Marriott Bonvoy

Below is an analysis of the Marriott Bonvoy (including old Starwood and Ritz Carlton legacies) credit cards for your reference. Most of them are no longer available to new card holders (though some may be available for product changes for existing card holders of other Bonvoy Cards), however, I keep them on the cart in case you have a legacy card that you want to directly compare to a new one.

Marriott points are almost certainly less valuable than Chase Ultimate Rewards points. Marriott points tend to be valued in the $0.005 to $0.001 range. Compare that to Chase Ultimate Rewards points that, if you have a sapphire reserve (big assumption as it costs $450/yr, but many of us do), must be worth at least $0.015. For simple math, let’s call Marriott points worth $.0075 each. That means that they are worth about half as much as Ultimate Reward Points. So for general spend, Chase Unlimited Card which gives 1.5 points per dollar (or a 2.25% return) beats all of the Marriott Cards which range from 0.75% to 1.50% for general spend. For Dining, the Chase Sapphire Reserve at 3.0 points per dollar (or a 4.5% return) beats all Marriott cards, the best of which give 4x on dining (3.0% return). For non-Marriott travel, the Chase Sapphire Reserve at 3.0 points per dollar (or a 4.5% return) beats all Marriott cards, the best of which give 2x on non-marriott travel (1.5% return). The only real time to use the Marriott card over an Ultimate rewards card is at a Marriott, where the annual fee Marriott cards give a 5x (3.75%) plus elite night credits or 6x (4.50%) return. If you don’t have a Sapphire Reserve, than the Marriott cards are clearly the way to go for big spending at Marriott hotels.

Currently I am a Marriott Lifetime Platinum with the legacy Premier Visa (5x on Marriotts with an elite night per $3k) and the legacy Bonvoy Amex (6x on Marriotts). Unless I plan to hit 75 nights ($180k / 60 additional nights), the Premier has no value to me. The Bonvoy Amex is kind of a wash for me with the Sapphire Reserve so probably not worth the annual fee, though it may be my longest held card so not sure I want to give it up either. Feel free to give me your advice in the comment section below.

  Bonvoy V Bold Boundless Business V Business A Premier Premier+ B Ritz Brilliant Bonvoy A
Availability No New Yes Yes No New Yes No New No PC>12mos Yes No New
Type V V V Sig V Amex V Sig V Sig V Amex  
Fee ——— $0 $95 ——— $125 ——— $99 $459 $450  
Upfront Bonus ——— 50k 75k ——— 75k* ——— N/A N/A 75k* N/A
After     ——— ——— $3k spend ——— N/A N/A $3k spend N/A
General 1x 1x 2x 1x 2x 1x 2x 2x 2x 2x
Gas 1x ——— 2x 1x 4x 1x 4x 2x 2x 2x
Shipping 1x ——— 2x 1x 4x 1x 4x 2x 2x 2x
Telecom 1x ——— 2x 1x 4x 1x 4x 2x 2x 2x
Dining 1x ——— 2x 1x 4x 2x 4x 3x 3x 2x
Air 1x 2x 2x 1x 2x 2x 2x 3x 3x 2x
Car Rental 1x   2x 1x 2x 2x 2x 3x 2x 2x
Other Travel 1x 2x 2x 1x 2x 1x 2x 2x 2x 2x
Marriott 3x 3x 6x 3x 6x 5x 6x 6x 6x 6x
Annual Night 1 20k value N/A 35k value N/A 35k value 25k value 35k value 50k value 50k value 35k value
After $25k spend N/A $0 N/A $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0
Annual Night 2 N/A N/A N/A N/A 35k value N/A ——— ——— N/A N/A
After N/A N/A N/A N/A $60k spend N/A ——— ——— N/A N/A
Elite Nights 1 15/Silver 15/Silver 15/Silver 15/Silver 15/Silver 15/Silver 15/Silver 15+Gold 15+Gold Silver
After Annual Annual Annual Annual Annual Annual Annual Annual Annual Annual
Elite Nights 2 N/A N/A Gold N/A Gold N/A Gold Platinum Platinum Gold
After N/A N/A $35k spend N/A $35k spend N/A $35k spend $75k spend $75k spend $35k spend
Elite Nights 3 1 N/A N/A 1 N/A 1 N/A ———   N/A
After per $3k N/A N/A per $3k N/A per $3k N/A ———   N/A
Foreign Tans Fee   0% 0%     0% 0% 0% 0% 0%
NFC/Contactless Yes Yes Yes Yes   Yes Yes Yes    
Ritz Club Ups N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A 3x/year   N/A
Marriott Credit* $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 ——— N/A $0 $300 N/A
Airline Credit* $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 ——— N/A $300 $0 N/A
Rtz/Regis Crd* $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 ——— N/A $100/stay $100/stay N/A
PriorityP Select N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A Yes+?guest Yes+2guest N/A
Global Entry N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A Yes every 4yrs N/A
Boingo N/A N/A N/A N/A x7/1/2020 N/A N/A N/A x7/1/2020 x7/1/2020
  • The Marriott annual credit can only be used at Marriott hotels (unlike the Chase Ultimate Rewards credit that can be used on all travel).
  • The annual airline credit is for use only on airline extras like seat upgrades and baggage fees (unlike the Chase Ultimate Rewards credit that can be used on all travel, but similar to Amex Platinum Card). Note that you may need to call chase to have it manually applied.
  • The $100 Ritz/St. Regis Credit require a 2 night paid stay excluding corporate and certain other rates booked directly with Marriott and can be used for on property extras. Excludes room, fees, taxes, gratuities, 3rd party merchants, etc.
  • Note that Amex have restrictions on getting bonsues again on the same or similar credit cards. Amex generally never allows a bonus again on the same card while Chase allows it after 24 months. They both have additional restrictions if you have had, opened or received a bonus on a similar card in the past. At some point I will try to make a chart.

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