Marriott announces new credit card lineup

Recently I reported a rumor about new Marriott credit cards: 3 tiers and really good initial offer.  Given that rumor, I surmised that it meant that Amex would win the battle to provide Marriott credit cards in the future.  With today’s press release from Marriott we’ve learned that the rumor is true (the 3-tier part) and that I was half right about Amex.

Press Release: Marriott International Signs New Co-Brand Credit Card Agreements with JPMorgan Chase and American Express.

Here are the interesting bits of info from the press release:

  • Amex and Chase both win.  Both issuers will offer Marriott cards in the future.
  • Amex will offer “super premium” consumer and small business co-branded cards.
  • Chase will offer “mass consumer” and “premium consumer” cards.
  • For now, both companies will continue to offer their current Marriott and SPG products.

My take (my guesses)

Once Marriott and SPG become a single rewards program, it looks like there will be three tiers of consumer cards.  What follows are just my guesses as to card names and details:

  • Chase Marriott Rewards Card: This is the “mass consumer” card.  Probably cheaper than the $85/year Marriott Rewards Premier card.  Let’s guess: $45 per year.  No annual free nights.  Chase will probably offer some number of elite nights towards elite status (10?)
  • Chase Marriott Rewards Premier Card: This is the “premium consumer” card.  It will likely be an evolution of the current Marriott Rewards Premier Card.  My guess is that the annual fee will go up to $95 (current card is $85).  Annual free night will hopefully include more properties than today (currently it is limited to Category 1-5).  Chase will probably offer some number of elite nights towards elite status (probably 15 nights as with today’s card)
  • Amex Marriott Rewards Platinum Card: This is the “super premium” card.  Likely annual fee: $450.  Likely perks: Platinum status, annual free night at any property worldwide (except Ritz?), Priority Pass lounge access.

As to the Amex business card, it’s really anyone’s guess what that will look like.  In my previous post about the Marriott credit card rumor I said that it was likely that there would be just one business card rather than 3 tiers of cards as on the consumer side.  If so, we can expect it to be similar to the premium consumer card in some ways.  Here are my guesses:

  • Amex Marriott Rewards Business Card: $95 annual fee.  Free night annually.  Gold status.  Hotel lounge access?  I expect too that this will be a conversion from current SPG Business cards.

I’m not yet making any bets about the point earning rates with these cards.  I think that will depend heavily on how the new combined program is structured.  I also don’t have any idea yet what will happen with existing cards that don’t match the new card portfolio such as the current Marriott Rewards Premier Business card, the Ritz card, or the Amex SPG consumer card.  If you have those cards I recommend sticking with them until we learn more since they may offer benefits in the new combined program that will not be available to new applicants.

About Greg The Frequent Miler

Greg is the owner, founder, and primary author of the Frequent Miler. He earns millions of points and miles each year, mostly without flying, and dedicates this blog to teaching others how to do the same.

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  1. If you haven’t had the Marriott Business card yet, when do you think the ideal sign-up time would be? It’s been 16+ months since the 100K sign-up bonus, so waiting for that to show up again is probably pointless. Bite the bullet and get take the 80K?

  2. Think it makes sense to move all points to marriot from spg given the current 1 to 3? Once they convert to single program that may result in the most points…

    • I don’t think it makes any difference. I’m betting they’ll maintain the 1 to 3 ratio when they convert to the new program. That is, if they go with more valuable points like SPG, then your Marriott points will likely convert 3 to 1. If they go with a Marriott-like points program, then your SPG points will likely convert 1 to 3.

  3. I have a hard time believing that Amex would get all the lucrative premium cards and Chase would only get the mass market cards. I think the language about amex and super premium could be more about SPG as more of a premium brand in the Marriott portfolio.

    If I’m wrong then in could mean the end to upgrade offers and PCs to no AF cards, but at least we will see some new amex products.

  4. I’m interested to see how this will affect the AMEX Platinum card. Currently it grants SPG Gold which is an okay perk, but nothing special. However, the reciprocity between the two programs results in you also having Marriott Gold status. Marriott Gold has some nice benefits and is much more difficult to achieve through both stays or credit cards. Maintaining Gold in the combined program would be a nice way to continue providing value for the Platinum card.

  5. Automatic platinum status with the “super premium” card is unlikely. If they did that they would have to water down their program significantly (i.e. no more United Silver). Something like the 75k spend for platinum on the Ritz card would be more plausible.

  6. Since we’re just guessing here, what about the “Super Premium” card offering the 50 nights for gold, and the one night credit per $3,000 spend? That would at least reward both spending on the card, and staying at Marriott.

  7. I really just don’t want to lose my Priority Pass access, and my free AU cards on my Ritz card. This is the stand out benefit for me that has me keep it year on year.

  8. I think free platinum with credit card is a pipe dream. Marriott just pissed off a fair number of golds/plats with the end of buyback (probably to thin the herd given the influx of easy spg statusers), and then to turn around and say you can effectively buy plat status for $450 in credit card AF, rather than $300 as 40k Marriott points seems counter productive.

    And if there was such an easy way to get it next year, you’d think they’d bundle the announcement with the end of buyback! But given how terrible communications has been, maybe not surprising.

  9. I read this very closely, and it sounds like they will keep SPG cards and add one Marriott super premium card and one Marriott small biz card to AmEx.

    Marriott personal cards will still exist st chase. My guess is the chase Marriott business card goes away.

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