A couple of months ago, news came out on the release of the new Marriott Rewards Premier Plus card. For those who are currently a Chase Marriott Rewards Premier cardholder (like myself), we were given an option to upgrade to the Marriott Rewards Premier Plus card. When news came out, there were reports from different existing cardholders that they were either getting ZERO points to upgrade, but in my case, I received an offer of 30,000 bonus points if I choose to upgrade. It was a very tempting offer. I’ve seen others get 10,000 or 20,000, but I had a 30,000 offer to upgrade. I’m sure there were others with better upgrade offers.
Want to check what upgrade offer you got? Click here.
Marriott Rewards Premier vs Marriott Rewards Premier Plus
Chase laid out a side by side comparison between the old Premier vs. the new Premier Plus:
Upgrading to the Premier Plus means a higher annual fee of $10 extra ($95 vs. $85). The new card’s free night anniversary award is also valued at 35,000 points vs. the existing card’s up to 25,000 points value for properties between Cat 1-5. Chase/Marriott’s screenshot above also shows the earnings potential differences when using the card at Marriott Rewards and SPG properties (earn 6x vs 5x). Lastly, the new card will not have the trip cancellation or interruption insurance. That perk stays with current Premier card (not Plus).
I entertained the idea of upgrading for these reasons:
- My existing Marriott Premier card will become a Marriott Premier Plus.
- My existing points will carryover to the new card.
- This will be switching products, no credit check
- Will not add to my 5/24 status
- 30,000 upgrade bonus (after using the card just one once – any amount)
Everything looked great. But I called Chase directly to make sure there wasn’t anything I was missing.
Losing my upcoming Free Night
I inquired about my existing card’s free night anniversary award. My current Premier Card was scheduled to get a free night in July 2018. Here’s what Chase told me. Upgrading to the new card means:
- I will NOT get my upcoming free night anniversary award that I was due to get in July 2018 (this was with my existing Marriott Rewards Premier card)
- My NEW free night award will be awarded next year (in my case, around May 2019) (this is with the new Marriott Rewards Premier Plus card)
I was bummed with the thought of losing my free night that was due to me within 60 days from the time I made this inquiry in May 2018. I had to make a decision, and I leaned towards how much I valued my free nights. I had around 60 days to wait for my free nights and I decided to wait.
I personally have not used my free nights within the US. I’ve used my free night awards at JW Marriott in Kuala Lumpur we were upgraded from a Standard Room to a Junior Suite with spacious living room, and master bathroom. Plus, they gave us access to the Ritz Carlton pool, and full buffet breakfast and lunch.
Most recently, in Porto, Portugal, I was able to use my anniversary free night and scored a great Category 4 hotel at the AC Hotel Porto. Being a Marriott Gold Elite member, we were upgraded to a Superior Room with 2 twin beds, a desk, a living room/sitting area, a bathtub, a dual shower, and walk-in closet. We loved our stay here.
Why are these free nights so important to me? To those who don’t know. My wife and I have 4 kids and every chance we get to stretch our points is a big plus when it comes to our worldly travels.
My game plan
After hearing this back in May 2018, this was my game plan. It was quite simple:
- Hold off in upgrading to the new card
- Wait for my Free Night Anniversary Award to post (from my Marriott Premier card). Once posted, this Free Night will expire July 2019
- Check if I could still upgrade and get the 30K bonus after my free night posts (this was the risk)
- Hope for the best, seriously, hope and pray!
Not necessarily the best laid out plan. But it’s what I did.
Well, it worked
On July 20th, Chase sent me an email informing me that my Free Night Reward from my existing Marriott Premier Rewards card had posted. Shortly after, I checked my online account with Chase and I still had the opportunity to upgrade to the Marriott Premier Plus to get the 30,000 bonus points, which means, I will also get a new Free Night Reward next year (July 2019)
I tried to upgrade online, but it kept giving errors. So I called Chase and confirmed that with the upgrade:
- My new free night award earned with my Marriott Premier Rewards cards will stay and is good until July 2019
- My existing Marriott Rewards points will also stay
- Upgrading will get me 30,000 bonus points (I just need to use it for one transaction, any amount)
These free nights and the 30,000 bonus will help with my two major trips to Asia over the next few months. The free night I just received will definitely be put to good use. That was my motive. I didn’t want to just jump on the offer, gain 30,000, but lose a free night.
A risk I was willing to take
Why was it a risk? I wasn’t exactly sure if the 30,000 bonus to upgrade to the Marriott Premier Plus would still be available. The Chase offers have changed a lot lately. What is offered today may not be available tomorrow. There’s no indication until when this upgrade offer will last.So I just took a risk in waiting for my free night to post, and hoped that the 30K upgrade bonus would still be around, and in the end, it all worked out for me. I got my:
- Free night from my now former card, the Marriott Rewards Premier card (valued up to 25,000 points using Cat 1-5 hotels)
- 30,000 Bonus from my new Marriott Rewards Premier Plus card
- NEW Free anniversary reward night beginning July 2019 (valued up to 35,000 points)
- Product change
- No new credit check
- Will not affect my 5/24 status
How about you? Have you upgraded to the new Marriott Premier Rewards Plus? If you didn’t, what was your reason for not upgrading? And if you did upgrade, I’m interested to know what made you consider upgrading?
