American Express, Chase, Marriott, Starwood

Will Chase and Amex limit combined SPG/Marriott Signup Bonuses?

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Doctor of Credit posted a rumor last night that is going to set off a firestorm among SPG/Marriott loyalists if true.

The rumor, as stated, is that you will not be eligible for a Welcome Bonus on the SPG Luxury card due out in August if you have received a welcome bonus OR UPGRADE BONUS on ANY Marriott or Ritz Carlton product in the past 24 months.

We already know Amex is starting to crack down on Welcome Bonus abuse, though they will at least tell you if you won’t be getting a bonus when you apply.

And while many issuers have various rules on welcome bonuses (such as Chase’s well-known 5/24 rule that means you will be denied for most Chase cards if you have opened 5 cards with any issuer in the last 24 months), this would be the first instance I’m aware of where a brand has two co-brand partners and one will deny a signup offer if you got the other. And that is what makes this so scary for those who love this sport…

I don’t know any more than what Doc has in his post, but I have some thoughts:

  • Will this affect only new Amex applicants who have gotten the Marriott/Ritz cards (or upgraded) in the last 24 months? Or might Chase begin denying based on someone getting an Amex bonus from SPG/Marriott?  If it can work one way, it can work the other.
  • How will each company know what you got from the other card issuer? I suspect they will both have access to y0ur account history with Marriott/SPG – not any sharing between card issuers.
  • Why would they deny you the SPG Luxury Welcome bonus if, for instance, you had a 5 year old Chase Marriott card and just upgraded it for a measly 10,000-20,000 Rewards points at the prompting of Chase ? That is kind of vicious, no?
  • If this all comes to pass, what happens if someone applies for both the Chase Marriott and the SPG Luxury cards on the same day / at the same second, etc. Where does the information sharing happen and when does the denial occur? At signup?  Perhaps it will work in one order and not another? (I was about to grab the Chase Marriott card but no I’m going to wait as I definitely want the SPG Luxury card and, ideally, want both bonuses.

Look, I get that the issuers are searching for ways to cut down on people that abuse signup bonuses. But those fat bonuses also whet a new customer’s appetite to put more spend on a card once they have a taste of what a boatload of points can get them. A balance needs to be struck, for sure – I get that.

This feels like one step too far, though.

What are your thoughts here? Am I more worked up about this than most?  Let me know here, on Twitter, or in the private MilesTalk Facebook group.

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