The Best Marriott Bonvoy Credit Cards: Comparing Benefits and Perks

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When it comes to earning rewards, free hotel night redemptions, travel benefits, and perks that make your hotel stay more comfortable, nothing beats a hotel-branded credit card.

Fortunately, as a Marriott Bonvoy loyalist, you’ll have several cards from which to select, all of which deliver generous levels of Marriott Bonvoy-centric benefits.

While both Chase and American Express issue Marriott Bonvoy-branded credit cards, there are several consistent earning and benefit offerings.

All Marriott Bonvoy-branded credit cards that charge an annual fee offer accelerated earnings at Marriott properties, complimentary elite status, annual free hotel night certificates, and plenty of flexible redemption options for your points.

However, one of the Marriott Bonvoy-branded cards may be a better fit for you than the others. Let’s take a look at what each of these cards has to offer by comparing earning power, benefits, and overall value.

Chase Marriott Bonvoy Credit Cards

San Juan Marriott
Earn Marriott Bonvoy points to redeem for free nights at the San Juan Marriott, Puerto Rico. Image Credit: Marriott Bonvoy

Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card

With complimentary Marriott Bonvoy Silver Elite status, accelerated earnings, and an annual free night certificate, the Marriott Boundless card can be a staple for the Marriott Bonvoy traveler.

With a lower annual fee, the card offers good value, even if you stay at a Marriott just a few times per year.

Why We Like the Card for Marriott Bonvoy Loyalists

  • Earn 6x points per dollar spent at Marriott hotels
  • Annual free night certificate (up to 35,000 points)
  • Complimentary Marriott Bonvoy Silver elite status
  • Spend $35,000 on the card in a calendar year to receive Gold elite status
  • 15 elite night credits towards elite status each year

Additional Card Benefits

  • Lower annual fee
  • 2x points on all other purchases
  • No foreign transaction fees

Marriott Bonvoy Bold™ Credit Card

If you’re looking for a Marriott Bonvoy-branded card that offers elevated earnings at Marriott properties but you are reluctant to pay an annual fee, the Marriott Bold card could be a match.

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 Bonvoy Loyalists

  • Earn 3x points per dollar spent at Marriott hotels
  • 15 elite night credits per year, enough for Marriott Bonvoy Silver elite status

Additional Card Benefits

  • No annual fee
  • Earn 2x points per dollar spent on travel
  • 1x point per dollar on all other purchases
  • No foreign transaction fees

Bottom Line: Chase currently offers 2 Marriott Bonvoy credit cards. Choose between the Marriott Boundless card with a $95 annual fee that comes with a free annual hotel night certificate and 6x earnings at Marriott hotels or the Marriott Bold card with no annual fee and 3x earnings at Marriott hotels. 

American Express Marriott Bonvoy Credit Cards

JW Marriott Grosvenor House
With the points you earn from spending on your Marriott Bonvoy credit cards you can book a stay at the majestic JW Marriott Grosvenor House in London. Image Credit: Marriott Bonvoy

Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card

If you’re looking for a premium Marriott Bonvoy-branded card with equally premium benefits, the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant card checks those boxes. The card delivers elevated earnings, worldwide airport lounge access, free hotel nights, Marriott Bonvoy elite status, and much more.

Let’s look at what you can expect from this card designed specifically for the traveler who stays frequently at Marriott properties.

Why We Like the Card for Marriott Bonvoy Loyalists

  • Earns 6x points per dollar spent at Marriott properties
  • $300 statement credit each year for Marriott purchases
  • Annual free hotel night certificate worth 50,000 points
  • Complimentary Marriott Bonvoy Gold elite status
  • Achieve Platinum elite status by spending $75,000 on the card in a calendar year
  • 15 elite night credits each year towards Marriott Bonvoy elite status
  • $100 property credit at Ritz-Carlton or St. Regis properties
  • Free premium Wi-Fi

Additional Card Benefits

Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card

If you have a small business, the Marriott Bonvoy Business card might be just the ticket for earning free hotel nights to offset business expenses or for that personal vacation. Having the card is also a way to enjoy Gold elite status with Marriott Bonvoy during all your travels.

Why We Like the Card for Marriott Bonvoy Loyalists

  • 6x points per dollar spent at the Marriott properties
  • Silver elite status
  • Spend your way ($35,000) to Gold elite status
  • Annual free night 35,000 point certificate
  • Additional free hotel night at $60,000 spent on the card
  • 15 elite qualifying night credits each year

Additional Card Benefits

Update:Through October 31, 2020, cardholders can earn 10x points per $1 on Marriott hotels, gas stations, and restaurant spending, up to $7,500 in each category, for purchases on American Express Marriott Bonvoy-branded cards. This promotion requires activation through your Amex Offers page. 

