Marriott International has made an interesting move. They opted for dual-issuing rights on their credit card where besides JPMorgan Chase, they will also welcome American Express on board.
Marriott will introduce new co-branded products next year, with AmEx providing super-premium and small-business cards and JPMorgan offering mass-consumer and premium-consumer cards, the three companies said in a statement today. In the meantime, both issuers will retain their existing portfolios and continue to offer their current products.
The deal puts months of speculation about the fate of AmEx’s popular Starwood Preferred Guest cards to rest. Investors feared that Marriott’s acquisition of Starwood Hotels & Resorts would put AmEx’s Starwood partnership, which accounts for 5 percent of the company’s loans and 2 percent of total spending on the firm’s cards, at risk. What’s even more interesting and probably beneficial to many that are restricted by Chase’s and Amex’ rules, is the fact that we might see entriley new products being offere in 2018 as well. That should open the possibility for more sign up bonuses.
Marriott still intends to combine its loyalty programs into a single platform for its 100 million members, but that move has been delayed, probably till late 2018. Merchants like Marriott have benefited from increased co-brand card competition, as issuers and networks lower their fees and offer up more perks to win the lucrative deals.
The Marriott deal is another win for outgoing American Express CEO Ken Chenault, who will step down in February. In June, the company also won exclusive rights to issue credit cards for Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc., ending an agreement in which it shared the business with Citigroup Inc. AmEx’s shares had struggled after the company lost a bidding war to Citigroup for Costco Wholesale Corp.’s card portfolio and failed to renew its partnership with JetBlue Airways Corp. in 2015.
An Amex representative reached out to me with the following information which confirms that new cards are coming:
- Expanded Card Portfolio: As part of this agreement, we will be working closely with Marriott to offer a new consumer premium Card and enhanced small business Card, two areas where Amex has deep expertise and a proven track record.
- SPG Card Members: Consumer card Members who have the Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card can continue to use their Cards as usual.