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Does $450 Brilliant make more sense than two $95 Bonvoys?

Does $450 Brilliant make more sense than two $95 Bonvoys?

Old Feb 8, 20, 5:16 pm
  #1  
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Does $450 Brilliant make more sense than two $95 Bonvoys?

I have two regular, $95 Bonvoy cards, one Amex and one Chase, as a result of the merger and my SPG being converted. After the recent re-categorizing, I'm wondering if getting rid of those and replacing them with the Brilliant might make more sense for me. I'd be replacing two $95 cards, with 35K FNAs, with one $450 card with one 50K FNA and a $300 hotel credit, and it seems like the latter scenario would be easier to redeem than to try to find 35Ks. I'd still get the 6x multiplier, and while Amex isn't as widely accepted in Europe, most of my stays would be in the US anyway.

Am I missing something, or does in this case having one $450 card actually make things easier than two $95 cards?

(Not sure which forum is most appropriate, sorry.)
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Old Feb 8, 20, 7:38 pm
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Mostly agree unless you travel annually to places that have a low category hotels.
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Old Feb 8, 20, 7:50 pm
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I'm starting to think that after the category changes, I think the only two Marriott cards worth keeping are the Ritzs and Brilliant cards. The net AF will be lower due to the annual travel credits. I got two certificates that will be "useless" to me after March 4th so I'll use it up between now and then. I'll be cancelling those cards not long after that.
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Old Feb 9, 20, 9:52 am
  #4  
 
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does it make sense to stack all your earnings onto one specific chain? For me, I earn about 500k Marriott points a year without any cards and that's more than enough for me to redeem per year. Same with AA. That covers all my personal vacation travels per year. I'd rather diversify by using the Chase Reserve card and use those points for anything. I just redeemed a Herman Miller Aeron chair with points which I think is worth it. Just trying to understand the rationale, maybe I'm missing something...
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Old Feb 9, 20, 9:58 am
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Originally Posted by dunno282 View Post
does it make sense to stack all your earnings onto one specific chain? For me, I earn about 500k Marriott points a year without any cards and that's more than enough for me to redeem per year. Same with AA. That covers all my personal vacation travels per year. I'd rather diversify by using the Chase Reserve card and use those points for anything. I just redeemed a Herman Miller Aeron chair with points which I think is worth it. Just trying to understand the rationale, maybe I'm missing something...
My comment was about the 35k certificate rather than stacking all of my earnings with one chain.
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Old Feb 9, 20, 10:06 am
  #6  
 
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Originally Posted by lsquare View Post
My comment was about the 35k certificate rather than stacking all of my earnings with one chain.
right. i wasn't directing the question to your comment. just asking in general.
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Old Feb 9, 20, 11:05 am
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I'd say if you're using Chase points to buy furniture + whatever else you have written + posting a question having nothing to do with OP........you need an education beyond your PhD.
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Old Feb 9, 20, 11:43 am
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Originally Posted by dunno282 View Post
right. i wasn't directing the question to your comment. just asking in general.
The calculus may be changing w/ the upcoming massive devaluation of Bonvoy. Until recently, however, there were many who considered holding a card w/ a $95USD annual fee to be worthwhile on the basis of the FN certificate alone - without necessarily earning a single point actually using said card (so this discussion has nothing really to do at all w/ points, per se).

Since you yourself earn such a substantial number of points annually, a 35k FN cert is probably not even on your radar. But not everyone here earns a fully self-sustaining number of points similar to your situation. Additionally, consider that some of us own businesses and like to open and maintain accounts under our business banners, leaving us with duplicates where we see value in doing so. Lastly, there were many of us who held one personal and perhaps even one business card in both MR and SPG, which then left is with two to FOUR Marriott cards.

I myself was finally beginning to see value in the 35k certs (up from 25k) and was using them to good effect, and so was sitting on the three Marriott cards I've left open thus far. But now that Marriott has predictably moved the goal post, I'll likely pare that down and find better cards outside of just the lone Brilliant account.

Edit: But I'll do so slowly, as I'm careful about my credit score.
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Old Feb 9, 20, 12:12 pm
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Originally Posted by CCIE_Flyer View Post
The calculus may be changing w/ the upcoming massive devaluation of Bonvoy. Until recently, however, there were many who considered holding a card w/ a $95USD annual fee to be worthwhile on the basis of the FN certificate alone - without necessarily earning a single point actually using said card (so this discussion has nothing really to do at all w/ points, per se).

