Now or Never: Last Chance for These Two Marriott and Starwood Credit Cards

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Marriott is almost one step closer to fully aligning their entire credit card portfolio and in just a few days we will see everything with the new Marriott “Bonvoy”  logo. I wouldn’t say I am a fan of these new marketing image and name, but I am looking forward to everything being a little more consistent and [fingers crossed] working better. With this rebranding effort, they are also cutting the fat on some of their cards as there are many duplicates between Marriott and Starwood. This means that two cards that have been around for quite some time will be discontinued tomorrow, both The Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card from American Express and The Marriott Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card from Chase. This means if you want to get on the current sign up offer for either card, the hours you have to apply are ticking. With that being said, read this article in full before applying, as they will prevent you from applying for other Marriott cards in the future and there is a big 100,000 bonus offer coming out soon.

Those who are currently cardmembers, or at least apply by February 12, 2019, will still be able to keep the two cards and the respective benefits. Both cards are very similar in nature (despite one being a personal card and the other a business card)—the welcome offer is exactly the same and the card benefits are almost identical. The benefits include:

  • Free night certificate annually: With both cards, you’ll receive a free night certificate annually upon account renewal, up to a hotel that costs 35,000 points a year
  • Silver status: Both cards will give you 15 nights a year, which will give you automatic Silver status (you are only allowed to earn a maximum of 15 nights regardless of the number of Marriott and Starwood credit cards you have)
  • 6 points per dollar spent at SPG and Marriott properties: Both cards will award you with the same number of points when you use the card at participating SPG and Marriott properties
  • No annual fee the first year: Neither card will charge you an annual fee the first year, and both will charge you the same $95 fee every year thereafter.

Really, the main difference is that the Marriott Premier Plus Business card will give you 4x points at gas stations, restaurants, shipping, internet, cable and phone service purchases. The Starwood Amex does not offer any increased bonus categories.

PALM DESERT, CA – NOV 19: View of the Pools at the JW Marriott Desert Springs Resort & Spa in Palm Desert, California. The Marriott is popular golf and convention destination.

Should You Apply?

The other difference you’ll want to take into account is which Marriott credit cards either of these cards will exclude from getting in the future. Back in August, Marriott put in place certain restrictions on applying for all of their Marriott and Starwood credit cards. This means, if you are a cardmember or have received a welcome offer for a particular card in the past, that could prevent you from applying for a totally different card. This means that applying now for either of these cards could prevent you from receiving the 100,000 point offer for some of their other cards come February. Note: The 100,000 point offers will be for the re-named Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card (available February 13), Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card (available February 13), and the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Card (available February 28).

  • Applying for The Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card from American Express will prevent you from applying for the:
    • Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Card (currently known as the Marriott Rewards Premier Plus Card) — you cannot have had The Starwood Preferred Guest Credit card in the past 30 days), which means you can be eligible next year as long as you cancel The Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card at some later point
  • Applying for The Marriott Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card from Chase will prevent you from applying for the:
    • Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card (currently known as the Starwood Preferred Guest® American Express Luxury Card) — you’ll have to wait 24 months after receiving the welcome offer for the Marriott Rewards Premier Business Credit Card to be eligible for this card
    • Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card (currently known as The Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express) — you cannot have had The Marriott Rewards Premier Business card in the past 30 days), which means you can be eligible next year as long as you cancel the Marriott Rewards Premier Business card at some later point

Definitely consider your overall strategy and see if applying now is the right move or not. Personally, I would consider the Starwood Preferred Guest Amex credit card over the Marriott Rewards Premier Business card since it will not restrict more options in the future. With that being said, they did announce that a new consumer no annual fee card would be coming out this summer and I am not sure which applications would prevent you from getting the new card. My assumption is any of the current Amex cards would restrict you, although typically a no annual fee card doesn’t come with a strong welcome offer or great benefits. But you never know!

What is your strategy for Marriott credit cards?

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