A lot of changes to the Marriott/SPG cards from Amex and Chase go into effect this week on Wednesday (Feb 13). We reviewed all of the changes in detail and provided our insights and strategy tips in our recent article:
The biggest changes taking place this week are that the Chase Marriott Rewards Business card and the Amex SPG personal card are closing for new applications. We do not expect these cards to ever again be open for new applications.
When a card is closing for good, it’s “speak now or forever hold your peace.” In that situation, we always recommend thinking very carefully about whether to apply and whether there’s any conceivable reason to hold the card in the future.
For the Amex SPG personal card, Philly and I have each held the card and received the sign-up bonus. Given Amex’s once-per-lifetime rule, we’re not eligible for another sign-up bonus. Thus, there’s no compelling reason for us to consider applying for this card.
But the Chase Marriott Business card deserves a closer look.
Chase Marriott Rewards Business Card Info
It’s still possible to apply for the Chase Marriott Rewards Premier Plus Business card. Here is a working link (thanks, Doctor of Credit!):
- Apply for the Chase Marriott Rewards Premier Plus Business card (not a referral link)
Applications are only open through tomorrow (Tues 2/12/2019).
The current sign-up bonus is 75,000 Marriott points, after $3,000 in spend within the first 3 months. The annual fee on the card is $99, and it’s not waived in the first year. For the other details on the card, see the Chase application link and/or our previous article (scroll down to #5 for the discussion of this card).
The Chase Marriott Rewards Business card is subject to several eligibility requirements. You are not eligible for the sign-up bonus if you:
- Hold this card or received a sign-up bonus on it within the past 24 months;
- Hold an Amex SPG Personal card or have held one within the past 30 days;
- Hold or held an Amex SPG Business card or an Amex SPG Luxury card, and received a sign-up or upgrade bonus within the past 24 months; or
- Applied and were approved for an Amex SPG Business card or an Amex SPG Luxury card within the past 90 days
However, multiple data points indicate that this card is not subject to the Chase 5/24 Rule. That is, if you’re over 5/24, you can still apply for this card, be approved, and receive the sign-up bonus. And, as a business card, this card will not impact your 5/24 count going forward.
If you’re eligible for the sign-up bonus on this card, we think this is a very good opportunity. You’ll pay a $99 annual fee, but after meeting the minimum spend you’ll get 75,000 Marriott points. At our current baseline value of 0.75 cents per Marriott point, the sign-up bonus is worth about $562.50.
By getting this card, you’d squeeze yourself out of getting a bonus on the Amex SPG Business and Amex SPG Luxury cards for 24 months – but not forever. And we don’t believe there are compelling ongoing benefits on those cards that you’d be foregoing by pushing them out by 24 months.
Our Experiment – Which Unfortunately Failed
By the terms of the restrictions, Philly and I are both ineligible for a sign-up bonus on the Marriott Rewards Business card. I hold an Amex SPG Luxury card and received a sign-up bonus within the past 24 months. Philly holds an Amex SPG Business card and received a sign-up bonus within the past 24 months.
Reading through Reddit Churning over the weekend, I saw at least one data point that suggested at least a slight possibility that we might be able to get the Marriott Rewards Business card and its sign-up bonus even though the terms would exclude us. I figured, why not give it a try? Nothing ventured, nothing gained, right?
And there was nothing to lose by trying. Once you complete and submit your application, if the system determines that you’re not eligible for a sign-up bonus, it will present you with a pop-up warning. The pop-up will let you know that you’re not eligible for the bonus and ask you whether you want to proceed with the application. This happens before Chase pulls your credit for the application, so truly, there are no adverse repurcussions from giving it a shot.
So, this morning I went to the application link and worked my way through the application. Given that it was my Amex SPG Luxury card that was making me ineligible, I did a few things to try to distinguish my application from what would be found in my SPG Luxury card – but I absolutely did not (and would not) falsify any information on my application:
- I used a different variation of my name – middle name rather than first name and middle initial. (This made sense because almost all of my Chase accounts are in my middle name anyway.)
- Of course, with the application being for a business card, my business address, phone number and EIN were different from any information connected with my Amex SPG Luxury personal card.
- I used a different email address than the one connected with my Amex SPG Luxury card.
- And, I left the space for my Marriott Rewards number blank. (I figured that I could just get a new number and combine my accounts later through Marriott.)
There were some pieces of information in my application, though, that were necessarily the same between this application and my Amex SPG Luxury card:
- Most importantly, my social security number was the same!
- And also, my home address and phone number were the same as on my Amex SPG Luxury card account.
I hit “Submit” and … no luck. I received the pop-up letting me know that I was ineligible for the sign-up bonus because I currently have or had an SPG card, as described in the eligibility criteria.
Well, rats. Experiment failed.
Should We Get the Card Anyway Since It’s About to Close for New Applications Forever?
As you can see above, I was given an option to continue with the application anyway, or to cancel and withdraw the application. I thought about this again, given that the card is forever closing.
I’d have to pay a $99 annual fee at the outset, for no sign-up bonus. The card doesn’t have any other first-year value for me that I don’t already have from other cards. The ongoing value for the card is the annual free night certificate up to 35,000 Marriott points. For us, that’s a solid benefit worth more than $99 (although the hotel category changes recently announced by Marriott hurt the value of this certificate). But we’d have to pay $99 up front now, as our price of entry, to then get on-track for future years of paying $99 for the certificate.
We can’t recommend getting this card without the sign-up bonus. It’s a certain $99 out of pocket now. And going forward, there’s just too much uncertainty. It’s not clear how long Chase would continue to support this discontinued card. It’s likely that Marriott will continue to devalue properties so that the certificate is worth less going forward.
On the plus side, perhaps Chase would at some point offer some good incentive to close or convert this card. Or perhaps the portfolio will transfer to Amex and we might get something good at the time of the transfer (remember that Amex is the exclusive issuer of Marriott business cards going forward). And, we might get retention offers to help offset the $99 annual fee in future years (we’re reading reports that people are currently being offered $90 statement credit for retention; but, this may be a one-time thing to keep the portfolio as large as possible right now given that it’s closing). Plus, as we mentioned, getting the card wouldn’t impact my 5/24 status (I’m already way over anyhow).[There’s also a bit of value to us to having the card so we can have better info to blog about it – but this article is about what’s good for you, not us!]
We hope this information and analysis is helpful, and if you apply for the Chase Marriott Rewards Business card now, good luck!
Do you have thoughts or other strategy considerations on the soon-to-be-closed Chase Marriott Rewards Premier Plus Business card? If so, please share with us in the Comments!
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