Skip to content

3rd time's the charm: Finally taking a Canadian dream trip to Banff, Lake Louise and Jasper

August 15 2022
24 min read
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

Like many travelers, we had epic plans for the summer of 2020. We had mapped out a highly anticipated multigenerational family trip to Canada with my parents and kids for June 2020. It was a big trip that would let us tick off several bucket-list destinations while simultaneously giving us the chance to escape Texas' summer heat.

But then, we all know what happened: The coronavirus pandemic swept the globe. Suffice it to say, the trip couldn't happen.

So, we rebooked the trip for June 2021 hoping, like many, that the Canadian border would reopen by then. Much to our disappointment, though, it remained closed to U.S. tourists, prompting us to cancel the trip once again.

Sign up for our daily newsletter

Fast forward to June 2022, and luck was on our side. The third time was indeed the charm, as restrictions lifted and we were finally able to use our flight vouchers that had collected dust for two years to head across the border.

For more TPG news delivered each morning to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.

Our merry band of travelers (which now included a range of ages, from my 6-year-old daughter to my 73-year-old father) took off for points north, bound for Alberta and all it had in store. We may have all aged by two years by the time the trip became a reality, but it was just as grand as we had hoped — and well worth the years of planning, waiting and replanning.

Here's how we booked our trip to Banff, Lake Louise and Jasper, Alberta, including what we did, where we stayed and what we ate.

How to plan an epic Alberta adventure

Since we had a week to work with, we wanted to enjoy Banff, Lake Louise and Jasper on the same trip.

(Photo by Summer Hull/The Points Guy)

Adding Jasper definitely makes the trip longer and more involved, so if you're pressed for time or just want to move at a slower pace, know that there's plenty to see and do in Banff and Lake Louise.

With prices at their peak from July through August (the region's busy season), we decided to plan our trip for June to save money. From our experience, visiting a month before the peak travel season didn't lead to any major sacrifices on our part, so the cost-cutting move proved worthwhile.

We knew we'd need a rental car (and, specifically, a harder-to-book minivan to accommodate our large group), so we immediately started looking for a reservation. Luckily, we began planning our trip far enough out to snag a rental car without any trouble. Had we waited until we arrived at Calgary International Airport (YYC) in June, we would've discovered they were sold out.

With our dates and the rental car settled, we began to plan our trip. We started our adventure in Banff before moving on to Lake Louise and briefly checking out Jasper. We rounded out our Alberta visit with a one-night stay at Kananaskis Mountain Lodge in Kananaskis Country, a region located about an hour west of the Calgary airport.

What to do

Assuming you visit in the summer, Banff, Lake Louise and Jasper are where you head to look at pretty lakes, streams and waterfalls and enjoy a number of outdoor pursuits, including hiking, canoeing and horseback riding.

There are plenty of options for all of these activities, but here are the ones we recommend:

Banff

Explore Cave and Basin National Historic Site

This destination in the heart of Banff was not only instrumental in the creation of Canada's first national park but is also a place that's held special meaning for thousands of years for people tied to Canada's First Nations community. Cave and Basin National Historic Site's rich history makes it a must-visit destination in Banff.

The actual cave is very short and small, with the pungent smell of sulfur. It is still cool though — both literally and figuratively.

While you'll likely only be inside for no more than five minutes, you can also look around outside, view the historic site's movie and peruse the site's exhibits to extend your visit to about 30 minutes.

Children 17 and younger can visit for free, but adults are required to pay 8.50 Canadian dollars (or about $6.50) each to enter. Travelers ages 65 and older are eligible for the reduced senior rate of CA$7 (less than $5.50).

Ride the Banff Gondola

Experiencing the Banff Gondola was a lot of fun, but we had sticker shock when we strolled up to the ticket office and found out that adult gondola tickets cost a whopping CA$70 (about $54) each during the warmer months.

Fortunately, the kids were free, as admission is waived for each child 15 and younger who is with an adult and rides before 10 a.m.

To save yourself from being stunned upon arrival, try to reserve your tickets online in advance, as you may have luck snagging a lower rate.

Despite the high price, the views were exceptional and worth the hit to our budget. We loved taking in the stunning scenery while strolling along the extensive boardwalk at the top.

