Which Marriott credit card is best for you?

Marriott has added new co-branded credit cards, offering more earning categories and more options for introductory bonuses

Marriott Rewards Guide

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The content on this page is accurate as of the posting date. Some of the offers mentioned below may no longer be available. Please review our list of best credit cards to find our current offers, or use our CardMatch tool to find cards matched to your needs.

Since the merger between Marriott Rewards, Ritz Carlton and Starwood Preferred Guest concluded in August of 2018, hotel loyalists with these brands have more ways to earn and use points than ever before.

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 which comes with a generous introductory bonus.

There are two 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:

Marriott Rewards credit cards

  Rewards rate Introductory bonus Annual fee

Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card

  • 6 points per dollar on Marriott and SPG hotel stays
  • 2 points per dollar on other purchases
75,000 points if you spend $3,000 in 3 months
$95

Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express Card®

  • 6 points per dollar on Marriott and SPG hotel stays
  • 4 points per dollar at U.S. gas stations, U.S. restaurants, U.S. shipping, internet, and U.S. wireless phone spending
  • 2 points per dollar on other purchases
100,000 points if you spend $5,000 in 3 months (offer ends 4/24/19)
  • Before 3/28/19: $95, $0 first year
  • After 3/28/19: $125

Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant American Express Card

  • 6 points per dollar on Marriott and SPG hotel stays
  • 3 points per dollar at U.S. restaurants and on flights booked directly with airlines
  • 2 points per dollar on other purchases
100,000 points if you spend $5,000 in 3 months

$450

Entry-level card

If you’re just jumping into to the hotel rewards game, it’s smart to start off small with an entry-level card. The Marriott Rewards Premier Plus Credit Card is your best entry point into the Marriott Bonvoy program with the lowest annual fee. The card offers:

  • Six points per dollar on purchases within the hotel brand
  • Two points per dollar on all other purchases
  • A free night each year on your cardmember anniversary, bookable at properties that cost 35,000 points or less

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:

  • Six points per dollar on purchases within the hotel brand
  • Four points per dollar spent on a handful of business-related categories
  • Two points per dollar on all other purchases

For the moment, the business card offers the same $95 annual fee as the Premier Plus card (waived the first year), plus a huge 100,000-point bonus offer, making it your best bet for stacking up Marriott points. The annual fee will be increasing to $125 on March 28, 2019. If you're thinking of signing up for the card, now is the best time to apply.

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:

  • An introductory bonus of 100,000 points if you spend $5,000 in the first three months
  • A $300 hotel credit each year
  • Priority Pass Select membership
  • Up to a $100 credit for TSA Precheck or Global Entry
  • A free night worth up to 50,000 points on your cardmember anniversary

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 credit but only if you stay in Marriott and Starwood hotels. 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 Premier Plus card and Bonvoy Business card offer automatic Silver status to cardholders. Cardholders can also get an upgrade to Gold status by spending $35,000 on one of these cards in a year. The Premeri Plus card also offers 15 Elite night credits.
  • Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant cardholders are granted Gold Elite status when they sign up. Card members can earn Platinum status by spending $75,000 on the card in a year.

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.

You’ll need to check the terms and conditions for each offer to see which cards are included in the list of restricted cards for a particular card.

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 benefits 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.

See Related: What are Marriott points worth?, How to earn the most Marriott points, Best ways to redeem Marriott points, Marriott elite benefits, Transferring Marriott points


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Updated: 02-19-2019