At the beginning of the week we learned about the future of the Marriott Rewards and Starwood Preferred Guest programs, which has a lot of implications for a lot of people. Going forward, Marriott will have credit cards issued by both American Express and Chase, which should be great news for consumers.
We first learned this new co-brand agreement last December, when we were told the following:
- Amex will offer super premium and small business cards
- Chase will offer mass consumer and premium consumer cards
It sure seemed to me like they were basically dividing out the card agreement, and the two issuers would have the rights to different consumer segments.
A couple of days ago I shared my thoughts on the new Starwood American Express cards. Specifically, American Express currently issues two Starwood cards, and starting in August will issue a further premium personal card:
- The Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card from American Express is already available, though will see some benefit changes
- The Starwood Preferred Guest Business Credit Card from American Express is currently available, though will see some benefit changes
- The Starwood Preferred Guest American Express Luxury Card will be the new $450 annual fee card with some great benefits
Based on what we’ve known until recently, my assumption was that the SPG Personal Amex would no longer be open to new applicants as of sometime soon. That’s because Chase has the rights to issuing the mass consumer and premium consumer cards. Logically that means the card would continue being honored for existing cardmembers, though eventually would no longer be allowed to accept new applicants.
Apparently that’s not the case. Amex has confirmed to me that the SPG Amex Consumer Card will continue to be issued after August 1, and that there will be a “very rich sign-up bonus on the card in the coming weeks.”
This is surprising to me. Looking back at the initial announcement from last December, there was nothing explicitly stating that the agreements were exclusive, though I think it was logical enough to infer that, especially based on similar situations we’ve seen with other agreements. That’s not happening after all, and I’m quite happy about that, as it means more choices for us.
I can’t wait to see the sign-up bonus that’s apparently coming in a few weeks!