Say Hello To The Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant & Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Cards

Last week Marriott Bonvoy was unveiled, which is the name of Marriott’s new combined loyalty program. The program will launch on February 13, 2019.

In reality not a whole lot is changing. That’s because for all practical purposes Marriott created a single loyalty program in August 2018. However, between then and now they’ve continued to have inconsistent branding, as Marriott Rewards, Ritz-Carlton Rewards, and Starwood Preferred Guest, have continued to co-exist.

Marriott credit card changes are coming

We’ve known for a long time that both American Express and Chase will be issuing credit cards for Marriott going forward (they’ll have access to different market segments), and many changes have already been made to these cards.

In light of Marriott’s new loyalty program officially being launched, American Express and Chase have both announced some changes to their Marriott card portfolios, so let’s go through the changes.

Marriott cards are being rebranded to reflect “Bonvoy”

Marriott cards issued by both American Express and Chase will be updated to reflect the new Bonvoy branding. This will happen as of February 13, 2019, for American Express, and as of February 28, 2019, for Chase. The new branding for these cards will be as follows:

  • The Marriott Premier Plus Card will be called the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Card
  • The Starwood Preferred Guest American Express Luxury Card will be called the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant American Express Card
  • The Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card from American Express will be called the Marriott Bonvoy American Express Card
  • The Starwood Preferred Guest Business Credit Card from American Express will be called the Marriott Bonvoy Business American Express Card

“Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Card” and “Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant American Express Card” sure are mouthfuls.

Also, while I don’t think this should really matter to anyone:

  • Starting in March 2019, the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant American Express Card will come in a dark charcoal stainless-steel design
  • Starting in May 2019, the Marriott Bonvoy American Express Card will be an artist-designed card

Marriott Cards offer 15 nights towards status going forward

This is nothing new, as we’ve known this for a while, though it’s worth reiterating. As of this year, all co-brand Marriott Bonvoy cards will offer 15 elite night credits towards status annually.

You’re limited to taking advantage of this benefit on one card, so having multiple cards won’t earn you increments of 15 elite nights.

Additional opportunities to earn free night awards

As of February 13, 2019, Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Card Members will be able to earn an additional free night award (valid at a property retailing for up to 35,000 points) when they spend $60,000 or more annually on the card.

As of March 28, 2019, Marriott Bonvoy Business American Express Card Members will be able to earn an additional free night award (valid at a property retailing for up to 35,000 points) when they spend $60,000 or more annually on the card.

In all cases these are in addition to the anniversary free night awards that the cards offer.

Clearly this is an attempt to address the fact that the SPG Amex has become less compelling for everyday spend. The card used to offer one Starpoint per dollar spent, which was the equivalent of three Marriott points. Nowadays the card offers two Marriott points on non-bonused spend, a reduction in earning by one third.

Presumably, by adding this spend incentive they’re hoping this will make people more interested in putting spend on the new cards.

New 100K welcome bonuses coming

From February 13 through April 24, 2019, the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant and Marriott Bonvoy Business Cards will be offering welcome bonuses of 100,000 points after spending $5,000 within three months.

Furthermore, as of February 28, 2019, the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Card will also be offering a 100,000 point welcome bonus.

Stay tuned for more details on these offers.

New spend incentives

Starting February 24, 2019, existing Marriott Bonvoy American Express Card Members can register to earn 25,000 points for every $25,000 in eligible purchases on the card, up to four times for a maximum of 100,000 bonus points.

More information regarding this will soon be available.

Unfortunately the potential to earn a second free night award won’t be available on the Bonvoy Amex (just the Bonvoy Amex Business and the Chase Bonvoy Boundless), so you can’t stack the two spending bonuses.

Other card changes (annual fees, cards discontinued, etc.)

There are a few other changes happening:

  • The annual fee on the Marriott Bonvoy Business American Express Card is increasing from $95 to $125 starting March 28, 2019
  • The Marriott Rewards Premier Plus Business Card will no longer be open to new applicants as of February 13, 2019, though Chase will continue to service accounts for existing cardmembers
  • The Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card from American Express will no longer be open to new applicants as of February 13, 2019, though American Express will continue to service accounts for existing cardmembers
  • The Ritz-Carlton Rewards Card stopped accepting applications last July, though will continue to exist and will simply be called the Ritz-Carlton Card
  • This summer Chase will be introducing a no annual fee personal Marriott Card

None of this comes as a surprise. We’ve known all along that the plan was for American Express to issue the small business and ultra-premium consumer card, while Chase would issue the premium and no annual fee consumer cards.

Bottom line

Obviously, there’s a ton of news here, and it’s especially complicated because we’re getting news from two different credit card issuers, and the details of the changes they’re making are slightly different.

