So I know this isn't really a "points and miles" site but since this directly involved spend with my Marriott card I thought it appropriate to ask here, since you are all very knowledable and might have some insight here.
My dilemma is this:
1. Right now I'm operating, credit card-wise, in the Amex ecosystem and I have the Marriott Bonvoy (old SPG) card and two Deltas (Gold and Plat).
2. I DO NOT have any MR earning cards.
3. I don't really want to apply for anything in the near future as I'm already over 5/24 and am interested in the WoH Chase card next.
4. I generally ONLY travel with my family in tow, so myself, my husband, and my 2 kids (5 and 1, but everyone gets seats on the plane). Because of this I'm always looking at needing 4 airplane seats (so any flight can get pricey quickly) or a large room/suite.
5. I don't have many business expenses and and realistically I'm going to put 35K to 45K spend on any card, max, on one year.
Since I don't plan on getting any new cards soon, I want to put all my spend on one of these to max the points as much as I can. While the easy answer has been the Marriott for a while (since it's 2x points on all everyday spend) I have found that, because I need to have a room that fits 4 comfortably, I'm often stuck paying for cash upgrades ON TOP of the points required. While that's fine for some properties (like the 40 eur I'm shelling out extra for a suite at the RI in Amsterdam) it can get very expensive at times (like the 240 euro a night it cost me at the St. Pancras London, on top of the 100K points for 2 nights).
I'm very good at getting flights at a price I like so I've chosen to pay cash for the flights in the past and use points on hotels. But the cash upgrades are starting to annoy me and now I'm wondering if its worth it to use points when I know I'm also going to be paying cash on top. Also, I'm finding that I love some of the brands on the less expensive side, like the AC line of hotels (had a ridiculously awesome junior suite in Porto for about 125 a night).
What would you do? Where should I put my spend?
(Oh, and I'm a Whole Foods grocery person using the Chase Amazon for 5% back...so none of my grocery spend will go to these cards.)