The Future of Marriott and Starwood Credit Cards

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Last week we learned that Marriott had inked a deal with both Chase and American Express to issue credit cards for their new combined program. Once Starwood Preferred Guest and Marriott Rewards (and, presumably, Ritz-Carlton Rewards) become one here’s how they’re carving up territory:

  • Chase will issue personal (consumer) cards – there will be a basic card and a premium card
  • American Express will issue business cards and a new ‘super premium’ personal card
  • American Express will get to keep its current portfolio of Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express cards

Marriott Boca Raton

We’re going to get new co-brand credit card products next year and they’re likely to be better than what we have today — although one area I have some lingering concern is points transfers to airline miles and maintaining the number of airline partners that Starwood Preferred Guest has today.

Here’s the thing. On Tuesday Marriott told me, “both companies will continue to offer their current products and even after the new products are introduced, members may continue to use them.”

  1. Chase will have new Marriott cards but you can still get the and earn its 80,000 point signup bonus now. Do that. (Offer expired)

  2. It sounds like the Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express won’t be available to new applicants once the programs merger. Get that card now, and of course you can get another different American Express card product later if you wish.

St. Regis Bali

Until the programs combine and the new deal takes effect here’s the lineup of cards that are still available:

  • Marriott Rewards® Premier Credit Card: 80,000 Bonus Points after spending $3,000 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening. You can also earn 7,500 bonus points for adding an authorized user to the account and making a purchase within the same 3 month period. (Offer expired)

    On an ongoing basis spend with this card will earn 5 points for every $1 spent at over 5,700 participating Marriott Rewards and SPG hotels; 2 points for every $1 spent on airline tickets purchased directly with the airlines; at car rental agencies & restaurants and 1 point everywhere else.

    The card gives you a Category 1-5 hotel free night stay every year after your account anniversary date, and 15 elite night credits just for having the product.

  • Marriott Rewards® Premier Business credit card offers 80,000 Bonus points
    after you spend $3,000 on purchases in your first 3 months from your account opening with your Marriott Rewards Premier Business credit card. And reportedly ‘5/24’ doesn’t apply.

  • Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express: 25,000 bonus Starpoints® as a signup bonus after $3,000 in purchases on the new card within the first 3 months.

    The card has a $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95. Points transfer to the largest array of airline programs of any card, and when you transfer points to 20,000 miles at once you get 5000 bonus miles.

  • Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express: 25,000 bonus points after $5,000 spend on purchases on the card within the first 3 months as a signup bonus.(Offer expired) $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95 Cardholders get access to Sheraton club lounges (normally reserved for those paying for club rooms or with Platinum SPG status).

  • Ritz-Carlton Rewards® Credit Card comes with Gold Elite status (which is honored at Marriott hotels, comes complimentary the first year and that you retain each year you spend $10,000 on the card); a $300 Airline Fee credit; $100 Global Entry credit; unlimited use $100 Airline Ticket discounts when buying for 2 or more passengers; and airport lounge access.

    The signup bonus is 2 complimentary nights at any participating Tier 1-4 Ritz-Carlton hotel after meeting minimum spend. Meanwhile the Ritz-Carlton credit card comes with 3 complimentary upgrades to The Ritz-Carlton Club® Level each year valid on paid stays of up to seven nights. It also comes with a $100 hotel credit toward dining, spa or other hotel recreational activities on paid stays of two nights or longer. It appears that ‘5/24’ restrictions don’t apply to this card.

Ritz-Carlton Grand Cayman

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. I’m worried I’ll get product changed from an existing card and not be eligible for a bonus. This announcement seems to say there won’t be any automatic substitutions of a current product for a new one. Is that a fair inference?

  2. It is hard to justify keeping a Chase Marriot card when you can get 3x points using the SPG Amex. That should be front and center in any post on this topic.

  3. @Gary — You wrote above that, “On Tuesday Marriott told me, ‘both companies will continue to offer their current products and even after the new products are introduced, members may continue to use them’.”

    This is the first time I’ve heard that existing SPG Amex cardholders will be able to KEEP their current cards with no “cutoff date”. Good news indeed!

  4. Just hope with any new card offerings they don’t make the stupid choice Hilton did by giving away top tier (though worst-in-class) for essentially free

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