Sun. Dec 8th, 2019

RIP, SPG: Starwood Most well-liked Visitor Program is Checking Out

Put a fork within the Starwood Most well-liked Visitor program, as a result of it’s almost performed.

When Marriott Worldwide introduced it might rebrand its loyalty program as Marriott Bonvoy beginning Feb. 13, it heralded a number of modifications to its co-branded bank card portfolios. The rebrand implies that quickly, American Specific’ SPG-branded playing cards will get rebranded as Marriott Bonvoy playing cards, and the SPG identify will stop to exist. On the similar time, AmEx will grow to be the sole issuer of the Marriott-branded enterprise and luxurious playing cards, whereas Chase will grow to be the only real issuer of the Marriott-branded mass-market and soon-to-be-launched no-fee playing cards. 

» MORE: Bonjour, Bonvoy: Marriott, SPG playing cards getting new names, perks

The approaching demise of the SPG model identify isn’t that huge of a deal for current cardholders, because the program has already modified dramatically. However for potential cardholders, the change issues.

What’s already modified

Marriott already overhauled the favored SPG loyalty program to extra carefully match the much less standard Marriott program final yr, after its acquisition of Starwood Inns and Resorts. These modifications included:

Much less-valuable factors and a special program. Earlier than final yr, SPG factors have been value a powerful 2.three cents every on common, in response to NerdWallet’s valuations. With a number of 1:1 switch companions, they have been simply the most beneficial lodge factors obtainable, for a time. Marriott factors, in contrast, are value simply zero.eight cent per level on common, in response to NerdWallet’s most up-to-date valuations. Although the revamped Marriott rewards program affords extra methods to earn factors than the SPG program did, it doesn’t provide extra worth general.
Extra restrictions on welcome affords. When Marriott merged its loyalty packages, it additionally added restrictions on what number of welcome bonuses you may qualify for on SPG, Marriott and Ritz-Carlton playing cards. That made it considerably more durable to earn a number of bonuses throughout these completely different manufacturers.

What modifications lie forward

Because the SPG identify goes away, customers will start seeing new Marriott-branded card affords. However in some respects, new candidates may have fewer decisions. 

For some playing cards, no new purposes. After Chase and AmEx divvy up their portfolios, there’ll quickly be fewer Marriott co-branded playing cards accepting purposes. On Feb. 13, AmEx will cease accepting purposes for the Marriott Bonvoy™ American Specific® Card (at present referred to as the Starwood Most well-liked Visitor® Credit score Card from American Specific). On the similar time, Chase will cease accepting new purposes for the Marriott Rewards Premier Plus Enterprise Credit score Card. Which means customers may have fewer playing cards to select from.
Extra consolidation, fewer choices. Fewer co-branded card choices for customers may imply much less competitors for issuers. Finally, that might give issuers much less incentive to aggressively enhance the playing cards sooner or later.
New card names and designs, plus some new advantages. For outdated SPG loyalists, the modifications to the Starwood program up to now yr might need been troublesome to abdomen. But it surely’s not all dangerous information. The brand new Bonvoy-branded playing cards additionally include wealthy limited-time affords, and in some circumstances, new ongoing advantages. There’s additionally a brand new no-fee Marriott card coming from Chase in summer time 2019, although there aren’t any particulars on it but. For Marriott lovers in search of a method to earn extra rewards, this yr might be an excellent time to use for one in all these affords. 

Data associated to the Marriott Rewards Premier Plus Enterprise Credit score Card has been collected by NerdWallet and has not been reviewed or offered by the issuer of this card.

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