In total, we spent about 90 minutes here, which felt like the right amount of time for most families.

Take a dip in the Banff Upper Hot Springs

Our stop at the Banff Upper Hot Springs was also a little different than what I imagined. These historic natural hot springs looked like a pretty basic swimming pool.

Still, at only CA$29 (roughly $22) — which is what a family pass for two adults and two children costs — we found the springs to be a fun spot to enjoy a dip.

Try to arrive first thing in the morning to beat the crowds, as your experience will be much more enjoyable if you're not rubbing elbows with hordes of visitors.

To dial up the nostalgia and avoid hauling around a wet bathing suit all day, I opted to rent the "old-timey classic" swimsuit. A clean and well-appointed locker room was available on site, so we could comfortably change and safely store our belongings while in the springs.

Go for a hike in Johnston Canyon

A popular Banff destination for hiking is Johnston Canyon, a stunning natural wonder in Banff National Park.

Our hike through this impressive canyon, which was carved into the limestone bedrock by water over thousands of years, was easy enough for everyone in our crew to complete. We did the 1.1-kilometer (a little more than a half-mile) hike to the lower falls, which took no more than an hour to complete.

More challenging trails are available as well, should you find yourself wanting to break a sweat.

Sign up for an Open Top tour

While we didn't actually go on an Open Top tour, we found ourselves wishing we had, as the classically styled vehicles we kept spotting at our hotel caught our eyes.

Priced at CA$42 (about $32) for adults and CA$24 (approximately $18.50) for kids, these tours help you see some of the area's top sights in just 90 minutes without having to do any driving or planning. Based on recent reviews, you'll also get some great stories along the way.

(Photo by Summer Hull/The Points Guy)

Hit the trails on horseback

Another activity we didn't have time to do in Banff was horseback riding. If we had stayed more than one night at the Fairmont Banff Springs, we would have found a way to fit in this activity, as there are trails conveniently located next to the hotel.

You can choose a one- or four-hour ride, which cost CA$89 (a little more than $68) and CA$249 (nearly $191), respectively. The minimum age is 8 years old for the shorter ride, while every member of your party will need to be at least 10 years old for the four-hour ride. If you're traveling with a younger kid, note that there are trail rides with lower age minimums in Jasper.

To save money, book in advance online to get the 10% discount. There's also a package discount available, should you find yourself also visiting places like local hot springs and the gondola.

Get an eyeful of Peyto Lake

Several lakes in varying shades of hard-to-believe colors are worth visiting while in Alberta, but Banff's Peyto Lake is one of the most breathtaking.

To get to this beautiful lake, which is free to visit, you need to embark on an easy 10-minute hike. We thoroughly enjoyed the brief hike thanks to the snow that was still on the ground during our mid-June visit. We found ourselves having an impromptu snowball fight before arriving at the lake.

Once Peyto Lake came into view, we were floored by the color. It was, without question, the richest hue of blue I've ever seen.

Rumor has it that, on sunny days, the lake takes on a brighter, turquoise appearance, so know that the color may vary slightly depending on when you visit. It gets its color from suspended rock flour in the water.

Related: Planning the perfect Banff summer vacation

Lake Louise

Marvel at Moraine Lake

One of the absolute highlights of our trip was unquestionably our time in the Lake Louise area at Moraine Lake.

While Peyto Lake wowed us, the mesmerizing blue-green color of Moraine Lake's glacier-fed water was equally as impressive. Photos simply don't do this lake justice.

(Photo by Summer Hull/The Points Guy)

The lake is free to visit, though you'll need a bit of luck (or lots of strategizing) to avoid paying for transportation.

If you arrive early (or late) or just happen to time your visit perfectly, you can park right at Moraine Lake. We pulled up late in the morning just as the "parking is full" sign was being put out, so we had to head to the parking lot near Lake Louise Ski Resort's gondola and pay to take a bus back to the lake.

For what it's worth, Lake Louise's Fairmont also had a shuttle to Moraine Lake, but it was very expensive compared to the bus option, which only cost CA$8 (about $6) for adults and less for kids and seniors. We read that you needed advance reservations to use the bus, but we had no problem getting walk-up tickets during our visit.