To summarize best I can:

  • All Marriott Cards from both American Express and Chase will get the Bonvoy branding
  • As of February 13, 2019, the SPG Personal Amex and Marriott Business Cards will no longer be open to new applicants; this is because as part of the deal, American Express got the contract for the ultra-premium personal card and business card, while Chase got the contract for the no annual fee and premium personal cards
  • Marriott seems to recognize that putting everyday spend on their cards isn’t worthwhile, so they’re adding spend bonuses that could make it more interesting, both in terms of bonus points and free night awards
  • The annual fee on the SPG Business Amex will be increasing by $30

What do you make of all of these changes to Marriott’s credit card portfolio?

Comments

  1. I just Do Not Get It with these names. Obviously, they spent a lot of money with some agency who presumably did all kinds of market testing and whatnot, but these names are sonically unappealing (Bonvoy) and confusing (Brilliant and Boundless) — all three words are similar sounding, and so indistinct; and the latter two words are too similar in meaning.
    So I don’t get it from a segmentation perspective, and I don’t get it from an aesthetic perspective, and I don’t get it from a business perspective. It feels like the worst sort of corporate mediocrity. But then again maybe that’s why I work for myself.

  2. “Clearly this is an attempt to address the fact that the SPG Amex has become less compelling for everyday spend. The card used to offer one Starpoint per dollar spent, which was the equivalent of three Marriott points. Nowadays the card offers one Marriott point on non-bonused spend, meaning earning was reduced by two thirds.”

    Doesn’t the AMEX now offer 2 Marriott points reducing the earnings by one-third?

  3. “In addition, starting February 24, 2019, Marriott Bonvoy American Express Card Members whose accounts were opened before January 23, 2019 will be eligible to earn up to 100,000 bonus Marriott Bonvoy points. Once registered, eligible Card Members can earn 25,000 bonus points for every $25,000 in eligible purchases on the Card, for up to 100,000 points through the end of the year. Eligible Card Members will receive more information about this offer, including the relevant terms and how to register their Card soon.”

    So for the old SPG AMEX Card (what will be called the Marriott Bonvoy American Express), you earn three Marriott points per dollar spent for each $25,000 in spending, basically restoring the old SPG Amex value proposition for at least a year.

  4. Ugggg! What happened to “K.I.S.S.? Keep It Simple Stupid. Once again, need a road map to navigate their changes.

  5. “The Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card from American Express will no longer be open to new applicants as of February 13, 2019, though Chase will continue to service accounts for existing cardmembers.”

    Shouldn’t this say “American Express will continue to service accounts…”?

  6. Your post has several errors. The SPG Amex now earns 2 points per dollar not 1 on non-bonused spend, meaning the earnings were a reduction of 1/3 not 2/3rds. And you also state that Chase will continue to service Amex customers. Huh?

  7. Ok, first of all, effff the mother effing name. And wut? My spg business card annual fee is going up $30 so instead of $95 I’ll be paying $125? No additional benefits? I think it’s time to cancel.

  8. Nothing compelling as far as I am concerned. And just on principle that this name is so idiotic I would be inclined to just say no. Basically nothing here really addresses the short comings of the current offering

  9. Is it just me, or is it strange that the $450 Luxury / Brilliant card is the least compelling card to put spend on? The “regular” Amex gives you spend bonuses on $25,000 of spending, the Business and Chase cards give you extra free nights, etc.

    That said I will probably apply to pick up the sign-up bonus while putting a lot of spend on the regular Amex.

  10. It is extremely unfair to Marriott members in Europe and most countries of the world, where no Credit Card is available, not to offer another way of getting the 15 nights towards elite status.

  11. There seems to be a mistake in your statement about the amex devaluation.
    It’s not 2/3rd,
    It went from 1spg point which equals 3MR, to 2 MR for non bonused spend.

  12. Do the change in names of these credit cards, particularly for the AMEX cards, allow previous cardholders to become eligible for the new card bonuses?

  13. So is the Amex Marriott Bus card going to be considered a new card? if so that means we can get that bonus!

  14. @ Lucky — will card issuers (e.g. Amex) be sending out replacement cards? Existing SPG Luxury card is not very impressive looking.

  15. Existing SPG Business card members will be required to pay an additional $30 for the annual fee. That really sucks and I’ll most likely cancel

  16. @Lucky – Even though these are ‘new’ cards, our old anniversary dates should remain for the purposes of anniversary free nights, correct? I can’t imagine they would say your ‘new’ card date is your new anniversary date…can they?

  17. I got the Marriott premier plus if I cancel the card can I get new bonus i just upgraded grom premier in November 18 to the plus but it had been 24 months with the premier.

  18. @robert had a good question! Do any of these changes enable people to be eligible for sign up bonuses if they’ve had the SPG Amex cards in the past?

  19. Crimony! That AmEx in the post’s main picture looks the 1990’s threw up on it. I’d cancel the card based on that alone.

  20. So they are raising the annual fee on the SPG business card to $125 from $95 in exchange for adding a free night at 60k of spend? Insta-cancel.

  21. We spent millions in research and this is what milenialls want in a program name
    they also don’t want desks, beds ,toilets ,refrigerators or anything more for breakfast than cereal or croissants and I can’t believe it’s not butter margarine
    Welcome to Bonfire as our company goes up in smoke

  22. Stop acting childish. There are only chains in town: marriott and hilton.

    After your tantrums you WILL again go stay in one or likely both of these chains.

