Recently I reported a rumor about new Marriott credit cards: 3 tiers and really good initial offer. Given that rumor, I surmised that it meant that Amex would win the battle to provide Marriott credit cards in the future. With today’s press release from Marriott we’ve learned that the rumor is true (the 3-tier part) and that I was half right about Amex.
Press Release: Marriott International Signs New Co-Brand Credit Card Agreements with JPMorgan Chase and American Express.
Here are the interesting bits of info from the press release:
- Amex and Chase both win. Both issuers will offer Marriott cards in the future.
- Amex will offer “super premium” consumer and small business co-branded cards.
- Chase will offer “mass consumer” and “premium consumer” cards.
- For now, both companies will continue to offer their current Marriott and SPG products.
My take (my guesses)
Once Marriott and SPG become a single rewards program, it looks like there will be three tiers of consumer cards. What follows are just my guesses as to card names and details:
- Chase Marriott Rewards Card: This is the “mass consumer” card. Probably cheaper than the $85/year Marriott Rewards Premier card. Let’s guess: $45 per year. No annual free nights. Chase will probably offer some number of elite nights towards elite status (10?)
- Chase Marriott Rewards Premier Card: This is the “premium consumer” card. It will likely be an evolution of the current Marriott Rewards Premier Card. My guess is that the annual fee will go up to $95 (current card is $85). Annual free night will hopefully include more properties than today (currently it is limited to Category 1-5). Chase will probably offer some number of elite nights towards elite status (probably 15 nights as with today’s card)
- Amex Marriott Rewards Platinum Card: This is the “super premium” card. Likely annual fee: $450. Likely perks: Platinum status, annual free night at any property worldwide (except Ritz?), Priority Pass lounge access.
As to the Amex business card, it’s really anyone’s guess what that will look like. In my previous post about the Marriott credit card rumor I said that it was likely that there would be just one business card rather than 3 tiers of cards as on the consumer side. If so, we can expect it to be similar to the premium consumer card in some ways. Here are my guesses:
- Amex Marriott Rewards Business Card: $95 annual fee. Free night annually. Gold status. Hotel lounge access? I expect too that this will be a conversion from current SPG Business cards.
I’m not yet making any bets about the point earning rates with these cards. I think that will depend heavily on how the new combined program is structured. I also don’t have any idea yet what will happen with existing cards that don’t match the new card portfolio such as the current Marriott Rewards Premier Business card, the Ritz card, or the Amex SPG consumer card. If you have those cards I recommend sticking with them until we learn more since they may offer benefits in the new combined program that will not be available to new applicants.
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I read this very closely, and it sounds like they will keep SPG cards and add one Marriott super premium card and one Marriott small biz card to AmEx.
Marriott personal cards will still exist st chase. My guess is the chase Marriott business card goes away.
I think free platinum with credit card is a pipe dream. Marriott just pissed off a fair number of golds/plats with the end of buyback (probably to thin the herd given the influx of easy spg statusers), and then to turn around and say you can effectively buy plat status for $450 in credit card AF, rather than $300 as 40k Marriott points seems counter productive.
And if there was such an easy way to get it next year, you’d think they’d bundle the announcement with the end of buyback! But given how terrible communications has been, maybe not surprising.
OTOH, Hilton is getting me on-board the Aspire Card with free Diamond status. Marriott has to be looking at that. Gotta love competition!
I was looking at the benefits, and I truthfully can’t see the draw. I’m happy to pay the annual fee on the new Card if I can justify the expense,, what is the big beneof Hilton diamond vs Hilton gold. It seems
Hopefully the Chase Marriott Business card is discontinued and Chase converts it into CIP. Good for us 5/24 and over.
I really just don’t want to lose my Priority Pass access, and my free AU cards on my Ritz card. This is the stand out benefit for me that has me keep it year on year.
Sorry Micheal H but what’s a Free AU Card? Can’t find it in the glossary on my phone.
Free AU (Authorized User) Cards. Ritz Carlton offers free Authorized Users on the credit card, and each authorized user is entitled to a free priority pass membership that allows unlimited guests. I have added all of my immediate and extended family from the US Canada and Mexico as free AU’s, and they all get MAJOR use out of the Priority Pass access. Well worth it for the annual fee for me.
Since we’re just guessing here, what about the “Super Premium” card offering the 50 nights for gold, and the one night credit per $3,000 spend? That would at least reward both spending on the card, and staying at Marriott.
That would be a nice way for them to go, but it would raise the question of whether the Amex elite nights stack with Chase elite nights. My guess is that they wouldn’t want them to.
Automatic platinum status with the “super premium” card is unlikely. If they did that they would have to water down their program significantly (i.e. no more United Silver). Something like the 75k spend for platinum on the Ritz card would be more plausible.
I’m interested to see how this will affect the AMEX Platinum card. Currently it grants SPG Gold which is an okay perk, but nothing special. However, the reciprocity between the two programs results in you also having Marriott Gold status. Marriott Gold has some nice benefits and is much more difficult to achieve through both stays or credit cards. Maintaining Gold in the combined program would be a nice way to continue providing value for the Platinum card.
Yea, but to offer the same $95 perk on a new higher fee “Super Premium” card would be ridiculous.
I bet maybe the Amex card is a “Ritz St Regis” card or something stupid
I have a hard time believing that Amex would get all the lucrative premium cards and Chase would only get the mass market cards. I think the language about amex and super premium could be more about SPG as more of a premium brand in the Marriott portfolio.
If I’m wrong then in could mean the end to upgrade offers and PCs to no AF cards, but at least we will see some new amex products.
Do you still think the current Ritz card will become a CSR?
I don’t know. It almost seems like they’ve left the Ritz question to be answered later.
Think it makes sense to move all points to marriot from spg given the current 1 to 3? Once they convert to single program that may result in the most points…
I don’t think it makes any difference. I’m betting they’ll maintain the 1 to 3 ratio when they convert to the new program. That is, if they go with more valuable points like SPG, then your Marriott points will likely convert 3 to 1. If they go with a Marriott-like points program, then your SPG points will likely convert 1 to 3.
If you haven’t had the Marriott Business card yet, when do you think the ideal sign-up time would be? It’s been 16+ months since the 100K sign-up bonus, so waiting for that to show up again is probably pointless. Bite the bullet and get take the 80K?
I’d go ahead and get it at 80K since Marriott is unlikely to be investing in acquiring Marriott Business card customers right now.
Greg, do you know if Chase would have to give up existing small business customers to AmEx? If not, that might be a reason to actually go hard after the market right now…
I don’t know. Yes I suppose that’s possible.
OMAAT reported that issuers can keep existing card holders. Hopefully we’ll see one more push by Chase and AmEx.
I think the mass market card will be fee-free with few if any benefits (probably just earning 2x on Marriott bookings)