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I’m still going over the news that happened while I was offline this week.
AMEX scored a victory over Citi by landing exclusivity for Hilton credit cards starting in 2018. Hopefully we’ll see some increased Citi Hilton offers before the end of the year, but the future of existing cards is still up in the air. They may remain Hilton cards, they may convert into another Citi card, or it may become an AMEX Hilton card.
AMEX couldn’t afford to lose another co-brand card after losing Costco to Citi and JetBlue to Barclays, so it’s no surprise that they outbid Citi to win the Hilton account.
Citi however is left without any hotel co-brand card and they don’t even have exclusivity with American. They’ve devalued their premium cards and seem to be heading in the opposite direction while AMEX and Chase fight for mileage card dominance.
The real question on everyone’s mind is the future of the Starwood AMEX. Hilton is a small player in the co-brand card market, but the SPG card has long offered an excellent value on everyday spending thanks to the plethora of redemptions and transfer options that Starwood has.
Chase has a strong relationship with Marriott with several card offerings, it will be tough for AMEX to win that account unless Marriott decides to keep the Starwood and Marriott programs separate. But that will be a long shot. Of course AMEX could always outbid Chase if they feel the need to maintain their co-brand cards as losing Starwood will be a bigger loss for AMEX than losing Marriott would be for Chase.
We should know the future of the AMEX-Chase battle for Marriott/Starwood by the end of this year.