Is It Smart to Apply for a Co-Branded Credit Card?
JPMorgan Chase, American Express, and Marriott have signed a new co-branded credit card agreement. While all parties are remaining silent about the particular rewards until the new card launches in 2018, the press release promises “enhanced member benefits.”
Hotels included in the Marriott chain are Ritz-Carlton and Starwood, both of which have their own loyalty programs. Currently, Chase services the Marriott and Ritz-Cartlon rewards cards, while the Starwood Preferred Guest Program is serviced by American Express.
This new agreement could be good news for cardholders, as travelers will now be able to earn rewards at multiple hotel chains instead of just one. For example, Marriott Rewards cardholders currently earn five points per dollar spent at Marriott and SPG hotels, but just one point per dollar on all other purchases. With the new card, we presume guests will earn these higher points at all hotels within the Marriott International network, though we must wait until next year to know for sure.
With this new co-branded credit card about to hit the market, you may be wondering if this card, or any co-branded card, is right for you. There are a few factors to consider before applying. Mainly, you will want to consider any annual fees. The current Marriott Rewards card carries an $85 annual fee and the Ritz-Carlton Visa has a steep $450 annual fee. While Marriott has not announced what, if any, fees will be charged for the new card, be sure you will be earning enough points to make the annual fee worthwhile. Chase has a calculator on its website to help you determine how many rewards you could earn.
Finally, you will also want to take a look at other credit cards on the market to see if they offer better rewards, especially if you have good credit. For example, the Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card offers 1.5% cash back on all purchases without an annual fee. You will want to take a realistic look at your spending and the type of rewards you want so you can choose the best credit card for your needs.
About John H. Oldshue
John Oldshue is the creator of LowCards.com. He worked for over 15 years in television and won an Emmy award for his reporting. He covers credit card rate issues for LowCards.com.