Making Sense of the Marriott Bonvoy Co-Brand Cards

AwardWallet receives compensation from advertising partners for links on the blog. Terms Apply to the offers listed on this page. The opinions expressed here are our own and have not been reviewed, provided, or approved by any bank advertiser. Here's our complete list of Advertisers.

Offers for The Ritz-Carlton™ Credit Card are not available through this site. All information has been independently collected by AwardWallet and has not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer. Some offers may have expired. Please see our card marketplace for available offers.

Marriott offers four co-brand credit cards issued in tandem by Chase and American Express. Amex recently announced huge increased offers on the two American Express-issued cards.

Unfortunately, Marriott doesn't make it easy to decipher the application rules for the combined card lineup. I've covered the cards and their benefits below. To see if you are eligible for the welcome bonus on any of the cards, check our updated Marriott card eligibility resource.

Marriott-Bonvoy-Logo

Base Card

The no annual fee Marriott Bonvoy Bold® Credit Card is the only Marriott co-brand card that doesn't charge an annual fee. Cardmembers receive Silver Elite status courtesy of the 15 elite night credits issued with the card, plus new cardmembers can collect 60,000 points after spending $2,000 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.

Marriott Bonvoy Bold® Credit Card
Marriott Bonvoy Bold® Credit Card
Annual Fee$0
Welcome Bonus For a Limited Time Only! Earn 60,000 Bonus Points after spending $2,000 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.
  • For a Limited Time Only! Earn 60,000 Bonus Points after you spend $2,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
  • Pay no annual fee with the Marriott Bonvoy Bold® Credit Card from Chase®!
  • Earn up to 14X total Bonvoy points per $1 spent at over 7,000 hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy® with the Marriott Bonvoy Bold® Card.
  • 2X Bonvoy points for every $1 spent on other travel purchases (from airfare to taxis and trains).
  • 1X point for every $1 spent on all other purchases.
  • Receive 15 Elite Night Credits annually, qualifying you for Silver Elite Status. Restrictions apply.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Earn unlimited Marriott Bonvoy points and get Free Night Stays faster.
  • 3X points for every $1 spent at over 7,000 participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels
  • 2X points on other travel purchases (from airfare to taxis and trains)
  • 1X point on all other purchases

The major consideration for folks looking to apply for the Bonvoy Bold is that it can lock you out from getting more valuable Marriott co-brand cards over the following 24 months if your circumstances change. The Bonvoy Bold is perfect if you want the 15 elite night credits to help you reach a higher elite status tier, and the 60,000 point bonus is decent for a no-annual-fee card. If you can make use of the free night, the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card will likely provide more value over the long-term.

Mid-Tier Card

The $95-annual-fee Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card is offering 125,000 points and one Free Night Award (worth up to 50K points) after spending $5,000 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.

Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card
Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card
Annual Fee$95
Welcome Bonus For a Limited Time Only! Earn 125,000 Bonus Points and 1 Free Night Award (Free Night Award has a redemption value up to 50,000 points) after spending $5,000 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening with the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card!
  • For a Limited Time Only! Earn 125,000 Bonus Points and 1 Free Night Award (value up to 50,000 points) after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
  • 1 Free Night Award (valued up to 35,000 points) every year after account anniversary.
  • Earn up to 17X total Bonvoy points per $1 spent at over 7,000 hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy® with the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Card.
  • 2X Bonvoy points for every $1 spent on all other purchases.
  • Automatic Silver Elite Status each account anniversary year. Path to Gold Status when you spend $35,000 on purchases each account year.
  • 15 Elite Night Credits each calendar year.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Earn unlimited Marriott Bonvoy points and get Free Night Stays faster.
  • 6X Bonvoy points per $1 spent at over 7,000 participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels
  • 2X Bonvoy points for every $1 spent on all other purchases

$95 is a solid price to pay for an annual free night. The 2X base earning rate continues to be a disappointment compared to the legacy SPG Amex's equivalent 3X earning power, but I think if you're eligible, this is a card to get and keep.

Luxury Card

The Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card is Marriott's premium co-brand card, providing the highest level of perks available to Marriott Bonvoy members. The welcome bonus currently offers 150,000 points, plus a Free Night Award (worth up to 85K points) after meeting the minimum spending requirements.

Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card
Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card
Apply Now
Rates & Fees
(Terms Apply)
Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card
Annual Fee$450
Welcome Bonus Limited Time Offer: Earn 150,000 Marriott Bonvoy bonus points and a bonus Free Night Award after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in eligible purchases within the first 3 months of Card Membership. Resort fees may apply. Terms apply. Offer expires 11/3/2021.
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 150,000 Marriott Bonvoy bonus points and a bonus Free Night Award after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in eligible purchases within the first 3 months of Card Membership. Resort fees may apply. Terms apply. Offer expires 11/3/2021.
  • Enjoy up to $300 in statement credits each year of Card Membership for eligible purchases at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy™ program.
  • Earn 6 Marriott Bonvoy points for each dollar of eligible purchases at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy™ program. 3 points at U.S. restaurants and on flights booked directly with airlines. 2 points on all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive 1 free Night Award every year after your Card account anniversary. Award can be used for one night (redemption level at or under 50,000 Marriott Bonvoy Points) at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy™ program. Certain hotels have resort fees.
  • Enjoy unlimited airport lounge visits when you enroll in Priority Pass™ Select membership.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $450 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • Rates & Fees
  • 6X points on purchases at Marriott Properties
  • 3X points at U.S. restaurants, including takeout and delivery
  • 3X points on flights booked directly with airlines
  • 2X points on all other purchases

The Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card has a compelling welcome bonus, and the $300 credit is great, but the underwhelming earning rates make this card less attractive than I had hoped. My wife has the Ritz-Carlton Card which I think overall is a more effective Marriott Bonvoy luxury card. It's a shame the Ritz-Carlton Card is not open to new cardmembers, but our plan is to hold onto it and forego this card for now.

Business Card

American Express has emerged from the two banks as the lone holder of the Bonvoy co-branded business card. The business card has a $125 annual fee (Rates & Fees) which is not waived for the first year. The welcome offer is 125,000 bonus points after you make $5,000 in purchases within the first 3 months. New cardholders will also receive two bonus Free Night Awards (good for properties that cost up to 50,000 points per night) after meeting the offer's spending requirement.

Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card
AmexBonvoyBiz
Apply Now
Rates & Fees
(Terms apply)
Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card
Annual Fee$125
Welcome Bonus Limited Time Offer: Earn 125,000 Marriott Bonvoy bonus points & 2 bonus Free Night Awards after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in eligible purchases within the first 3 months. Each bonus Free Night Award has a redemption level up to 50K points. Certain hotels have resort fees. Offer ends 11/3/2021.
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 125,000 Marriott Bonvoy bonus points & 2 bonus Free Night Awards after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in eligible purchases within the first 3 months. Each bonus Free Night Award has a redemption level up to 50K points. Certain hotels have resort fees. Offer ends 11/3/2021.
  • 6x points at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy™ program.
  • 4x points at U.S. restaurants, at U.S. gas stations, on wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and on U.S. purchases for shipping. 2x points on all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive 1 Free Night Award every year after your Card account anniversary. Plus, earn an additional Free Night Award after you spend $60K in purchases on your Card in a calendar year. Awards can be used for one night (redemption level at or under 35,000 Marriott Bonvoy points) at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy™ program. Certain hotels have resort fees.
  • 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.
  • Terms apply.
  • Rates & Fees
  • 6x points at participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels
  • 4x points at U.S. restaurants, at U.S. gas stations, on wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and on U.S. purchases for shipping
  • 2x points on all other purchases

This card is more compelling to me than the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Card or Marriott Boundless thanks to a more competitive 4x earning on useful spending categories. Plus, Marriott recently announced that if you hold both a personal and a business Marriott co-brand card, you'll receive a total of 30 elite night credits each year (15 from each card). This doesn't apply to holding two Marriott personal cards and is a massive incentive to get the business card.

Recommended Strategy

There are three points you need to consider before picking a strategy with the Bonvoy cards:

  1. First, consider your Chase 5/24 slots. This doesn’t have to mean you must apply for Chase cards first; it means you need to know your 5/24 standing and how further card openings will affect what you are eligible for down the road.
  2. Next, look at which cards you hold or have recently held and review the list of rules announced to see if you’re ineligible for any welcome offers based on your current and previous card portfolio.
  3. Finally, consider your future stay plans with Marriott to see which on-property benefits you could pick up with the co-branded cards.

Bottom Line

Now is a great time to apply for one of these co-brand cards to secure a massive haul of points. Don't forget, American Express has an online welcome offer-eligibility tool that will confirm your research as to whether or not you are able to receive a Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card or Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card welcome offer.

For rates and fees of the cards mentioned in this post, please visit the following links: Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card (Rates & Fees), and Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card (Rates & Fees)

AwardWallet Tip of The Day
Did you know that you can track travel vouchers with AwardWallet? The next time you receive a travel voucher (e.g. $300 voucher valid for 1 year), you can save it in your AwardWallet profile and be notified before its expiration.
Show me how

The comments on this page are not provided, reviewed, or otherwise approved by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

**You may receive 5 bonus AAdvantage miles for leaving a comment (Details/FAQ)

Comments

  • Cynthia Rosemary Gohill says:

    Nice to able to earn points on the Bonvoy card even though they are devalued; however getting Marriott status (Gold elite) has not gotten us a single room upgrade over 21 stays Jan to Apr 2019. Don’t expect it. Book other rooms than Marriott and get what you want instead of anticipating an upgrade.

