The 10+ Best Credit Cards for Marriott Bonvoy Loyalists [2020]

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In general, having a hotel-branded credit card allows you to receive elevated earnings at that hotel chain, perks during your stay, and some associated useful or money-saving benefits.

The same premise applies to Marriott-branded cards, so if you’re a die-hard Marriott loyalist, you’ve probably considered applying for one of these cards. If you haven’t yet made the leap, however, you’ll find the information in today’s article of interest.

While it may seem logical that the best credit cards for Marriott loyalists are Marriott-branded cards, there are additional travel rewards cards that offer Marriott-related benefits plus more flexible earning and redemption options. You’ll even find a few that offer luxury travel benefits.

Each card in the collection we’re going to discuss today could be a potential consideration for Marriott loyalists but depending on your spending mix, travel profile, and benefit preferences, you may also find a combination of cards that creates an ideal match for your situation.

Let’s get started with our take on the best cards for those travelers who make Marriott Bonvoy their brand of choice.

The Best Personal Marriott-Branded Cards for Marriott Loyalists

Although both Chase and American Express issue Marriott-branded credit cards, there is consistency throughout the collection when it comes to earnings and benefits.

If the card has an annual fee, it will offer a complimentary hotel night certificate and have the same elevated earnings at Marriott properties.

Also, regardless of the card you select, you’ll enjoy complimentary Marriott Bonvoy Elite status.

Let’s take a look at the Marriott-branded personal cards and all they have to offer the Marriott loyalist.

Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card

The Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant card is a premium rewards card packed with perks that can make your travel more comfortable, save you money with statement credits, and make it easy to enjoy free hotel nights faster.

Why We Like the Card for Marriott Loyalists

  • Complimentary Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite status
  • Achieve Platinum Elite status by spending $75,000 on the card in a calendar year
  • Worldwide lounge access to over 1,200 properties via a complimentary Priority Pass Select membership
  • 15 elite nights credited toward Marriott Bonvoy Elite status each calendar year
  • Free hotel night certificate each card anniversary year, worth up to 50,000 points
  • $300 statement credit for Marriott purchases each card anniversary year
  • $100 property credit at Ritz-Carlton or St. Regis properties
  • Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee statement credit
  • Free premium internet at Marriott properties
  • Secondary car rental insurance, purchase protection
  • No foreign transaction fees

Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card

There’s something special about the Marriott Boundless card. Perhaps it’s the fact that it comes with a lower annual fee yet still packs the same earning power as the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant card.

Add in a free hotel night at each card anniversary and you may find good value in having the card.

Why We Like the Card for Marriott Loyalists

  • Complimentary Marriott Bonvoy Silver Elite status
  • 15 elite nights credited toward Marriott Bonvoy Elite status each calendar year
  • Qualify for Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite status by spending $35,000 on the card in a calendar year
  • Free hotel night certificate each card anniversary year, worth up to 35,000 points
  • Free premium Wi-Fi at Marriott properties
  • Baggage delay, trip delay, and purchase protection
  • No foreign transaction fees

Marriott Bonvoy Bold™ Credit Card

If you stay frequently at Marriott properties, want a Marriott-branded credit card, but absolutely do not want to pay an annual fee, the Marriott Bold card may be a fit.

This no-annual-fee card comes with Marriott Bonvoy Elite status which gives you complimentary internet, late checkout, 10% bonus points, and a dedicated elite reservation line.

Marriott Bonvoy Bold™ Credit Card - Earn 30,000 bonus points when you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months of account opening. Earn 3X points per $1 at participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels, earn 2X on other travel purchases, and 1X on all other purchases. A solid card for Marriott loyalist looking for a no-annual-fee card offering Marriott Bonvoy Silver Elite status.

Why We Like the Card for Marriott Loyalists

  • 3x earnings at Marriott
  • 2x earnings on travel
  • Complimentary Marriott Bonvoy Silver Elite status (via 15 elite nights credited each calendar year)
  • Trip Delay insurance
  • Lost and delayed luggage coverage
  • No foreign transaction fees

Note that our list of benefits for the Marriott-branded cards is not all-inclusive and we have abbreviated the descriptions. You’ll want to access each card’s guide to benefits for further details and benefit terms/conditions.

