Well, Marriott surprised us all with the answer.
Marriott International announced today that they have signed new co-branded credit card agreements with both JP Morgan Chase and American Express.
These agreements have multi-year terms and will cover all of the Marriott and Ritz Carlton cards from Chase as well as the Starwood Preferred Guest cards from Amex.
“We’ll continue to provide our Starwood Preferred Guest Card Members with the award-winning benefits, services, and experiences they have come to enjoy on their existing product,” said Glenda McNeal, President, Strategic Partnerships at American Express.
Jennifer Piepszak, CEO of Chase Card Services, said that Chase is “excited to build on our long-term partnership with Marriott and look forward to continuing to serve our mutual customers with the products and experiences they love.”
Let’s take a quick look at what this announcement means for us as customers.
Currently Available Cards
At this time, Chase offers personal and business credit cards for Marriott and a personal card for the Ritz Carlton loyalty program.
American Express currently offers both personal and business versions of their Starwood Preferred Guest credit cards.
|SPG-MARRIOTT CARDS||CARD BENEFITS & INFO|
|Marriott Rewards® Premier Plus Credit Card|
|Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express|
|Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express|
Marriott has said that there are no plans to change which cards are currently available. Cardholders can continue to earn loyalty program points with these co-branded cards at least until the new cards are available later in 2018.
With these cards, Starwood Preferred Guest members can earn up to 2 points per dollar spent, and Marriott and Ritz Carlton cardmembers can earn up to 5 points per dollar spent at participating program properties.
What New Cards Can We Expect?
According to McNeal, American Express plans to build their portfolio “within the family of Marriott brands to serve affluent travelers and small businesses.”
Marriott plans to introduce new super-premium consumer and small business credit cards from American Express. We would expect these cards to come with many of the same “enhanced benefits” that we see with the other Platinum co-branded cards that are currently available from Amex.
With Chase, Marriott plans to add new mass consumer and premium consumer co-branded products. From the announcement, it is unclear if these additions will include business cards as well, or if they will be strictly personal cards.
No further details were announced about the benefits or earning structures for these new cards. We will just have to wait and see how “premium” or “super-premium” they turn out to be.
This is great news for those of us who love earning points with credit cards.
The fact that Marriott signed multi-year agreements with both Chase and American Express indicates that the loyalty programs for Marriott and Starwood may stay separate for longer than the previously announced end of 2018.
After all, it wouldn’t make much sense for Marriott and American Express to launch brand new Starwood credit cards if they were just going to fold the Starwood program into the Marriott Rewards program within the year.
It is unclear which of the new cards from Chase will fall under the 5/24 rule, but we can hope that at least some of them will not. Currently, the Marriott business card and the Ritz Carlson personal card are not restricted by this rule.
For American Express, any time there is a new card offering, that is good news for us. American Express limits welcome bonuses to once per lifetime on most of their cards, so a new card is one of the only ways for many of us to get a new bonus with American Express.
We look forward to seeing the new card offerings from Marriott with both JP Morgan Chase and American Express. Hopefully, the benefits of the new cards will be even better than we expect!