Best Marriott credit cards for 2021

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If you’re searching for a hotel credit card, Marriott co-branded credit cards can be a great choice. Marriott rewards earned with Marriott credit cards can be used in a number of different ways, including for stays at more than 7,000 hotels and resorts worldwide.

Along with the Marriott Bonvoy program, which allows you to earn points through hotel spending, a Marriott co-branded credit card is one of the easiest ways to earn points regularly. Here we take a look at some of the best Marriott credit cards available to help you decide which is the best fit for you.

Best Marriott credit cards

Marriott currently offers four different Chase Marriott credit cards, each of which unlocks a range of benefits and rewards. Here’s a quick look at your options:

Card name Rewards rate New cardmember offer Annual fee
Marriott Bonvoy Bold™ Credit Card Up to 14X points on Marriott stays; 2X points on other travel expenses; 1 point per dollar on other purchases Earn 30,000 Bonus Points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. $0
Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card Up to 17X points on Marriott stays; 2X points on all other purchases Earn 3 Free Nights (each night valued up to 50,000 points) after qualifying purchases + 10X total points on eligible purchases in select categories. $95
Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card 6X points on Marriott stays; 3X points at U.S. restaurants and on airline spending; 2X points on all other purchases 75,000 Marriott Bonvoy bonus points after you use your new Card to make $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months. Plus, earn up to $200 in Statement Credits for eligible purchases at U.S. Restaurants within the first 6 months of Card Membership. $450
Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card 6X points at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy™ program; 4X points at U.S. restaurants, gas stations and telephone service providers; 2X points on all other purchases. Earn 75,000 bonus Marriott Bonvoy points after you use your new Card to make $3,000 of eligible purchases within the first 3 months of Card Membership. Plus, earn up to $150 back in statement credits on eligible purchases made on your new Card within the first 3 months of Card Membership. $125

Marriott Bonvoy Bold Credit Card: Best for no annual fee

The Marriott Bonvoy Bold credit card is ideal for those who want to collect Marriott points without forking out an annual fee. You’ll earn up to 14X points at Marriott hotels, 2X points on other travel expenses and 1 point per dollar on other purchases. You can also earn 30,000 Bonus Points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. Plus, the card grants you Marriott Silver Elite status.

Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card: Best for a large welcome bonus

The Marriott Bonvoy Boundless credit card charges an annual fee of $95 but gets you a whopping up to 17X points on Marriott properties, as well as 2X points on all other purchases. You’ll enjoy Silver Elite status at Marriott and can upgrade to Gold Elite status automatically if you spend $35,000 in a year. The card also unlocks 15 Elite Night credits a year and gives you free Wi-Fi during your stay.

Where the Bonvoy Boundless really shines, however, is with the enormous welcome offer: Earn 3 Free Nights (each night valued up to 50,000 points) after qualifying purchases + 10X total points on eligible purchases in select categories.

Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant American Express Card: Best for an annual bonus

Carrying a $450 annual fee, the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant American Express credit card is the priciest card on this list. However, it should offer impressive ongoing value. Enjoy up to $300 in statement credits each year of Card Membership for eligible purchases at participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels. Other perks include a free night award on your cardmember anniversary and an annual up to $100 credit for a two-night stay at Ritz-Carlton or St. Regis hotels.

You’ll also earn 6X points on Marriott stays, 3X points at U.S. restaurants and airlines and 2X points on all other purchases.

Marriott Bonvoy Business American Express Card: Best for businesses

The Marriott Bonvoy Business American Express credit card has an annual fee of $125 attached but offers a generous rewards rate in a variety of spending outside of just travel and hotel stays, making it a smart choice for business owners or entrepreneurs on the go: In addition to the 6X points at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy™ program, you’ll earn 4X points at U.S. restaurants, gas stations and telephone service providers and 2X points on all other purchases.

The Business American Express card unlocks several rewards including a free night award on your cardmember anniversary, premium Wi-Fi and 15 Elite Night credits per year. Enjoy complimentary Marriott Bonvoy Silver Elite status with your Card. Plus, earn Gold Elite status after making $35,000 in eligible purchases on your Card in a calendar year.

Free anniversary night award

To celebrate having a Marriott credit card for a year, you can receive a free night award certificate. Here’s how it works.

After sticking with a Marriott credit card for a year, you will receive a certificate that entitles you to a free night stay at an eligible hotel—if you have the Bonvoy Brilliant or Bonvoy Boundless cards, or two free nights in the case of the Bonvoy Business Amex card.

This can be found in the Activity section on your Marriott Bonvoy account when you log in. This free night can be redeemed at participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels with a redemption level at or under 35,000 Marriott points. All you need to do is search for a hotel, select your dates and make sure the ‘Use Points/Certificates’ option is checked before you complete your reservation.

Marriott elite status

The Marriott credit cards listed above all offer different Elite statuses to start. Here are some of the perks you’ll enjoy at each elite status tier:

Silver Elite

After staying just 10 nights per year at participating hotels, you can get the Silver Elite status. However, if you have either the Marriott Bonvoy Bold, Boundless or Business American Express credit cards, you automatically get Silver Elite status.

With Silver Elite status, you can access 10 percent more points on each stay, as well as priority late checkout, member rates and free Wi-Fi.

Gold Elite

To achieve the Gold Elite status, you will need to have spent 25 nights at participating hotels. However, if you have a Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant American Express credit card, you get Gold Elite status automatically.

Gold Elite status includes all the perks of Silver status and also unlocks a 25 percent point bonus on hotel stays, room upgrades, 2 p.m. late checkout on stays and more. With the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card and the Business American Express cards, you can also unlock Gold Elite status when you spend $35,000 in qualifying purchases in a year.

Platinum Elite

After 50 stays in one year, you will be able to reach Marriott Platinum Elite status. This gives you all the perks of Gold and Silver status, plus a 50 percent points bonus on stays, room upgrades plus a welcome gift.

Titanium Elite

If you manage to stay 75 nights per year at qualifying hotels, you unlock the Titanium Elite status. This status rewards you with 75 percent bonus points on stays plus room upgrades, welcome gifts and much more.

Ambassador Elite

At the very top tier, the Ambassador Elite status only rewards those who stay 100 nights per year and reach a $20,000 annual qualifying spend. This tier unlocks all the benefits of the other statuses, plus Ambassador Service and Your24.

  • The Ambassador Service gives you a point of contact during your stay to assist you at any time, anywhere.
  • Your24 gives you the flexibility to choose any time of day to check in and check out.

How to choose a Marriott credit card

With a number of great Marriott credit cards to choose from, the best one for you will depend on a few different factors:

  • Cost: Marriott cards offer a wide range of annual fees, so you’ll have to decide how much you’re willing to pay and what benefits make an annual fee worth it.
  • Elite status: If you want to unlock Gold Elite status or above, you may want to pick the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant American Express card.
  • Rewards categories: Do you want to earn points mostly via hotel spending or do you plan to earn points on things like dining? If you’re looking for a more generous rewards rate on purchases outside of the travel category, the Marriott Bonvoy Business American Express card or Bonovy Brilliant card may be good options.
  • Hotel loyalty: If you mainly stay at Marriott hotels, it can make sense to get a Marriott credit card. However, if you prefer to try different hotels or simply look for the best price, a more flexible travel credit card may be a better fit for you.

The bottom line

Marriott Bonvoy credit cards have some great benefits to unlock, particularly if you travel a lot and stay in Marriott hotels. With any of the Marriott credit cards above, you will be able to earn plenty of points and access exclusive benefits to make your stay more enjoyable.