Marriott Bonvoy-Branded Cards — Summary

Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card - Earn 5 Free Nights after spending $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. Get automatic silver elite status each account anniversary year; and a free night award (valued up to 35,000 points) every year after account anniversary. Plus, earn 6X points per $1 at over 7,000 participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels, and 2X points per $1 on all other purchases. Annual Fee is $95.
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, then 1x on all other purchases. A solid card for Marriott loyalists looking for a no-annual-fee card offering Marriott Bonvoy Silver Elite status.
Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card - earn 100,000 bonus points when you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months of account opening. A solid card for business owners who will get complimentary Marriott Bonvoy silver elite status. Annual fee is $125. Terms Apply. For rates and fees of the Marriott Bonvoy Business Card, click here.
Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card - Earn 125,000 bonus points! Earn 100,000 bonus points after you spend $5,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Plus, earn an additional 25,000 bonus points after your first anniversary of Card Membership. Offer Expires 1/13/2021.

Earn 6x per $1 at participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels plus 3x at U.S. restaurants and flights booked directly with airlines. Annual fee is $450. Terms Apply. For rates and fees of the Bonvoy Brilliant card, click here.

Bottom Line: There are 4 Marriott Bonvoy-branded cards from which to select. Each offers its own package of earning, redemption, and stay benefits.

Earning Power Comparison

Marriott Bonvoy-branded cards offer accelerated earnings when used for purchases at the affiliated hotel properties.

Here’s a breakdown of the additional earning potential for each card.

Marriott Bonvoy CardReward EarningsAnnual Fee
Marriott Boundless card
  • 6x points per dollar spent at Marriott hotels
  • 2x points for all other purchases
$95
Marriott Bold card
  • 3x points per dollar spent at Marriott hotels
  • 1x points for all other purchases
$0
Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant card
  • 6x points per dollar spent at Marriott hotels
  • 3x points for restaurant and flight purchases
  • 2x points for all other purchases
  • Terms apply
$450
Marriott Bonvoy Business card
  • 6x points per dollar spent at Marriott hotels
  • 4x points at U.S. restaurants, U.S. gas stations, U.S. wireless phone services, and U.S. shipping
  • 2x points for all other purchases
  • Terms apply
$125

Finding a balance between earnings that match your level of spending and spending mix versus paying an annual fee with which you’re comfortable could be a primary decision when selecting a Marriott Bonvoy-branded personal card.

If you have a small business and Marriott Bonvoy is your hotel brand of choice, it may be prudent to consider the additional earnings on the Marriott Bonvoy Business card. You’ll not only earn 6x points on Marriott purchases and 2x points on everyday purchases, but 4x points on business bonus-earning categories.

Bottom Line: When we compare earnings, all of the Marriott Bonvoy-branded cards with annual fees are created equal with 6x points earning at Marriott properties and 2x points per dollar on all other purchases. If you’re a business owner, however, the Marriott Bonvoy Business card with a collection of 4x earning categories for typical business purchases offers the greatest additional earning potential. If you’re a frequent traveler, you may also find value in the additional earnings of 3x points on dining and flight purchases with the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant card. 

A Faster Path to Elite Status

While most Marriott Bonvoy-branded cards come with complimentary elite status, all Marriott Bonvoy-branded cards come with 15 elite qualifying night credits towards elite status each calendar year.

These 15 nights are enough to automatically earn you Marriott Bonvoy Silver elite status, or be well on your way to the next higher levels of Gold, Platinum, or even Titanium status.

Here is a list of the annual qualifications for achieving each level of Marriott Bonvoy elite status:

Elite Status LevelNights Required
Silver Elite10 nights
Gold Elite25 nights
Platinum Elite50 nights
Titanium Elite75 nights
Ambassador Elite100 nights + $20k spend

The following Marriott Bonvoy credit cards come with complimentary elite status in the Marriott Bonvoy loyalty program. Select cards also offer an option to spend your way to higher elite status.

