Here’s an overview of each co-branded credit card that earns Marriott points, including tips on how to choose the right option for you.
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. The hotel brand continues to expand and now has more than 8,000 properties across 131 countries for Marriott 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 five 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.
Marriott Bonvoy Bold Credit Card: Best for no annual fee
Why we picked it: 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 3X points spent at Marriott Bonvoy properties, 2X points on other travel purchases and 1X points on all other purchases — plus a 30,000-point bonus when you spend $1,000 in your first three months.
- No annual fee
- Offers 15 Elite Night Credits each year of membership (qualifying you for Silver Elite status)
- Various travel perks, like lost luggage reimbursement, baggage delay insurance and trip delay insurance
- Lower rewards rate on Marriott purchases compared to all other cards on this list
- No Free Night Award
Who should apply: Travelers looking to earn rewards on their Marriott purchases but without a yearly fee should select the Bonvoy Bold. It’s light on travel card perks, but you’ll at least qualify for Silver Elite status thanks to its 15 Elite Night Credits benefit.
Who should skip: Marriott enthusiasts who can afford to pay at least a $95 annual fee will get more from leveling up to the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card.
Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card: Best entry-level card
Why we picked it: 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 6X points at Marriott Bonvoy hotels, 3X points on the first $6,000 spent in combined purchases each year on grocery stores, gas stations and dining and 2X points on all other purchases. Plus, you can earn 3 Free Night Awards (each night valued up to 50,000 points) after spending $3,000 in your first three months.
- Automatic Silver Elite status
- An annual Free Night Award on your cardmember anniversary, bookable at properties that cost 35,000 points or less
- 15 Elite Night Credits each calendar year and 1 Elite Night Credit for every $5,000 you spend
- $95 annual fee may be too much for the basic traveler
- More premium Marriott cards come with Gold Elite status; you’ll need to spend $35,000 in a year to reach Gold Elite with the Boundless
Who should apply: Other than the rewards structure, the card’s generous introductory bonus (for a reasonable annual fee) certainly offers a lot of potential value. And if you’re looking to collect free stays, the Boundless is a solid option.
Who should skip: If you enjoy the finer things in life (that is, luxury travel), there are more premium Marriott cards that come with statement credit-earning opportunities, lounge access and more (discussed further below).
Marriott Bonvoy Business American Express Card: Best for business owners
Why we picked it: Being the only business credit card offering from Marriott, the Marriott Bonvoy Business® American Express® Card is, of course, our pick for the best card for business owners. It offers the same high earning rate on Marriott purchases as a majority of the consumer cards, plus a generous bonus on business-related purchases and other attractive perks.
Get 6X points at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy program, 4X points on restaurants worldwide, U.S. gas stations, wireless phone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and U.S. shipping purchases and 2X points on all other purchases. Further, you can earn 75,000 bonus points after you spend $3,000 in the first three months.
- Annual Free Night Award worth up to 35,000 points
- Ability to earn an additional Free Night Award after you spend $60,000 in a calendar year
- Complimentary Gold Elite status
- 15 Elite Night Credits each calendar year
- $125 annual fee
- Lacks more premium perks, such as airport lounge access
Who should apply: 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 are interested in earnings points on their employees’ business-related purchases.
Who should skip: If you and your employees don’t regularly stay with Marriott, you might benefit from a general travel credit card.
Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant American Express Card: Best for luxury travelers
Why we picked it: If you’re in the market for a luxury hotel credit card, you’ll want to consider the recently updated Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card. This Marriott card boasts an array of premium perks, starting with its ongoing rewards structure: 6X points at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy program, 3X points at restaurants worldwide and on flights booked directly with airlines and 2X points on all other eligible purchases. You can also enjoy a generous 95,000-point welcome bonus after spending $5,000 in the first three months.
Unlike the other Marriott cards, it provides that highly coveted airport lounge access thanks to a complimentary Priority Pass Select membership. With the membership, you can relax, recharge and fuel up on food and beverages in over 1,300 lounges worldwide, as well as bring up to two guests.
