American Express has reached an agreement with Marriott International to extend its relationship in providing the Starwood Preferred Guest co-branded credit cards, while JPMorgan Chase will continue to provide Marriott hotels with the Chase Visa co-branded cards.
Marriott did not disclose terms of the contract extensions, saying only that the company signed multi-year deals.
"A dual issuer situation could be a big win for Marriott loyalists, with more competition for their wallet share," Brian Karimzad, vice president of research at CompareCards.com by Lending Tree, said in an issued statement. "With Marriott announcing it will launch a super premium card next year from American Express, expect something with a substantial fee that may include an accelerated track to elite status, among other perks."
The agreement allows Starwood cardholders to continue using their current cards, representing an extension of consumer experience that wasn't certain last year when Marriott acquired Starwood.
The contact extensions also call for American Express to work with Marriott in offering a new consumer premium card and an enhanced small-business card, an area in which Amex says it can best apply its expertise. JPMorgan Chase would help Marriott introduce mass consumer and premium consumer co-branded products next year.
“The American Express relationship with Marriott dates back more than 60 years and we are pleased to continue an important component of our partnership,” Glenda McNeal, president of strategic partnerships at American Express, said in a Tuesday press release.
“We’ll continue to provide our Starwood Preferred Guest card members with the award-winning benefits, services and experiences they have come to enjoy on their existing product, while building our portfolio within the family of Marriott brands to serve affluent travelers and small businesses,” McNeal added.
For now, there will be no changes to Marriott’s existing co-brand cards for members. Members using the Marriott Rewards and The Ritz-Carlton Rewards Visa credit cards from JPMorgan Chase, as well as the Starwood Preferred Guest credit cards from American Express will continue to earn and redeem loyalty points as usual.
The payment card arrangements between Chase and American Express as it related to Marriott and Starwood was an underlying story when Marriott began its acquisition process of Starwood early last year. More notably, Starwood was dealing with a reported data compromise at the time, putting far more scrutiny on security due diligence in the acquisition process.
For American Express, the deal with Marriott comes shortly after the card brand expanded relationships with Hilton and Delta.
The deal with Hilton earlier this year gave Amex some positive news in the aftermath of losing the Costco Wholesale card portfolio the previous year. It was able to outbid Citi for the entire Hilton portfolio, which the two banks had shared in the past. Amex takes over all Hilton cards starting Jan. 1.
“Marriott’s co-brand credit cards have been a meaningful contributor to the success of Marriott’s loyalty programs and a sign of the extraordinary value of our portfolio of brands,” Arne Sorenson, Marriott International’s president and chief executive officer, said in the release. “We are pleased to bring together the power of JPMorgan Chase and American Express with our global portfolio of brands to continue to provide consumers with choices."
Marriott says it expects to launch a single technology platform in late 2018 that would enable the company to synchronize the components of its card program for Marriott Rewards, The Ritz-Carlton Awards and the Starwood Preferred Guest cards.