Travel agents and frequent flyers are all curious to know what is next after the merger finalization between Marriott International Inc. and Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide. One of the things this deal will most certainly affect is their co-brand credit cards. Many seem to think this is a prelude to a credit card loss for AmEx.
American Express issues the SPG card, and on Marriot’s side it is JP Morgan Chase & Co. that puts out the Marriott Rewards VISA card. Both of these urge direct bookings with different travel suppliers through offers of double points. It’s no surprise that this is one of the most popular cards out there, with both Starwood and American Express giving double the points as the number of dollars you spend with the card. Marriott and VISA, meanwhile, offer double points whenever a cardholder books directly using an airline.
Last week saw Starwood and Marriott stakeholder voting to approve the revised merger agreement between the companies following an overbid by Chinese investor group Anbang. Starwood and Marriott are now set to be the world’s biggest hotel chain, with 5,500 hotel and resort properties in over 100 countries.
The Starwood website mentions that their loyalty program will not join with that of Marriott until 2018, but there is nothing in their about the co-branded credit card program. Starwood officially said, “This means SPG will continue to run separately until then. In the meantime, we’re actively exploring ways to build bridges between the two programs to further enhance your experience.” CEO Arne Sorenson at Marriott resounded the comment on an April 8 blog. Both companies have announced plans to ask their respective card issuers to work together on the merger of the co-branded cards.
RBC Capital Markets analyst Jason Arnold has been heard saying in the financial press that AmEx would almost surely lose the account. With a lost string of high-profile co-brands over the past year, such as Costco Wholesale Corp., JetBlue Airways Corp., and Fidelity Investments, the one with Starwoods has definitely been one of the best ones for the company to make money.
If you wish to sell American Express points online for a profit, get in touch with us at YYZ Miles and we will help you get the best bargain out there. If you are tired of paying the $95 annual fee on Starwood’s card, why not sell the points on it before you cancel it? Head to our seller page and get started.