Written By: Rosemarie Clancy
Marriott has renamed its loyalty program and launched a new set of co-branded credit cards in one of the final pieces of its merger with Starwood. But the big news for miles and points collectors is that the hotel chain is offering 100,000-point introductory bonuses on three of its new co-branded cards.
Marriott completed its acquisition of Starwood in August 2018, but the hotel chain has just consolidated its three loyalty programs (Marriott Rewards, Starwood Preferred Guest and Ritz-Carlton Rewards) under one umbrella: Marriott Bonvoy.
New cards to go with a new program
The credit cards from the three merged programs have also undergone some branding changes. American Express, which previously issued SPG cards, is now offering the premium Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant American Express card and a Bonvoy business card. Chase, which previously issued both the Marriott and Ritz-Carlton cards, is now offering a lineup of Marriott Bonvoy Boundless cards.
There are a host of options from both issuers including personal and business cards, from basic to premium. The new names will take some getting used to, and if you already have one of these cards you should be getting an updated one in the mail soon.
If you don’t have a Marriott card or you are thinking of adding another to your wallet, this is a good time to take advantage of an introductory welcome bonus on one of them. The points earned on these new cards can be redeemed for free nights at over 6,700 Marriott Bonvoy hotels worldwide. Free nights start at 7,500 points.
New Marriott Bonvoy Amex cards
Two of the new Amex cards offer the six-figure bonus, but only through April 24, 2019. One is a business card with the annual fee waived the first year. The other is a premium card that carries a hefty annual fee, but a load of benefits that make it a good fit for the frequent traveler.
The SPG Business Card is now the Marriott Bonvoy Business American Express. it comes with a 100,000-point welcome offer when you spend $5,000 on the card within the first three months. The annual fee of $125 is waived the first year if the application is received before March 28, 2019 (and will be $95 the second year if you apply by that date.) The welcome bonus is available through April 24.
The SPG Luxury Amex card is now the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant American Express Card. The annual fee is $450, and It has the same spending requirement and welcome bonus and end date as the Bonvoy business card.
It also has a $300 statement credit for Marriott purchases that help offset the $450 annual fee, as well as Gold elite status and airport lounge access. Like other premium cards, it also offers credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck and other perks.
Chase’s new Marriott card
Chase has replaced its Marriott Rewards card with the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card. You have until May 2, 2019, to get the 100,000-point bonus on this card, which has a $95 annual fee that is not waived the first year.
The card does come with a free night on your anniversary like the Marriott card it replaced, and that redemption can be for a hotel costing up to 35,000 points a night. The card also has no foreign transaction fees and travel and purchase coverage.
Beyond the welcome bonus
As far as earning rewards, all three of these cards will get you 6x points at
participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels and 2x on all other eligible purchases . The Amex business card has 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, and the Amex bonvoy brilliant card has 3x points at U.S. restaurants and on ?ights booked directly with airlines .
The Amex cards also offer benefits like premium roadside assistance, car rental, and travel accident insurance. The Chase card comes with a host of travel benefits like baggage delay insurance, lost luggage and trip delay reimbursement, as well as purchase protection.
Once you’ve waded through the cost and benefits of securing this valuable 100,000 -point bonus and figured out which of these cards is a good fit for you, the other thing to consider is the rules and restrictions of each of the issuers.
Chase has a 5/24 rule that doesn’t allow you to apply for more than five cards in the past two years with any bank or issuer. It also has some additional restrictions with this card.
Amex only allows you to get a welcome bonus for a particular card once per lifetime. It even has a new tool on its website that will pop up before you hit apply to let you know you’re not eligible if that’s the case.
Hopefully, you can pass that hurdle when you apply for one of these new Marriott Bonvoy cards.