Background: My wife signed up for a Marriott Rewards Chase credit card. In doing so, she also established a Marriott Rewards account. Standard process, right? After she explained to me the benefits of the card, I was excited to be added to the credit card account as a joint card holder. This is a common practice for married couples. Again, nothing out of the norm here, right?
So, Chase sends us two identical credit cards, each with her Rewards number engraved on the front. The only difference is one has her name and one has my name. In turn, we both started using the credit cards and the same Rewards number printed on front.
Problem: Seeming how I do 99% of the traveling in our family, I was booking all my hotel stays using that same Rewards number printed on my credit card (her rewards number). Upon check-in, front desk staff would greet me then immediately ask for my wife. A short time later, we received a nasty gram notice from Marriott Rewards informing us that shared accounts are not allowed (despite her number being engraved into my credit card).
Fine - no problem - how can I resolve?
Logical Solution #1: Open a new Marriott Rewards account for myself and have this number added to my credit card.
Result: Although I can open my own Marriott Rewards account, I can't add it to our pre-existing Marriott Rewards Chase card because that card is technically still my wife's credit card although we are joint account holders since she originally opened the account. No changes allowed.
Logical Solution #2: Remove myself from wife's credit card and open a new credit card in my name with my Marriott Rewards number.
Result: Chase will not let me remove myself from the account (even with a zero balance). And, they will not let me open a new credit card account until my wife completely closes the joint account. Basically, we are forced to use as-is or cancel completely.
Illogical Solution from Chase/Marriott: As I eluded to above, the only solution to resolve this issue is for my wife and I to completely cancel our Marriott Rewards Chase credit card that we have held for over 7 years with increased credit limits, zero late payments and keep at a low balance. Get this - we then need to wait 3-4 weeks for the billing cycle to clear. After that, we simply re-apply for same the exact same credit card separately. This way, each person will be approved with unique credit card numbers each associated with our unique Marriott Rewards numbers.
Do I trust this solution will work? No.
Is this solution even remotely feasible? No.
I understand the rules of Marriott Rewards. I desperately want to comply by the rules of Marriott Rewards. Why in the hell do they make it so difficult for joint credit card accounts to use individual Marriott Rewards numbers?
Currently exploring new hotel rewards programs... in_
Will the solution work? Yes.
Is it feasible?
My parents went through the same thing over 10 years ago, when they became vacation club owners, and still have not done anything about it. The Marriott and Chase accounts are in my step-Dad's name. My mom is the one who does the traveling... what a pain. If only they had known. If only you knew. It sucks when you're not aware of all of the nuances of a program and no one thinks to explain it to you. Sorry this happened to you. I think many of us have been caught unawares similarly regarding one thing or another in life. I don't mean to sound harsh, just want to encourage you through this.
Thanks, Pluto. No offense taken.
Most of my frustration is centered around the fact that it took months for me to figure this out through a series of phone calls and my own trials and errors. I'm amazed by the general ignorance of most Chase credit card support associates. I had to literally pull this information out of them piece by piece, explaining in painstaking detail what I was trying to accomplish. I have to believe this is a common problem for most married couples. You would think they get this complaint often enough to be more knowledgeable. And, you would also think Chase would have a back-end process to separate accounts without putting customers through this unnecessary hassle of cancelling accounts and at the same time exposing themselves and Marriott to risk of losing customers altogether. We were both screened separately and approved separately so it should be fairly simple assuming zero balance (one would think).
I have three family members and several friends in the exact same situation.
Silver lining to this...earning Platinum status in my wife's name then showing up on a family vacation and front desk associates treating me like a peasant then catering to my wife like a queen. She deserves it!
I'm really surprised that Chase will not allow your wife to remove you as an "authorized user" from her account. When I recently added an authorized user to one of my Chase accounts they did not even ask for his SSN.
Chase usually will not provide signup bonuses to anyone who has had that type of card account within the last 2 years. You may even consider a different credit card that could still reap you some extra benefits for Marriott stays. Check out this recent article from The Points Guy. http://thepointsguy.com/2016/04/best-cards-for-marriott-guests/
Actually, the rule is that you cannot have received a sign up bonus within the last two years. So theoretically, if it's been more than two years since your last sign up bonus (2 years + 1 day), you could (theoretically) cancel your card and turn right around and sign up for a new card. I'm thinking of doing this, mainly because I don't like my c/c anniversary date. If I can get an additional 80K bonus points, so much the better.
Thanks pluto77 for setting the record straight. It's nice that Chase allows customers to get repeated sign up bonuses. I've read that Amex is more strict in this area and usually only allows one signup bonus per card type. Maybe the Ritz card will repeat it's 140k offer again this winter. Then I'll have to follow in your footsteps to get a repeated signup bonus.
I'm not an "authorized user", per say. I'm a "joint account holder". There is a significant difference as I'm jointly responsible for debt on the account.
I was first added as "authorized user" but every time I called Chase to handle the account, they treated me like a 10 year old child and asked for my wife to get on the phone to confirm information before I could speak. As mentioned above, I can handle getting treated like a peasant on family vacations but absolutely have no patience for being treated like a powerless child when it comes to my finances, nor was it feasible during times when I really needed quick action (account fraud). So, I went through the process of getting screened to be added to the account as "joint account holder". This was my biggest mistake. Had I known about all these nuances, I would've just removed myself then opened a new account with no problems.
Ok...its making sense now since you went through the extra steps of becoming a joint account holder. Sounds like pluto77 gave you some really good advice earlier. Thanks for sharing your experience with Insiders.
You both must have separate Rewards accounts. You can't accumulate nights or points for her and she can't do it for you. You can both be on the same Credit Card but that's Chase, not Marriott.
The illogical solution as you define it looks like the only solution that really works.
You apply for your own CC and Rewards account in your own name. During the 4 week period to clear your joint account you've got a CC to use. Then get the second CC in her name only.