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Ugly New Restrictions Coming for Marriott & SPG Credit Cards

Marriott & SPG Credit Cards

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With the new Marriott & SPG loyalty program officially launching on August 18th, we are going to see both American Express and Chase issuing Marriott co-branded credit cards. This has historically been good news for consumers in the world of co-branded credit cards as the two different issuers are essentially competing with each other. At the end of the day, this means higher welcome offers and better benefits.

A great example of this is the relationship American Airlines currently has with both Citi and Barclays. You are currently able to earn welcome bonuses on both issuer’s co-branded credit cards allowing you to really bolster your AAdvantage points balance.

Over the weekend, we learned this isn’t going to be the case with the suite of co-branded Marriott & SPG credit cards. Marriott has rolled out a new of welcome bonus eligibility restrictions and to say they are confusing is an understatement.

The bottom line is this: there will be some harsh limitations on how many bonuses you can earn, even between credit cards from different issuing banks.

 

Restrictions Coming on Marriott & SPG Credit Card Welcome Offers

Starting on August 26th, 2018, Chase and American Express will be introducing new eligibility requirements for all of their co-branded Marriott and Starwood Hotels credit cards.

I have been digesting this news for a few days now and I can honestly say the restrictions are extremely complicated. I think the average consumer is going to have a tough time wrapping their head around whether or not they are eligible for certain credit cards. I will do my best to outline this as clearly as possible below.

 

Restrictions for American Express Co-Branded SPG Credit Cards

SPG Amex Luxury Card ($450 Annual Fee): As a part of the Marriott and SPG merger, it was announced that American Express will be launching a new Starwood Preferred Guest Luxury Credit Card at some point in August. You will not be eligible to earn the welcome bonus on this card if any of the following are true:

SPG Credit Card from American Express ($95 Annual Fee): You will not be eligible to earn the welcome bonus on this card if any of the following are true:

SPG Business Credit Card from American Express ($95 Annual Fee): You will not be eligible to earn the welcome bonus on this card if any of the following are true:

 

Marriott & SPG Credit Cards

Chart courtesy of Marriott & View from the Wing

 

Restrictions for Chase Co-Branded Marriott Credit Cards

The Marriott Rewards Premier Plus Card ($95 Annual Fee): You will not be eligible to earn the welcome bonus on this card if any of the following are true:

  • If you have or have had the SPG Credit Card from American Express in the last 30 days.
  • If you have opened the SPG Luxury Card or the SPG Business Credit Card within the last 90 days.
  • You have received a welcome offer bonus within the last 24 months on the SPG Luxury Card or the SPG Business Card.
  • This card is also subjected to Chase’s 5/24 rule so this will need to be considered.

The Marriott Rewards Business Premier & Premier Plus Card ($99 Annual Fee): You will not be eligible to earn the welcome bonus on this card if any of the following are true:

  • If you have or have had the SPG Credit Card from American Express in the last 30 days.
  • If you have opened the SPG Luxury Card or the SPG Business Credit Card within the last 90 days.
  • You have received a welcome offer bonus within the last 24 months on the SPG Luxury Card or the SPG Business Card.
  • These cards are not subjected to Chase’s 5/24 rule.

 

Marriott & SPG Credit Cards

Chart courtesy of Marriott & View from the Wing

 

Our Analysis

Yikes. This is a ton of information. In my opinion, the new combined program has too many co-branded credit card products and it seems inevitable that they will eventually need to trim the fat to eliminate confusion for end consumers.

I also think it is interesting that eligibility for a Chase card is based on whether you have an Amex card and vice versa. This means you can have multiple Amex cards or multiple Chase cards but you are penalized for mix and matching between the two card issuers.

The new SPG Luxury card is rumored to launch tomorrow (August 1st). Unfortunately, if you have received a welcome offer on any of the co-branded Marriott cards in the last 24 months, you will not be initially eligible to earn the welcome bonus the card will offer.

If you are a current SPG cardholder and are not interested in the new SPG Luxury card, I would suggest grabbing the Marriott Premier Plus card before the new restrictions kick in on August 26th. Get more information about this card and other travel rewards cards here.

 

Marriott & SPG Credit Cards

 

Bottom Line

These new restrictions will certainly muddy the waters when it comes to your eligibility to earn the welcome bonus on any of the co-branded credit cards in the Marriott & SPG portfolio. Use our guide to fully understand your eligibility if you are considering opening one of the credit card products.

 

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H/T: View from the Wing


Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews, or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer.

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