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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

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Old Aug 28, 18, 7:39 am
  #616  
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 135
Originally Posted by robertw477 View Post
Not considering any bonus spend on travel cards of various currencies: citi double cash pays 2 percent, Barclay Arrival 2.1, Alliance Credit Union 3%
I am now doing CSR for bonus categories and Barclay Arrival for non-bonus.
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Old Aug 28, 18, 10:33 pm
  #617  
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Posts: 49
Does anyone know how do I confirm the points on spending before the devaluation on August 1 were posted at the previous earning amount? Was on my AMEX CC webpage and it redirected me to my SPG website and it wasn't there either....

Thanks
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Old Aug 29, 18, 3:10 pm
  #618  
 
Join Date: May 2014
Location: Charleston, SC
Programs: SPG/Marriot Gold, Hilton Gold
Posts: 262
At this point, I think it may be best to just move all my spend to the BofA Premium card. With my status at the bank, I get 2.67% back on all spending and 3.5% back on dining/travel. I can use that cash to buy rooms rather than try to get the devalued points. I wanted to get the SPG business card for the bonus, but it just does not seem worth it anymore.
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Old Aug 29, 18, 8:08 pm
  #619  
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Programs: Former UA 1K
Posts: 559
Originally Posted by zorbachs View Post
At this point, I think it may be best to just move all my spend to the BofA Premium card. With my status at the bank, I get 2.67% back on all spending and 3.5% back on dining/travel. I can use that cash to buy rooms rather than try to get the devalued points. I wanted to get the SPG business card for the bonus, but it just does not seem worth it anymore.
You might pick up the Bank of America Cash Rewards card. You will get 5.25% cash back on gas, 3.5% cash back on grocery stores and wholesale clubs (Platinum Honors member). I plan on combining the Bank of America cards with the CSR.

PS I might pick up the Chase Freedom.
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Old Aug 30, 18, 3:13 pm
  #620  
 
Join Date: May 2014
Location: Charleston, SC
Programs: SPG/Marriot Gold, Hilton Gold
Posts: 262
Originally Posted by Explore SE Asia View Post
You might pick up the Bank of America Cash Rewards card. You will get 5.25% cash back on gas, 3.5% cash back on grocery stores and wholesale clubs (Platinum Honors member). I plan on combining the Bank of America cards with the CSR.

PS I might pick up the Chase Freedom.
I do have the cash rewards too. In total, I get 5.25% back on gas, 3.5% back on groceries/Costco/dining/travel with the two cards. I think that's good enough for me and beats accumulating new Marriot/Starwood points. I have a Platinum Amex for a travel card, but I rarely spend on it, and I already have 475k MR points
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Old Sep 6, 18, 7:55 pm
  #621  
 
Join Date: Jan 2017
Programs: SPG Lifetime Platinum
Posts: 856
I would like the Hilton Aspire esp with the new 150,000 bonus that went into effect today. My problem is where I am based most of the time (Asia), they have very few compelling resorts to get the $250 USD credit. If they switched that to spending in any hotel like SPG Luxury then I would get the card instantly. Hilton just has too few nice resorts in Asia, esp at the Conrad and WA level.
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Old Sep 9, 18, 9:19 pm
  #622  
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: SNA
Programs: AA EXP, Hilton Gold, Hyatt Explorist, IHG Plat, Marriott Plat, UA Silver
Posts: 899
I would value that resort credit at $0 in that case. I stay in a Hilton resort at least once if not twice a year, but unfortunately (for the AMEX Hilton) I end up putting that spend on the Citi Prestige for the 4th night free.
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Old Sep 10, 18, 3:17 pm
  #623  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: DEN
Programs: UA 1P-1MM, Marriott Gold, SPG Lifetime Gold
Posts: 3,572
Originally Posted by SHLTP View Post
I just got a 100K bonus offer for upgrading from regular SPG Amex to Luxury if I spend $5000 USD in next 3 months. I took it. Although I deeply dislike the devaluation of the spending, I will still use this card. Amex some years has given me good retention bonuses (this year I think was 10,000 points for spending 10k USD or 15K spend or something like that). Last year gave me something like 15k points for spending $15k USD around September.