Marriott Bonvoy CardComes With:Spend Your Way to:
Marriott Boundless cardSilver Elite statusGold Elite after spending $35,000 in a calendar year
Marriott Bold card15 elite night credits each year, enough for Silver Elite statusN/A
Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant cardGold Elite statusPlatinum Elite after spending $75,000 in a calendar year
Marriott Bonvoy Business cardSilver Elite statusGold Elite after spending $35,000 in a calendar year

Silver Elite status comes with:

  • Member-only hotel rates
  • Fifth consecutive reward night free
  • Late checkout at 2 p.m.
  • Free internet
  • Earn 10% bonus points on qualifying hotel purchases
  • Welcome bonus points

Gold Elite status receives all Silver Elite benefits plus the additional benefits of room upgrades, 25% bonus points on qualifying purchases, and a 4 p.m. late checkout.

Once you reach Platinum Elite status, you’ll receive benefits such as complimentary executive hotel lounge access, free breakfast, room upgrades including suites (when available), an annual Choice Benefit, and more.

Titanium Elite status grants you higher bonus earnings and a Choice Benefit selection of a free night certificate, suite upgrades, and more.

To learn more about how to achieve Marriott Bonvoy elite status and the benefits of elite status, we’ve provided the details in our informative articles.

Bottom Line: Receive complimentary Marriott Bonvoy elite status with any of these Marriott Bonvoy-branded credit cards. The Marriott Bold card grants Silver Elite status because of the 15 elite qualifying night credits awarded. All other Marriott Bonvoy-branded cards come with 15 elite qualifying nights, in addition to complimentary elite status, to use toward higher status. 

JW Marriott Phu Quoc La Jardin Guest Room Terrace
Use a Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant card free night certificate at the amazing JW Marriott Phu Quoc Emerald Bay Resort & Spa in Vietnam. Image Credit: Marriott Bonvoy

Annual Free Night Certificate

One of the most valuable benefits of Marriott Bonvoy-branded credit cards is the annual free night certificate. It is granted after you pay your renewal and once added to your Marriott Bonvoy account, it can be used throughout the world at one of over 7,300 properties.

The free night certificate normally expires 1 year from the issue date and is good for a free hotel night up to a specified point limit in value.

The following Marriott Bonvoy cards offer free night certificates:

Marriott Bonvoy Credit CardValue of Free Night Certificate
Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant card50,000 points
Marriott Boundless card

Marriott Bonvoy Business card

35,000 points

Bottom Line: The annual free night certificate can offer tremendous value and alone can be worth the annual fee on the Marriott Bonvoy-branded card. 

Marriott Bonvoy-Branded Cards — Value Comparison

Should you splurge and get the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant card or does the Marriott Boundless card make more sense? And if you have a small business, should you just go for the Marriott Bonvoy Business card?

All Marriott Bonvoy-branded cards that charge an annual fee earn 6x rewards points per dollar spent at Marriott hotels and 2x points on all other non-bonus category purchases.

Let’s take a look beyond those base earnings at the benefits and extra value each card offers compared to its annual fee.

Marriott Bonvoy Credit CardAnnual FeeValue Added
Marriott Boundless card$95
  • Silver Elite status
  • Spend your way ($35,000) to Gold Elite status
  • Annual free night 35,000 point certificate
  • 15 elite qualifying night credits
Marriott Bold card$0
  • 3x points per dollar spend versus 6x points for all other Marriott Bonvoy-branded cards
  • 15 elite qualifying night credits, enough for Silver Elite status
Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant card$450
  • Gold Elite status
  • Spend your way ($75,000) to Platinum Elite status
  • 15 elite qualifying night credits
  • $300 Marriott purchase statement credit
  • Annual free night certificate good for 50,000 (versus 35,000 points)
  • Up to $100 Global Entry or TSA PreCheck credit
  • Priority Pass lounge membership for the cardholder and 2 guests
  • $100 credit for 2 night stays at Ritz-Carlton and St. Regis hotels
  • Restaurant and Flight purchases earn 3x points per dollar spent
  • Free premium Wi-Fi
  • Terms apply
Marriott Bonvoy Business card$125
  • Silver Elite status
  • Spend your way ($35,000) to Gold Elite status
  • Annual free night 35,000 point certificate
  • Additional free hotel night at $60,000 spent on the card
  • 15 elite qualifying night credits
  • More bonus earning categories: 4x points at U.S. restaurants, U.S. gas stations, U.S. wireless phone services, and U.S. shipping
  • Terms apply

The Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Card has the highest annual fee. It does, however, come with a $300 statement credit for Marriott purchases. So, there is really only $150 more value to realize to potentially offset that fee.

If the worldwide Priority Pass Select lounge access membership and Marriott Gold Elite status deliver enough additional value for you, you’ve more than covered the annual fee.

You may also find value in the 50,000-point free night certificate which might secure you a hotel room worth significantly more than the 35,000-point certificate of the other, lower fee, Marriott Bonvoy cards.

