Am I eligible for a new Marriott Bonvoy card? This chart tells you yes or no
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When Marriott acquired Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) a few years ago, it merged three separate loyalty programs — SPG, Ritz-Carlton Rewards and Marriott Rewards — into the new Marriott Bonvoy program, becoming the most prolific portfolio of hotels and resorts in the world.
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This streamlined branding has helped minimize confusion, and new cardholders have benefited from new perks and welcome bonuses thanks to Marriott’s diverse credit card portfolio. Not only are there a ton of properties to choose from, Marriott Bonvoy offers a total of four cards (one business, three consumer) from two issuers (American Express and Chase)
We’re currently seeing elevated sign-up bonuses on all four of Marriott’s credit cards. The two Chase-issued cards are the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card and the Marriott Bonvoy Bold Credit Card. The Boundless holds a $95 annual fee and comes with 125,000 bonus points + 1 free night (valued up to 50,000 points) after you spend $5,000 in the first three months from account opening (total of up to 175,000 bonus points). The Bold has no annual fee and still comes with a welcome offer of 60,000 bonus points after you spend $2,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening.
The two Amex-issued cards are the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card and the Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card. Although the Brilliant comes with a $450 annual fee (see rates and fees), you’ll earn 150,000 Marriott Bonvoy bonus points and a bonus free night award (redemption level worth up to 85,000 Marriott points) after you use your new card to make $5,000 in eligible purchases within the first three months of card membership. Resort fees may apply. Offer expires 11/3/2021. Meanwhile, the Marriott Bonvoy Business comes with a $125 annual fee (see rates and fees) and the opportunity to earn 125,000 Marriott bonus points & two bonus free night awards (each worth up to 50,000 points) after you use your new card to make $5,000 in eligible purchases within the first three months of card membership. Certain hotels have resort fees. Offer ends 11/3/21.
Before you apply for any of these cards, you’ll want to go over the application eligibility restrictions. The requirements vary depending on the card, and there’s not a lot of logic at play here. If you’re interested in acquiring one of the four Bonvoy-branded cards currently available to new applicants, use this cheat sheet to see if you’ll be able to apply based on which cards you’ve had or currently have — including cards that no longer exist. (We can’t take credit for being the first to visualize this info, though. Thanks to Greg from Frequent Miler for inspiring us with this chart.)
Marriott Bonvoy card eligibility chart
If you’re wondering where the SPG Amex cards are on in this chart, welcome to the Bonvoy era. The last three cards under “Cards You’ve Had” are the SPG Amex cards with their updated branding. As a refresher, here’s how the SPG Amex cards are converting to Bonvoy Amex names:
Keep in mind that Amex and Chase now offer card bonus qualification tools on their websites, and these should let you know whether or not you can successfully apply for a card and earn the welcome bonus before the system runs your credit and you officially apply for the card. But a sound travel rewards card strategy includes some advance planning, so if you know you’re interested in one of these cards, you might as well consult this handy chart whipped up by the incredible graphics team here at TPG.
Chase 5/24 rule
Another restriction to be mindful of is Chase’s infamous 5/24 rule. No matter how great your credit score is, you won’t qualify for any Chase-issued card — in this case, the Boundless and the Bold — if you’ve opened five or more credit cards in the past 24 months.
If you’re currently over your 5/24 slots, you could still qualify for the Brilliant or the Business cards — so long as you meet the other eligibility restrictions noted above.
Marriott offers a number of great cards with strong welcome bonuses and incredibly valuable free night certificates. Unfortunately, the application rules are rather complicated as you must balance issuer specific rules with additional restrictions around the Marriott card family.
Additional reporting by Stella Shon.
Featured photo by Sara Wass for The Points Guy
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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.
- 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.
- See Rates & Fees