Marriott announced today that they are revamping their entire line of credit cards. They are doing away with the Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) name and replacing it with Bonvoy.
The Bonvoy program will begin on February 13 and the new American Express cards will be released on that day as well. Chase will also be issuing a variant of the former Marriott Premier Plus card which will be released on February 28.
What’s In A Name?
The question posed in this header means a lot for marketing. This is especially true for Marriott whose transition to the unified Bonvoy loyalty program has been very rocky.
The Chase Marriott Premier Plus Card will be called The Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Card.
Amex’s SPG Card will be called The Marriott Bonvoy American Express Card, while its business counterpart will be called The Marriott Bonvoy Business American Express Card.
Finally, the Amex SPG Luxury Card will be renamed The Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant American Express Card.
These names are very long and you might need an acronym to remember them. But I’m not surprised about the lousy names given how lousy Marriott has handled their affairs since purchasing SPG.
New Sign-Up Bonuses
New cards usually come with new sign-up bonuses; and the new Marriott Cards are no exception. All the cards except for the Marriott Bonvoy American Express Card will offer 100,000-point bonuses. However, the bonuses can be earned after spending $5,000 in the first 3 months.
There are no changes to the earning structures from the current to the new cards. This is unfortunate given 2018’s devaluation of points.
Existing Marriott Bonvoy American Express cardmembers can register to earn 25,000 points for every $25,000 in eligible purchases on the card. This can be done up to four times per year. However, I don’t recommend registering given the value of Marriott points. Registration begins on February 24.
The Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant American Express Card is going to offer a free night after spending $60,000 per year on the card. This opportunity will be available starting February 13. The Marriott Bonvoy Business Card and Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Card will follow suit with the same requirements on March 28.
Anniversary free nights from the current SPG and Marriott cards will still exist and work the same way on the new cards.
Oftentimes, old cards are discontinued when new cards are introduced. This will be the case for the Chase Marriott Premier Plus Business Card and the Amex SPG Card. Both cards will be discontinued on February 13. However, existing accounts will remain intact and not be converted to the new card.
The annual fee on the Marriott Bonvoy Business American Express Card is increasing from $95 to $125 on March 28. This is only for the business version and not the personal version.
The Chase Ritz-Carlton Rewards Card was discontinued last July. However, it will still exist under the name “The Ritz-Carlton Card”. This is ironic given the long names of the new Marriott cards.
Chase will be also introducing a no annual fee personal Marriott Card in Summer 2019. This should be interesting as the $95 Marriott card doesn’t provide much value to begin win. Maybe we will see some changes coming with the Marriott Bonvoy American Express Card to make way for this new card.
It’s nice to see Marriott streamline their credit card options for their new program. However, they could have picked shorter names that are easier for people to remember. Hilton did a fantastic job with this selecting concise names that allude to their cards’ value.
I’m not impressed with Marriott’s Bonvoy program between the devaluation of points and now their credit cards. They are aware of the points devaluation but are making a roundabout effort to get people to spend on their cards with special incentives.
I will be updating my SPG Card review in mid-February to reflect the changes. Stay tuned for more news and reviews.