This world of credit cards is a wild one. Chase has been slowly disintegrating here in Canada, selling off most of its portfolio and back end to Scotia while only maintaining a few cards. Earlier in the year they stopped accepting applications for the Amazon.ca card although existing cardholders could still keep using the card. Now the same fate has reached the only Chase card that was left for applications, The Chase Marriott Premier Visa card. Chase is no longer accepting new applications for the card however existing cardholders can continue to use the card for the time being. No word on what will happen in the future.
Whether this is a surprise or not will depend on how you look at the picture. If you look at it with Chase as your primary focus it probably isn’t a surprise based on all their cards being shut down or moved. If you look at it with Marriott as the primary focus then it is a surprise. Marriott is growing and growing big. They bought Delta Hotels and some other smaller chains years ago and then as most of you know took over Starwood Hotels. That was huge and with the Marriott Rewards program and Starwood Preferred Guest program in the process of being merged with completion coming in 2018 or early 2019 you would think it is critical for Marriott to have an active credit card and phase out the SPG card first. Well that ‘s not the case. Starwood still has an active card with their Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card from American Express and that now becomes the only card in Canada that you can choose to use for either SPG or Marriott Rewards since Starpoints from SPG transfer to Marriott at a 1:3 ratio. With its current sign up bonus of 25,000 Starpoints you could get this card even if you are only using Marriott Rewards since that 25K points translates to 75,000 Marriott Rewards points.
Overall this isn’t good news. The credit card market for hotel cards just keeps shrinking here in Canada with only two brands with active cards although I have heard that IHG is exploring options on coming back into our market…. but in general the current situation sucks.
We have reached out to several of our contacts at Marriott and are waiting to hear back on details for what will happen to the card and existing cardholders and what the plans are for the future. As soon as we hear back we’ll pass along the news.