  23. @Lucky, “•The annual fee on the Marriott Bonvoy Business American Express Card is increasing from $95 to $125 starting March 28, 2019”–if my annual fee kicks in before this date (3/19/2019), I should be still be charged the $95 and then the $125 will apply in 3/19/2020 right? Thanks!

  24. I dumped the amex SPG when they went to 2 MRP for one dollar of spend. If you calculate the devaluation when you transfer to an airline (25% bonus) then it’s 50% less airline points. 30k spend would give me 37.5k miles and more points (as an example) now it’s 25K. When you calculate the spend required for a J ticket and the surcharges they charge, the award ticket is costing 3-4k if you where to put the spend on a 2% cash back card. You can find J tickets for 3-4 on a regular basis and you have more flexibility, earn miles and cash back, status…

  25. “Bonvoy”, “Brilliant”, “Boundless”…what marketing cretins are coming up with this crap? (Or, to stay with the theme, should I call it “Bulls*it”?)

  26. Absolutely dumping the business card. Serious D valuation over the last year. Plus spare me your new design every time I get a new credit card I have to change out the auto payment because either the card number has changed. Although rarely. Or the security code will have changed

  27. any slight “enhancement” is cause for fee going up, regardless its practical or not. $30 is tied to a free night which needs $25K spend – ridiculous.

    AMEX mastered the game to hand out incremental small “benefits” that leads large opportunity cost (this one) or high inconvenience (Plat’s Uber credits).

  28. I wouldn’t get any of these cards for no other reason than to spite their lazy and unimaginative marketing efforts.

  29. I haven’t seen anything about the old Ritz card either. I still have that (in addition to SPG personal and biz). It’s like Marriott is trying to confuse people on purpose with these new names.

  30. Unappealing cards at this point. 100% worth having one for the 15 nights. I have two and may get one or two more for the free nights if possible. I need to come up with new hotel schemes now that Citi Prestige 4 night is mostly going away 🙁

    Some international Cat 5’s cost $300, or even $600+ at some times. Pretty good spread to $90 fee or whatever.

  31. I hate the trend toward metal cards. The lack of flexibility makes them a pain to extract from a leather card carrier or wallet, particularly when you have more than one of them. The struggle to pull the card out makes me feel frustrated, not prestigious.

  32. @Lucky, what causes a card to get grandfathered benefits/fees, while others get “enhanced?” For example, the Chase CO Presidential Plus card, AFAIK, kept the same benefits (PQM) it had a decade ago (plus some new ones?). Also, legacy Barclaycard US Airways DM cards retained the original AF ($89) and annual 10k bonus miles.

    As for these changes, the SPG (err… Bonvoy) Business Amex already went from one of the best cards to one of the worst. The change in annual fee just puts it in the firm “discard” pile, especially since you can’t product change it. A second “free” night at $60k is ridiculous! In terms of the names, they’re just as bad as the Aspire and Ascend… -_-

  33. @df

    If the card number (PAN) does not change, there should be absolutely zero reason to need to update any recurring payment details *unless* whoever is billing you is slightly inept and hasn’t flagged those payments as Recurring with their payment provider (or their payment provider are themselves inept).

    If a change in expiry or CSC (a change in expiry, PAN or both *will* cause the CSC to change) causes issues, the statement above also applies.

  34. So does this count as a new product? Can I cancel my SPG Business and apply for the new Bonvoy Business for the 100k?

  35. Am I reading this correctly? Basically if I spend $60K in a year, I get one night worth up to 35,000 points? So in other words, I’m paying $60,000 for a room night at a hotel that probably the average rack rate is $250.

    What. a. deal.

    Bon voyage to worthwhile Marriott and Starwood programs. They were great while they lasted. This is horrendous.

  36. Motivation to spend, with a single 35,000 point stay for $60,000 spend? Are you insane? For $60k I can get $1500 in cash back (2.5%), or $2400 with airline miles (2x and redeem at 2%). Instead this would give an equivalent of $1000 airline miles (2/3*1.25*2%) plus a free night worth $200.

  37. People who currently have SPG luxury card.. will they be able to do a product change from Bonvoy Brilliant to Bonvoy American Express® Card after February 13th, 19 since Bonvoy American Express will be discontinued for new applicants on 2/13?

  38. “will offer 15 elite night credits towards status annually”

    Anyone have any idea when these nights show up on your account?

  39. I stopped spend on the SPG Amex a few months ago, but this confirms what I now need to do with my SPG Amex: close it.

    Agree with everyone else – this program has become far too complicated and B-wordy for what it’s worth.

  40. I upgraded from SPG AX to SPG Luxury having been assured by an AX rep that I would receive the 100,000 SPG points after $5k spend in first 3 months of using new Luxury card. I got diddled. AX denied bonus despite having agent name, time stamp & promo id. If you already have the standard SPG AX, don’t expect any bonus points for the Luxury card.

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