I am not sure if these offers are available to all members, but I have spent a fair amount on this card for a decade +, so I think the bonuses more than make up for the lost earning... as long as they keep offering these types of bonuses. I will test for a year or two
.
Logged onto my AMEX account today and I now have the 100K bonus for $5000 spend upgrade offer. Previously (before Aug 26) my offer was 15,000 miles for upgrading the card. I'm not completely clear if I can get this bonus as I just got a Chase Marriott Preferred Plus card for the 75K bonus and will be getting that soon (completed spend today). I need to read more of the T&Cs
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Old Sep 20, 18, 9:13 pm
  #624  
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Boston, MA
Programs: AA Lifetime Plat, QF Lifetime Gold, SPG Plat (Lifetime Gold), Hyatt Diamond, Fairmont Plat
Posts: 7,122
Best Card for Int'l F Awards?

I like to use my miles/points for international F redemptions to Europe/Asia, etc.

IMO, the SPG cards used to be best w a 1 point to $1 earning rate plus the 25% transfer bonus. Now it's equivalent to a .667 point per $1 earning rate which jumps to a whopping .834/$1 rate with the 25% bonus.

So, clearly any 1 point to $1 card with a broad range or partners is better than any SPG card (except for SPG earning and SPG redemptions).

But I want to focus on F redemptions on the likes of AF, LH, SX, SQ, QF, CX, JL, NH...possibly expanding to ER and EK at the best rates...

AF is out because you need to be top tier...maybe same with SX and SQ.

Right now, I am using a combination of Alaska Airlines Visa and BA Visa (BA Visa is only good for the $30K spend 2 for 1 award redemptions and then I book an annual trip to Europe in F for 150,000 Avios round trip for two plus $2000-$2500 in crazy fees.

But I am considering Chase UR, or a Citi Card, and AMEX MR card, or maybe a Barclays card?

Also, some people have said airlines like KE, LA, AV, and even AC have the "best" premium F redemption values.

Your suggestions?
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Old Sep 21, 18, 6:20 am
  #625  
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 103
This whole exercise has been a big eye opener for me. I was quite happy with my SPG card for 10+ years. If Amex kept non-bonus spend at 3 points/$, I probably would still be using it or perhaps upgrading to the Luxury card, all in blissful ignorance.

I am currently using CSR, and although I like it, I would probably consider going back to the Amex if they increased regular spend back to 3/point. I'm a Starwood and American Airlines guy (my wife and I have elite status on both), and CSR really doesn't work for transfer partners, and I have always found the best value booking through the portal at 1.5 cpp. I admit that I am usually booking domestic economy and I won't get the stratospheric returns that people get when booking international business or first class flights.

I have the luxury card, and I switched back to using it, until my double bonus point offer (2 extra points up to 30,000) is up. Not sure what I will do on October 23rd for my anniversary. Will Amex continue to offer these double bonus offers? If so, I may continue with the luxury card. Otherwise I will get the CFU and continue using the portal for a very good return of 2.25- 4.5 cpp.
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Old Sep 21, 18, 6:37 am
  #626  
 
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: 3,908
I have sockdrawered my SPG card and am using CSR for travel and dining, AMEX EDP or Chase FU for everday spend and HH Ascend for groceries and dining until I get to $15k. I got the Marriott card to take advantage of the 100k sign-up bonus but it will only be used for MR and SPG stays. Plan is to decide after year 1 if the old SPG card and MR Premier Plus Visa are both worth keeping or what I do BUT they are definitely NOT getting any spend outside of MR/SPG.
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Old Sep 21, 18, 8:48 am
  #627  
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Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Brooklyn
Programs: DL Diamond; SPG Platinum; sometimes other things too
Posts: 3,511
Originally Posted by nologic View Post
I like to use my miles/points for international F redemptions to Europe/Asia, etc.

IMO, the SPG cards used to be best w a 1 point to $1 earning rate plus the 25% transfer bonus. Now it's equivalent to a .667 point per $1 earning rate which jumps to a whopping .834/$1 rate with the 25% bonus.

So, clearly any 1 point to $1 card with a broad range or partners is better than any SPG card (except for SPG earning and SPG redemptions).

But I want to focus on F redemptions on the likes of AF, LH, SX, SQ, QF, CX, JL, NH...possibly expanding to ER and EK at the best rates...

AF is out because you need to be top tier...maybe same with SX and SQ.

