New Restrictions Coming for Marriott and Starwood Credit Card Bonus Approval

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.


Credit: Marriott

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..


Credit: Marriott

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.”

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 InsideFlyer.com, 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. […] 随着Amex SPG Luxury卡上架在即,大家也知道Amex和Chase计划联合起来在限制联名卡的开卡奖励。现在这个信息应该是板上钉钉了,昨天在Marriott Premier Plus卡页面上已经出现了相关语句。后来View From The Wing (VFTW)获得了更详细的信息,显示从8月26日起,Amex和Chase的联名卡将采取更严格的开卡奖励限制措施,具体讲就是不仅要考虑Amex/Chase本身的限制,他们还会根据在对方银行持有卡/获取开卡奖励的信息来限制在本行的开卡奖励资格。 […]

Comments

  1. Man we are gonna need someone to write a program to determine which card somemone is eligible for.

  2. Gary, if I have a legacy Amex SPG card, will I be eligible for the signup bonus of the new Amex SPG Luxury card?

  3. @Gary —> I *presume* whatever you ALREADY HAVE (I presently hold the SPG Amex and the Marriott Rewards Premier Plus), you get to keep!

  4. WIll the Amex Luxury card still come out prior to Aug 26 giving a window to apply?

    Thanks for the heads up!

  5. What if you haven’t actually received the promised upgrade on the Marriott Chase personal? It’ll really burn me if I can’t get the AMEX Luxe opening offer because of a upgrade offer not received from Marriott/Chase. The new card has come but no points. I plan on not getting the Amex Luxe until I can get the opening offer…. otherwise I won’t bother—it’s actually not that great. The sock drawer is full enough.

  6. Definitely surprising that the two banks won’t share account details with each other but are indirectly doing it through a shared third party partner.

    At first glance this seems more Marriott limiting their exposure for a while due to the depreciation they are taking on with the SPG onboarding. I’m sure when those numbers are closer to being fully depreciated are no longer on the books, we’ll see these restrictions backed off a bit.

    From what we’ve seen with the banks tightening rules and going after prime customers focusing on one to two cards, this also isn’t surprising. However, when the economy slows down and their customer acquisition numbers drop likely due to low incentives or more so, lock-out rules (5×24, no bonus for you, etc.) we’ll see them open back up.

    At some point (my guess is four quarters from now) Marriott is likely to feel the pressure from lower than anticipated new customer sign-ups, arrogant anticipated loyalty program data points (current CoBranded spend should drop) and customers moving to other brands (SPG non platinums and AMEX users) and will have to loosen their own restrictions as well.

  7. exactly same question as Miles. where did that chart come from? surprised u dont mention it.

  8. If I received the offer to upgrade to the Marriott Premier Plus card – but did not actually do the upgrade – will I be denied the sign-up bonus for the Amex Luxury SPG card?

  9. As others have asked….

    I have a legacy Amex Personal SPG. I’m interested in applying for both the Chase marriott and SPG Luxury but not sure I’ll have a window to do both. Any timeline till we see what the welcome bonus will be for the Luxury card or when it will begin issuing?

    I will just be geting below 5/24 so my gut would normally say apply chase and save Amex for later (given an assumed typical once/lifetime bonus on Luxury)… but Marriott will probably offer 100k welcome again. Tough call.

  10. Perhaps I’m not following completely, but is this to say that all of us that recently got in on the new 100K Marriott offer are not eligible for the bonus associated with the upcoming Luxury card?

  11. Well this party is over … fun while it lasted but guess other hotel chains will get my business

  12. “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. ”
    Does this mean if I got the upgrade offer but DIDN’T take it, I am excluded from the luxury card bonus?

  13. – Gax

    I think if you were to substitute the word bonus for offer, then it will become clear.

    I can’t see how they would penalize you for being offered something and not accepting it — not how they would have a way of tracking that.

    Finally, after 24 months, a Marriott Premier or Premier Plus cardholder could be eligible for the SPG Luxury card and whatever bonus they were to offer, so I think it was just a poor choice of words on their part.

    As you point out, those who want to get the SPG Lux card and have not accepted their upgrade offer as of yet, should get the SPG Lux card BEFORE they upgrade their Marriott Premier card.

  14. I had planned to get the SPG Luxury card, but I received a 10,000-point bonus for upgrading my Chase Marriott Visa, so I am not eligible for the Amex bonus for two years. Therefore, I won’t get the Luxury card for two years, won’t be paying the yearly fee for two years, and Amex won’t be getting charges they otherwise would have for two years.

  15. What it comes down to is Marriott is excluding people from holding multiple cards. Not a smart move! If I was a corporate customer who wanted a personal and a business cards, to easily separate my expenses, this policy makes it impossible. Hello, having more than one Marriott card enables more spend, and Marriott makes more money from the points. In the situation, that I am describing, this policy would drive spend to another card, possibly not even Chase or Amex!

    Just another reason, to not stay at Marriotts.

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