Only you can decide which card is a match for you depending on your spending mix, your tolerance for paying an annual fee, and whether you will utilize the benefits offered on a specific card.

Also, remember that each card comes with a generous welcome bonus after card approval and meeting initial spending requirements. This welcome bonus alone could deliver value enough to offset the first year annual fee.

Bottom Line: Higher annual fees typically result in additional valuable benefits. If you are comfortable paying the fee and will make use of all the associated benefits, the added value can make the card worth it. 

Luxury resort view
Book a 5-night reward stay and receive the fifth night free. Sheraton Bougainvillea Resort and Convention Center, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. Image Credit: Christine Krzyszton

What Can You Do With Marriott Bonvoy Points?

Marriott Bonvoy-branded credit cards allow you to accelerate rewards earning. With sign up bonuses, elevated earnings at the Marriott family of properties, and every purchase you make earning points, rewards add up fast.

Fortunately, the Marriott Bonvoy loyalty program offers several options for redeeming your points for hotel nights, transferring your points to airline partners, and more.

Let’s take a look at what you can do with your Marriott Bonvoy points.

Free and Discounted Hotel Nights

There are several ways to redeem your points for free hotel nights.

  • PointSavers — discounted award stays, based on availability, with peak and off-peak pricing
  • Standard awards — with additional Peak and Off-Peak pricing (see chart below)
  • Cash and Points — use a combination of cash and award points, also with peak and off-peak pricing
  • Fifth night free — book 5 consecutive award nights and pay for 4
  • Points advance — if you don’t have enough points to book your stay you can “borrow” from Marriott Bonvoy and pay them back up to 14 days before your stay

Properties under the Marriott Bonvoy collection of properties total over 7,300 worldwide. Whether you’re looking for a luxury experience, a single night at an airport hotel, or a convenient venue to conduct business, you’ll be able to use your rewards points to book a room.

Here’s a sample of a Free Night Award Chart for using your points for a standard redemption. There are similar charts for “Cash and Points” and PointSaver redemptions.

CategoryOff-PeakStandardPeak
15,0007,50010,000
210,00012,50015,000
315,00017,50020,000
420,00025,00030,000
530,00035,00040,000
640,00050,00060,000
750,00060,00070,000
870,00085,000100,000

Transfer to Travel Partners

When it comes to redeeming points, it’s best to have options. In addition to free hotel nights, Marriott Bonvoy points can be transferred to airline partners and subsequently used to purchase award tickets.

It’s easy to turn Marriott Bonvoy points into miles and there are dozens of airline partners choices. Miles generally transfer at the ratio of 3 Marriott Bonvoy points to 1 airline mile. Plus for every 60,000 points you transfer, you’ll receive a 5,000-mile bonus.

  • For example: transfer 60,000 miles to airline transfer partner United and receive 25,000 miles (60,000 points = 20,000 miles + 5,000 mile bonus)

For more on how to transfer Marriott Bonvoy points to airline transfer partners, we’ve put together this easy guide.

Other Redemption Options

When it comes time to redeem your points it’s good to have options. Here are some additional ways to redeem your Marriott Bonvoy points:

  • Marriott Hotel + Air Travel Packages — from 255,000 points for a 7-night hotel and 50,000 airline miles package
  • TSA PreCheck — 25,000 points for an $85 certificate
  • Gift cards — for example, redeem 5,000 points for a $10 retail gift card or 10,000 points for a $25 Uber gift card
  • Merchandise — redeem your Marriott Bonvoy points for retail merchandise (generally not a good value)
  • Marriott Bonvoy Moments such as concerts, festivals, sporting events
  • Flights and rental cars (generally not a good value)
  • Donate your points to charity

Some redemption options provide far less value than others. Generally, the best redemption options for your points are hotel stays, hotel/air packages, and transferring Marriott Bonvoy points to airline partners.

Hot Tip: There’s always an option to receive good value for your Marriott Bonvoy points. For our take on the best ways to redeem your Marriott Bonvoy points for award stays and flights, check out our comprehensive guides for inspiration. 

Travel Benefits and Protections

In addition to benefits such as elite status, lounge access, statement credits, and earning rewards, you’ll find Marriott Bonvoy-branded cards offer additional travel benefits and protections.

