earning SPG Personal card for a year? My current holdings are:

  • Blue Cash Preferred (Planning On Replacing with Hilton Honors)
  • Delta Reserve
  • Delta Platinum (Upgrade to Reserve)
  • Hilton Honors Aspire
  • SPG Luxury

My wife is going to be under 5/24 in July 2019 and she currently has this:

  • Everyday Preferred (Replace with Hilton Aspire)
  • Delta Reserve Business
  • Delta Platinum (Upgrade to Reserve)
  • SPG Luxury
  • Hilton Honors Ascend (Upgrade to Aspire)

I have until 12 Feb 2019 to make my last moves here. You think its worth dropping a Delta Companion to get another $300 and a free 50K night? I am also debating dropping Bonvoy in favor of another Hilton Honors card because it is so easy to get top tier status (Hilton Diamond) with the Hilton Honors Aspire. Note that my Platinum status with Marriott (which I got at the merger) will expire at the end of 2019 which will mean losing free breakfast and lounge access. Greg writes:

I earned 75 nights largely due to short term opportunities caused by the program merger between Marriott and SPG.  Specifically, I have four credit cards which each contributed to my total: Marriott Premier (15 nights), Marriott Premier Business (15 nights), SPG (5 nights), and SPG Business (5 nights).  With that collection of credit cards I had earned 40 elite nights before setting foot in a Marriott or Starwood hotel. Going forward, it won’t matter how many Marriott cards one has: the elite nights will no longer stack.  So, going forward, I’ll earn only 15 elite nights per year from credit cards.

So it might make sense for me to just get the Business Chase Card and try to maximize my slots for AmEx to favor Hilton. My ultimate make up will look like this:

  • 4x Hilton Honors Aspire
    • Wife: Direct Aspire (Dropping Everyday Preferred)
    • Wife: Aspire (Was Surpass that became Ascend)
    • Hilton Honors Aspire (Dropped Ascend like an idiot)
    • Hilton Honors Basic converted to Aspire (Drop BCP)
  • 2x Bonvoy Brilliant Cards
    • Wife: SPG converted to SPG Lux
    • SPG Lux direct after dropping SPG Biz
  • 4x Delta Reserve Cards
    • Wife: Delta Platinum Upgraded to Reserve
    • Wife: Delta Business Reserve Direct
    • Delta Reserve (Dropping Delta Gold)
    • Delta Platinum converted to Reserve
  • 3 Ritz Carlton Cards (MLA Waived)
    • Wife: Direct application before 5/24 rules
    • Wife: Marriott Bonvoy Boundless converted to Ritz
    • Direct application before 5/24 rules
  • 2 Marriott Premier Plus Cards (Not Waived)
    • Personal Premier card (Downgraded form Chase Ritz)
      • Then upgraded to premier plus
    • Chase Business Marriott Premier Card

This would give me 4 Hilton nights anywhere with $1,000 half for flights and half for Hilton resort credits. 5 Marriott nights up to 50k and $900 for flights and $600 for Marriott hotels. Then four Delta companion passes, and finally 2 vouchers for 35,000 point hotels.

I decided to upgrade my Premier plus because it means the difference between the Airport Marriott to the JW Marriott in most places. I am going to wait for a point offer to upgrade. Now for my wife I won’t upgrade her premier plus because it would cause the 24 month timer to reset if she was to get a bonus. Makes more sense for her to drop the card and get a new Premier Plus (Bonvoy Boundless) to get the full bonus when she is under 5/24



10 thoughts on “12 Feb Deadline To Figure Out Bonvoy

  1. Dan says:

    This post gave me a headache. Lol

  2. Ashley says:

    Can spouses receive an SCRA waiver through Amex, or does the member have to be an AU on the account?

    • uiucderp2011 says:

      it appears to vary per state, in the state of Illinois the spouses do get SCRA waivers on their own. Florida they do not. Not sure about the other 48 states.

      • Ashley says:

        Bummer, I’m in FL, of course. So if my spouse (the service member) already holds a Plat, can I get a Plat and add him as an AU and get the waiver? And if it were a CC not a charge card (say SPG Lux), would that SPG Lux AU card count against his 5 max CCs from Amex? Thanks!

        • uiucderp2011 says:

          My O-6 reader in Florida was unable to get his spouse any waivers for AmEx even after adding himself as the AU. However chase might have different rules. The AU do not count against the 5 card amex rule. Only the primary card holder counts against themselves for 5 cards.

          • Ashley says:

            Thanks for the response; it’s very helpful. It sounds like I may have to try with Amex after our next PCS.

  3. el_georgie says:

    I think I’m going to pass on the bonvoy offer and go after the hiltons to upgrade to ascend later.

  4. […] data points lead me to believe that my last ditch effort to get the SPG Card in February was not needed. Instead I should have simply applied for a new Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant, despite already having a […]

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