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On February 13 Marriott is rebranding Marriott Rewards, Starwood Preferred Guest, and Ritz-Carlton Rewards as Marriott Bonvoy.
That has significant implications for their portfolio of co-branded credit cards. They have a deal where Chase becomes the issuer of their primary consumer cards, American Express issues their small business cards and their premium consumer card, but everyone can keep their existing cards from both issuers.
Even though the new program launched last August 18th, they continued saying they had 3 separate programs for legal reasons and that meant Chase could keep issuing business cards and American Express could keep issuing their consumer card. That changes February 13.
In addition the new program branding means new card names, some modest changes to the cards, and new offers as well.
The Marriott Rewards® Premier Plus Credit Card become become Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card. Coinciding with the new name they plan to launch a new offer for getting the card on February 28. They say there will be a new 100,000 point limited time offer for new cardmembers at that time which requires spending $5,000 in the first three months from account opening.
New cards will be issued with the new branding starting February 28, while existing cardmembers should receive new cards later this year.
Chase is also going to be introducing a new no annual fee consumer card this summer. They will no longer be able to take applications for their small business card, the Marriott Rewards Premier Plus Business Credit Card.
However they are adding a benefit to the business card, an additional free night award after $60,000 in spend each calendar year (valid at any property with a redemption value of up to 35,000 points). You can still apply for the card through February 12.
The Ritz-Carlton Rewards card, which is no longer available for new applications, will be rebranded The Ritz-Carlton card. They will extend the card’s $100 property credit (on eligible rates for stays of 2 or more nights) to include St. Regis hotels as well starting in April according to Chase but effective March 28 according to Marriott.
Ritz-Carlton Grand Cayman
American Express Changes
On February 13 current Starwood Preferred Guest American Express Cards will be rebranded as Marriott Bonvoy™ American Express® Cards.
- The Starwood Preferred Guest® American Express Luxury Card -> Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card which starting in March will come as a “sleek dark charcoal stainless-steel design.”
- The Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express -> Marriott Bonvoy™ American Express® Card which starting in May will come in a design “commissioned [by] Manhattan-based mural and studio artist, Tony ‘Rubin’ Sjöman.. [o]nspired by travel and exploration.. us[ing] the new Marriott Bonvoy colors and modern shapes to bring to life the sunrise and sunset reflecting off of the buildings in an urban cityscape.” So there’s that.
- The Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express -> Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card which starting in March will come “in a sophisticated blue-gray design.”
American Express will no longer offer the Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express, as issuing primary consumer cards for the brand becomes Chase’s domain.
Meanwhile the premium Brilliant (Luxury) and Business cards will launch initial bonus offers of 100,000 points after $5000 spend in the first three months running February 13 through April 24, 2019.
One of the biggest criticisms of the new program is that the value of points earned with the Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express has been cut by one third. It used to earn one Starpoint per dollar spent, which converts to 3 points in the new Marriott program. Its replacement earns 2 points per dollar spent in the new Marriott program.
That must be taking its toll on spend because starting February 24th existing Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express cardmembers whose accounts were opened by January 23, 2019 will be eligible to earn up to 100,000 bonus Marriott Bonvoy points. Registration will be required and the offer will be 25,000 bonus points for every $25,000 in eligible purchases on the Card up to 100,000 points through the end of the year.
Essentially for each exact $25,000 tranche of spend points-earning will return to 3 Marriott points per dollar (the old 1 Starpoint per dollar) for 2019. No doubt they’ll then evaluate the extend to which these extra rewards drive the needle on cardmember behavior. My advice, if you used to use the SPG American Express for $25,000 or more in annual spend, consider taking advantage of this.
Westin Stonebriar Chairman’s Suite Has 8 Rooms
Effective March 28, 2019, the business card gets an additional free night award (valued at up to 35,000 points) with $60,000 or more spend annually on the card.
Finally effective March 28 the current Starwood Preferred Guest® American Express Luxury Card will match the Ritz-Carlton Card’s $100 property credit (eligible rates for stays of 2 nights or more) at Ritz-Carlton and St. Regis properties.