Now that we had some time to digest the Marriott announcements for their credit card issuers, I think we can start forming some theories as to what 2018 will bring.
IT'S THE FINAL COUNTDOWN?
The announcement this week was light on absolute details, but we can draw a few takeaways so far:
1) Both Chase and American Express will be card insurers for the Marriott portfolio for at least several years, confirming that they are adopting dual-issuer models like American Airlines during their merger with US Airways.
2) Chase and AmEx are going after two distinguished segments of consumers, with Chase focusing more on mass market, while AmEx has the premium consumer and business accounts.
3) SPG looks to continue for another year into 2018 (and I suspect it may last even longer)
4) New card products are schedule to be rolled out in 2018, but old products may also be culled, or at least discontinued to be offered to the public.
If we look at the portfolio of cards issued by both Chase and American Express, we can see right now the current products simply do not line up to the long term strategy of Marriott. For example, Marriott has a business card, as well as the ultra-premium Ritz Carlton Visa, both offered by Chase at the moment, where as AmEx has the Personal Starwood SPG AmEx, which I argue as mass market.
Since Chase and AmEx is now dividing the kingdom, I would not be surprised these issuers either sell all the accounts to each other to line up their client base to their long term targets, or product change the cards into the new offerings they will have available. Best case scenario is they will grandfather in these cards, tho I am skeptical AmEx will do so with the SPG cards as there may be changes to that program that we have yet to find out.
Personally, I would be quite keen to acquire as many of the cards which may be realigned in the coming years to capture the signup bonus while it is still available, those cards being both the personal and business version of the SPG AmEx, as well as both the personal and business version of the Marriott Chase cards. The personal Marriott Chase card is under 5/24 so you may want to consider that before applying.
I will also be very curious what their new ultra premium offering from AmEx be. While it would be nice to have another card with travel perks like rebated travel spending, last thing I want to see are more cards that offer TSA credits or another Priority Pass membership. A lot of us into points and miles already have cards that offer these perks, and I really wish they would offer other distinguishing features that would separate them from the crowded space of premium credit cards.
What do you think will happen with the Chase and AmEx Marriott portfolios? Comment below!