NEW RULES WARNING: You May Wish To Rethink Upgrading Your Chase Marriott Visa


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With the merger of Marriott Rewards and Starwood Preferred Guest there are some significant changes coming to the credit cards associated with both programs. Historically Amex has offered the SPG credit cards while Chase has been in partnership with Marriott…but that’s all changing.

Going forward this is how things are going to look for the credit cards of the combined program:

  • Amex will issue the business credit cards and a “luxury” credit card ($450 annual fee)
  • Chase will issue the regular personal credit cards

Recently Chase introduced the Marriott Rewards Premier Plus credit card which costs more than the existing Marriott credit card but comes with better benefits and better earning rates at Marriott properties.

To entice existing Chase Marriott credit card holders to upgrade to the new Premier Plus credit card Chase has been offering upgrade bonuses of between 10,000 and 50,000 points but information has now come to light which suggests that upgrading may not be a good idea.

View From The Wing has reported that, from 26 August 2018, new rules are being put into place which will make it harder for people to get the signup bonuses associated with the Chase and Amex cards and the upgrade bonus that’s currently on offer falls foul of the new rules.

Here are the new sign-up bonus eligibility rules in full:

Chase Marriott Credit Cards

An applicant will not be eligible for a sign-up bonus for the Marriott Rewards Premier Plus credit card, the Marriott Rewards Premier Business credit card or the Marriott Rewards Premier Plus Business credit card if….

  • He/she has (or has held within the past 30 days) the Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card from American Express
  • He/she has signed up for the SPG American Express Luxury credit card or a SPG American Express Business credit card in the past 90 days
  • He/she has received a sign-up bonus or upgrade bonus from the SPG Amex Luxury credit card or the SPG Amex Business credit card in the past 24 months

Amex Starwood Credit Cards

An applicant will not be eligible for a sign-up bonus for the Starwood Preferred Guest American Express Luxury credit card if….

  • He/she has (or has held within the past 30 days) the Ritz-Carlton Rewards credit card from Chase
  • He/she has signed up for the Marriott Rewards Premier Plus credit card, the Marriott Rewards Premier credit card or the Marriott Rewards Premier Business credit card in the past 90 days (all issued by Chase)
  • He/she has received a sign-up bonus or upgrade bonus from the Marriott Rewards Premier Plus credit card, the Marriott Rewards Premier credit card or the Marriott Rewards Premier Business credit card (all issued by Chase) in the past 24 months.

An applicant will not be eligible for a sign-up bonus for the Starwood Preferred Guest American Express credit card if….

  • He/she has (or has held within the past 30 days) the Marriott Rewards Premier Plus credit card, the Marriott Rewards Premier credit card, the Marriott Rewards credit card or the Ritz-Carlton Rewards credit card (all issued by Chase)

An applicant will not be eligible for a sign-up bonus for the Starwood Preferred Guest American Express Business credit card if….

  • He/she has (or has held within the past 30 days) the Marriott Rewards Premier Business credit card from Chase or the Marriott Rewards Business Card from Chase.
  • He/she has signed up for the Marriott Rewards Premier Plus credit card from Chase or the Marriott Rewards Premier credit card from Chase in the past 90 days
  • He/she has received a sign-up bonus from the Marriott Rewards Premier Plus credit card from Chase or the Marriott Rewards Premier credit card from Chase in the past 24 months.

Thoughts

Chase has been really pushing Marriott Premier Visa card holders to upgrade to the new Marriott Premier Plus credit card (I’ve had at least three emails about this) and now we’re being told that anyone who took up the upgrade will be constrained going forward.

From 26 August 2018 all those who have upgraded to the new Marriott Premier Plus credit card will not be eligible for a sign-up bonus from the Starwood Preferred Guest Luxury Credit Card from American Express.

On top of this we have the fact that Amex hasn’t yet released an issue date for the new SPG Luxury card so we don’t know if there will be a window of opportunity for Marriott Visa upgraders to still get the sign-up bonus on the Luxury card before the rules change on 26 August.

As far as the other new rules go there’s clearly an effort being made to ensure that the number of people who hold similar Chase and Amex products is kept as low as possible.

With a number of Amex-issued and Chase-issued cards offering similar (often identical) benefits the banks know that anyone applying for both cards probably plans to only use one of them with any frequency with the other card being consigned to the sock drawer once the sign-up bonus has been banked….and the banks don’t like handing out sign-up bonuses on cards that applicants never end up using.

Bottom Line

The new rules look harsh and while I understand that credit card companies are keen to stop people applying for credit cards just for the sign-up bonuses I think this could have been handled a lot better.

Make sure you understand the rules coming into force on 26 August and make whatever preparations you need to in order to minimise any effects the rules will have on you.

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