Right now, I am using a combination of Alaska Airlines Visa and BA Visa (BA Visa is only good for the $30K spend 2 for 1 award redemptions and then I book an annual trip to Europe in F for 150,000 Avios round trip for two plus $2000-$2500 in crazy fees.

But I am considering Chase UR, or a Citi Card, and AMEX MR card, or maybe a Barclays card?

Also, some people have said airlines like KE, LA, AV, and even AC have the "best" premium F redemption values.

Your suggestions?
It sounds like cards like the Chase Sapphire Reserve or some of the Amex Membership Rewards family of cards would be perfect for you.

The SPG Amex used to be a good way to get very specific awards (like, back in the day before they were devalued, Emirates awards through Alaska for example) where you need a particular type of miles that are hard to accrue. But if you're willing to be somewhat flexible with what airline you fly and what miles you use to get there, the Chase UR and Amex MR transfer partners give you lots of options. And with certain combinations of cards, like CSR + CFU or Amex Preferred Rewards Gold + Amex Everyday Preferred (plus Amex Platinum if you have a lot of airfare spend), you can earn significantly more miles per dollar than the 1-1.25 that the SPG Amex used to get you, at the cost of a smaller set of transfer partner options. (Citi TYP can also have similar benefits, but IMO with their somewhat clunkier set of transfer partners, there's not much reason to choose Citi as a first pick now that their sign-up bonus bonanza is over.)

The one area where the Amex and Chase transfer partner portfolio is somewhat weak is oneworld awards; you can transfer either type of points to BA for F awards on CX, JL, and QF, but BA's miles requirements and fees on longhaul awards can be steep. (Though AA miles aren't quite as attractive as they used to be for some of those awards, either.) And Amex does sometimes have bonuses like the current 40% bonus on transferring points to BA that can take some of the sting out of BA's high award prices. But if it's just a matter of "I want to fly to Asia in a decent first class product" and you're not picky about the exact airline you fly on, you can usually find a good enough option via transferring Amex or Chase points to one of their Star Alliance transfer partners.
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Old Sep 21, 18, 9:37 am
  #628  
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: DAY
Programs: Rapid Rewards, Skymiles, Hilton HHonors, SPG/Marriott Rewards
Posts: 1,303
Originally Posted by ckelly14 View Post
This whole exercise has been a big eye opener for me. I was quite happy with my SPG card for 10+ years. If Amex kept non-bonus spend at 3 points/$, I probably would still be using it or perhaps upgrading to the Luxury card, all in blissful ignorance.

I am currently using CSR, and although I like it, I would probably consider going back to the Amex if they increased regular spend back to 3/point. I'm a Starwood and American Airlines guy (my wife and I have elite status on both), and CSR really doesn't work for transfer partners, and I have always found the best value booking through the portal at 1.5 cpp. I admit that I am usually booking domestic economy and I won't get the stratospheric returns that people get when booking international business or first class flights.

I have the luxury card, and I switched back to using it, until my double bonus point offer (2 extra points up to 30,000) is up. Not sure what I will do on October 23rd for my anniversary. Will Amex continue to offer these double bonus offers? If so, I may continue with the luxury card. Otherwise I will get the CFU and continue using the portal for a very good return of 2.25- 4.5 cpp.
Do you find any value with AA miles in domestic economy? I admit, I am not a big AA flyer, but every time I look for domestic miles redemption, the options are horrible.
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Old Sep 21, 18, 9:52 am
  #629  
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Join Date: Apr 2008
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Programs: UA 1K1.5MM, Hyatt Globalist, abandoned Marriott LTT (RIP SPG), Hertz PC
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Originally Posted by Cledaybuck View Post
Do you find any value with AA miles in domestic economy? I admit, I am not a big AA flyer, but every time I look for domestic miles redemption, the options are horrible.
AA miles best for OW partners...I have used for CX to/within Asia, IB to Spain/Europe, etc. As you note their domestic / own metal availability is pretty bad.
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Old Sep 21, 18, 10:51 am
  #630  
 
Join Date: Jul 2018
Posts: 73
Did you guys see the changes that look like they are coming to the PRG? For those who haven't the revamp looks like it is going to be: 4x Restaurants (possibly US only), 4x Grocery Stores (up to $25k/year), new $120 restuarant credit/year (only usable at specific places, $10/month), will keep the $100 airline credit. I could see myself moving to Amex and using a primary combo of the BBP and PRG.
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