Marriott has announced that they’ve struck new deals with both Chase and American Express for co-branded credit cards going forward.
This will be a fairly quick post before I run into a meeting. I’ll try to double back on the topic later on.
When Marriott and SPG finalized their merger, there was good news right from the offset. In the background, though, was one of my biggest questions. Would the SPG American Express card survive the merger? It’s common to see changes with mergers like this as it relates to co-branded credit cards.
There’s an announcement today that both Chase and American Express will continue offering credit cards to members of Marriott and SPG. In the case of Marriott, this means new products for American Express. They currently only issue cards to SPG members.
That’s good news overall for consumers. New cards means new sign-up bonuses and potentially new benefits. There are a few tea leaves to read in the agreement. Quoting from the press release:
Marriott expects to introduce new, co-brand products starting in 2018 with enhanced member benefits – super-premium consumer and small business co-branded products from American Express and mass consumer and premium consumer co-branded products from JPMorgan Chase.Additional details on the future products will be shared in 2018. In the meantime, both companies will retain their existing portfolio of accounts and continue to offer their current products.
Marriott likely pushed for a deal here where they felt they could extract the most out of both banks. By adding new products (super premium for AMEX and mass market for Chase) they may have been able to strike an overall better deal.
What Does This Mean For Cardholders?
Based on the language in the press release, I wouldn’t be surprised if American Express stops issuing new Starwood Preferred Guest cards to individuals at some point. The small business version of the card may continue, but I suspect existing cardmembers will be grandfathered in. That means if you’re considering the SPG AMEX, you should probably apply sooner rather than later. I don’t have any referral links, so no dog in this hunt. But, the SPG AMEX cards have been in my wallet for well over a decade (15 years?). They’re table stakes for any good points earning strategy.
The Final Two Pennies
This is great news for SPG American Express cardholders. When Marriott and SPG announced the ability to link accounts and transfer points, it opened up a whole new avenue of properties to use your SPG points at. I consider them my most valuable currency. Being able to choose Marriott or SPG hotels along with a whole slew of airlines means this card only got more valuable. You can also earn more points with the SPG AMEX at Marriott hotels, another valuable perk.
Don’t get me wrong, I still have concerns about Marriott’s path forward, especially as it relates to SPG. Today’s news gives me some comfort around the future of the American Express relationship with SPG (and now an expansion of that relationship with Marriott). I love both the personal and small business version of the SPG AMEX. I get the sense that we might see some changes to new sign-ups in the future. But, I feel pretty comfortable that I’ll have one of these cards in my wallet for many years to come.
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