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Has Chase Completely Withdrawn Its Credit Cards from Canada?

chase leaves canada and drops the marriott cardOnce the news went public that Chase would no longer accept new applicants for its Amazon Visa card earlier this year, finance-savvy Canadians saw the writing on the wall. A few sharp GreedyRates readers noticed immediately in early September when the application links for Chase’s Marriott Rewards card stopped working, unceremoniously disappearing from the provider’s listings.

We contacted Chase’s American media rep to see if she could clarify the situation for Chase’s existing Canadian cardholders, but she seemed unaware that Chase rewards had ever had operations in Canada of any kind.

Official statement or no, it seems we can safely assume that Chase is shutting down its Canadian credit card portfolio. So, will there be fallbacks for current cardholders?

What Does This Mean for Recent Applicants & Existing Cardholders?

For those of you who don’t remember or aren’t aware of the Chase Marriott Rewards card (R.I.P.), here’s a quick rundown of what it was all about and why Canadians are up in arms over losing out on its benefits:

  • The Marriott credit card came with a tremendous welcome bonus. New members got 30,000 points just for using their cards once without any minimum spending. That’s about equal to a four-night stay in a tier 1 hotel!
  • Absolutely no foreign transaction fees; a major boost for travelers and international shoppers.
  • Yearly free night anniversary present
  • Annual fee waived for the first year
  • Elite status
  • 5 points for every $1 spent at Marriott locations, 2 points at select locations, and 1 point everywhere else

As you can see, that was a pretty juicy offer, and if Chase does end up abruptly cancelling all of its Canadian accounts, card swipers everywhere will be anxious to fill the void. Here are some alternatives to the Chase credit card that offer similar benefits:

  • The Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card (SPG)

The Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card is a good starting replacement for the Marriott Rewards card. It offers great incentives for travelers including:

  • 25,000 points as a welcome bonus for new members upon purchase. This gives you two free nights in a category 5 hotel.
  • 2 points received for every $1 spent at participating locations and 1 point for everything else
  • An annual free night upon hitting the $40,000 spend mark
  • Upgrade to the Gold status when you hit the $30,000 annual spending mark
  • 10,000 points for referring a friend

Some of these benefits aren’t as exciting as the Marriott card, while others outshine it by a lot.

  • MBNA’s Best Western Rewards Mastercard

MBNA’s Best Western Rewards Mastercard also has some great benefits that make it a hot pick for Canadians. Sign up and receive:

  • No annual fee, ever!
  • 5 points for every $1 spent at Best Westerns and 1 point everywhere else
  • 20,000 in welcome bonus points just for signing up and making any purchase. We’re talking a package of Rolos. A package of Rolos is enough to stay totally free overnight at the tier 3 hotel of your choice (or longer for lower tier accommodations).
  • Upgrade to Gold status

These perks, in addition to a super-low balance transfer rate of 1.99% for the first 10 months, will make a transition over to the MBNA card very profitable.

  • Rogers Platinum Mastercard

The Rogers Platinum Mastercard is a no-fee card with a 1.75% flat cash back rate. That’s a tremendous acceleration from the rest of the competition that averages around the 0.25% range. Foreign transaction fees are subsidized via a 4% cash back rate on purchases made abroad, and new cardholders are greeted with a $25 welcome bonus.

  • FIDO Mastercard

Rogers FIDO Mastercard provides a slight twist on its Platinum card:

  • $50 cash back welcome bonus (rather than $25)
  • 1.5% cash back (rather than 1.75%)
  • No annual fee
  • 4% cash back on foreign purchases
  • No caps or limitations on how much cash back you can earn

Will Amex Scoop Its Own Marriott Partnership?

We can’t help but wonder if American Express will capitalize on this opportunity to grab many of Chase’s forsaken Canadian cardholders, who rely on the hotel-credit card partnership for major savings on travel expenses. This is more than a random guess given Amex’s latest business dealings, which appointed the credit card company as the sole distributor of Hilton cards starting in January.

And let’s not forget that last year American Express launched the Starwood Preferred Guest card after Starwood was bought by Marriott. So it’s a seemingly natural move for Amex to scoop up the vacant Marriott partnership in Canada.

Even if Chase decides to pull the plug on Canadian account holders, Canadians aren’t up the creek without a paddle. There are plenty of great card options out there.

4 comments

  1. Should people who already have the credit card currently be spending the points so they do not expire or become useless? I don’t have many (50000) most from initial sign up.

    • Hi Akshay, thanks for the interesting question. We’re sure that other readers who still have Chase cards in Canada will also be curious to hear the answer. Chase has made no announcement that their cards will be unusable in the near future. That said, though they still may work, we recommend spending your rewards points and picking up a similar card from another issuer. Scotiabank announced that they are acquiring much of Chase’s credit infrastructure in Canada, and while some of our readers report that the transition was smooth, for others it wasn’t. Regardless, there are cards that are just as powerful and flexible as any that Chase previously offered, including the ones listed in the above article.

      For example, if you had the Marriott Rewards card, now that the bonus they offered is expired, the Starwood Preferred Guest card outperforms it in every way. Instead of the Chase Amazon card, which hasn’t been in circulation for months, check out the Rogers Platinum card. You’ll likely earn more when ordering through Amazon with it anyway. If you need any further help, just comment and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

      GreedyRates Staff

      • Your Marriott rewards points are attached to your Marriott account, not the Chase account, so they won’t go away. No need to hurriedly blow them all just because the Chase card is probably going away.

        It is also important to note something that you are missing about the relationship between Marriott and SPG. You can link your two reward accounts and you can easily and instantly transfer your points between the two reward programs, and THEY ARE NOT EQUAL. SPG points are worth 3x what the Marriott points are, so the 25,000 sign up bonus for the SPG AMEX card equals a whopping 75,000 Marriott points!!! So if you are a Marriott rewards member, get the SPG card NOW!

        • Hey Caolan! Thanks for the shoutout, we love hearing that readers enjoy what we do. If you’re looking for a good travel card that isn’t an AmEx, but also isn’t exactly a rewards card, you might consider the Rogers MasterCard. It’s a great combination of cash back card that works well at home and abroad, by offering 1.75% on purchases made in CAD and 4.00% on purchases in a foreign currency.

          If a rewards travel card is what you’re after, there are few deals better right now than the BMO Rewards World Elite card. It lets you earn big on daily purchases, and use the points on any travel expense, or any airline. Additionally, you’ll get 20,000 bonus points and airport lounge access, which is a nice perk for a frequent traveler (or travelers). It’s too bad you don’t like AmEx, because the Starwood Preferred Guest card is another we highly recommend. Take a look and thanks for reading.

          GreedyRates Staff

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