Bottom Line: Each Marriott-branded credit card comes with a level of complimentary Marriott Bonvoy Elite status and 15 qualifying elite nights. There is a limit of 30 qualifying elite nights credited to your account each anniversary year, 15 elite qualifying nights for having either personal card, and an additional 15 nights for having the Marriott Bonvoy Business card. 

Atlantis
Ultimate Rewards points and Membership Rewards points can be transferred to Marriott Bonvoy where you can book luxury properties such as Atlantis. Image Credit: Marriott

Additional Personal Credit Cards for Marriott Loyalists to Consider

The Platinum Card® from American Express

The Amex Platinum card is the ultimate card for frequent travelers. Marriott loyalists, in particular, will enjoy a complete benefits package that includes complimentary Marriott Bonvoy Elite status, points that can be transferred to the Marriott Bonvoy program, and luxury perks that support a travel lifestyle.

Why We Like the Card for Marriott Loyalists

Hot Tip: Learn more about how to earn lots of Marriott points, and the best ways to redeem Marriott points for hotels and air vacation packages in our related articles. 

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

The Chase Sapphire Preferred card is our pick for a solid travel rewards card. The card earns flexible rewards points that can be transferred to airline and hotel partners or redeemed directly for travel.

You’ll also find the card packed with great benefits and travel insurance protections.

Why We Like the Card for Marriott Loyalists

  • Ultimate Rewards points earned on the card transfer easily to the Marriott Bonvoy program
  • Earn 2 points per dollar spent on travel and dining (and up to $1,000 in monthly grocery store purchases from November 1, 2020, to April 30, 2021)
  • Redeem points for 1.25 cents each towards travel
  • Complimentary DoorDash DashPass subscription
  • $60 Peloton Digital and All Access Membership statement credit (through December 31, 2021)
  • Enroll in complimentary Spot Club Platinum status at The Parking Spot for 2 years and receive 20% off of your first reservation and points for 1 free day of parking
  • Enroll to receive 10% back on Groupon deals every month for 12 months (up to $50), rewarded as Groupon Bucks
  • Trip cancellation/interruption/delay coverage
  • Primary car rental insurance coverage

Check out our ideas for getting the maximum value for your Ultimate Rewards points and how to use your points for purchasing travel.

St Regis Florence
No matter your destination, chances are you’ll find a suitable Marriott property, like St. Regis Florence. Image Credit: Marriott

Chase Sapphire Reserve® Card

The Chase Sapphire Reserve card is a premium travel rewards card loaded with perks and benefits. You’ll enjoy worldwide airport lounge access, travel statement credits, and some of the best travel and shopping protections.

Why We Like the Card for Marriott Loyalists

  • Ultimate Rewards points can be transferred to Marriott Bonvoy program
  • Complimentary Priority Pass Select Membership with worldwide access to over 1,200 lounges
  • 3x earnings on travel and at restaurants (and up to $1,000 in monthly grocery store purchases from November 1, 2020, to April 30, 2021)
  • $300 statement credit for travel purchases each card anniversary (including gas and grocery purchases through June 30, 2021)
  • Redeem Ultimate Rewards points for 1.5 cents each towards travel
  • Complimentary DoorDash DashPass subscription and membership with Grubhub+/Seamless+ (via Lyft Pink perk)
  • $120 Peloton Digital and All Access Membership statement credit (through December 31, 2021)
  • Enroll in complimentary Spot Club Platinum status at The Parking Spot for 2 years and receive 20% off of your first reservation and points for 1 free day of parking
  • Enroll to receive 10% back on Groupon deals every month for 12 months (up to $50), rewarded as Groupon Bucks
  • Primary car rental insurance
  • Trip cancellation, interruption, and delay coverage
  • Purchase protection and extended warranty

American Express® Gold Card

The Amex Gold card functions as a travel rewards card disguised as an everyday spending card. First, the card earns valuable Membership Rewards points (on travel purchases) that can also be redeemed for travel. Additionally, you can earn points in bonus spending categories that include everyday expenses.

The additional earnings on everyday spending serve to grow point balances quickly. Plus, the card comes with several travel benefits.

