Marriott & Shinhan Card Launch Cobranded Bonvoy-card In Korea

Marriott with Shinhan Card has introduced a Bonvoy credit card for the Korean market.

The card comes with a $236 yearly fee, award certificate capped at 35,000 points, Gold status, and a Platinum one after spending 60M KRW (roughly $52K).

You can access Marriott Bonvoy here.

READ MORE: Marriott Bonvoy Rate & Bonus Points And Miles Promotions

Here’s the release from Marriott:

Marriott International Teams With Shihan Card and Visa For Korea’s First-Ever Co-Branded Hotel Credit Card

‘Marriott Bonvoy® The BEST Shinhan Card’ combines the competitive advantages of a major card company with the reach and choice of the highly-awarded travel program

Marriott International today announced the launch of Marriott Bonvoy® The BEST Shinhan Card, offered exclusively by Visa, enabling cardholders to accelerate the number of Marriott Bonvoy points they earn, which can be redeemed for free nights at more than 7,600 hotels across 30 extraordinary brands around the world. This launch is set to be the first hotel industry credit card in South Korea where Cardholders can earn Marriott Bonvoy points and enjoy member benefits that come with elite status.

In designing the Marriott Bonvoy® The BEST Shinhan Card, the two companies analyzed the spending and traveling behavior of Koreans, finding that they love to travel (9% of credit card spend is on overseas spend) and enjoy dining out (11% of credit card spend). Korea is the second largest outbound travel market in Asia: in pre-COVID 2019, the Korea Tourism Organization reported more than 28 million outbound Koreas compared to 14 million in 2014 –– presenting an opportunity for overseas spend once international resumes.

“It is very meaningful that our customers will be able to enjoy differentiated benefits and membership anywhere in the world via the launch of Marriott Bonvoy® The BEST Shinhan Card card,” said Youngjin Lim, CEO of Shinhan Card. “In partnership with Marriott, the world’s No. 1 hotel company, we will continue to make our best efforts to provide broader value to customers so as to evolve into a ‘Life & Finance Platform’ company, our future direction”

“We are pleased to introduce Marriott Bonvoy® The BEST Shinhan card in South Korea, making travel more meaningful and rewarding for members of Marriott Bonvoy,” said Bart Buiring, Chief Sales & Marketing Officer, Marriott International Asia Pacific. “This credit card launch underscores our commitment to providing members with an unmatched array of benefits and travel experiences that meet their needs, including the opportunity to accelerate the number of Marriott Bonvoy points they earn at our hotels around the world, and points that can be used for hotel stays, through their daily purchases.”

Marriott Bonvoy is the award-winning travel program from Marriott International comprised of a portfolio of 30 hotel brands including JW Marriott, Sheraton and Courtyard, a home rental offering, all-inclusive resorts and hundreds of thousands of experiences across 133 countries and territories. Members can earn and redeem points for free nights, accelerating the points they earn with co-branded credit cards.

“Visa is a leading global payments network and one of the most powerful brands preferred by consumers and partners around the world,” said Patrick Yoon, Country Manager of Visa Korea. “We are very excited to bring to market through collaboration among three leading brands a truly unique value proposition for the affluent and traveler consumers.” “With the Marriott Bonvoy The Best Shinhan Card, consumers will not only gain access to unique benefits at Marriott properties but also enjoy benefits at more than 61 million merchants globally where Visa is accepted.”

Accelerated earnings and more ways to explore
With Marriott Bonvoy® The BEST Shinhan Card, cardholders enjoy rich earn ratios and become a Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite member upon sign up. Platinum Elite Status is also more achievable with Cardholders enjoying 5,000 bonus points after spending KRW 10 million, and 10,000 bonus points after spending KRW 20M. Cardholders will immediately be awarded Platinum status upon KRW 60 million spend in an accounting year.

“The launch of Marriott Bonvoy® The BEST card through Shinhan provides immediate value for travelers in Korea,” said Duke Nam, Area Vice President, Korea and The Philippines, Marriott International. “In addition to hotels around the world, cardholders have 27 Marriott Bonvoy participating hotels to choose from in Korea, along with more than 60 restaurants and bars across 11 hotel brands. Anyone who loves to travel is able to accelerate the number of points they earn towards free night stays at Marriott Bonvoy participating hotels and home rentals around the world.”

Marriott International already offers enhanced experiences in many countries, including US, UK, Canada, UAE and Japan, in collaboration with other world leading credit card companies and local banks.

Marriott Bonvoy® The BEST Key Features

Annual Fee KRW 267K (USD236)
Annual Welcome/Renewal Gift Category 5 (up to 35K points): 1 Free night award

*Redemption Chart

Complimentary Elite Status Automatic Marriott Bonvoy® Gold Elite Status upon issuance
Bonus Points and status upgrade based on Spend Spend over KRW 10 million, get 5,000 points

Spend over KRW 20 million, get 10,000 points

Spend over KRW 60 million, upgrade to Platinum Elite status

Earn Marriott Bonvoy® Points

(Per KRW 1,000)

5 Points: Marriott Bonvoy® participating hotels worldwide

3 Points: Spend abroad, airlines, taxis, and cafés

1 Point: All other purchases

Other benefits 4 times airport lounge access for 2 guests per year

KRW 50K breakfast discount at participating hotels in Korea (twice a year)

Conclusion

The Gold-level benefits are minimal, and the spending requried to reach Platinum status is high ($52K). The card also comes with a hefty yearly fee.

Marriott is in the process of launching a cobranded card Mexico that we wrote last week. They have ones in Japan, UAE, United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom.

Loyalty programs love selling points for partners and collect cash. It is an entirely different deal when it comes to redemption and paying hotels for these stays.

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