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Letís talk about alternatives to the SPG Amex after the massive Marriott devaluation

Letís talk about alternatives to the SPG Amex after the massive Marriott devaluation

Old Apr 25, 18, 9:45 am
  #181  
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: MSP (Mahtomedi, MN, USA) - Delta hub captive, Marriott Gold, US Mint Silver, CVS Red
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Originally Posted by xy31 View Post
I already have two CC (costco for costco, food, and gas and SPG for everything else) that I use. I want a card where I don't have to think, so I am leaning towards the fidelity or citi cards that give 2% cash back on everything and no annual fee.
I see you mentioned Fidelity.

If you have 6-figures of brokerage accounts (retirement or taxable, or mixed) you might also want to look at the Bank of America Premium Rewards card, along with banking and brokerage services from BoA and ML Edge.

https://thepointsguy.com/guide/credi...emium-rewards/

You're able to get 2.625% cash back on everyday spend and 3.5% on travel/dining cash back if you meet the highest banking threshold "Platinum Honors"

It's a Visa card also, so you can wave goodbye to the drama of We Don't Take American Express.

At this highest level of funding, you'll also earn a stackable $900 sign-up bonus (which you can earn for your taxable brokerage account, and separately for your retirement brokerage account). And 100 free trades per month on the brokerage side.

Last edited by wbl-mn-flyer; Apr 25, 18 at 10:09 am
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Old Apr 25, 18, 10:03 am
  #182  
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Join Date: May 2008
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Originally Posted by bgriff View Post
If you're not 100% sold on the CSR annual fee, you could also just go for the CFU 3% for a year bonus offer and accumulate points on that card. It will be just as good as the CSR for travel and dining for that first year, and much better for everything else. The only downside is you can't transfer direct to airlines/hotel points from the CFU, but you can build up miles, and when the year is up or you're ready to transfer, whichever comes first, you can then apply to the CSR and it's easy to transfer your miles within Chase from the CFU card to the CSR card.
This is probably the best advice in this entire thread. I have decided to dip my toes in the Ultimate Rewards program and just applied to the CFU card since it is offering the 3% bonus for the first year on ALL spend. If I decide that I like the program, I am going to apply for the CSR card to allow me to transfer my points from CFU to CSR. However, can someone confirm that it is possible to transfer my points to the CSR card after the fact?

For anyone interested, here is the link to the CFU 3% offer.
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Old Apr 25, 18, 10:09 am
  #183  
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
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Originally Posted by digimon View Post
This is probably the best advice in this entire thread. I have decided to dip my toes in the Ultimate Rewards program and just applied to the CFU card since it is offering the 3% bonus for the first year on ALL spend. If I decide that I like the program, I am going to apply for the CSR card to allow me to transfer my points from CFU to CSR. However, can someone confirm that it is possible to transfer my points to the CSR card after the fact?

For anyone interested, here is the link to the CFU 3% offer.
Tough to beat...
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Old Apr 25, 18, 10:24 am
  #184  
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Join Date: Aug 2005
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Originally Posted by digimon View Post
This is probably the best advice in this entire thread. I have decided to dip my toes in the Ultimate Rewards program and just applied to the CFU card since it is offering the 3% bonus for the first year on ALL spend. If I decide that I like the program, I am going to apply for the CSR card to allow me to transfer my points from CFU to CSR. However, can someone confirm that it is possible to transfer my points to the CSR card after the fact?

For anyone interested, here is the link to the CFU 3% offer.
Yes, it is possible to transfer later. I had a Freedom card first and later got a CSP (back before either CFU or CSR existed, but same concept), and just let points build up on the Freedom until I later applied for the CSP.

And for that matter, even if you never apply for the CSR, getting 3% cash back on everything for a year is still a better return than many other options.

Just triple-check when you go to sign up that you are in fact on the 3x back offer page! A friend of mine just signed up and ended up on the usual 15K bonus page instead. He's seeing if Chase can sort it out now.
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Old Apr 25, 18, 12:09 pm
  #185  
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Programs: Starwood, Marriott Rewards
Posts: 55
Originally Posted by digimon View Post
This is probably the best advice in this entire thread. I have decided to dip my toes in the Ultimate Rewards program and just applied to the CFU card since it is offering the 3% bonus for the first year on ALL spend. If I decide that I like the program, I am going to apply for the CSR card to allow me to transfer my points from CFU to CSR. However, can someone confirm that it is possible to transfer my points to the CSR card after the fact?

For anyone interested, here is the link to the CFU 3% offer.
Yup, just did the same last night. Just FYI: I had a weird experience where I was approved for the card, and on the last landing page after the signup, it said the card only gave 1.5% back. I sent an email to Chase, and got a response from some monkey support person that was clearly copied from a script, that also said the card gave 1.5%. I then called Chase, got a sentient being on the line, and they assured me that it was 3.0%.

That first statement is going to be interesting.

