And it's likely to be quite a long time before it returns. You see the problem is that the card companies paid the hotel companies for the points awarded which they were able to do from commissions charged to merchants of between 1 to 3 percent. However due to capping by the EU that rate is now 0.5%, mean the current loyalty card arrangements are uneconomic. As a result contracts are not being renewed and although I carry both the Marriott and IHG cards, and use them, neither are available to new applicants and at some point they'll be withdrawn, so for those of us in the UK with loyalty cards, we're very much enjoying the final days in the sun.
Make no mistake, there remains a future for loyalty credit cards in the EU, but we can expect fees and benefits with the company (Marriott, IHG etc) paying the credit card provider something to keep their brand in our pockets.
Crumbs, I hadn't spotted that one. Thanks for the tip. It will be a sad day to lose a Marriott CC in the UK. I look enviously at the US version but understand why the benefits differ (your earlier analysis refers!). I guess there will be no way around this with Starwood. I wonder what it will mean for all the other UK loyalty cards? Could rather change the shape of the UK portfolio!
Not likely for that reason, LOL. Governments have been trying to regulate this daylight robbery for decades and now the EU has finally managed it I'd expect a Brexitted UK to pass its own laws in exactly the same terms as its bought an end to the horrific gouging suffered by small business at the hands of these avaricious banks. And I say this as a small business that has suffered almost 2 decades of commission gouging!
AMEX was due to the wording thought to be a special case, or at least by its fat-cat lawyers. It took a while but they've found out regardless of their perceived financial clout, they can't beat the big man, well at least not when he's regulating a highly sought-after market of half a billion European souls. So the EU prevailed and gradually businesses are taking on AMEX because of that.
Expect to see AMEX routinely accepted in the same way as VISA and M/Card, but it'll take time as different businesses have different PDQs (machine that accepts the cards) contracts and charges for changing settings and machines is one of the few ways left to gouge small businesses for handling plastic now. I'll be accepting AMEX when my current PDQ contact comes up for renegotiation this year.