Credit card issuers want customers who will stick with and use their products for several years. That’s why they spend money up front (acquisition bonuses) for new customers. They’ll only make the cost of those bonuses back over a period of years.
Sometimes credit card deals with co-brand travel partners involve the bank paying for the full new customer bonus, and sometimes those deals have the bank and travel partner share the cost. In that case the travel partner is just as incentivized to sign up only long-term customers.
- First banks started imposing spending requirements to get a new cardmember bonus, so customers would have to get used to using the product, hoping that they would continue to do so after earning the bonus.
- Now each issuer also has guidelines for who they want – and don’t want – as a new customer, or whom they’re willing to award a signup bonus to.
Things get a little bit more complicated in dual-issuer scenarios. Citibank and Barclays both issue American Airlines cards, and it’s possible to sign up for cards from both banks. In fact I’ve heard inflight pitches for the Barclays card making the point that if you have the Citi product already you can still apply for the Barclays card and still be eligible for the bonus.
Marriott also has a dual-issuer arrangement for their new program,
- Chase will issue the primary personal card
- American Express will issue the business card and the premium personal card
- Existing cardmembers can keep their legacy cards, so a Chase customer with premium Ritz card will keep a premium card from Chase and Starwood Amex customers (personal cards) can keep those.
Starting August 26th though they’re going to make it a bit tougher to get new cardmember bonuses for Marriott family cards from both Chase and American Express.
Here are the eligibility rules going into effect for each of the American Express Marriott family credit cards:
- To be eligible for a new ‘Luxury Card’ initial bonus you cannot be a current Ritz-Carlton cardmember (or have had that card in the last 30 days), have signed up for a new Chase-issued Marriott card in the last 90 days, or received an initial bonus or upgrade offer for a Chase-issued Marriott card in the past 24 months. This includes Chase Marriott business cards which surprises me..
- To be eligible for a new Starwood Amex card initial bonus (the personal card that will be available only until the programs rebrand next year), you cannot have (or have had in the last 30 days) a Chase-issued Marriott.
- To be eligible for a Starwood business card initial bonus, you cannot have a Chase-issued Marriott business card (or have had one in the last 30 days), have signed up for one in the last 90 days, or have received a new cardmember bonus for one in the last 24 months.
And here are the eligibility rules for the Chase Marriott family credit cards that are going into effect August 26:
- To be eligible for a new Chase Marriott personal card initial bonus you cannot be a current Starwood American Express cardholder (or have had that card in the last 30 days), have signed up for a Starwood American Express card in the last 90 days, or received a new cardmember bonus for a Starwood American Express card in the last 24 months. This includes Starwood business cards which surprises me..
- To be eligible for a new Chase Marriott business card initial bonus you cannot be a current Starwood American Express cardholder (or have had that card in the last 30 days), have signed up for a Starwood American Express card in the last 90 days, or received a new cardmember bonus for a Starwood American Express card in the last 24 months. This includes Starwood personal cards which surprises me..
This isn’t the first time a loyalty program has worked with a competitor to determine eligibility for an offer. Years ago Starwood and Hyatt had an arragement to verify the elite status of customers applying for a status match. If a Hyatt member asked Starwood for a match, Starwood verified the member’s legitimate status with Hyatt. That arrangement was in place about a decade ago.
In this case though Chase and American Express aren’t sharing data with each other. Marriott tells me that “the card companies only share information with Marriott who is a direct partner with each one of them.” Marriott then shares with each card issuer eligibility of a customer for a new cardmember bonus. Marriott emphasizes that “No personal information or account details are shared with other issuers.”