Why We Like the Card for Marriott Loyalists

  • 4x earnings at U.S. supermarkets and restaurants worldwide, maximum $25,000 per calendar year
  • 3x earnings on flights booked with the airlines or Amex Travel
  • $100 annual airline fee credit (through December 31, 2021)
  • $10 per month dining credit
  • $10 per month Uber Cash credit (starting in 2021) and complimentary 12-month membership to Eats Pass
  • Secondary car rental insurance
  • Baggage insurance plan
  • No foreign transaction fees

While you won’t receive any Marriott-related benefits with the Amex Gold card, Marriott loyalists will have the flexibility to transfer Membership Rewards into Marriott points to use for free hotel nights.

Hot Tip: If you choose to transfer Ultimate Rewards points or Membership Rewards points to Marriott Bonvoy and the need to transfer is not urgent, watch for promotions that allow transfer bonuses which can add 20-30% additional points when doing so. 

The Ritz Carlton Kapalua Pool
Use your Marriott points for luxury properties such as this Ritz Carlton property in Maui. Image Credit: Marriott

Summary: The Best Personal Credit Cards for Marriott Loyalists

We’ve covered a lot of information, so let’s recap the core features and benefits of the cards we’ve mentioned as they relate to Marriott loyalists.

CardEarningsMarriott Bonvoy Benefits
Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant card
  • 6x at Marriott
  • 3x flights booked with airlines
  • 3x at U.S. restaurants
  • 2x all other purchases
  • Complimentary Gold Elite status
  • Spend $75,000 on the card for Platinum Elite status
  • 15 elite qualifying nights each year
  • Free hotel night certificate each card anniversary worth up to 50,000 points
  • $300 Marriott statement credit
  • Free premium internet at Marriott properties
Marriott Boundless card
  • 6x points at Marriott
  • 2x points all other purchases
  • Complimentary Silver Elite status
  • Spend $35,000 on the card for Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite status
  • 15 elite qualifying nights each year
  • Free hotel night certificate each card anniversary worth up to 35,000 points
  • Free premium internet at Marriott properties
Marriott Bold card
  • 3x points at Marriott
  • 2x on travel
  • 1x all other purchases
  • 15 elite qualifying nights each year which results in Silver Elite status
Amex Platinum card
  • 5x points on flights purchased directly from airlines and via Amex Travel
  • 1x on all other purchases
  • Points can be transferred to Marriott Bonvoy
  • Complimentary Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite status
Chase Sapphire Preferred card
  • 2x points on travel and at U.S. restaurants (and up to $1,000 in monthly grocery store purchases from November 1, 2020, to April 30, 2021)
  • Points can be transferred to Marriott Bonvoy
Chase Sapphire Reserve card
  • 3x points on travel and at restaurants (and up to $1,000 in monthly grocery store purchases from November 1, 2020, to April 30, 2021)
  • 1x all other purchases
  • Points can be transferred to Marriott Bonvoy
Amex Gold card
  • 4x points at U.S. supermarkets and restaurants worldwide
  • 2x points travel
  • Points can be transferred to Marriott Bonvoy

Bottom Line: When thinking of securing any hotel-branded credit card, consider pairing it with a travel rewards card. Together you can ensure your highest spending categories earn maximum rewards and you’ll be receiving all the benefits that are a priority to you.

Marriott Bonvoy Elite Status

All of the Marriott-branded credit cards and Amex Platinum cards come with a level of Marriott Bonvoy elite status. You might now be wondering what type of benefits you can expect to receive, so let’s take a look.

Here’s an overview of Marriott Bonvoy benefits for each elite status level.

BenefitsSilver Elite — 10-24 Nights/YearGold Elite — 25-49 Nights/YearPlatinum Elite — 50-74 Nights/YearTitanium Elite — 75-99 Nights/YearAmbassador Elite — 99 or more Nights/Year + $20,000 in Qualifying Spend/Year
Complimentary Wi-Fi in-roomXXEnhanced fastest internetEnhanced fastest internetEnhanced fastest internet
Bonus points10%25%50%75%75%
Late CheckoutPriority Late Checkout2 p.m.4 p.m.4 p.m.4 p.m.
Elite Reservation LineXXXX+ personal ambassador service
Welcome Gift250-500 points depending on propertyChoice of points, breakfast, or amenityChoice of points, breakfast, or amenityChoice of points, breakfast, or amenity
Room Upgrade — Based on AvailabilitySelect suites when availableSelect suites expanded to include Ritz-Carlton propertiesSelect suites expanded to include Ritz-Carlton properties
Lounge AccessXXX
Annual Choice BenefitXAnnual Choice Benefit + additional Choice BenefitAnnual Choice Benefit + additional Choice Benefit

In addition to the benefits above, all Marriott Bonvoy elite members receive access to the Cash + Points redemption option, PointSavers™ for savings on reward nights, and Member Exclusive room rates.