No matter how you get to the lake, don't miss it. We walked around and admired it for about an hour. Be sure to wear hiking boots, as the trail can be slick.

Hop on the gondola

Lake Louise's gondola is said to be the best way to spot wildlife in the area from a safe distance.

However, the weather was rainy, overcast and generally not good the day we tried to ride, so we ultimately passed on this attraction.

If you don't want to do multiple gondola rides during your Alberta vacation, consider prioritizing this one, as it's much more affordable than the Banff gondola. Tickets cost CA$54.99 (approximately $42) for adults, with CA$10 (less than $8) discount cards easy to find everywhere there's a stand with tourist brochures.

Paddle around Lake Louise

While the weather was also not cooperative for this activity, we powered through the less-than-ideal conditions. That decision ended up being the right call, as our canoeing adventure was one of the highlights of our trip.

(Photo by Summer Hull/The Points Guy)

Renting canoes from the Fairmont's dock is an expensive activity at CA$95 (about $73) for an hour or CA$85 (a little more than $65) for 30 minutes. Prices are even higher for non-hotel guests.

Still, nothing beats watching those iconic red canoes out on the blue water except being in one with a paddle in your arms. The wind put our canoe skills to the test, so we didn't make it more than 20 minutes before heading back to shore, but had the water been calmer, we would have loved exploring for a full hour.

(Photo by Summer Hull/The Points Guy)

Jasper

Saddle up at the Jasper Riding Stables

Next to canoeing and seeing some of the gorgeous lakes, my favorite activity was riding through the forest on the back of a horse.

While we didn't have time to go horseback riding in Banff, we made sure to go riding in Jasper at the Jasper Riding Stables. Because it was less expensive — CA$79 (about $60.50) for a one-hour ride — and had a lower minimum age of 6 years, this stable was the perfect place for our crew to spend some time with horses.

Unlike other parts of our trip when I found myself worrying about bear encounters (despite carrying bear spray with us at all times), I found myself able to truly relax while on horseback. The guides seemed more than comfortable handling the possibility of coming across bears, which helped put my mind at ease.

With one less thing for me to worry about, I was able to focus on the lovely scenery. On this particular day, our ride included no one but our party of four and our two guides, which was an absolute dream scenario.

Take a scenic drive full of impromptu stops

Like Banff and Lake Louise, Jasper had lots of lakes featuring an array of blue and green colors, but I'll give a special shoutout to a particularly green body of water we stopped at on the way to the Jasper East Cabins. I don't know its name, but we discovered it while driving around the area.

Besides pulling over for the lake, we made frequent stops to watch wildlife. We saw bears, moose and more on the side of the road as we drove through Jasper.

Roadways here offer enough space to safely slow down and pull over to enjoy the view, so we took full advantage of this free show. You'd be remiss if you didn't do the same when you visit.

Explore Maligne Canyon and the bridges in Jasper National Park

Jasper National Park is a must-see destination on its own, but its bridges and Maligne Canyon, the park's deepest canyon, can't be missed.

From the bridges, you'll enjoy phenomenal views of the park. You're almost guaranteed to spot wildlife, too, while exploring the area around the canyon.

Check out the Columbia Icefield

For around CA$90 ($69) for adults and CA$60 ($46) for children, you can explore the Columbia Icefield.

With the tour fee, you get the chance to walk out onto the Athabasca Glacier and enjoy a skywalk experience. Know, though, that this isn't the only way to see the glacier.

If you're looking to save money (like we were) or the tour option sells out (as is often the case), you can instead park farther away and walk toward the glacier to see it up close. Don't attempt to walk onto the glacier on your own, though, as access to the actual icefield is only for those who pay for a tour.

(Photo by Summer Hull/The Points Guy)

Where to stay

Banff

Fairmont Banff Springs

For most first-time visitors to the area, the Fairmont Banff Springs is probably at least in the conversation when debating where to stay in Banff. The 100-year-old, UNESCO World Heritage-listed "Castle in the Canadian Rockies," as it's lovingly called by many, is a bucket-list destination in and of itself.