- Up to $500 in statement credits for restaurants, TSA PreCheck or Global Entry and hotel stays
- Priority Pass Select membership
- One Free Night Award (up 85,000 points) after your card renewal month at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy program
- Earned Choice Award after you spending $60,000 on eligible purchases in a calendar year
- Exceptionally-high annual fee, on par with that of the The Platinum Card® from American Express (but without the same level of added perks)
Who should apply: Marriott loyalists with a penchant for premium hotel experiences would do best with the Bonvoy Brilliant.
Who should skip: If you can’t guarantee you’ll use the $500 worth of statement credit opportunities (in order to offset the high annual fee), you may look elsewhere. Further, luxury travelers without super strong ties to the Marriott brand may consider the Amex Platinum, whose benefits far out weight what’s offered by the Bonvoy Brilliant.
Marriott Bonvoy Bountiful Card from Chase and Marriott Bonvoy Bevy American Express Card: Best for traveling foodies
Why we picked it: The recently launched Marriott Bonvoy Bountiful™ Card from Chase and Marriott Bonvoy Bevy™ American Express Card have nearly identical offerings; just one card is issued by Chase and the other by American Express.
With both cards, you’ll earn the same 6X rate for purchases at participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels as other annual-fee carrying Marriott cards. But these cards offer a heightened 4X points on restaurants worldwide and at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $15,000 in combined purchases per year, then 2x points), making it a great option for those who spend a lot on food, whether at home or away.
You’ll also enjoy a 125,000-point welcome bonus after spending $4,000 in eligible purchases in the first three months and an 85,000 point welcome bonus after you spend $4,000 in eligible purchases in the first three months, respectively.
- One Free Night Award (worth up to 50,000 points) when you spend $15,000 per year
- 15 Elite Night Credits each calendar year
- Complimentary Gold Elite status
- 1,000 additional bonus points with each qualifying stay
- $250 annual fee on both cards may be too much for the average consumer
- No statement credits, lounge access or other premium travel perks
Who should apply: Foodies who frequently stay with Marriott will appreciate either of these cards’ higher rewards rates on restaurant and grocery purchases.
Who should skip: If you’re a big spender and can easily charge more than $15,000 in grocery and restaurant spending per year (or $1,250 per month), these cards aren’t your best option. Further, if you’re dead set on enjoying more premium travel perks, the Bonvoy Brilliant or a general travel card will better suit you.
Comparing the best Marriott credit cards
|Card||Rewards rate||Introductory bonus||Annual fee|
|Marriott Bonvoy Bold® Credit Card||30,000 points after you spend $1,000 in the first 3 months||$0|
|Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card||3 Free Night Awards (each night valued up to 50,000 points) after spending $3,000 in your first 3 months||$95|
|Marriott Bonvoy Business® American Express® Card||75,000 bonus points after you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months||$125|
|Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card||95,000 points after you spend $5,000 in the first 3 months||$650|
|Marriott Bonvoy Bountiful™ Card from Chase||125,000 points after you spend $4,000 in eligible purchases in 3 months||$250|
|Marriott Bonvoy Bevy™ American Express Card||85,000 points after you spend $4,000 in eligible purchases in the first 3 months||$250|
How to choose a Marriott credit card
The right Marriott card for you depends on a variety of factors — from rewards rates to travel frequency. Before you apply, be sure to compare the cards listed above based on the following bullets:
- Earning rates: Considering each Marriott card’s ongoing rewards rates and spending caps, in particular. If you spend well above a card’s particular cap, you’ll be stunting your rewards potential.
- Elite status potential: If you’re a Marriott loyalist, chances are hotel elite status is important to you. Take a close look at the benefits of each membership level before you choose a card, as a higher annual fee may be worth the elite status boost.
- Annual fee: Only one Marriott card doesn’t charge an annual fee, so if you’re fee adverse, you only have one option. Take a solid look at the value of the statement credits, Elite Night Credits, Free Night Awards and more offered by each card to determine if a fee-carrying card can still make sense for your wallet.
Before you rush out to sign up for a hotel credit card, be sure to carefully compare all of 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 co-branded credit cards from Hilton, IHG Rewards and other hotel programs, or our list of the best hotel credit cards.