It can be confusing differentiating between the six different cards, so try and find the benefits that most appeal to you. Some benefits will be the same across all cards while other ones only come with a higher annual fee card. As with all credit card choices, make sure to gauge the annual fee against the potential rewards to see which card is the best fit for you.
We’ll cover the ongoing everyday rewards of the Bonvoy credit cards, the different types of free nights that you can earn while being a cardholder, incidental statement credits offered and any other unique benefits such as elite status that come with the cards. However, this article will focus only on the Marriott personal cards, excluding the one business card offered.
New Cardholder Bonuses
Perhaps one of the most compelling reasons to sign up for a new credit card are the new cardholder bonuses for eligible applicants. Each card comes with its own offers and they do vary quite a bit across each one.
The $0 annual fee Marriott Bonvoy Bold® Credit Card*, perhaps unsurprisingly, comes with the least interesting and least lucrative of the bonuses. Currently 30,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 on purchases in the first three months of account opening.
Next up is the Marriott Bonvoy Bevy™ American Express® Card (Terms apply, see rates & fees) which currently offers 125,000 Marriott Bonvoy bonus points after spending $5,000 in purchases on the card within the first six months and the Marriott Bonvoy Bountiful™ Credit Card* which has an offer of 85,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 in purchases in the first three months from your account opening.
The Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card (Terms apply, see rates & fees) card carries a slightly higher bonus but a much higher annual fee: two 85K Free Night Awards after spending $6,000 on purchases within the first six months. Offer ends 11/1/2023 is a jump over the previous two cards, but the annual fee is a whopping $650.
Finally, the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card* is currently offering the most attractive sign up bonus on the market. Eligible new cardmembers can earn 3 Free Night Awards after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first three months of account opening, a value of up to 150,000 points.
Ongoing Card Benefits
All Marriott cards earn a bonus spend at Marriott Properties. While the $0 annual fee Chase Bonvoy Bold card earns 3 points per dollar at Marriott properties worldwide, every other card earns 6 points per dollar at Marriott properties. This means that no matter which hotel you decide to stay at, using your Marriott card will give you a solid bump to your points balance.
Here’s a handy chart to all of the other spend bonuses that come with the Marriott Bonvoy personal Cards:
a: up to $15,000 in combined spend, then 2 points per dollar afterwards
b: up to $6,000 in combined spend, then 2 points per dollar afterwards
Elite Status Benefits
Simply holding onto one of Marriott’s co-branded cards can give you elite status with the hotel. Once you’ve got elite status, you’ll start unlocking benefits like bonus points, room upgrades, free breakfast and more.
On top of the elite status, certain cards will also grant you elite nights every year. These elite nights will help you get a jump start on higher elite status levels.
Anniversary Nights and Free Nights
Anniversary nights are awarded each year on your account anniversary. Free night certificates, on the other hand, are typically awarded for completing a certain level of spend.
The Boundless card offers a 35,000 point certificate each year upon account anniversary while the Bountiful card offers a 50,000 point certificate each account anniversary, but only if you’ve spent $15,000 the prior year.
American Express’ Bonvoy Bevy offers the same as the Bountiful card in a 50,000 point certificate once achieving a $15,000 spend the year prior.
The premium Brilliant card offers the highest point value certificate at up to 85,000 points with no spend requirement. Simply pay your annual fee and the certificate will be deposited the month following into your account. If you manage to spend $60,000 in the course of the year you’ll be able to select a Marriott Choice benefit where one of the options is yet another 85,000 point free night certificate.
Marriott allows a Free Night Award Top Off if you’re looking to stay in a property that’s slightly higher than your award certificate. You can add up to 15,000 points to any of the certificates, allowing you to stretch the award even further to a top tier Marriott property worldwide.
Find the Best Hotel Rewards Credit Cards of 2023
While the American Express Bonvoy Brilliant card does come with the highest annual fee of any of the Marriott credit cards, it also comes with a variety of statement credits to help offset the higher cost.
First, each month you will receive up to a $25 statement credit ($300 a year) towards restaurant purchases worldwide. Simply use your credit card at the restaurant and you’ll see the credit come off a few days later.
Next, you can start your trip off the right way with a TSA Precheck or Global Entry credit, allowing you to breeze through security, customs and immigration upon your return to the United States. The Global Entry credit is $100 and the TSA Precheck credit is up to $85, once every 4.5 years.
If you pay for and are accepted into the Global Entry program, you’ll receive access to TSA Precheck at no additional charge. This means that you should consider applying for Global Entry from the start to get both and have the fee credited back to you.
Finally, if you’re staying at one of Marriott’s luxury brands like the Ritz Carlton or the St Regis, you can get a $100 property credit for eligible charges when you book a special rate for a two night stay.
Earning Extra Elite Nights and Bonus Points
The Chase Boundless card comes with an accelerator in either your quest for elite status or building up your points balance.
For every $5,000 you spend on your Bonvoy Boundless card, you’ll be granted 1 elite night towards the next level of status. If you’re close to reaching the next level, using your card to spend a little extra can get you that extra night you need to hit Gold, Platinum or even Titanium. Remember that if you manage to achieve $35,000 in spend you’ll automatically get Gold Status.
Both the Chase Bonvoy Bountiful and American Express Bevy card give you extra bonus points for each stay with Marriott. Receive an extra 1,000 points for each stay. Note that this is per stay, not per night, so if you have a 1-night stay or a 10-night stay, the 1,000 points is the same.
Airport Lounge Access
The American Express Bonvoy Brilliant card comes with a Priority Pass Select Membership, giving you unlimited lounge visits for you and up to two traveling guests once you’re enrolled. With over 1,200 lounges all over the world, it’s a good chance that you’ll be passing by one on your next trip.
If you use DoorDash, you’re in luck. Cardholders of the Chase Bonvoy Boundless card get DashPass, DoorDash’s premium delivery product, free for the first year. After the first year, the subscription auto-renews at the standard monthly rate.
Both Chase and American Express also offer unique discounts that will apply statement credits or bonus points to your account automatically with purchases. Chase’s version, called Chase Offers, is accessible once you’re logged into your Chase account. American Express’ version, called Amex Offers, functions in much the same way.
One final benefit of the American Express Bonvoy Brilliant and Bonvoy Bevy cards is a ShopRunner membership. You can get free 2-day shipping on purchases made with over 100 online stores including many popular brands such as Under Armour, Neiman Marcus, American Eagle, Chewy and more.
Inevitably, something is going to go sideways when you travel. Having the right credit card with the right travel protections can make or break your vacation and your pocketbook.
Chase Cards offer the following travel protections:
While American Express cards offers the following:
The American Express Bonvoy Brilliant goes one step further offing Cell Phone Protection. You can be protected for up to $800 to repair or replace your phone if it is damaged or stolen.
Finally, each and every one of these Marriott Bonvoy credit cards comes with foreign transaction fee waivers, meaning that while you’re abroad, choose to pay in the local currency and you’ll avoid those pesky fees.