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The best Marriott Bonvoy credit cards in 2021

Submitted by Tech Insider on June 2, 2021 - 5:29pm

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The best Marriott credit cards:

Category

Marriott Bonvoy credit card

Best for luxury benefits:

Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card

Best for occasional Marriott guests:

Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card

Best for elite status:

The Platinum Card® from American Express

If you want multiple options for redeeming your points:

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card or Chase Sapphire Reserve®

Best for small-business travelers:

Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card

No annual fee:

Marriott Bonvoy Bold™ Credit Card

Marriott is the largest hotel company in the world, with more than 7,000 properties across 30 brands in 131 countries. Thanks to its merger with Starwood a few years back, it's now easier than ever to find a hotel where you can redeem Marriott points, no matter where you're traveling. 

Read more: How to earn, redeem, and maximize Marriott Bonvoy points

If Marriott Bonvoy is your hotel program of choice, it can make sense to have a co-branded Marriott card to enjoy perks like bonus points, complimentary elite status, free reward nights, and more. There are Marriott co-branded cards at various price points, from a no-annual-fee option to a $450-a-year premium card (See Rates) with annual statement credits.

Here's an in-depth look at the Marriott credit cards that are currently available to new applicants. 

Best for luxury benefits during Marriott stays: Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card

Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card

If you know you'll spend at least $300 with Marriott each year, the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card is definitely worth a look. It offers up to $300 in statement credits each year to use at participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels — and this applies to room rates as well as incidentals like room service.

This can effectively reduce the annual fee to $150, and keep in mind that the Bonvoy Brilliant gets you a free night award each year for properties that cost up to 50,000 points — this can easily get you more than $150 in value.

If you have other premium credit cards that offer benefits like Priority Pass airport lounge access** and a Global Entry application fee credit, the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card really only stands out for its high-end Marriott benefits. But if you frequently stay at Marriott hotels, you'll find those perks to be very useful for saving money and enjoying elite status perks.

Read more: Amex Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant card review 

Best for occasional Marriott guests: Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card

Chase Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card

If you want to book your next Marriott stay on points and enjoy a few extras but don't stay at Marriotts enough to warrant paying Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card a year for the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card, the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card is a great option. 

Cardholders receive a free night certificate, valid at hotels that cost 35,000 points or less, each year on their card anniversary — which can be worth much more than the card's Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card annual fee. 

The card offers low-level Silver status with Marriott, and if you spend $35,000 on the card in a calendar year, you'll be upgraded to Gold status. (You can also get Gold status as a complimentary benefit with Platinum Card® from American Express**.)

Read more: Marriott Bonvoy Boundless credit card review

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Best for elite status: The Platinum Card® from American Express

The Platinum Card® from American Express

The Platinum Card is a good option if you want to enjoy perks when you stay at Marriott hotels, but you aren't necessarily a Marriott loyalist. That's because it offers complimentary Marriott Bonvoy Gold status to cardholders — along with complimentary Hilton Honors elite status**. 

Marriott Bonvoy Gold status gets you benefits like room upgrades, late checkout, a 25% points bonus on paid stays, and a welcome gift.

Keep in mind that the Platinum Card is a premium card — with a $550 annual fee (See Rates) — so you'll want to make sure you'll take advantage of its many other benefits before applying.

Read more: Amex Platinum card review

Best for travelers who also like to stay at other hotels: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Chase Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is our top card recommendation for earning travel rewards, because you can use the Ultimate Rewards points it earns to book travel with a great selection of partners — including Marriott Bonvoy. You can transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points to Marriott Bonvoy at a 1:1 ratio — so the 60,000 points is equal to Sapphire Preferred Update at Marriott.

Overall, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is a strong pick because it earns double points on a wide variety of travel and dining purchases, and it gets you valuable travel coverage, all for a reasonable annual fee.

Read more: Chase Sapphire Preferred card review

Best for travelers who also like to stay at other hotels and want premium benefits: Chase Sapphire Reserve®

Chase Chase Sapphire Reserve®

The Chase Sapphire Reserve® is definitely a premium option with a $550 annual fee — but if you want a travel card with all the bells and whistles, it's a top contender.

The $300 in statement credits for travel effectively cuts the annual fee down to $250, and other benefits with DoorDash and Lyft can add extra value. During the pandemic, Chase introduced a program called Pay Yourself Back through which you can use points for everyday purchases in popular categories, and with the Chase Sapphire Reserve® your points are worth 1.5 cents apiece when you redeem this way.

As with the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, you can transfer the points you earn with the Chase Sapphire Reserve® to Marriott Bonvoy. 

Read more: Chase Sapphire Reserve review

Best for business travelers who prefer Marriott: Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card

Marriott Bonvoy Business Amex Card

If you travel for work and want to maximize your business purchases to earn Marriott points, the Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card is a good option. It's currently offering a solid welcome bonus: Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card.

It offers helpful perks like complimentary Silver elite status and an annual free night award valid at hotels that cost up to 35,000 points. It also earns 4 Marriott points per dollar on a handful of business spending categories, like U.S. shipping purchases.

The Marriott Bonvoy Business Amex Card rewards high spenders with a second free night award each year after their account anniversary when they spend $60,000 or more in a calendar year. There's also the opportunity to spend your way to Gold status — you'll get the bump after spending at least $35,000 in purchases in a calendar year.

Read more: Amex Marriott Bonvoy Business card review

Best Marriott card with no annual fee: Marriott Bonvoy Bold™ Credit Card

Chase Marriott Bonvoy Bold™ Credit Card

The Marriott Bonvoy Bold™ Credit Card has a decent list of benefits for a no-annual-fee card, so if you want to earn Marriott points without incurring a yearly cost, it's a decent option.

The welcome bonus is Marriott Bonvoy Bold™ Credit Card, and cardholders receive 15 elite night credits per year (qualifying them for Silver elite status).

You'll also get perks like no foreign transaction fees, baggage delay insurance, lost luggage reimbursement, trip delay reimbursement, purchase protection, and Visa Signature Concierge access.

Read more: Marriott Bonvoy Bold credit card review

Sarah Silbert is the senior reviews editor at Personal Finance Insider. She's covered personal finance and credit card rewards for six years, and she's a Certified Educator in Personal Finance (CEPF).

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