(Photo by Summer Hull/The Points Guy)

We only stayed at the 745-room property one night due to the high room rates, but we enjoyed our visit overall and wholeheartedly recommend hanging your hat here — or, at the very least, visiting for a drink, a meal or maybe a spa treatment.

That said, if you only have the time and budget to pick one iconic Fairmont while in Alberta, this shouldn't be the one.

The views were phenomenal, and the convenience of being by the lake and having an array of amenities available at your fingertips was great. However, these highlights weren't enough to justify the close-to-$1,000 a night price tag for a room.

The room itself looked more like a $125-per-night budget-brand option desperately in need of renovation than what you expect to find at a high-end hotel.

Still, I'm glad we tried it for a night.

(Photo by Summer Hull/The Points Guy)

The Dorothy Motel

For less than a third of the price of the Fairmont, you could instead stay at a fresh take on the traditional motel concept.

My parents decided to stay at The Dorothy Motel (also in Banff) using their Capital One miles from their Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card (which is currently offering a 75,000-point welcome bonus after you spend $4,000 in the first three months of opening your account). This meant that rather than pay more than $200 for a one-night stay, they had zero out-of-pocket costs for their room.

It was far from a full-service resort, but if you want to try something a little different and conserve your cash a bit, it was a more-than-suitable option.

Canmore accommodations

If nothing in Banff proper is meeting your needs, you can stay in nearby Canmore, Alberta, and drive the 20 minutes into Banff. In Canmore, you'll find more abundant vacation home rentals, cheaper hotel rates and some traditional hotel points properties from brands such as IHG and Choice Hotels.

To balance out our Fairmont extravaganza, we spent a night at the Quality Resort Chateau Canmore using Choice Privileges points we purchased during a Daily Getaways sale. While our points got us some larger room types that sounded cool on paper, one night was the right length of time to spend at the property.

Go in with modest expectations, and you'll probably be OK for a short stay.

Lake Louise

Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise

You don't need to splurge on your lodging in Banff if you don't want to, but if there is one hotel worth paying up for, it's the Fairmont in Lake Louise.

(Photo by Summer Hull/The Points Guy)

Granted, we got a suite to share with my parents, so that helped keep us away from the very small entry-level rooms (some of which don't have air conditioning), but we all quickly agreed that the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise was worth the big price tag.

Staying right on the blue-green lake was not only a dream come true, it was a reality that lived up to (and exceeded) our expectations.

(Photo by Summer Hull/The Points Guy)

The views from our suite were awe-inspiring, and the decor was much more elevated than what we found at the Banff location.

If you are on the fence about which of the two Fairmonts to pick, know that you'll have access to fewer amenities at the Lake Louise property if you're not staying the night, so you shouldn't show up and expect to enjoy the same perks as paying guests.

(Photo by Summer Hull/The Points Guy)

Jasper

Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge

There is also a Fairmont in Jasper, if you want to hit the trifecta of the three luxury resorts.

But remember, this location is often sold-out for long periods of time due to passengers from the Canadian Rocky Mountaineer train staying here while in the area, so you'll want to look into making reservations as far in advance as possible. We weren't able to snag a coveted room during our visit, so we only had a chance to walk around the grounds.

It was a cute property that I would have loved to try for a night, though it didn't seem like a property that would overtake the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise for the top Fairmont in Alberta, so I quickly got over my disappointment.

Jasper East Cabins

Because we weren't able to stay at the Fairmont, we instead chose to book a more affordable cabin. There are a few options more centrally located, but we reserved a cabin at Jasper East Cabins, a spot a little east of town. It was by no means the Fairmont, but it had a classic look we enjoyed. Not to mention, availability wasn't an issue.

A three-bedroom cabin set us back about $500 per night, with smaller cabins costing less. You're a bit removed from civilization here, but you will find a brewery within walking distance, should you crave something to do outside your cabin. There's also a well-stocked general store on site that had a great selection of basics and even some organic, higher-end options.

Related: TPG's guide to the Canadian provinces

What to eat

A fancy meal at the Fairmont

Even if you don't stay at a Fairmont while in town, you'll want to try a fancy meal at one (or more) of the Fairmont properties — if you can swing it.

At the Fairmont Banff Springs, we dined at 1888 Chop House one night for dinner and loved everything we tried.

