When your favorite hotel chain or airline offers a credit card with more than one issuer, it can be hard to know which one is best for you. Consider factors like benefits and acceptance before applying.
But what do you do if more than one card issuer offers a co-branded credit card with the program? Marriott Bonvoy is one of the first programs that comes to mind, as it offers competitive cards through both Chase and American Express. Beyond evaluating each card’s terms and benefits, there are many factors to consider when choosing a co-branded credit card – including who issues that card.
Decide which card rewards are right for you
Regardless of card issuer, one of the most important things to consider when applying for a credit card is that it suits your spending habits. The card should have a rewards rate that complements your spending, hotel or airline benefits that align with your travel habits and an annual fee that fits into your budget.
Before choosing a card based on issuer, take a look at all the co-branded cards available for your favorite loyalty program and see which options are best for you.
Co-branded credit cards from multiple card issuers
|Card||Rewards rate||Annual fee||Other things to know|
|American Airlines AAdvantage: Citi-issued cards|
|American Airlines AAdvantage MileUp℠ Card||$0|
|Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World EliteTM Mastercard®||$99, waived for first 12 months|
|Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World EliteTM Mastercard®||$450|
|American Airlines AAdvantage: Barclays-issued cards|
|Aadvantage® Aviator® Red World Elite Mastercard®||$99|
|Marriott Bonvoy: American Express-issued cards|
|Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express®Card||$450|
|Marriott Bonvoy: Chase-issued cards|
|Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card||$95|
For the most part, when a program like American Airlines AAdvantage offers credit cards with more than one issuer, each card’s rewards rate and perks probably vary. However, in some cases, cards with a similar earning scheme and annual fee – like the Citi / AAdvantage Platinum Select card and the AAdvantage Aviator Red card – might be offered by two issuers. While you should first consider card terms when choosing a co-branded card, the issuer might a factor in your final decision in cases like these.
Closely examine the card benefits and perks
One factor that can vary drastically between credit card issuers – and have an impact on if the card is a good choice for you – are the additional benefits they include.
For example, American Express cards include a free membership to ShopRunner, a program that provides free, two-day shipping from dozens of online retailers. For Citi cards, purchases can be enrolled in Citi Price Rewind, which automatically searches for a lower price on your qualifying purchases and refunds you the difference.
See Related: Terms and benefits checkup: Assess your credit card’s value
While some travel and shopping insurances and protections might overlap between card issuers, these perks are incredibly important when determining your card’s value, so take a close look at the terms and conditions before you apply.
Don’t forget to consider acceptance
Another thing to consider when choosing a co-branded card between different issuers is merchant acceptance, as you’ll want to be able to use your card often.
For example, Marriott Bonvoy offers personal credit cards with both Chase and American Express. If you frequent international Marriott hotels, you might prefer a Chase card over the Amex – as American Express cards aren’t accepted as widely abroad as they are in the U.S.
When you are applying for a co-branded credit card with your favorite airline or hotel loyalty program, be sure to research all of the available options before deciding which card is best for you. Factors such as rewards rate, annual fee, benefits and which bank issues the card should all play a role in your final decision.