Note that our list of benefits here is not all-inclusive, just the highlights. For more in-depth information on how to achieve Marriott Bonvoy elite status and the benefits of elite status you’ll want to review our comprehensive articles.

Bottom Line: Complimentary Marriott Bonvoy status that comes with Marriott branded credit cards and Amex Platinum cards can offer benefits at Marriott properties such as late checkout, bonus points for your stay, complimentary Wi-Fi, a dedicated reservation line, access to special hotel rates, and expanded redemption options. 

The Best Business Credit Cards for Marriott Loyalists

Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express Card

If you’re traveling for business and frequent Marriott-branded properties, the Marriott Bonvoy Business card can ensure you’ll be receiving the perks you deserve during your journey.

The card also makes it easier to earn lots of Marriott points just for paying your business expenses. Earning complimentary hotel nights can offset your business travel expenses or provide free lodging for a personal vacation.

Why We Like the Card for Marriott Loyalists

  • Complimentary Marriott Bonvoy Silver Elite status
  • Spend your way to Gold Elite status by spending $35,000 on the card in a calendar year
  • 15 elite nights credited toward Marriott Bonvoy Elite status each calendar year
  • Complimentary hotel night certificate each card anniversary year, worth up to 35,000 points
  • Additional complimentary hotel night certificate after spending $60,000 in a calendar year
  • Transfer Marriott points to airline frequent flyer programs
  • Baggage insurance plan
  • Secondary car rental insurance
  • No foreign transaction fees

The Business Platinum Card® from American Express

Like the personal version of the card, the Amex Business Platinum card comes with Marriott Bonvoy Elite status and is loaded with premium travel benefits.

If you travel frequently for business, you’re sure to enjoy the value of worldwide lounge access and elevated earnings on your travel purchases — 2 key benefits of having the card.

Why We Like the Card for Marriott Loyalists

  • Membership Rewards points can be transferred to Marriott Bonvoy
  • Worldwide lounge access to over 1,200 lounges including Centurion Lounges
  • Complimentary Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite status and Hilton Honors Gold status
  • 5x earnings on flights and prepaid hotels booked via Amex Travel
  • 1.5x earnings on purchases $5,000 or more
  • 35% rebate on points redeemed for premium flights via Amex Travel
  • $200 airlines incidental fee statement credit
  • Global Entry or TSA PreCheck fee statement credit
  • Up to $200 Dell statement credit
  • Secondary car rental coverage
  • Trip interruption/cancellation coverage
  • Purchase protection, extended warranty

Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card

The Ink Business Preferred card is a powerhouse when it comes to earning on your business purchases. And when it’s redemption time, you’ll find that your points are flexible and valuable.

With a lower annual fee and premier travel/shopping benefits, it’s a travel rewards card deserving consideration for even small business owners.

Why We Like the Card for Marriott Loyalists

  • Ultimate Rewards points earned on the card can be transferred to Marriott Bonvoy
  • 3x points earned for travel purchases, internet/cable/phone, shipping, and advertising purchased through social media and search engines (maximum $150,000 in purchases per year)
  • 5x points on Lyft purchases
  • Primary car rental insurance
  • Trip interruption/cancellation/delay

Bottom Line: If your business involves travel and you stay frequently at Marriott properties, it makes sense to have a Marriott-branded business or personal credit card. To ensure all of your business purchases earn rewards, however, you might consider pairing it with a business travel rewards card

St Regis Mallorca
Points add up quickly when you’re earning rewards on all your business purchases. St. Regis Mallorca. Image Credit: Marriott

Summary: The Best Business Credit Cards for Marriott Loyalists

If you’re a business owner, even if it’s a small business, you’ll want to be earning rewards on every dollar you spend. Let’s recap how these business cards earn rewards and how the cards deliver value to Marriott loyalists.