(Photo by Summer Hull/The Points Guy)

It wasn't cheap, but the classic steakhouse offered excellent service and divine dishes. And don't discount it if you're not a huge meat eater, as even the vegetable plates and sides were outstanding. It's probably no surprise the Wagyu and the scallops were fantastics, but the sides (a flavorful beet salad, sautéed mushrooms and Brussels sprouts), seriously stood apart.

Appetizers here start at CA$20 to CA$30 (about $15 to $23), while entrees generally cost anywhere between CA$50 and CA$80 (or roughly $38 to $61).

If 1888 Chop House isn't in your budget, don't fret: You can enjoy an equally memorable bite while grabbing a drink at the Rundle Bar. Most happy hour drinks (think: wine, beer and select cocktails) cost around CA$10 (less than $8) while offered from 3 to 5 p.m. There is a short menu of appetizers and small bites, too.

At the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise, we failed a little bit in the dinner reservation-making department, so we weren't able to eat at any of the higher-end sit-down spots, but we were able to order drinks and snacks in the Lakeview Lounge, which showcased jaw-dropping views of the lake from its windows. Since there was still snow on the ground, I warmed up with a mulled wine made of red wine, brandy with hints of honey, cinnamon and cloves.

If I had to do it all again, I'd be better about planning and make dinner reservations for the adjacent restaurant. There is also a spot for fondue and a lively restaurant called Alpine Social, should you find yourself feeling more adventurous.

A pastry and a slice of pizza

In our experience, Alberta excelled at bakery items and pizzas.

The Bear's Paw Bakery in Jasper was a sublime spot for morning pastries and all things baked and delicious. (If you’re going to Bear Paw Bakery, don’t be creative, get the bear paw. Trust me.)

We also really enjoyed Rocky Mountain Flatbread Co. in nearby Canmore, which had both indoor and outdoor seating and a variety of great pizzas for about CA$20 (approximately $15) each. I loved my fig, bison and brie pizza that also had caramelized onions, mushrooms and arugula scattered on top.

Casual pub grub paired with a cold brew

Next to our cabins in Jasper was the Folding Mountain Brewing Taproom and Kitchen, which had a not-to-be-missed kitchen to go along with its taproom.

We were pleasantly surprised by our meal here, as there's not a lot available in this part of Alberta, so the venue could easily get away with being mediocre due to the lack of options. But the food was solid, and it was great to have a selection of beers on tap to enjoy with dinner.

At this point, I’d had enough "on-the-go" food and ordered the Hikers Veggie Bowl which contained couscous, spiraled beets, arugula and yams. It might not sound great, but after days of basics, it tasted like (vegetable) heaven. Plus, you can add meat for a few extra dollars, if that’s your thing.

A picnic lunch

No visit to Alberta would be complete without enjoying a meal outdoors.

There's no need to eat every meal in a restaurant when you're surrounded by stunning natural wonders, so we found ourselves preparing at least one picnic a day (often lunch) to set up on a random rock, picnic table or chair.

If you stay at the Fairmont Banff Springs and are feeling extra bougie about your picnic lunch, you can order one with your breakfast via room service to save for later. We did this during our stay and found the meal to be incredibly convenient and tasty. The cost was on the higher end at CA$40 (nearly $31), but there was enough food for two to enjoy — including a ham-and-cheese sandwich on a baguette and a gooey chocolate chip cookie — making the price easier to stomach.

Bottom line

When I look back through our collection of lake, stream, mountain, wildlife and waterfall images stashed away in our trip photo album, I admittedly find everything blending together in my mind.

But that's the beauty of travel, isn't it? You often don't have just one thing you are planning a whole trip around. Instead, you typically have an abundance of can't-miss activities and sights to experience throughout your vacation to create countless memories you'll cherish forever.

(Photo by Summer Hull/The Points Guy)

Banff, Lake Louise and Jasper more than delivered in terms of things to see and do. Although some of what we did involved preplanned routes and stops, many of our favorite memories from the trip happened organically while exploring this beautiful part of Canada.

This may have been my first trip to Banff, Lake Louise and Jasper, but it most certainly won't be my last.

