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For nearly a year now, ever since news broke (finalized?) of the Marriott / Starwood merger, those of us in the miles and points world have been wondering what would happen with the two hotel chains’ co-branded credit cards.  Currently the situation is

  • American Express has the Starwood Preferred Guest cards, including a personal and business card
  • Chase has Marriott and Ritz-Carlton cards, including a personal and business Marriott card and

(SEE ALSO: Top credit card offers)

It is not out of the question that two different banks could offer credit cards for the same co-brand partner.  Barclaycard and Citibank both offer American Airlines cards, and (until recently) Citibank and American Express both offered Hilton cards.

Marriott makes an announcement

Earlier this week, Marriott made an announcement that gave a bit of insight into the future of the Marriott and Starwood cards.  They announced that they have signed agreements with both Chase and American Express – saying:

“Marriott expects to introduce new, co-brand products starting in 2018 with enhanced member benefits – super-premium consumer and small business co-branded products from American Express and mass consumer and premium consumer co-branded products from JPMorgan Chase. Additional details on the future products will be shared in 2018. In the meantime, both companies will retain their existing portfolio of accounts and continue to offer their current products”

Additional coverage on this from Miles to Memories, Frequent Miler, View from the Wing, Million Mile Secrets, The Points Guy, Doctor of Credit and more

Also remember that for now you can transfer 1 SPG point to 3 Marriott points and vice-versa

(SEE ALSO: 4 reasons why you should transfer Marriott points to Starwood, instead of the other way around)

(SEE ALSO: 4 reasons why you should transfer Starwood points to Marriott, instead of the other way around)

a close-up of a credit card

Some pondering on the future

And now it is time to leave the firm ground of fact and step off into the crystal ball gazing of the future.  The first thing is that it seems clear that the existing products will remain in place, at least for now.  I know some people have been jumping on the SPG or Marriott cards (especially SPG) to get them now before they went away.  It seems that there is no real hurry to do that.  So while you can still pick them up for 25,000 points right now, I might wait until the bonuses go up to 30,000 or 35,000 points as they have before.

It looks like there are likely to be more new Marriott and Starwood cards in the future, though unfortunately the details on that are still pretty sparse – only “to be announced later in 2018”.  What does this mean for the “1 bonus per lifetime” rule from American Express?  My guess would be that any new American Express cards will be “new” cards that you’ll be able to get even if you already have both the personal and business SPG cards.

Here are my wild predictions for 2018 with no inside information whatsoever (because hey that’s the most fun way to do it!)

  • Chase will announce a new Marriott card and possibly existing Amex SPG personal cardholders will be transitioned to this new Chase Marriott card.
  • American Express will announce a new Marriott business card, with again, the possible transition of existing Chase Marriott business and/or Amex SPG business cardholders.
  • American Express will announce a new premium Marriott and/or Ritz-Carlton card in 2018

Readers what’s your take on this Marriott / Starwood news?  What are your predictions for new cards?

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