Marriott has just introduced the first hotel co-brand credit card in the South Korean market, Marriott Bonvoy® The BEST Shinhan Card.
In many ways the card is similar to US co-brands. It has a US$236 annual fee, based on current exchange rates and provides an annual free night worth up to 35,000 points each year. It comes with Gold status in the program automatically. And it comes with an annual points bonus,
- US$8820 spend = 5000 bonus points
- US$17,640 spend = 10,000 bonus points
Earn on the card is weaker than its U.S. cousins – 1 Marriott point per $0.88 cents of spend (versus two points per 1 for U.S. cards) with airlines, taxis, and cafés as 3 point bonus categories and Marriott hotel properties earning 5 points per US$0.88 spent.
There are several things actually interesting about the card, however.
- Priority Pass airport lounge visits at 4 times per year (including 2 guests). A card at this price point in the U.S. should offer more than 4 visits.
- $44 hotel breakfast credit for use at properties in South Korea, which can be used twice per year.
- Earn Platinum status through spend In the U.S. the premium American Express card offers Platinum status with US$75,000 in annual spend. Here this card offers Platinum for just under $53,000 in spend, at roughly half the annual fee.
I wouldn’t trade one of the U.S. cards for this one, but someone spending $75,000 a year on the premium Amex for status certainly might. The breakfast benefit is interesting as well!