  • Thank you for the detailed post. Much appreciated.

  • Too bad the Bonvoy cards earn 33% less points on regular purchases compared to SPG

  • The Bonvoy Brilliant annual $300 statement credit offsets the $450 annual fee pretty nicely. Even so, agree that point accrual and gold status vs platinum could be better. Still may consider in the future..Thanks for the great insight!

  • One problem I have run into in the past with Marriott Rewards (now Bonvoy) is that free night certificates are only good for a certain level of hotel, and very often in big cities such as Washington DC, and london, there are no hotels at that level. So, you end up having to stay far away or not use the certificate.

  • David Shapiro says:

    AMEX and Chase scramble to divide up the strangely renamed Marriott affinity credit card pie:

    Badly Branded Bonvoy Boundless/ Brilliant Battles Belie Bad Bank Business Breakup

  • Great info to read. Can’t believe they debuted Bonvoy commercials during the Oscars telecast!

  • The Amex luxury card is pretty disappointing, comparing to all other high annual fee cards. Wonder if it’s due to dual-issuer agreement which makes Amex less compelled to give very competitive features.

  • Awesome! Thank you for clarifying this

  • Dexter Ohama says:

    Between the two, I personally like the Amex cards. Customer service is above all.

  • I need to wait a few more months until I’m eligible again to apply, but am bookmarking the application rules post. Thanks!

  • Quite the tangled web of cards. Thanks for making some sense of it.

  • Is there a way to convert AAdvantage miles to Marriott points?

  • Love Marriott brand hotels, especially now they are even bigger with SPG hotels. Would def consider getting the co-brand new cards.

  • I’ve had the Chase Marriott cars for years and recently upgraded it. Would there be good reason to apply for the AmEx Marriott card to take advantage of their sign on bonus points, or would I be ineligible for it?

  • KATIE WILKINSON says:

    Rich

    Thanks for the though breakdown of the new types of credit cards.

  • Thanks for the breakdown. It is helpful as I am debating whether to go with Hilton or Marriott for my travel and will get a CC to enhance earnings.

  • The 2x points on all non Marriott spending isn’t enough to make me jump for the new card.

  • Thanks for this article, it helps a lot. I still can’t get over the name Bonvoy though!

  • Amex wouldn’t allow the Bonvoy Business if you have Chase Marriott Personal

  • Sure do miss earning the 3x SPG points on the old SPG card…

  • I need a new Marriott card!

  • be careful if you have had the bonus from Amex before (for SPG) then you may not be eligible for the new AMEX bonvoy cards. There are some specific rules around this. search other blogs for more detailed info about it.

  • Statement credits for the Luxury card have the potential to completely negate the annual fee if you spend on certain things.

  • I don’t like how bonus points are limited to US locations but that’s across the board with Amex.

  • Love Marriott experience every time I stayed. Great to be part of the program.

  • Wow what amazing deals – wish we had something similar in the UK! Still have the SPG Amex at a fairly poor earning rate (with minimal benefits for annual fee) and a Marriott MasterCard which is closed to new applicants!

  • Farid Kassam says:

    thank for the information. very helpful

  • I’m still sorting through the Marriott Bonvoy program overall now that it has consolidated, but this is a great summary of the different cards I’ll have a choice of with the new program when I decide if the fees will be worth it. Very helpful, thanks.

  • Stephen Wing says:

    It’ll be interesting to see what happens in the UK, where the SPG card is still available.

  • Great layout to best understand what you get where. I’m waiting for the no AF card from Chase. I wonder when they might put that out. I don’t use Marriott enough to justify the cards with the AF right now.

  • Just wish one was available in Australia.

  • with this new bonvoy launch, the credit card offerings have gotten pretty messed up. The new AmEx bonvoy business card didn’t provide any additional benefits but they still increased the annual fee. That on top of the loss of 1/3 rd of the earning rate. I”m likely going to cancel the card.

  • It is really a wonderful gift to us that you are able to analyze this amount of data and clearly explain it to the rest of us. Thank you!

  • making it more confusing everyday so you either squander your points, never use them or never earn them… I miss the old days

  • Can the 100,000 AE points be transferred to United Airlines or Marriott? Previously to transfer AE points to either program one had to transfer AE to Marriott then from Marriott to UA. There wasn’t a direct transfer from AE to UA. It’s been a while since I did this so I may be mistaken. The basic question …can I transfer the business AE 100,000 points to either Marriott or UA?