Edit: Oops, didn't read the responses all the way through! I'm not the friend bgriff was talking about btw; this happened to me too. The person on the line assured me that my card was tagged with the offer code that said it gets 3% back. But like I said, we'll see what happens when I get that first statement.
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Old Apr 25, 18, 12:19 pm
  #186  
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Programs: DL Diamond; SPG Platinum; sometimes other things too
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Originally Posted by surfmonkey89 View Post
That first statement is going to be interesting.
If it's anything like any other points promotion I've ever seen Chase do, you'll actually be able to tell if it's working before your first statement even closes -- Chase shows how many points you've earned on each transaction on your account online as soon as the transaction posts; you don't have to wait for your statement to close like how Amex does it. (The points earned shown per transaction have always included all bonuses for me, including extra one-off bonuses like when they've had special bonuses for using Chase Pay or Apple Pay, so I would be very surprised if this 3x CFU bonus didn't also show up the same way.)
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Old Apr 25, 18, 4:16 pm
  #187  
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: North Texas
Programs: SWA A-List, Marriott Platinum, Hilton Gold
Posts: 176
Originally Posted by 8tracks View Post
My everyday spend will likely fall into:
Restaurants & Groceries - Amex Hilton Ascend (6x @ 0.005 = 3%, Gold status=Breakfast & often lounge, AF=$95)
Gas & Travel - Citi Premier (3x @ 0.125 = 3.75%, Retention offer always offsets $95 AF)
Cell Phone, Internet, Cable/Satellite, Amazon GC from Staples - Chase Ink Biz + (5x @ 0.014 = 7%, AF=$95)
Other - Chase Freedom Unlimited (1.5x @ 0.014 [UR xfer thru Ink Biz +] = 2.1%)

Question I have: Will I get traditional SPG points from Amex SPG spend through 7/31, or only until my statement closes in July?
This is a good plan.

I'd also be interested in knowing the answer to the statement close question...
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Old Apr 25, 18, 4:24 pm
  #188  
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: North Texas
Programs: SWA A-List, Marriott Platinum, Hilton Gold
Posts: 176
My personal plan is to hit the SPG amex hard an all non-bonus spend for the next 2 months. After that all my non-bonus spend will go on my Chase Southwest Premier to get companion pass for 2019. After getting companion pass I'll use the CFU and amex blue plus business the remainder of the year.

I'm really surprised more people haven't mentioned the Amex Blue Plus that gets 2x MR, which gives you a 2% return at a minimum (or 3% if paired with the Amex business Platinum). It has no annual fee and also earns Amex MR giving you the flexibility of having a transferable point that could potentially be turned into Marriott rewards, depending on Amex' negotiation with Marriott.
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Old Apr 25, 18, 6:55 pm
  #189  
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Do you think AMEX would allow a product change from SPG Business to Blue Business Plus? Or would it have to be a new account?

Also...Blue Business Plus charges foreign transaction fees, just FYI.
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Old Apr 25, 18, 7:05 pm
  #190  
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: New York
Programs: UA Silver, Marriott LTP, Hertz President's Club
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Originally Posted by ESpen36 View Post
Do you think AMEX would allow a product change from SPG Business to Blue Business Plus? Or would it have to be a new account?

Also...Blue Business Plus charges foreign transaction fees, just FYI.
You can always call and ask, but the word is that by end of summer 2017, Amex made a separate product change team with more restrictive rules. You can change from a Delta card to another Delta card, or a Starwood card to another starwood, but not between brands or unbranded <----> cobranded (the latter was a longtime Amex restriction).

Left some people (like me) holding the bag when we signed up for the SPG Amex to churn expecting to product change it to a Hilton Amex with no annual fee after the first year... c'est la vie.
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Old Apr 26, 18, 6:05 am
  #191  
 
Join Date: Jan 2017
Programs: SPG Lifetime Platinum
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I am thinking of getting the Hilton Honors Aspire Card -- I will probably get the Starwood Luxury Card for Starwood stays only which I will remain loyal to for most part. I stayed at the Conrad Singapore this week instead of St. Regis (in part to protest against LTP difference with Marriott folks). I enjoyed the property and have liked the Conrad in HK as well on several stays there. I also really enjoyed the Hilton in Sydney 2 years ago... thought it was a nicer room than Sheraton on the Park.

Thus was thinking of getting HH card and testing the program a bit even though I am not sure I will be able to benefit from the airline or resort credit. The $100 credit for 2 nights at Waldorf or Conrad is appealing.

Anyone have experience with getting Conrad/ Waldorf Suite upgrades as a Diamond member in ASIA specifically? I understand the odds of getting suite upgrades in the US are low as there are so many diamonds especially with the credit card game, but what about in Asia where 70-80% of my spend/ time is? I have about a 95% suite upgrade success rate in Asia over the past 12 years with Starwood (100% in Marriott post merger). I actually can't remember the last time I did not get a Starwood suite but did not want to write 100%.

