Posted by William Charles on September 23, 2016
Credit Cards

Published on September 23rd, 2016 | by William Charles


A Look At All SPG/Marriott/Ritz-Carlton Credit Cards – Do They Make Sense With The New Transfer Rates? (1:3 or 3:1)

Marriott have just announced the details of their acquisition of SPG. Part of this is the fact that you can now transfer SPG to Marriott points at a rate of 1:3 and conversely you can transfer Marriott to SPG at a rate of 3:1. They’ll also match your status as well, as follows:


Let’s take a look at all of the SPG/Marriott/Ritz-Carlton credit cards and see if there is any hidden value now.

Ritz-Carlton Credit Card

Link to our full review

This card offers three free nights at any tier 1-4 properties and 10,000 Ritz-Carlton points after you add an authorized user and they make their first purchase. It also comes with a heavy $450 annual fee but with $300 in airline incidental credits. It earns at the following rates:

  • 5x points on Ritz-Carlton & partner hotel stays
  • 2x points on travel & restaurants
  • 1x points on all other purchases

It gives you Gold Elite status in the first year and you can maintain this by spending $10,000 on purchases in the first year and each year thereafter. This can be upgraded to Platinum Elite status with $75,000 in spend each account year.

Because the free night credits can’t be transferred to SPG and the earning rates on this card are relatively low (especially when you consider the 3:1 transfer rate) this card isn’t of particular interest. You would get SPG gold or Platinum status, but that isn’t particularly exciting given the high spend requirement.

Marriott Personal

Link to our review/current offer

The current sign up bonus on this card is 80,000 points after $3,000 in spend within the first three months and 7,500 points for adding an authorized user and them making a first purchase also within three months of account opening. This would leave you with 87,500 points (really at least 90,500 after meeting the minimum spend requirement). That would be worth ~30,000 SPG points.

Downside is that the $85 annual fee is not waived the first year, and the earning rates aren’t great.

  • Annual fee of $85 is not waived
  • Card earns at the following rates:
    • 5x points per $1 spent at Marriott & Ritz Carlton locations
    • 2x points per $1 spent on airline tickets purchased directly with the Airline, at car rental agencies and at restaurants
    • 1x points per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Anniversary bonus of a free night certificate for a category 1-5 property.
  • 15 credits towards Elite membership after approval and every year after account anniversary
  • 1 elite credit for every $3,000 spent
  • This product is available to you if you do not have this card and have not received a new cardmember bonus for this card in the past 24 months

Unfortunately the Chase 5/24 rule also applies to this card!

Chase Marriott Business

Update: According to Flyertalk this link is 70k points with the AF waived, but it’s not mentioned on the application page so YMMV.

This offer is currently pretty similar to the Chase Marriott personal card, big differences are the $99 annual fee and the fact that Chase 5/24 doesn’t apply to this card. Unfortunately there is no authorized user bonus either, so you’d end up with 80,000 points after $3,000 in spend (worth about 26,650 SPG points). Previously they’ve had a 100,000 point offer but that has now expired.

  • Annual fee of $99 is not waived
  • Card earns at the following rates:
    • 5x points per $1 spent at Marriott & Ritz Carlton locations
    • 2x points per $1 spent on airline tickets purchased directly with the Airline, at car rental agencies and at restaurants
    • 1x points per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Anniversary bonus of a free night certificate for a category 1-5 property.
  • 15 credits towards Elite membership after approval and every year after account anniversary
  • 1 elite credit for every $3,000 spent
  • Marriott gold status after $50,000 in spend 
  • No foreign transaction fees

SPG Personal

There are currently two offers on this card, you can either get two free nights at any category 1-5 property or 25,000 points after $3,000 in spend by using a referral link (share your referrals here).

Now there are a few big things here, basically this is 75,000 Marriott points with no annual fee (better than the Marriott offers if you ask me). The second is that this card means you can earn 3x Marriott points on all purchases. You’d need to value Marriott points at over 0.67¢ each to get better value than using a 2% card.

SPG Business

Same as personal, there are two different offers. One for two free nights and the other for 25,000 points but both require $5,000 in spend. You can share your referrals here.

  • Annual fee of $95 is waived the first year
  • No foreign transaction fee
  • Boingo internet access for up to four devices
  • Premium in room internet at all SPG hotels
  • Earn 2x points on all SPG purchases
  • Earn 1x points on all other purchases
  • Sheraton Club Access

You have the same ability to get 75,000 points and earn 3x on Marriott as with the personal.

Our Verdict

A lot of people will be eyeing the 7 night + miles hotel and flight packages from Marriott. One awesome deal would be 120,000 Southwest miles (these count for the companion pass) and seven nights at a category one to five property. Normally that would set you back 270,000 points but in this case it could be 90,000 SPG points. I’m actually more interested in transferring the other way as I like SPG points quite a lot and have a glut of airline miles. It’s a shame the personal Marriott card is under 5/24 and the business card doesn’t come with the 7,500 authorized user points.