CardEarningsMarriott Benefits
Marriott Bonvoy Business card
  • 6x points at Marriott
  • 4x at U.S. gas stations, U.S. wireless providers, U.S. shipping, U.S. restaurants
  • 2x points for all other purchases
  • 6x points at Marriott properties
  • Marriott Bonvoy Silver Elite status
  • Spend $35,000 on the card in a calendar year for Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite status
  • 15 elite qualifying elite night credits each calendar year
  • Free hotel night certificate each card anniversary worth up to 50,000 points
  • Membership Rewards points can be transferred to Marriott Bonvoy 1:1
Amex Business Platinum card
  • 5x points on flights and hotels booked through Amex Travel
  • 1.5x points on purchases $5,000 or more
  • 1x points all other purchases
  • Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite status
  • Membership Rewards points can be transferred to Marriott Bonvoy 1:1
Ink Business Preferred card
  • 3x points earned for travel purchases, internet/cable/phone, shipping, and advertising purchased through social media and search engines (maximum $150,000 in purchases per year)
  • 1x points for all other purchases
  • Ultimate Rewards points earned on the card can be transferred to Marriott Bonvoy 1:1

Final Thoughts

If you stay frequently at Marriott properties, having one of the Marriott-branded cards could improve your experience, increase your earnings, and save you money.

If you stay at other hotel chains, fly frequently, and enjoy premium travel perks, a travel rewards card might be a better fit or an appropriate supplement to a Marriott-branded card. This strategy may also ensure your largest expenditures, not within the bonus categories of Marriott-branded cards, receive maximum earnings.

Finally, we mention in this article that Ultimate Rewards points and Membership Rewards points can be transferred to the Marriott Bonvoy program. While this is true, the ratio of transferring is normally 1:1 and may not be a good value for your points, unless you need to top off your Marriott Bonvoy account for a specific redemption.

Always check the value you’re receiving before you transfer points. Most flexible points have the potential to receive the most value when transferred to airline partners, but not always.

For more on the relative value of points and miles, we’ve put together a comprehensive guide.


The information about the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer. 

For rates and fees for the Platinum Card® from American Express, please click here.
For rates and fees for the American Express® Gold Card, please click here.
For rates and fees for the Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express Card, please click here.
For rates and fees for the Business Platinum Card® from American Express, please click here.


Frequently asked questions

Which is the best Marriott credit card?

The best Marriott credit card for you will be the one that matches your spending mix, has an annual fee that you’re comfortable paying, and that provides benefits you personally find valuable.

The Marriott-branded card that has the best collection of benefits for the Marriott loyalist is the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant card, but this card also has the highest annual fee. The value you receive from any card should simply outweigh any expense of having the card.

If you’re a frequent traveler and a Marriott loyalist, you may want to select a Marriott-branded card that’s a fit and supplement it with a general travel rewards card that is also a fit. The combination can ensure you’re earning maximum rewards and receiving all the benefits you feel are relevant to your travel lifestyle.

Can I transfer Marriott points to airlines?

Yes, it is possible to transfer Marriott points to airlines and there are more than 40 airline transfer partners from which to select.

However, it is not always good value to transfer your points to airlines. The transfer ratio is 3:1, meaning that it takes 3 Marriott points to equal 1 frequent flyer mile. There are a few exceptions to this ratio.

There are also transfer bonuses. In most cases, when you transfer 60,000 Marriott points, you receive an additional 5,000-mile bonus. When transferring to United MileagePlus, there is a 10% transfer bonus.

The bottom line is that the best value for your Marriott points is to use them for free hotel rooms, but you may find some instances where good value could be realized if you found an inexpensive premium award flight.

How does the Marriott 15 elite qualifying nights benefit work?

Each calendar year, cardholders will receive 15 elite qualifying nights credited to their Marriott Bonvoy account. The nights are not free hotel nights, they are just night credits that count toward elite status.

For example, you need 25 nights in a calendar year to earn Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite status. The 15 nights count toward the 25 so you would only need to stay 10 more nights to qualify.

There is a limit of 15 elite night credits per Marriott Bonvoy account regardless of how many Marriott-branded credit cards you have.

Do Marriott points expire?

As long as you have points activity such as earning or redeeming points in your account, your points will not expire.

It there is inactivity for 24 months, the points will expire at that time.

Christine Krzyszton

About Christine Krzyszton

Christine, who lives in Northern Michigan, travels about 300,000 miles a year despite her remote location. Her expertise is traveling the world on a weekend with no pre-determined destination in mind, letting the cost of the airfare determine where she will go. She has over four million flown miles and elite status on all three major domestic carriers.

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