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Did your 15 elite night credits also keep after the upgrade? I need my 15 hitting in August to make platinum, but I also have a 20k offer to upgrade. Was thinking of upgrading in September, but want to make sure I won’t lose the 15 nights.
Josh, yes, I still get to keep my 15 night credits since I reached my old card’s anniversary. My suggestion, and this is just me, feel free to give them a call and confirm, or better yet, inquire via Secure Message and get it in writing so you’re assured of what you’re getting in to.
If we keep the legacy card do we still get 1 night per $3k spend and 15 nights regardless of the new cards? These are the terms of the card so wondering if these stay in place for a year or two.
My understanding is if you do not make any changes, you should still be able to keep all the other perks as agreed upon.
Yes, you keep the elite nights perks. You will continue to keep them forever, or until they send written notification that the terms of the card has changed.
This is why I am not upgrading. Two or three extra elite nights can jump me to the next level of status…
That’s what I thought too, if you don’t upgrade, therefore everything else stays unless they change it somehow.
I chose not to upgrade for the same reason you did…free night.
I don’t care about the 15 nights. I’m Lifetime Gold….which converts to Lifetime Platinum under the new program. I can’t get any higher and will never have 50 or 75 nights for temporary higher status, since I don’t travel for business anymore. I think I was only offered 10,000 to upgrade, so don’t feel a rush to get it done. I have the Starwood CC and will get the same benefits on it that the upgraded Marriott card will offer.
I, personally, think that Chase didn’t think this through. They aren’t offering anyone who is Platinum anything to rush out and get!
Yeah, I’m not sure what I did to get the 30K bonus. Honestly, I haven’t had much activities with this card. So maybe that’s why Chase tried to entice me to upgrade.
How did you get lifetime gold?
Over 500 total nights with Marriott and I have over 2 million total points. It doesn’t take that many points, but I’ve had it for a few years now and forgotten the exact number needed. I now have 600 nights.
Wow!!! 600 nights!!!! Sheeezzzzz!!!
My bonus offer was 50,000 points. It was a no brainer to make the switch.
Nice….that’s the biggest offer I’ve heard so far, good for you. I figured, I had 2 months to wait and get my free night, so I took that risk, and it paid off as well.
I was told this upgrade offer (my offer is only 20k points) will be available until the end of the year. But I am still a little confused as to your situation, because my free night is due to be posted next month. So your free night posted, then you upgraded the card after the night was posted and they posted an additional free night ? So you now have 2 free nights in your account plus your 30k bonus ? My quick talk with the rep suggested that I had to upgrade the credit card like 2 weeks before the night posted, otherwise when it posted it would be for hotels that are 25k points or less (not the 35k points). I got the impression that if I upgraded after, then I would have to wait an entire year until my next yearly free night post to get the 35k hotel options. But it sounds like you are seeing 2 free nights in your account now. is that right ?
When I learned about my 30K offer back in May, the rep I talked to said there was no clear indication that the 30K offer to upgrade was going to be good through end of the year (she or I could be wrong, but that’s what I found out). The only thing that was clear at the time was if I had upgraded, I had until the end of the year to use the new card at least one time (which will then allow the 30K bonus to kick in).
So I decided to take the risk and wait for my free night to post (from my old card). That took place on July 20th, the free night that was worth 25K Cat 1-5. Once it posted, I then checked if my 30K offer to upgrade was still good, and it was still good, so I upgraded. So it was then, and only then that I felt that my plan worked (I got my free night from my old card, my 30K bonus, and my “future” free night with my new card will be given to me in July of 2019). Had I upgraded BEFORE July 20th, I would’ve lost my old card’s free night. So for clarification, I’m only seeing 1 free night right now, and the new free night should post July 2019 (next anniversary).
I get it now Jason. And I think I got hosed because I just upgraded a month before my anniversary date. The Chase rep had said on my last call that if I upgraded, when my new night posted in late August, I would get the free night up to 35k rather than cats 1-5, so she was inferring to me to do it before that date. But now I think she told me the wrong thing and that my anniversary just changed to a new date and I blew the night that was going to post in a month. I am not happy about it because she basically told me the wrong info. If that is the case, I might just cancel the card because I just paid $85 for a year and didn’t get the night and I am pretty upset at chase.
I just followed up with an agent at Chase about whether I got hosed and will have to wait an entire year before getting my award night on the anniversary. She told me no – that it would be posted on the same day later this month as the “old” card. We shall see. Needless to say I will keep close tabs on when it suppose to post and make sure it shows up.
Tom, I’m interested to see the development here. If your free night of Cat 1-5 posts (even after you upgraded), then we have a win!!! Keep me posted.
