It is official! The SPG & Marriott Points system will merge next year into what we can hopefully call the MarriottRewardsTheRitzCarltonRewardsStarwoodPrefferedGuest Rewards or MRTRCRSPG Rewards for short! No longer will we need to transfer points back and forth just to book rooms:
This chaos makes it a real good time to take advantage of the cross UR and MR rewards. You can use points from Chase and AmEx to book hotels! Keep in mind there is a 3 Marriott to 1 SPG conversion. Then there is a 1 to 1 Marriott from UR conversion, and then there is a 1,000 MR to 333 SPG conversion. Lets just call it 3:1 MR to SPG. We also can transfer 50k Marriott points to anyone on earth for free since you have gold status with SPG gold shared with Marriott gold (From Your AmEx Plat). Now lets evaluate the two card offers out there:
The Chase Marriott is offering 80,000 points (26,666 SPG) and then 5 points for SPG and Marriott Hotels (1.66 SPG) and 2 points (0.66 SPG) on airlines. Then 1 Marriott (.33 SPG) for everything else. The annual fee of $85 is not waived, but you get a free night (cat 1-4) after paying the first renewal fee.
The SPG Biz gets the SCRA annual fee waiver. It gets 2 SPG (6 Marriott) at SPG hotels. Then 2 SPG (6 Marriott) for every dollar of eligible purchases on the Card at participating Marriott Rewards hotels. Then 1 SPG (3 Marriott) for all other eligible purchases. The personal SPG does not have Sheraton lounge access, but has only $3,000 min spend (vs $5k) for the 25,000 SPG (75,000 SPG) in 3 months.
If we visualize it in a Excel we can see the points better:
|(In Marriott Pts)||Marriott Chase||SPG AmEx|
|(In SPG Pts)||Marriott Chase||SPG AmEx|
Looks like the AmEx Biz SPG wins out in this situation, earning more Marriott Points than the Marriott Card itself! Best part is the lounge access at the Sheraton, which is a feature of platinum members! You already get lounge access with the free gold from AmEx Plat at the Marriott. The welcome bonus is also only slightly less than the Marriott. For those in violation of 5/24, the SPG is your only choice.
Best perk in getting these product before the merger is points pooling by this transfer chain: AmEx>SPG>Marriott, then gift 50,000 to anyone and convert back. Or you can go UR>Marriott and transfer 50,000 to a friend, then convert back to SPG. Take all your point scraps and trade it in for the Ritz! Hurry up before 2018 to take advantage of the transfer and double points system, and please use the links!