I only have about a 20-30% suite upgrade rate with SPG in US. 90-100% in Europe and Africa.

What about odds of HH Diamonds getting upgrades to suites in Asia? That to me is my most important benefit. Thanks in advance for any feedback.
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Old Apr 26, 18, 8:14 am
  #192  
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Miami, FL
Programs: UA 1MM, AA Gold, Marriott LT Titanium, Hilton ♢, IHG Plat, Hyatt Disc, Radisson Gold, Hertz PC
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Originally Posted by SHLTP View Post
I am thinking of getting the Hilton Honors Aspire Card -- I will probably get the Starwood Luxury Card for Starwood stays only which I will remain loyal to for most part. I stayed at the Conrad Singapore this week instead of St. Regis (in part to protest against LTP difference with Marriott folks). I enjoyed the property and have liked the Conrad in HK as well on several stays there. I also really enjoyed the Hilton in Sydney 2 years ago... thought it was a nicer room than Sheraton on the Park.

Thus was thinking of getting HH card and testing the program a bit even though I am not sure I will be able to benefit from the airline or resort credit. The $100 credit for 2 nights at Waldorf or Conrad is appealing.

Anyone have experience with getting Conrad/ Waldorf Suite upgrades as a Diamond member in ASIA specifically? I understand the odds of getting suite upgrades in the US are low as there are so many diamonds especially with the credit card game, but what about in Asia where 70-80% of my spend/ time is? I have about a 95% suite upgrade success rate in Asia over the past 12 years with Starwood (100% in Marriott post merger). I actually can't remember the last time I did not get a Starwood suite but did not want to write 100%.

I only have about a 20-30% suite upgrade rate with SPG in US. 90-100% in Europe and Africa.

What about odds of HH Diamonds getting upgrades to suites in Asia? That to me is my most important benefit. Thanks in advance for any feedback.
If I were you I'd ask this question in the Hilton forum or better yet, read this thread: Report your Diamond Suite Upgrade success here :)
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Old Apr 26, 18, 2:13 pm
  #193  
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
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Originally Posted by digimon View Post
This is probably the best advice in this entire thread. I have decided to dip my toes in the Ultimate Rewards program and just applied to the CFU card since it is offering the 3% bonus for the first year on ALL spend. If I decide that I like the program, I am going to apply for the CSR card to allow me to transfer my points from CFU to CSR. However, can someone confirm that it is possible to transfer my points to the CSR card after the fact?

For anyone interested, here is the link to the CFU 3% offer.
It's possible now, but there's a rumor going around that CFU UR will be restricted from transferring to programs in the future. https://frequentmiler.boardingarea.c...rds-transfers/ It is just a rumor at this time.
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Old Apr 26, 18, 2:22 pm
  #194  
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: CT/ Germany - Ich spreche deutsch
Programs: UA Plat, AA Gold, LH Silver, Bonvoy LTTE, HH Dia, Hyatt Disc, PC Plat, CC Gold
Posts: 4,206
Originally Posted by 8tracks View Post
My everyday spend will likely fall into:
Restaurants & Groceries - Amex Hilton Ascend (6x @ 0.005 = 3%, Gold status=Breakfast & often lounge, AF=$95)
You can get a better value out of the Amex Everyday Preferred card for spending on groceries IF you can do 30 transactions a month and you want to earn Hilton Honors points.

Groceries = 4.5 Amex MR points per $1 which transfer to 9 HH points
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Old Apr 26, 18, 2:42 pm
  #195  
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 464
This has been an excellent thread and has helped me consider additional options. I am now seriously considering the BofA Premier Visa with 2.62% cash back on non-bonus and 3.5% back on restaurants/travel. It will require me to move some money to BofA/Merrill. But, the cash back at those levels is very tough to beat. Plus, the Global entry credit and airline incidentals credit makes up for the annual fee (and I read that retention offers also make up for the annual fee).

I will still probably get the new Marriott card for the 100K bonus and for Marriott spend and maybe cell phone spend. But, if Marriott points are worth .7 to.9. cents Your return on non-bonus spending is only 2 X .7 to .9 or 1.4 to 1.8 cents. Not even 2%.

What keeps me still thinking about all of this are the Marriott travel packages. I am using two travel packages this year to travel to Hawaii. I will be staying in a category 8 hotel. That travel package costs 360K points. For that I get 120K frequent flyer miles (mine were Alaska which I've seen valued at 2.1 cents for a value of $2520, but my savings were more like $1800). The category 8 hotel would cost $2240 for the first trip. So, my actual value is $4040. That doesn't beat the $4716 I would earn in cash from the BofA Visa for spending $180,000.00 on non-bonus spending. However, for my second trip to Hawaii which will be over new years, I have a hotel reserved that is currently going for over $1K per night. So, my points value is off the charts for that trip and easily outweighs the BofA Visa.

As a result, I think I will get both cards for now. But, I think my non-bonused spend will go to the BofA card.

Thanks to the posters who brought that card to my attention.
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