Bonvoy Bringing Changes to Marriott Credit Cards Along With New 100,000 Point Offers

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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.

Chase Changes

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.

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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Comments

  1. Why the increase in price for the old SPG Business card? Am I missing something, or it just because they can?

  2. I have the business AMEX and see no reason for the $30 increase. Was there a hidden benefit that we missed?

  3. If the Ritz card will give $100 hotel credit for 2 day paid stays at St Regis, will they give us St Regis lounge benefit also?

  4. In August 2018, SPG Business Amex cardmembers lost free access to Sheraton Clubs.

    So pay more and get less?

  5. Since I don’t put anywhere close to $60k in spend/year on the SPG Business Amex card, I see no reason why I should have to pay an additional $30 for the annual fee going forward. Will cancel.

  6. Let’s be clear…the Ritz Carlton card is quite downgraded. It used to come with Gold Elite in year 1 that could be maintained with a $10,000 spend–or upgraded to Platinum Elite with $75,000 spend. That Gold Elite, of course, used to be worth something.

    Now, it still comes with Gold Elite (now pretty worthless since it no longer includes the now-Platinum breakfast) the first year. Platinum Elite still requires $75,000 spend.

    Adios….or perhaps Bonvoy…Marriott.

  7. Every time a card changes for some new fancy design it is a major pain in the ——. Now have to contact everyone that is set up auto payments because of a change in card number or at the very minimum there will be a change in security code.

  8. Gary- you didn’t distinguish between the old legacy Marriott credit cards with the ability to earn an elite night for each $3000 spend and the newer Marriott cards without this feature. Are the old legacy cards converting to the Boundless as well?

  9. One of the benefits of the no-longer-available Ritz card was the club-level upgrades on paid nights. Any chance that will also be extended to the Amex Luxury Card?

  10. So I have to spend $25000 to get the additional 25000 points? That is not a very good incentive to spend more money on the card. Only after the $25000 spend you get that bonus. They should just leave it as 3 Marriott points per dollar spent on the card.

  11. The important question is are these considered new products? If we had the SPG AmEx previously but have since cancelled it, can we now apply for the Bonvoy cards with AmEx and receive the signup bonus?

  12. “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.”

    Great, I can safely cancel my card in April and cash in my remaining points before they mail out that ridiculous crap.

  13. I don’t know about other customers but our spend on the old SPG Amex went from $30k+ per year to $0. Contrary to popular opinion, hotel customers are not stupid and quickly picked up on the 33% devaluation for credit card spend as well as the impending award pricing hike for top SPG properties. Not to mention downgrade of Gold status benefits (e.g. breakfast).
    $25k spend is a significant amount, and the all-or-nothing bonus structure is not attractive. But it may incentivize us to shift non-bonus spend from Chase cards. Do you value 3 Marriott Bonvoy points > 1 Chase UR?

  14. Not surprising on the bonus for spend. I got the offer shortly after the change that was essentially the same to get spending to 3 points per dollar. Spending has gone from 5-10k a month on SPG card to around $500 a month. Received a survey 2 weeks ago asking to compare cards and which cards I’m using for spend. Mostly noted that spending has gone from 3 points per dollar to 2 points per dollar. 10-15 minute survey though.

  15. What is happening for the Canadian cards? We are constantly ripped-off, we don’t get the same number of points for new cards and we don’t get the same value. So frustrating!

  16. The consumer Amex card has this bonus points promo, I’m supposed to be excited? I plan to keep the card one year for the free night, otherwise sock drawer. Marriott company and family can go to hell! Marriott is so greedy it is sickening!

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