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Hotel Co-Branded Credit Cards Market Wide Open

It is very slim pickings for co-branded hotel loyalty program credit cards in Canada. These are only 4 credit cards left to choose from. This also means that the market is completely wide open. Unfortunately, the weak Canadian dollar is really not helping the potential for a hotel rewards program to want to enter the Canadian market.

List of Remaining Credit Cards

In the meantime, below are the remaining credit cards that you can choose from.

MBNA Best Western MasterCard

  • No annual fee
  • Earn 20,000 (or 40,000 link) sign up bonus points after your first purchase
  • Earn 50 points for every cash advance transaction over $50
  • Earn 5 Best Western Rewards points for every $1 spent at Best Western properties
  • Earn 1 Best Western Rewards point for every $1 on all other purchases
  • Receive Gold status upon first use
  • Receive Diamond Status when you spend $10,000 within 1 year

Chase Marriott Rewards Premier Visa

  • $120 annual fee (waived the first year)
  • No charge for additional cardholders
  • Earn 50,000 points after your first purchase
  • Earn 5 points for every $1 spent at Marriott hotels
  • Earn 2 points for every $1 spent on airline tickets, car rental agencies and restaurants
  • Earn 1 point for every $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Earn 1 Free Night Stay at a Category 1-4 location after account approval
  • Earn 15 nights credit every year (give Silver elite status)
  • Receive 1 anniversary bonus free night stay at a Category 1-5 hotel every year
  • No foreign transaction fees

American Express Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card

  • $120 annual fee
  • Earn 20,000 sign up bonus points after you spend $500 in the first 3 month
  • Earn 1 point for every $1 spent on all purchases
  • Receive a Free Weekend Night Award at hotels and resorts worldwide when you spend $40,000 a year
  • Receive Starwood Gold Preferred Guest status when you spend $30,000 a year

American Express Starwood Preferred Guest Business Credit Card

  • $150 annual fee
  • Earn 20,000 sign up bonus points after you spend $1,000 in the first 3 month
  • Earn 1 point for every $1 spent on all purchases
  • Receive a Free Weekend Night Award at hotels and resorts worldwide when you spend $40,000 a year
  • Receive Starwood Gold Preferred Guest status when you spend $30,000 a year

Thoughts on Marriott + Starwood Merger

Beware that with the merger of Marriott and Starwood, there may be some changes coming to the credit cards offered. My advice is that if you are contemplating whether to sign up, just do it while you still can. Bank the points first and then worry about how to use the points later on.

Chances are, the Marriott points will be safe. As for the Starwood points, worse case scenario you can transfer the points to one of the airline partners and not have to worry about any devaluations. The 20,000 sign up bonus already gets you at least 25,000 miles (with the 5,000 transfer bonus). That completely justifies the $120 or $150 annual fees.

What I hope to see going forward

Losing Capital One’s IHG and MBNA’s Choice Privileges co-branded credit cards was definitely a hit to the market. So I don’t see those two companies coming back to Canada any time soon. Instead, I hope to see a Hilton or Hyatt co-branded credit card instead. Ideally, there would be a basic no annual fee version and a more premium annual fee version, so that they can cover a wider market share.

Which co-branded hotel credit card would you like to see added to the Canadian market?

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Pointshogger aims to provide analysis and updates on earning loyalty reward points and maximizing the value of your points. We hope to inspire our readers to experience the joy of travel and make the most out of what they've already got!

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