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Whether it’s across the world or around the corner, you might be starting to think about your next vacation. And since the Marriott hotel chain has such a large presence both domestically and globally, it’s worth considering whether a Marriott credit card makes sense for you. Both American Express and Chase issue Marriott cards, and each card has its own features and welcome offer, so there are four options to consider.
Let’s look at the Chase offers first. Right now, the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card is offering 100,000 bonus points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first three months after opening the account, while the Marriott Bonvoy Bold® Credit Card is offering 50,000 bonus points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first three months after opening the account. The Marriott Bold card is the only Marriott credit card with no annual fee.
Meanwhile, on the American Express side, right now new card members can earn 75,000 bonus points with the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card after you make $3,000 in purchases within the first three months after opening the account. And for business owners, the Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card is offering the same 75,000 bonus points after you make $3,000 in purchases within your first three months of card membership.
You’ll get excellent value with all four of these card offers, so deciding which offer to choose probably depends on which card is right for you. Let’s dive into the details of each card.
If you’re looking for a personal credit card with a relatively low annual fee, the sign-up bonus on the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless card is a great choice, and the 100,000-point sign-up bonus opens up a ton of options. In fact, based on the point valuations of frequent flyer website The Points Guy, those 100,000 points are worth as much as $800 in travel.
But in addition to the sign-up bonus, there are many other benefits that get extended to Marriott Boundless card holders, making this a nice card to hold onto year after year if you plan to stay at Marriott hotels on a regular basis.
With the Marriott Boundless card, you’ll receive complimentary Marriott Silver elite status for as long as you’re a card holder. Silver status gets you late checkout and a 10% bonus on points earned during your Marriott stays. Although this is Marriott’s lowest elite status tier, having some sort of status is better than no status at all, and it could potentially even get you a better room during check-in (though improved rooms are not guaranteed).
Or, if you’re looking to earn a higher level of elite status, the Marriott Boundless card also comes with 15 annual elite night credits, which can stack with the 15 elite nights from the Marriott Business Amex for a total of 30 elite nights. Alternatively, you can also earn Marriott Gold elite status by spending $35,000 on the card each account year. And now, the card also earns 1 elite night credit for every $5,000 you spend, with no cap on the number of credits you can earn.
When you use the Marriott Boundless card to pay at Marriott hotels, you’ll earn 6 points for every dollar you spend, plus additional points for being a Marriott loyalty member and a Marriott elite member. You’ll now also earn 3 points per dollar on the first $6,000 spent in combined purchases each year on grocery stores, gas stations, and dining, and then 2 points per dollar after that, along with 2 points per dollar on all your other purchases.
The Marriott Boundless card also has its own annual complimentary award certificate. Starting at your first yearly account renewal — meaning one year after you opened the card — and every year thereafter, you’ll receive a certificate that can be used at any Marriott hotel for one night costing 35,000 points or less.
Other great perks include baggage delay insurance, lost luggage reimbursement, trip delay reimbursement and purchase protection. And with the Marriott Boundless card carrying only a $95 annual fee, you can easily come out well ahead with all these card holder perks. In fact, if you can use the card’s complimentary award night each year for a room that would otherwise cost $95 or more, you’ll easily make the card worth it.
Learn more and apply for the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless card.
If you’re looking to earn Marriott points but don’t want to pay an annual fee for a credit card, you might want to consider the Marriott Bonvoy Bold Credit Card. Although you’ll only earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $1,000 on purchases within your first three months, the card has no annual fee, and those 50,000 points are still worth $400 toward your next hotel stay based on The Points Guy’s valuations.
Even though you won’t pay anything to carry the Marriott Bold card, it only earns 3 points per dollar at participating Marriott hotels instead of the 6x points of the Marriott Boundless card, and the same 2x points on all other purchases.
You also still get some of the same card benefits, such as complimentary Silver elite status, baggage delay insurance, lost luggage reimbursement, trip delay reimbursement and purchase protection. But with the Marriott Bold card, you won’t receive the highly valuable 35,000-point complimentary night certificate after your first year.
Ultimately, we prefer the Marriott Boundless card over the Marriott Bold card, as long as you’re able to use all the benefits, especially the annual complimentary night certificate. But, if a quick bump in Marriott points and automatic Silver elite status is all you’re looking for, the Marriott Bold card could check the box.
Learn more and apply for the Marriott Bonvoy Bold card.
The Marriott Brilliant Amex is a card for people who frequently find themselves at Marriott hotels, as it comes with a slew of elite perks but also a high $450 annual fee (see rates and fees). However, one of the best features of the card is up to $300 in statement credits annually for Marriott purchases. If you can use those credits in full each year, you’re effectively only paying a net annual fee of $150.
The card earns 6 points for every dollar you spend on eligible purchases at participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels, 3 points per dollar at U.S. restaurants and on flights booked directly with airlines, and 2 points per dollar on all other purchases.
You also earn 15 elite night credits with the Marriott Brilliant Amex, which means you’ll receive automatic Silver elite status every year you have the card, and you can upgrade to Gold elite status by spending $35,000 on the card each year.
When it comes to the welcome bonus offer, you might be wondering how much 75,000 Marriott points are worth. Based on the point valuations of The Points Guy, which values Marriott points at 0.8 cents apiec
Earn up to 100,000 bonus points with these Marriott credit card offers
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