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Chase has launched three new cards in the past two months, and they’ve made aggressive acquisition offers for each one. Even though credit card deals are more expensive for banks than ever, they’re showing no signs of slowing down on their spending to bring customers into the bank – and even to bring more spending into the bank from existing customers.
First they launched the IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card in April. Then they launched the Marriott Rewards® Premier Plus Credit Card at the beginning of May. And in late May the rolled out the Chase Ink Business Unlimited(SM) Credit Card.
A New IHG Rewards Club Card
The IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card has an initial bonus offer is 80,000 points after $2000 spend within 3 months and 5,000 points after you add your first authorized user and make a purchase in the first three months. (Offer expired)
The card comes with Platinum status, a free night after each account anniversary year, and a free reward night on points stays of 4 or more nights. (That’s better than the ‘5th night free’ from Starwood and from Hilton, and amounts to a 25% discount on four night award stays.)
Based on feedback and conversations with readers this seems to be the easiest Chase rewards card to get approved for. Partly this may be a function of the card’s role in the market, IHG customers are spending more nights at Holiday Inns and other midscale properties than they are at Intercontinentals. And Chase doesn’t preclude giving this card to customers who have had 5 or more new credit card accounts in the last 24 months, either, as far as I am aware.
This is also the only currently-issued Chase card I can think of that’s a Mastercard. Chase leased Visa’s network in a long-term deal where they pay a flat fee for all of the charges run on the cards they issue. That incentives Chase to push as much volume as possible through the Visa network. Yet this card is a Mastercard — I imagine they want to maintain a Mastercard relationship, and Mastercard likely offered them a great deal to retain a foothold with Chase as well.
A New Premium Marriott Card
The Marriott Rewards® Premier Plus Credit Card has an initial bonus to earn 100,000 Points after spending $5,000 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening with the new Marriott Rewards® Premier Plus Credit Card! (Offer expired) In addition you receive a free night award that can be used at hotels which cost up to 35,000 points to redeem each year after account anniversary.
This is Chase’s new mass market consumer card for the new Marriott program. Marriott has retained relationships with both Chase (which it’s had for years) and American Express (the legacy Starwood relationship). Chase will issue new mass market consumer cards, American Express new small business and premium consumer cards.
Al Maha Desert Resort
As part of that process they’ve harmonized the way elite status is earned through credit cards (15 elite nights for cardholders — not per card — and a way for the premium cards to earn 50 night status via spend).
They’ve also harmonized earning and this card earns twice as many points as the legacy Marriott card did for unbonused spend. It has a stronger annual free night as well. The annual fee is $95 (versus $85 on the older card).
Having two issues, though they’re carving up segments of the market, should be good for consumers keeping the value propositions competitive.
New Strongest-Earning Business Card
Chase has a consumer card that’s no annual fee, and earns 1.5 points per dollar on all spend. That moves away from their older model of ‘registering’ for quarterly bonuses, something they’ve been criticized for (though not by name) in the ads of a competitor.
The card must have proven successful because they’ve ported over the model in creating the new Chase Ink Business Unlimited(SM) Credit Card which is now arguably the best business credit card out there, at least it will generate more points for you than any other card over the next 12 months between the initial bonus offer and return on spend.
It’s a no annual fee card with a 50,000 point initial bonus (after $3000 spend within 3 months of cardmembership) and that earns 1.5 points per dollar on spend. It’s that simple and straightforward.
Small business cards are a lucrative space to be in because average spend is much higher, and if you can get a business to add employee cards to their account they’re less likely to cancel and move onto another product.
Of course the real key to unlocking value in the points is to transfer them to a premium Chase card, like the Sapphire Preferred Card, and from there to airline miles or hotel points.