Just a couple of weeks ago Marriott rolled out a credit card in South Korea. It was interesting for its hotel breakfast benefit and easier earning of Bonvoy Platinum status through card spend than what’s offered to U.S. customers.
Now Marriott has announced two cobrand credit cards for members in Mexico. They’re issued by Banorte which also offers the United Airlines co-brand South of the Border.
- The Marriott Bonvoy (Gold) credit card comes with Bonvoy Silver status and offers an initial bonus of 12,500 points after US1000 in purchases within 3 months (22,500 points for applications by July 31, 2021). Earning 4 points per US dollar at Marriott; 2 points per US dollar on grocery and airfare purchases; and 1 point per dollar elsewhere. It takes US$7500 in annual spend to earn a Free Night Award. The card comes with 10 elite night credits each year.
- The Marriott Bonvoy Inspire (Platinum) credit card comes with Bonvoy Gold status (2pm late checkout, basically) and earn is 6 points per US dollar at Marriott and 3 points per US dollar on airfare, grocery, gas and dining. The card’s initial bonus is 25,000 points after US$1000 within the three months (35,000 for applications by July 31, 2021). The card comes with 15 elite night credits each year.
Mexico City airport benefits from Mastercard – including airport lounge in terminal 1 and 50% off valet parking are interesting. Oddly I’ve only been able to find the basic card on the Banorte website.
These cards are weaker than what’s offered in the U.S. market, from a much lower initial bonus to less earning on spend. The most compelling argument for the cards is getting and keeping them for annual elite nights towards status. It seems like the Banorte Marriott cards will have Marriott’s 1 million Bonvoy members in Mexico running north towards the border.
Driving on international cobrands is an interesting way to raise additional revenue in new markets. I’m surprised other global brands have remained fairly limited in the markets in which cards are issued (even though some markets may be tough due to local restrictions or caps on interchange rates). Marriott is no slouch of course – they did not even lose money in 2020 as the hotel industry collapsed due to the pandemic.
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