Happy Wednesday to all of our travel friends, both near and far! Here are some articles we’ve read from other bloggers (and other sources) that we think you may like, as well, so we’re passing them along.
We just finished our first stay at a Courtyard by Marriott as newly minted Marriott Bonvoy Platinum members. Not being accustomed to having any type of status, I checked the Marriott website to see what type of welcome amenity we should be offered upon check-in. They sure don’t make it easy to figure out, as each Marriott hotel chain, all 36 of them, have different options. To confuse things even more, the amenity varies depending on where in the world you are. If you’re interested, here’s a list of all of the options:
Since we were staying at a Courtyard by Marriott in North America, I had two options:
- 500 points per stay
- $10 Food & Beverage credit per day (for member and one guest)
When we checked in, I was hoping the front desk agent would forget to ask which amenity we wanted so I could get my $50, but after thanking us for our loyalty, he asked if we wanted the points of the F&B Credit. Which one to choose?
I know, yet another article about the merger of Marriott Rewards, Starwood Preferred Guest and Ritz Carlton Rewards into the single Marriott Bonvoy program. The official date of the conversion is February 13th. Much of the discussion had been focused on the Marriott and SPG credit cards from Chase and AMEX and whether you should sign up for one card or another before they are no longer available. However, I received a message from a reader about our post on merging accounts asking a question I didn’t know the answer to: If you haven’t done so by now, is it mandatory to merge your accounts?
I previously wrote about my not-so-pleasant experiences with three different banks over the course of a single week. The lengths I was forced to go through to complete what were seemingly simple transactions led me to think that I was the problem and not the bank. However, the difficulty I experienced this week trying to figure out the answer to a single question has led me to believe the banks make things overwhelmingly difficult on purpose. What event led me to this conclusion? The combination of the Marriott Bonvoy credit card portfolio under the combined umbrella of American Express and Chase.
All the confusion started when Marriott announced they were acquiring Starwood, way back in November 2015 (can you believe it was that long ago?). The points world almost immediately started to wonder what would happen with the credit card portfolio of the two companies, since Starwood had an agreement with American Express and Marriott’s co-brand card portfolio was with Chase. There was much speculation of what would happen, with the odds leaning towards Chase keeping the combined cards.
In December of 2017, an announcement about an ongoing agreement between Marriott, American Express and Chase took almost everyone by surprise. American Express was keeping the right to issue some cards, Chase was going to issue other cards but both banks would be able to continue to offer competing products. That is, until now.