I will keep you posted. My understanding from 2 diff calls over the last 2 weeks or so to Chase was that when they post it they post the award on my anniversary date, it will be the new award of up to 35k, not the old 25k. I guess I will know in about 3 weeks and will let you know
So my wife’s account just got posted for the free night on our original anniversary rate for a room up to 35000 points. So in our case at least, our anniversary date didn’t change and they gave us the free night at the higher rate of 35k points. Since we upgraded with like one month to go, they credited our annual fee for one month and then we will get charged the higher $95 rate I guess. I was pretty nervous I hosed myself and missed out on a free night for a year but it turned out all worked well. By the way Jason- thanks for all your posts – they are very helpful !!
Tom – glad it worked out for you. That’s awesome. Those free nights were of pretty great value to me, and at the time when I had a choice to upgrade, I had just over 2 months before the renewal, so it was a gamble. Whew!!! Congrats 🙂
I upgraded both of ours right away, as our free nights had posted in March and April, so I had nothing to lose. We each got 20,000. Business card anniversary date is in September, so will get 35,000 point night instead of 25,000. SPG anniversary dates are also in September, so will get free nights on those too. Timing worked out pretty well on all 5 cards
FarNorthTrader….nice! Glad it worked out for you. I would’ve done the same thing if my free night had just posted (which happened in your case). But in mine, I figured, I had 2 months to go get my free night, so I might as well and see what happens. To your point, it was all about timing.
So let’s say I’m 5/24 now but hope to be under in a year or so. If I take the upgrade bonus does it start the 2-year clock that prevents me from applying for the plus card for 2 years? In other words could I take the upgrade bonus then later cancel and re-apply? If so would I have to wait 2 years from the upgrade?
Good question. I’m torn since by upgrading, I would think that it’s not a new card member bonus per se, it would seem more like an upgrade bonus. But Chase could outright consider that as you getting the new cardmember bonus since you’re product changing to the new card. David, this is one of those uncertain cases, and it might take a little more asking around.
Why would you not want to apply for this new card directly In the future, get a signup bonus, and another certain? Instead of upgrading?
By upgrading, it was a product change, no credit check, and I didn’t want to take another hit on my 5/24 status.
There’s no way I’ll ever get below 5/24 in order to be approved for the new Marriott Premier Plus card. I just got a 50K bonus offer to upgrade from my Marriott Rewards card so its a no-brainer for me but even at 20k-30K bonus I’d do it because its either that or nada bonus points since I’ll never be under 5/24 in this decade.
My original upgrade offer was 10K points. I just rechecked and I’ve now got a 50K point offer. As my free night certificate just posted, timing is perfect!
I’m new to this website. What does it mean by ‘5/24’?
I’m a Platinum Elite (should be lifetime) mainly due to my over-purchase of Marriott Vacation Club (another story).
I just received an email for 50K points after getting a 25K pt certificate in August. If my cc# doesn’t change, I might as well upgrade to the Plus card, correct?
My biggest issue if figuring out how to convert my Marriott Reward Points to air travel. It’s not as easy as the MVC salespeople say. If anyone can point me in the right direction for advice, I’d appreciate it. Thank you.
Dan – there are lots of entries out there regarding 5/24 – here’s one from Points with a Crew from a few years ago. https://www.pointswithacrew.com/the-chase-524-rule-cards-you-still-can-get/
Simply put – if you have 5 or more credit cards over the past 24 months from ANY bank – Chase is not a big fan of approving certain cards if you happen to fall under this ruling. See the above link for more details
About your 50K upgrade, if you recently got your 25K pt certificate, and you got an offer of 50K to upgrade, sounds like a great deal to me. There is no credit pull when you do this upgrade.
When you upgraded, did your rewards number change or stay the same?
Also, I’m currently gold elite.. will that transfer to the new card? I read that your current points will transfer, but will your current nights for this year?
My Marriot rewards # didn’t change. What I can tell you though, prior to Marriott/SPG merger in August, when I made this switch to upgrade to the premier plus back in July, I was Gold Elite. During the Marriott/SPG transfer in August, my points did transfer, and my status changed to Platinum Elite. My SPG account was also changed to Platinum Elite. I have not combined the two, afraid that I’d lose that status. I don’t know what would have been the reason for me to be upgraded to Platinum. So I left it as-is.
What about loosing the 1 credit towards Elite status with every $3,000 spent? This seems like a significant loss. Would appreciate input on this. Thanks!
Hi Ken, good question. Not sure if this is the best answer, but for me, it was all about wanting to make sure I don’t lose my free night if I took on the earlier upgrade. I was also enticed with getting up 35,000 points on my next anniversary free night vs the up to 25,000 value with my old card. I also don’t go on as many hotel stays with Marriott, I tend to use other brands that where I can use my points.
I recently decided to upgrade to the Marriott Premier Plus card. I was offered cash back vs points as an incentive. The deal looked like a no brainer and seemed too good to be true. It was. Chase doesn’t mention the fact that you will lose the benefit of 1 elite night for every $3,000 spent which is the biggest perk for me. I was told you can switch back within 60 days if the new program isn’t right for you, but when I called to cancel, I was told the old card/program is no longer available. Classic bait & switch! I’m really disappointed in Marriott/Chase after being a loyal customer for almost 20 years. Be very careful if you are considering switching as it may not be right for you.