    Regards,

    Nick

    • Still no direct transfer between Membership Rewards and United. You can transfer Membership Rewards to Marriott at a 1:1 ratio but it’s not a recommended use of your points as Amex points are much more valuable than Marriott Points.

  • Helpful info. as these restrictions/qualifications are continually getting more complicated and requiring more careful consideration.

  • I do think Bonvoy is the worst name of any loyalty program.

  • 4meric4nwom4n says:

    This is a huge help in understanding the nuances of the cards. I find these explanations extremely helpful. Thanks! I think I know which direction I’m heading towards finally!

  • Thanks for the breakdown. 4x points at gas stations, the extra night and auto status on the business card is a worthwhile consideration for me.

  • Thanks for sharing the breakdown. Very helpful!

  • Looking to mortgage shop around September so I will have to miss out on any credit card sign ups until after all of that is complete.

  • It’s very confusing, they should have stuck with either Chase or Amex.
    Too many rules to even get a card.

  • Mark Cleverly says:

    Thanks for this, much appreciated.

  • Great info. Want this deal.

  • Thank you for pointing out the most valuable card for us.

  • strange the UK SPG Amex is still available for new sign-ups.

  • I’m still really not sure which marketing agency thought bonvoy was a good name?! But putting that aside, I’ve found the integration betweeen Marriott and SPG fairly smooth, and I’m enjoying being able to book some top end former spg properties using points advance.

  • Wow! This lays it out all out nicely compared to other posts I’ve seen about these changes. Thank you! And thank you for the Marriott card eligibility link – super helpful as I strategize which cards to get in what order!

  • I don’t understand why the Bonvoy business card is any better, especially with the increased fee since there is no increase in benefit with the increase in fee. Unless you are spend significantly in the bonus categories (which by the way are bonus categories for other cards as well and provides better value there), its much better to just get the personal chase version.

  • Thank you for the clarity. Heavily invested in SPG / Marriot and looking toward getting new program card.

  • Thanks for reminding me of the AMEX ‘Welcome Tool’ to ascertain eligibility (since Chase is out (5/24).

  • Business card it is! Needed a cooling couple months before my next chase business card

  • The Automatic Silver Elite status is good.

  • Michael S Dikovitsky says:

    Will have to think about what to do next!

  • Wow, I’m actually impressed by the premium card… elite status, $300 Marriott credit, and annual free night cert is pretty compelling.

  • I have both the Bonvoy Brilliant card and the business card and will probably keep them. With the 300 dollar credit, the luxury card annual fee is reasonable. I wish it had a better earn rate at their hotels — the same earn rate as the other cards is disappointing. I agree that the business card has the best for category earnings. It will be my gas card when there are no quarterly gas bonuses.

  • A very confusing line up of cards compared to other chains. Thanks for the rundown on the latest changes.

  • I have no idea what I’m going to do with my remaining cards. I previously dropped the business versions of my SPG and Marriott cards.

  • Too bad Amex isn’t an option for entry level – partner doesn’t like Chase due to banking scandals

  • Don’t think business card is better one. Bonus categories may be better but how many readers here are using only one card?
    With effectively $150 fee for Brilliant, $125 for business is really high.
    Anyway, we will still keep two Lux, 1 Amex biz, 2 Chase Biz for a while.

  • Some useful information here, thanks.

  • Being burdened with Chase 5/24 I do not have to worry about any new Chase cards at this time.

    • I very much appreciate your spinning of a “burden” into “no worry for me here.” Turning such a negative on its head is probably a tool that serves you well in life. And, I need to take a lesson from you!

  • Thanks for the info. This seems to be the clearest explanation I’ve seen, so far.

  • Seems to me the luxury card gets the most bang for the buck.

  • The “Cross over” rules (see Marriott card eligibility resource.) are really a PITA. I suddenly have an Amex Bonvoy card and my husband has a Chase Bonvoy card. I was the lucky one – I got approved for the new Amex Bonvoy Business card; my husband was the unlucky one. He upgraded his Chase Marriott card i November and got points AND he hasn’t had the card for 24 months yet.

    • Jamie Eubank says:

      Couldn’t agree more. Basically an act of collusion. Not saying it’s illegal or anything like that, but to see companies start to partner in this way is concerning.

  • The $95 is justified with the card. I wish it was a little higher or offered more points, but it’s worth it and justified for sure.

  • The free night is worth it. I wish it was a little more value/higher levels, but it’s still good enough to justify.

  • I’m really sad Amex is not issuing the basic consumer card anymore.