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Monday was a huge day for Marriott Rewards and Starwood Preferred Guest members, and a key question many folks have wanted answered is what would happen with the co-branded Marriott and SPG credit cards. We’ve already known that Amex and Chase will continue issuing Marriott cards once the new program kicks in, with Amex exclusively handling small business and luxury products, and Chase offering the regular $95-fee consumer card. But now we have all the details.
Watch David Flueck, SVP of Global Loyalty for Marriott International, answer TPG’s questions about the combined program:
If you’re interested in the Amex side of the portfolio, check out “Amex Details New ‘Luxury’ SPG Card, Changes to Existing Products” for info on the SPG cards. But right now, let’s dive into Chase’s brand-new Marriott Rewards Premier Plus Credit Card, which will be available beginning May 3, 2018, and carry a $95 annual fee. In addition to a 100,000-point new cardmember sign-up offer — after spending $5,000 in the first 90 days — Chase’s card offers perks similar to the entry-level SPG Amex products, including:
- Annual free night award (up to 35,000 points) after card renewal
- Automatic Silver elite status
- Earn Gold status after spending $35,000 (beginning in 2019)
- 15 elite night credits beginning in 2019 (limited to once per member, not once per card)
- Free in-room premium Wi-Fi (beginning in August)
The standard Marriott Rewards cards have included a free night each year, but capped at a Category 5 redemption (based on the previous tiers), which otherwise carries a cost of up to 25,000 points per night. That makes the new Plus card’s free night award a bit more generous. Earnings have jumped as well — from 5x to 6x for Marriott and SPG purchases, and from 1x to 2x for everything else. The new card also includes purchase protection, trip delay reimbursement and no foreign transaction fees.
Note that existing Marriott and Ritz-Carlton cardholders will be able to keep their current cards with no change to perks or earning rates, though they will have an opportunity to “upgrade” to the new Plus card. Product changes from an existing Marriott card to the Plus will not be eligible for the 100,000-point bonus, though Chase suggests that an upgrade incentive may be available.
Additionally, the Marriott Rewards Premier Business Credit Card and the Ritz-Carlton Rewards Credit Card will still be available for new sign-ups for the time being, though the new Plus card will replace the Marriott Rewards Premier Credit Card on May 3. All new sign-ups will be subject to Chase’s 5/24 rule.
You’ll find these details at our story covering Amex’s SPG announcements, but I’m also sharing a breakdown of the new Chase and Amex cards here — starting with the bonus categories and Chase’s contribution up top:
|Card||Annual Fee||Marriott Earn||Bonus Cat Earn||Everyday Earn|
|Marriott Rewards Premier Plus||$95||6x||N/A||2x|
|SPG Luxury Credit Card (Amex)||$450||6x||3x*||2x|
|SPG Consumer Credit Card||$95||6x||N/A||2x|
|SPG Business Credit Card||$95||6x||4x**||2x|
* Purchases at US restaurants and on flights booked directly with airlines
** Purchases at US restaurants, US gas stations, US wireless phone services and US shipping
And this is a comparison of the benefits of the new Chase offering and the existing Amex SPG cards:
|Card||Marriott Credit*||Free Night***||Elite Status||Status Credits||Other Benefits|
|Marriott Rewards Premier Plus||N/A||Up to 35k value||Silver||15****||N/A|
|SPG Luxury Credit Card (Amex)||$300||Up to 50k value||Gold||15****||Priority Pass, Global Entry, Boingo|
|SPG Consumer Credit Card||N/A||Up to 35k value||Silver||15****||N/A|
|SPG Business Credit Card||N/A||Up to 35k value||Silver||15****||N/A|
*** Issued on each cardmember anniversary
**** A maximum of 15 credits may be earned per Marriott member; begins in 2019
While the non-bonus earnings are dropping by 33% for Amex’s SPG cards, Chase’s Marriott counterpart is getting a bit richer, doubling the non-bonus earnings from 1 point per dollar to two. Additionally, the jump from 5 to 6 points per dollar on Marriott and SPG spend should help cardholders rack up points a bit more quickly on hotel stays as well.
Assuming you aren’t currently using the Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card from American Express or the Starwood Preferred Guest Business Credit Card from American Express to earn the equivalent of 3x on everyday spend, you’ll be coming out ahead here.
Featured image of the St. Regis Maldives by Zach Honig / The Points Guy.
The Points Guy has comprehensive coverage of the new Marriott loyalty program — read all our stories at “The New Marriott.”
Now that Marriott and Starwood have joined forces, you can transfer your points between the two programs depending on what makes the most sense for you. Each year after your anniversary date, this card will earn you 1 complimentary night stay at a category 1-5 location and you will earn 15 Elite Credits that will guarantee you at least Silver Elite Status.
- Earn 75,000 Bonus Points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
- $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $85.
- Enjoy 1 Free Night Stay at a Category 1-5 hotel every year after your account anniversary date!
- Earn unlimited Marriott Rewards points and get Free Night Stays faster
- Earn 5 points per $1 spent at participating Marriott Rewards & SPG hotels
- 2 points per $1 spent on airline tickets purchased directly with the airlines, at car rental agencies & restaurants. Plus 1 point per $1 spent everywhere else
- The fastest way to earn Marriott Rewards Elite Status. Receive 15 Elite Credits guaranteeing Silver Elite Status or better.