Still that’s a pretty good offer, over 25,000 SPG points but I do eat an annual fee of $99 so will need to think about it some more. Where do you see the value with this new announcement? Let me know in the comments.

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Hope amex will chang their mind and do a final big sign up bonus before selling their card to chase.

For the Ritz card you need to spend $75k/year to get the platinum status FYI

what credit cards give the highest limit?
please someone point me to a relevant thread.
90k income
780 score

1. Asks easy-to-research question that has nothing to do with post.
2. Expects someone else to send links / answer to them.

….The double whammy

On the bright side, he didn’t ask for a hammock or lemonade.

But but he makes 90k and has score of 780…

at least he didnt end it with the most annoying ass “TIA” and just said “thanks”. so theres some respect there…

I just did a test transfer and transferred 2000 SPG points, and within 30 minutes the 6000 points were showing in my Marriott account.

HOWEVER, my Marriott lifetime points balance did NOT increase by 6000 points. I was under the impression that ALL points transferred (from UR) or earned (even via the shopping portal) counted towards lifetime status, but maybe SPG points transfers are an exception. Does anyone know if this is the case? Or perhaps there is a delay and the lifetime total is not refreshed in real time?

Marriott lifetime is handled totally differently. Read the FAQ and call Marriott. Everything is still TBD.

I did read the entire FAQ, actually, and there was no mention of lifetime elite points. The FAQ specifically mentions how lifetime STATUS and lifetime elite NIGHTS are to be treated, but there is absolutely no mention whatsoever of lifetime elite POINTS. Traditionally, when qualifying for lifetime status, the elite nights requirement is the easier of the two to qualify for, while the lifetime elite points requirement is much more difficult. Considering the new possibilities of earning SPG points and potentially transferring them to Marriott in order to get close to lifetime status, I was simply providing a data point that this does NOT work, since I haven’t read about this potentially lucrative possibility on any of the other blogs or on reddit.

I understand that “everything is still TBD”, but since they specifically mentioned how lifetime STATUS and lifetime NIGHTS are to be treated, I find it strange that they didn’t also explicitly mention how lifetime POINTS are to be calculated. Furthermore, it has been the case traditionally that ALL points transfers DID COUNT towards the lifetime points requirement, whether from affiliated programs such as Chase UR or United MileagePlus, or from other companies that Marriott now owns, such as Ritz Carlton points. I was hoping that they would treat SPG points the same way as Ritz Points, considering that they now own both companies, but perhaps it’s too early along in the process for that. Let’s cross our fingers and hope that this changes in the months ahead.

I’m hoping it will be more akin to Hilton with both Citi aand Amex offering Hilton cards.

Of course they wouldn’t count transfers for lifetime earnings (since those SPG points are counted towards SPG lifetime points). They’d have to deduct those points from SPG lifetime to add it to Marriott lifetime… No way would they bother

Otherwise you’d just transfer points back and forth until you hit 3 million.

To clarify, even though SPG lifetime points don’t count for lifetime status, I can assure you they are being tracked

Good to know the 5/24 rule doesn’t apply to the Marriott Business card. Will try that route and transfer to SPG. Thanks.

I wonder if SPG Platinum matched to Marriott Platinum Plus will match to United Silver? Can’t seem to get it to work at the moment, but the Marriott website seems to be under stress…

I’m really curious to see what they do with the Amex SPG card in terms of future earning. Assuming they sell to Chase, are they going to grandfather in the 3x Marriott points per dollar spent? And is Gold Status going to same the same at $30k spend per year or are we going to get bumped up to a higher number like the regular Chase Marriott card.

Does Marriott still offer the get 40,000k MR after $3k spend in 3 months, plus $200 statement credit after 1st purchase, and the first year AF$85 waived credit card? Or is it dead? I thought it was better than the current 80k MR with no waived AF offer, since I find most $200/night hotels at the 40-45-50k MR level.

Is there a place where you break down the 120,000 southwest angle that you mentioned in “our verdict”? You guys are awesome. Thanks!

I have this same question. Do you specifically have to earn the 90k SPG points for this or can you combine SPG and Marriott points to earn the companion pass?

One card left before I’m at 5/24…Any opinions on best card to target being Marriott or United?

Not tied to any airline or hotel chain, just an economy traveler looking for value.

Can’t wait to eat every meal at SPG properties using my SPG card – 6 Marriott rewards per dollar, woohoo (*rolleyes*)

I’ve got the spy biz and I’m over 5/24. I suppose the right move for me is to grab an SPG personal and a Mariott biz, but I think I’ll hold out for better bonuses on them both.

Flyer talk listed a 70k business card with no af.

No landing page(s) displayed or stated that the 1st yr AF is waived

I have 394 SPG Points left (need min. 1000 to transfer) that expires in 2 months. Can I transfer 2000 MR to SPG which will give me 666 points (666+394=1060 ) and then transfer back to Marriott 1000 SPG points for 3000 MR points? thanks.

Why not? Constipation issues?

spg has lifetime gold and lifetime platinum. I wonder if marriott will honor

William what do you think will happen to the existing cards since there are two issuers Chase and AmEx?

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