Featured photo by (Photo by Summer Hull/The Points Guy)
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

TPG featured card

Best Marriott card for Business Owners
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
3 / 5
Go to review

Rewards

2 - 6X points
6X6x points at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy® program.
4X4x points for purchases made at restaurants worldwide, at U.S. gas stations, on wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and on U.S. purchases for shipping.
2X2x points on all other eligible purchases.

Intro offer

Limited Time Offer: Earn 100,000 points75,000 points
Limited Time Offer: Earn 100,000 Bonus Marriott Bonvoy Points after spending $4,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months of Card Membership. Offer expires 11/2/22.

Annual Fee

$125

Recommended Credit

670-850
Excellent/Good
Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

Why We Chose It

The Marriott Bonvoy Business Amex is a stacked card with a rewards rate that will help you earn bonus points on everyday and business-related purchases. You'll earn 15 elite night credits each calendar year, and receive automatic Gold elite status. Finally, the free night award certificate with a redemption level of 35,000 points or less can get you hundreds of dollars in potential value each year.

Pros

  • 6x points on eligible purchases at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy program
  • 4x points at restaurants worldwide, U.S. gas stations, wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and U.S. shipping
  • 2x points on all other eligible purchases
  • Earn a free-night award each card renewal month (up to 35,000 points)
  • Receive 15 elite night credits to jump-start status
  • Transfer Marriott points to 40+ airlines

Cons

  • Airline points transfer ratios are poor
  • Must spend $60,000 in a year for second free-night award
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 100,000 Bonus Marriott Bonvoy Points after spending $4,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months of Card Membership. Offer expires 11/2/22.
  • 6x points at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy® program.
  • 4x points for purchases made at restaurants worldwide, 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 a 7% discount off standard rates for reservations of standard guest rooms at hotels that participate in the Marriott Bonvoy program when you book directly. Terms and Conditions Apply.
  • Receive 1 Free Night Award every year after your Card renewal month. 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 Marriott Bonvoy®. Certain hotels have resort fees.
  • Enjoy Complimentary Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite Status with your Card.
  • Terms apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Apply for Marriott Bonvoy Business® American Express® Card
at American Express's secure site
Terms & restrictions apply. See rates & fees
Best Marriott card for Business Owners
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
3 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

6X6x points at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy® program.
4X4x points for purchases made at restaurants worldwide, at U.S. gas stations, on wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and on U.S. purchases for shipping.
2X2x points on all other eligible purchases.
  • Intro Offer
    Limited Time Offer: Earn 100,000 Bonus Marriott Bonvoy Points after spending $4,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months of Card Membership. Offer expires 11/2/22.

    Limited Time Offer: Earn 100,000 points
    75,000 points
  • Annual Fee

    $125
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    670-850
    Excellent/Good

Why We Chose It

The Marriott Bonvoy Business Amex is a stacked card with a rewards rate that will help you earn bonus points on everyday and business-related purchases. You'll earn 15 elite night credits each calendar year, and receive automatic Gold elite status. Finally, the free night award certificate with a redemption level of 35,000 points or less can get you hundreds of dollars in potential value each year.

Pros

  • 6x points on eligible purchases at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy program
  • 4x points at restaurants worldwide, U.S. gas stations, wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and U.S. shipping
  • 2x points on all other eligible purchases
  • Earn a free-night award each card renewal month (up to 35,000 points)
  • Receive 15 elite night credits to jump-start status
  • Transfer Marriott points to 40+ airlines

Cons

  • Airline points transfer ratios are poor
  • Must spend $60,000 in a year for second free-night award
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 100,000 Bonus Marriott Bonvoy Points after spending $4,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months of Card Membership. Offer expires 11/2/22.
  • 6x points at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy® program.
  • 4x points for purchases made at restaurants worldwide, 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 a 7% discount off standard rates for reservations of standard guest rooms at hotels that participate in the Marriott Bonvoy program when you book directly. Terms and Conditions Apply.
  • Receive 1 Free Night Award every year after your Card renewal month. 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 Marriott Bonvoy®. Certain hotels have resort fees.
  • Enjoy Complimentary Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite Status with your Card.
  • Terms apply.
  • See Rates & Fees