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Which Marriott credit card is best for you?

Marriott Bonvoy credit cards can help you earn more loyalty points and free nights – here’s how to choose the right one for you

Summary

We give an overview of co-branded credit cards that earn Marriott points to help you figure out which card is best for you.

The content on this page is accurate as of the posting date; however, some of our partner offers may have expired. Please review our list of best credit cards, or use our CardMatch™ tool to find cards matched to your needs.

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When the merger between Marriott Rewards, Ritz Carlton and Starwood Preferred Guest concluded in August of 2018, hotel loyalists gained access to 30 distinct brands, ranging from luxury to economy and everything in between. Marriott continues to expand and now has more than 7,000 properties across 131 countries for Bonvoy members to earn and redeem points.

One major benefit of the merger is the fact that you have a choice of co-branded hotel credit cards from both Chase and American Express. Each of these cards comes with a generous introductory bonus, attractive benefits and automatic elite status for additional perks.

There are three personal credit cards to consider alongside a business credit card that can make earning rewards on your business-related expenses a profitable endeavor. The benefits, rewards and fees for these cards vary, however, which is why it’s important to explore and compare all your options.

Here’s a rundown of the Marriott Bonvoy credit cards to consider this year:

Best Marriott Rewards credit cards

CardRewards rateIntroductory bonusAnnual fee

Marriott Bonvoy Bold® Credit Card

  • 3 points per dollar at participating Marriott Bonvoy properties
  • 2 points per dollar on other travel purchases
  • 1 point per dollar on other purchases
Earn 30,000 points after a $1,000 spend within the first three months of account opening.$0

Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card

  • 6 points per dollar at participating Marriott Bonvoy properties
  • 3 points per dollar on the first $6,000 spent in combined purchases each year on grocery stores, gas stations and dining
  • 2 points per dollar on other purchases
Earn 3 Free Nights (each night valued up to 50,000 points) after you spend $3,000 on purchases in your first three months from your account opening.$95

Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card

  • 6 points per dollar at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy program
  • 4 points per dollar at U.S. restaurants, U.S. gas stations, wireless phone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and U.S. shipping purchases
  • 2 points per dollar on other purchases
Earn 75,000 Marriott Bonvoy bonus points after you make $3,000 of eligible purchases within the first 3 months of card membership$125

Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card

  • 6 points per dollar at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy program
  • 3 points per dollar at U.S. restaurants and on flights booked directly with airlines
  • 2 points per dollar on other purchases
Earn 75,000 Marriott Bonvoy bonus points after you make $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months.$450

What is the best Marriott credit card?

Since there are quite a few options when it comes to credit cards that earn Marriott loyalty points, the card that will work best for you depends on your specific situation.

Here’s a breakdown of what each Marriott Bonvoy card is best for:

No-annual-fee card

For Marriott loyalists looking to earn more loyalty points – without shelling out an annual fee – the Marriott Bonvoy Bold® Credit Card is a great introduction to a co-branded card. The card offers:

  • 3 points per dollar spent at Marriott Bonvoy properties
  • 2 points per dollar on other travel purchases
  • 1 point per dollar on all other purchases
  • A 30,000-point bonus when you spend $1,000 in your first three months

The Bold card does come with a relatively low sign-up bonus compared to other Marriott cards, so you won’t be able to score as many free nights. However, the minimum spending requirement to earn the bonus is also much smaller, which makes it easier to meet for cardholders with low monthly expenses.

Entry-level annual-fee card

If you’re just jumping into the world of hotel rewards, but don’t mind paying a small annual fee to unlock plush benefits, the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card is a good entry point into the Marriott Bonvoy program. The card offers:

  • 6 points per dollar at Marriott Bonvoy hotels
  • 3 points per dollar on the first $6,000 spent in combined purchases each year on grocery stores, gas stations and dining
  • 2 points per dollar on all other purchases
  • A bonus of 3 Free Nights (each night valued up to 50,000 points) when you spend $3,000 in your first three months
  • Automatic Silver Elite status and a path towards Gold Elite status
  • A free night each year on your cardmember anniversary, bookable at properties that cost 35,000 points or less

Other than the rewards structure, the card’s generous introductory bonus certainly offers a lot of potential value. And if you’re looking to collect free stays, the Boundless is your best option.

Business credit card

The Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card offers the same earning rate on Marriott purchases as the personal card on purchases, plus a generous bonus on business-related purchases and other attractive perks:

  • 6 points per dollar at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy program
  • 4 points per dollar spent on U.S. restaurants, U.S. gas stations, wireless phone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and U.S. shipping purchases
  • 2 points per dollar on all other purchases
  • A 75,000-point bonus when you make $3,000 of eligible purchases within your first three months of card membership
  • Annual free night award worth up to 35,000 points every year after your card renewal month, and the ability to earn an additional free night award after you spend $60,000 in purchases in a calendar year. Certain hotels have resort fees.
  • Complimentary Silver Elite status

In addition to the perks above, the Bonvoy Business offers business-focused benefits – including the ability to issue employee cards with individual limits. This makes it a good option for small employers who want to earn points off of their employees’ business purchases.

