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Now that Marriott has officially launched their new combined “Bonvoy” rewards program, the various credit cards from Chase and American Express have been re-branded to various Bonvoy products. So which Marriott credit card(s) should you apply for? This post is a guide to help you navigate through the options and make a decision.

There are a total of three new products available:

Are you over 5/24?

This is the first question you should ask these days before applying for anything. As of November, the Chase 5/24 rule was rolled out across pretty much all credit card products. The Marriott Rewards credit card has been subject to 5/24 for a while, but not the business version of the card. Unfortunately, the business version is no longer available to new applications.

If you’re under 5/24 and are in the market for Marriott points, I would definitely consider applying for the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless card. The welcome offer on this card is 100,000 Marriott Bonvoy points.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The card offers the following earning structure and benefits:

  • 6X Marriott Bonvoy points on eligible purchases at participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels.
  • 2X Marriott Bonvoy points on all other eligible purchases.
  • 1 Free Night Award every year after your account anniversary. Award can be used for one night at a participating hotel (redemption level at or under 35,000 Marriott Bonvoy points).
  • Complimentary Marriott Bonvoy Silver Elite status
  • Earn Marriott Bonvoy Gold status after spending $35,000 within a calendar year.
  • 15 elite night credits beginning in 2019 (only one credit per member)
  • No foreign transaction fees

If you are close to being under 5/24 and might be able to apply soon, consider whether or not it makes sense to prioritize a Marriott card over other Chase products. I’m in this boat, and am honestly looking at the United MileagePlus Business Visa as the more likely candidate. Also, keep in mind that you cannot receive a new cardmember bonus on the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless card if you have received a bonus (sign-up or upgrade offer) on either of the following cards in the past 24 months:

  • Marriott Bonvoy Business American Express (formerly the SPG Business)
  • Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant American Express (formerly SPG Luxury)

You are also ineligible if you are a current cardmember of the Marriott Bonvoy American Express (formerly SPG Personal) or have been a cardmember within the last 30 days. You’re also ineligible if you applied for an were approved for the Marriott Bonvoy Business American Express or Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant (or their SPG counterparts) within the past 90 days.

If you’re over 5/24, then the Chase Marriott Bonvoy Boundless credit card is out of reach. You’ll have to look toward either of the two American Express Marriott Bonvoy cards.

Do you stay and spend at Marriott frequently?

If you’re unable to obtain the Chase Marriott Bonvoy Boundless card due to the 5/24 rule, consider the Amex Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant card, which is the premium card in the new lineup. It had a hefty annual fee of $450, but it has a nice array of benefits. The earning at Marriott hotels is the same as other Bonvoy cards, at 6x points per $1 spent, but the card offers a better annual free night and status benefits. Here is a rundown on the Amex Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant card:

  • 6X Marriott Bonvoy points on eligible purchases at participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels.
  • 3X Marriott Bonvoy points at U.S. restaurants and on flights booked directly with airlines.
  • 2X Marriott Bonvoy points on all other eligible purchases.
  • Enjoy up to $300 in statement credits each cardmember year for eligible purchases at participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels.
  • Complimentary Priority Pass Select membership
  • 1 Free Night Award every year after your account anniversary. Award can be used for one night at a participating hotel (redemption level at or under 50,000 Marriott Bonvoy points).
  • Complimentary Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite status
  • Ability to earn Marriott Bonvoy Platinum Elite status after making $75,000 in eligible purchases on your card in a calendar year.
  • Fee credit for TSA Precheck or Global Entry
  • No foreign transaction fees

For travelers who heavily frequent Marriott hotels, this card makes a lot of sense. I value the annual free night conservatively at $350, which alone makes up most of your fee. You can certainly get more than that out of it (however, I would also virtually never pay $350 cash to stay anywhere). If you can use the full $300 in statement credits each calendar year, then you’ll almost certainly come out ahead. The Gold status, Global Entry/Precheck credit and Priority Pass membership is just extra.

