Based on Marriott’s response, SPG members and American Express SPG cardholders are going to be very disappointed. For now, Marriott plans to continue operating both programs at least through the next two years, before eventually phasing out SPG.
The key phrase is “phasing out SPG.”
SPG is linked to American Express. By phasing out SPG in 2018, that means Chase is eventually going to be the ultimate winner. Not only it issues the Marriott branded credit cards, it also issues Ritz Carlton credit cards. I don’t see any reason why Marriott would abandon Chase and team up with American Express.
It has been a terrible downtrend for American Express for the past few years. It lost Cosco, Fidelity, and JetBlue. Soon, it’s going to lose SPG to Chase. As an American Express loyal cardholder and a SPG member, this is just too devastating. If you are an American Express shareholder, I would be worried if I were you.