BenefitAmerican Express Benefit/ProtectionsChase Benefit/Protections
Car rental collision damage coverageSecondary coverage with access to purchase premium protection for 1 low fee that covers the entire rental periodPrimary coverage
Roadside assistanceN/AService dispatch assistance only; cardholder pays for actual service
Trip delayNoneUp to $500 for trip delays more than 12 hours
Baggage delayNoneUp to $100 per day for up to 5 days for delays more than 6 hours
Lost, stolen, or damaged luggage
  • Marriott Bonvoy Business card: Up to $1,250 for carry-on, $500 for checked
  • Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant card: Up to $3,000 for carry-on, $2,000 for checked
Up to $3,000 per person per trip checked or carry-on

The car rental collision and damage insurance waiver can save you plenty when you rent a vehicle. You can refuse the rental agency’s coverage and have the peace of mind that you’ll be covered should the car be damaged or stolen.

Chase’s coverage is superior because it is primary coverage versus secondary. This means that you do not first have to file a claim with your own insurance company before coverage kicks in, as you would with secondary coverage.

We’ve provided just an overview of the additional benefits and protections. The actual limits, terms, and conditions are expressly spelled out in the benefits guide that comes with each card.

Shopping Protections and Benefits

  • Purchase protection covers qualifying items on both cards for damage up to 120 days (90 days for New York residents) from the purchase date. Chase offers $500 per claim, up to $50,000 per year. The Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant card coverage is $10,000 per claim, $50,000 per year, and the Marriott Bonvoy Business card is $1,000 per claim and $50,000 per year.
  • Extended warranty offers extended coverage beyond the manufacturer’s warranty for qualifying items. American Express cards offer up to 2 additional years on warranties 5 years or less or matches the warranty if the manufacturer’s warranty is less than 2 years. Chase offers an additional year extension on warranties 3 years or less.
  • Return protection covers $300 per item for American Express cards. There is no return protection provided on the Marriott Boundless card or Marriott Bold card.

For full shopping benefits and protections, be sure to access the actual terms and conditions for the specific card.

Bottom Line: While you wouldn’t select a credit card based on shopping protections and benefits alone, it’s good to know which coverages are offered on which cards to utilize these benefits, should the situation arise. 

Final Thoughts

There is value to be found in this foursome of Marriott Bonvoy-branded credit cards for the traveler who prefers Marriott Bonvoy as their brand of choice.

Cards offering annual free night certificates deliver value that alone could offset an annual fee and complimentary elite benefits could make that free stay even more comfortable.

And remember, you could qualify for more than 1 Marriott Bonvoy-branded credit card — a personal card, and a business card.

If you frequent Marriott properties, you’ll want to be a cardholder to earn free nights, enjoy the benefits of elite status, and take advantage of all the other perks that come with Marriott Bonvoy-branded credit cards.

In addition to Marriott Bonvoy-branded credit cards, other travel rewards cards can also benefit Marriott Bonvoy fans. To learn more about the best overall credit cards for Marriott Bonvoy loyalists, we’ve put together our suggestions.


For rates and fees of the Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card, click here.
For rates and fees of the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card, click here.


Frequently asked questions

Which is the best Marriott Bonvoy credit card?

The best Marriott Bonvoy-branded credit card for you would be the one that matches your spending habits, how often you frequent Marriott properties, and the amount of an annual fee you feel comfortable paying.

You may be comfortable paying $450 a year for the premium Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant card that provides statement credits, Priority Pass lounge membership, Gold Elite status, and a higher value free night certificate.

Alternatively, you may find that the Marriott Boundless card with a lesser $95 fee, Silver Elite status, and a 35,000 point free night certificate fits you just fine.

Can you transfer Marriott Bonvoy points to airlines or other hotels?

You can transfer Marriott Bonvoy points to dozens of airline frequent flyer programs, most at a rate of 3 Marriott Bonvoy points to 1 airline mile, with a 5,000-mile bonus for every transfer of 60,000+ Marriott Bonvoy points.

See our guide to Marriott Bonvoy transfer partners.

You cannot transfer Marriott Bonvoy points to other hotel programs.

Can you have more than 1 co-branded Marriott Bonvoy credit card?

Yes, you can have more than 1 Marriott Bonvoy-branded credit card. For example, you could have 1 personal card and 1 business card.

If you have had the same Marriott Bonvoy-branded or Ritz-Carlton Rewards® Card previously, however, you may not qualify for the welcome sign-up bonus.

What points can be transferred to Marriott Bonvoy?

You can transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points and Amex Membership Rewards points to Marriott Bonvoy points at a 1:1 ratio.

Do points earned with Marriott Bonvoy cards count toward elite status?

No. Points earned with the Marriott Bonvoy-branded cards are redeemable for award stays, can be transferred to airline partners, or redeemed in other ways, but they do not help you toward earning elite status.

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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