Luxury credit card

If you’re in the market for a luxury hotel credit card, you’ll also want to consider the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card. This unique card offering boasts an array of benefits, including:

  • 6 points per dollar at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy program
  • 3 points per dollar at U.S. restaurants and on flights booked directly with airlines.
  • 2 points per dollar on all other purchases
  • Up to a $300 hotel statement credit each year at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy program
  • Priority Pass Select membership
  • Up to a $100 credit for TSA PreCheck or Global Entry
  • A Free Night Award worth up to 50,000 points on your cardmember anniversary (certain hotels have resort fees)

While these perks are worth considering, you should also note this card’s $450 annual fee. This fee can be offset with the $300 annual hotel statement credit – but only if you stay in hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy program. If you’re not planning any hotel stays within a year, the annual fee may eclipse the value of the card’s other benefits.

Earning elite status

The Marriott cards can help you climb the ladder toward elite status much faster. While this may not matter to you if you’re not a hotel loyalist, the little boosts you get toward status with a hotel card can make a huge difference if you’re a frequent traveler or a business traveler who loves the perks that status brings.

  • The Bonvoy Bold card offers 15 elite night credits each calendar year – enough to qualify for Silver status.
  • The Bonvoy Boundless card offers automatic Silver status to cardholders. Cardholders can also get an upgrade to Gold status by spending $35,000 in a calendar year. You’ll also earn one elite night credit toward elite status for every $5,000 you spend on the card.
  • Marriott Bonvoy Business cardholders receive complimentary Silver Elite status.
  • The Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant card provides automatic Gold Elite status and the opportunity to earn Platinum Elite status by spending $75,000 during a calendar year.
  • All Marriott personal and business credit cards include 15 elite night credits, which can be a foundation toward earning higher levels of elite status based on your nights at participating hotels.
  • For people who have both a personal and business Marriott card, the 15 elite night credits stack for a maximum of 30 elite night credits, which is more than the 25 nights required to earn Gold status.

Rewards extensions due to COVID-19

To make up for the pandemic, Marriott plans to compensate its Marriott Bonvoy members, although benefits may vary depending on members’ location.

Status extension

Bonvoy members who earned elite status in 2019 or 2020 can enjoy their benefits extended through February 2023. Members who earned elite status in 2021 already receive benefits through February 2023.

Points extension

The expiration of points has been paused through Dec. 31, 2022. After that, points will expire if your account has been inactive for at least 24 months. Even if you aren’t traveling, earning points from your Marriott credit card will keep your account active.

Other Marriott Bonvoy rewards

Any active Free Night Awards (as part of Marriott credit cards or packages) that are set to expire between Jan. 3, 2022, and June 29, 2022, will be extended through June 30, 2022.
Suite Night Awards that were set to expire by Dec. 31, 2021, are valid through June 30, 2022.

Bonvoy members can get more information on Marriott’s COVID-19 page.

Restrictions on introductory bonuses

Note that Marriott has placed restrictions on its introductory offers to prevent cardholders from opening and earning the bonus on more than one Marriott card at a time. If you currently own a Marriott card, you probably won’t be able to earn the introductory bonus on another Marriott card without closing your current card and waiting a few months to apply for the new card.

Also, if you’ve recently earned a bonus on one of these cards, you’ll probably need to wait 24 months to be eligible to earn the bonus on another Marriott card.

Is a Marriott credit card hard to get?

Marriott Bonvoy credit cards are premium travel credit cards, and as such, they generally require good or excellent credit for approval. Still, it might be possible to get approved with a lower score, but your APR will likely be higher.

Note that Marriott Bonvoy Bold and Boundless are Chase credit cards, which makes them subject to the 5/24 rule. This unofficial rule may prevent you from being approved for a Chase credit card if you have opened five or more credit cards in the last 24 months.

Which Marriott credit card is best for you?

Each of the Marriott card offerings has benefits, but the right card for you is the one that helps you earn the most for the least out-of-pocket cost. Compare the cards and options above before you dive in, and you can start earning points and booking free hotel stays in no time.

Before you rush out to sign up for a hotel credit card, also make sure to compare all your options. The merger between Starwood Preferred Guest and Marriott Rewards made this hotel brand stronger and larger than ever before, but you should also explore credit cards that co-brand with Hilton, IHG Rewards and other hotel programs.

Editorial Disclaimer

The editorial content on this page is based solely on the objective assessment of our writers and is not driven by advertising dollars. It has not been provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. However, we may receive compensation when you click on links to products from our partners.

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