Since you yourself earn such a substantial number of points annually, a 35k FN cert is probably not even on your radar. But not everyone here earns a fully self-sustaining number of points similar to your situation. Additionally, consider that some of us own businesses and like to open and maintain accounts under our business banners, leaving us with duplicates where we see value in doing so. Lastly, there were many of us who held one personal and perhaps even one business card in both MR and SPG, which then left is with two to FOUR Marriott cards.

I myself was finally beginning to see value in the 35k certs (up from 25k) and was using them to good effect, and so was sitting on the three Marriott cards I've left open thus far. But now that Marriott has predictably moved the goal post, I'll likely pare that down and find better cards outside of just the lone Brilliant account.

Edit: But I'll do so slowly, as I'm careful about my credit score.
This is very close to my situation.

I donít travel a ton, and for the few places I go semi-regularly, I stay at Marriott properties. The whole thing started entirely by accident, not even knowing that the Sheraton Maui was an SPG property until I checked in a second time and got a room upgrade. At that point I got the SPG Amex, and used it as my only card. It also helped that Costco took Amex at the time.

Then, a few years ago, a friend pointed out that if I got a Marriott card, Iíd get a free night at the hotel I was staying at in Spokane, Wa. So I got that, and used it a couple of times.

After the merger I had two cards, both at $95 a year, both with 35K certs. With the recent changes, my favorite hotel is moving up a category, so Iím re-evaluating. I could just get the Brilliant, which gives me the cert at my preferred hotel, plus the $300 credit that I can use at ANY hotel and wonít have to worry about blackout dates and all that. It feels like the convenience of having cold hard cash outweighs the nominal increase in fee once you take the credit into account. I could say Iím saving money by getting rid of two cards with $190 in fees and two free nights for one $450 card with a $300 credit and one free night, but with the way the rules keep changing on FNA Iím just going to call it a push for now.
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Old Feb 9, 20, 12:14 pm
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Originally Posted by CCIE_Flyer View Post
Edit: But I'll do so slowly, as I'm careful about my credit score.
Can you share some of your strategy here? I’m about to pare down myself, and I don’t want to torch my credit score if I can get away with it. My initial plan was to downgrade a couple of AF cards to their free equivalents, and cancel a couple altogether, but a friend of mine claims that having more than two cards, even if you’re not using them, hurts your credit score.

Edit: you can DM me if you want
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Old Feb 9, 20, 12:30 pm
  #11  
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For those of you canceling cards, please make sure you tell Amex WHY you are canceling. Since Asia is my preferred destination (or HNL but I could never use my certs there) I doubt I will cancel any of my 3 cards.

surfmonkey89 there is an identical thread in the Amex forum. This is against FT rules.
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Old Feb 9, 20, 12:31 pm
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Some folks are getting carried away with their reactions to how bad Marriott's devaluation is. 35k FNAs are not suddenly becoming worthless. If you stay at a lot of midrange properties they're still quite useful and easy to capture at least the value of the $95 AF with. I'm not sure I'd want two, but it all depends on what fits one's travel patterns.
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Old Feb 9, 20, 12:36 pm
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Originally Posted by margarita girl View Post
For those of you canceling cards, please make sure you tell Amex WHY you are canceling. Since Asia is my preferred destination (or HNL but I could never use my certs there) I doubt I will cancel any of my 3 cards.

surfmonkey89 there is an identical thread in the Amex forum. This is against FT rules.
Asia is also my preferred destination. Where are you going to be using your 35k certificate? Like I said before, San Francisco, Vancouver, and New York all have properties going up in category so I can't use it where I would want to use it. So what's the point?
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Old Feb 9, 20, 12:57 pm
  #14  
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Originally Posted by lsquare View Post
Asia is also my preferred destination. Where are you going to be using your 35k certificate? Like I said before, San Francisco, Vancouver, and New York all have properties going up in category so I can't use it where I would want to use it. So what's the point?
No immediate plans, but there are good options in Bangkok and Bali. Last year, I used them in Melbourne.
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Old Feb 9, 20, 1:14 pm
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Upgrade your Chase card to Ritz Carlton and dump everything else, currently offerings (Amex and Chase) are strictly inferior
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