This card was previously branded as the Starwood Preferred Guest® American Express Luxury Card, and the card is not available to applicants who have or have had that product. The card is also not available to you if you have the Ritz-Carlton Rewards Card or have had it in the past 30 days, or if you have opened a Marriott Bonvoy Boundless, Marriott Bonvoy Premier or Marriott Bonvoy Premier Plus Business Visa from Chase in the last 90 days. The welcome offer is also not available if you have received a new cardmember or upgrade bonus offer on any of the following cards in the last 24 months:

  • Marriott Bonvoy Boundless from Chase
  • Marriott Bonvoy Premier from Chase
  • Marriott Bonvoy Premier Plus Business from Chase

Do you have a business?

Previously, the Marriott business card was issued by Chase and the SPG business card was issued by American Express. Now only one Marriott Bonvoy business credit card product will be available, issue by American Express. Therefore, if you have a small business and are looking for a Marriott credit card, consider the Marriott Bonvoy Business American Express.

The Marriott Bonvoy Business Amex is currently offering an excellent welcome offer of 100,000 points after making $5,000 in purchases within the first 3 months. This is a limited-time offer that will be going away on April 24, 2019. The card also has the following earning structure and benefits:

  • 6X Marriott Bonvoy points on eligible purchases at participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels
  • 4X Marriott Bonvoy points for each dollar of eligible purchases at U.S. restaurants, at U.S. gas stations, on wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers & on U.S. purchases for shipping
  • 2X Marriott Bonvoy points on all other eligible purchases
  • 1 Free Night certificate every year after your Card account anniversary. The award can be used for one night (redemption level at or under 35,000 Marriott Bonvoy points) at a participating hotel.
  • Complimentary Marriott Bonvoy Silver Elite status
  • Earn an upgrade to Gold status after spending $35,000 on eligible purchases on your Card in a calendar year, good through the end of the next calendar year.
  • Receive credit for 15 nights towards the next level of Marriott Bonvoy Elite status each calendar year. Limit one 15 Elite Night Credit per Marriott Bonvoy member (i.e. you cannot combine the bonus with that on other cards).
  • No foreign transaction fees

The Marriott Bonvoy Business credit card is essentially replacing the old SPG business card after the Marriott program changes took effect last year.

The welcome offer is not available if you have or have had either of the Chase Marriott Bonvoy business cards in the past 30 days. It is also unavailable if you have opened either the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless or Mariott Bonvoy Premier cards in the last 90 days. You will not be eligible for a new cardmember bonus if you received an upgrade or welcome offer on the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless or Mariott Bonvoy Premier cards in the last 24 months.

Have you only had the SPG Amex card previously?

If this is you, you’re in great shape. The personal SPG American Express card is being rebranded as the Marriott Bonvoy American Express, but the card is no longer open to new applications. You’re immediately eligible for either of the other American Express products. As long as it has been more than 30 days since you opened this card, you are eligible for the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless from Chase as well.

If you are an SPG loyalist who kept your beloved SPG Amex for so long and has avoided any other cards, today is really your lucky day. There are some massive points to be raked in from these bonuses!

Are you frustrated?

I sure am. Sitting just over 5/24, I am bearing down on being able to apply for a Chase card or two later this year. However, I really won’t be able to take advantage of any of the current offers, as nice as they are. I *might* drop under 5/24 in time to jump on the Chase card, but the 100,000 Marriott Bonvoy points would be at a cost of 75,000 United miles on the United business Visa card. I’d rather have United miles.

The offer on the Bonvoy Brilliant Card from American Express is tempting. I have not held that product, or the previous SPG version, so I would still be able to pick up those 100,000 points. However, this would be at the cost of dropping under 5/24, which isn’t worth it, being this close. This is why I was hoping the Bonvoy Business would be an option, since most business credit card accounts do not factor into your 5/24 count. But no. I’ve had the SPG Business Amex previously, so this card is dead to me. Bon voyage, Marrott Bonvoy Business card!

Conclusion and Key Links

With 300,000 bonus points on the table among the three new credit card offers, I’d definitely consider picking up any of these cards if you have the opportunity and qualify for the welcome offer. Pocketing 100,000 points is nothing to scoff at; I value the bonus on each at $800.

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