Marriott Bonvoy Visa Makes the Shortlist of Travel Credit Cards

Marcy Bialeschki
August 8, 2020

You're a frequent flier and stay at a lot hotels and resorts, but you don't have a travel credit card. In this case, the Marriott Bonvoy Visa should be on your shortlist of contenders.

Its sign-up bonus and rewards alone should stop you in your tracks. But the benefits of this card extend far beyond the honeymoon phase. However, potential cardholders must understand the points earned can only be redeemed at participating hotels and resorts, or transferred to partnering airlines. But with 7000+ participating properties and over 40 airlines to choose from, spending your points shouldn't be a problem.

Spending $3000 in the first three months of owning this card drops 100,000 bonus points into your pocket. Now, that’s a great start to padding your vacation savings account.

Using your Marriott Bonvoy card at any of the 30+ associated hotel brands earns 6X the bonus points per dollar. But that's not all! Use the Marriott Bonvoy as your everyday card and earn 2x the points on all other purchases, racking up considerable travel points. These points never expire as long as you keep your account active by using your card every 24 months.

Probably one of the best perks is a free night stay on your card anniversary every year.

The Marriott Bonvoy Visa has some of the best travel amenities credit cards offer, starting with no foreign transaction fee. Here are some of the benefits you’ll receive if you use your Marriott Bonvoy Visa to purchase your airfare.

Luggage insurance

Receive up to $3000 of coverage per person for lost, stolen, or damaged carry-on and checked luggage.

Baggage delay

If your baggage is delayed for more than six hours, you are entitled to $100 per day for toiletries and clothing for up to five days.

Trip delay insurance

If your flight is delayed more than 12 hours or if your delay requires an overnight stay, you can be reimbursed up to $500 per ticket.

Purchase protection

Protect your new purchases for 120 days against theft and damage up to $500 per claim, with a maximum of $50,000 per account.

Visa concierge

You have 24/7 access to a concierge who can find premium concerts and other event tickets, make dinner reservations, send flowers or gifts, and more.

No doubt, you will love your Marriott Bonvoy Visa, and you'll be singing its praises to your family and friends. You can earn additional points in the Refer a Friend program if someone you refer decides to apply and gets accepted.

For each qualifying friend, you will receive 20,000 bonus points, up to 100,000 per year.

You might not think a card with an annual fee is considered good news, but in this case, the $95 annual fee is easy to justify with a free stay every year and generous rewards.

With 2x the points back on everyday purchases and no categories to mess with, the Marriott Bonvoy Visa is a solid choice for an everyday credit card.

And if you think you will be restricted when trying to book a hotel using your points, think again. The associated partners extend beyond just Marriott properties. As far a hotels are concerned, you have over 30 brands to choose from in a variety of locations all over the world.

The details

$95 annual fee

No foreign transaction fee

15.99% - 22.99% purchase APR

$5 or 5% balance transfer fee

No max penalty APR

24.99% cash advance APR

$10 or 5% cash advance fee

Chip enhanced

Late payment fee = up to $39

Return payment fee = up to $39

Like many other hotel chains, Marriott has an elite status program. By owning a Marriott Bonvoy Visa card, you have access to this program and its additional perks. Elite Status programs allow loyal customers to earn additional rewards and take advantage of added amenities.

Marriott Bonvoy Visa customers have the advantage of earning Silver Elite status on their first card anniversary. Here's a simplified breakdown of the status levels and the value they possess.

Silver Elite

The main advantage of earning Silver Elite is receiving 10% more bonus points when booking a participating property. Silver Elite also touts late checkout, but this amenity cannot be guaranteed and is subject to availability and individual property policies.

Gold Elite

Gold Elite status is earned two ways when using the Marriott Bonvoy Visa. You can spend $35,000 per year with your card or book 25 stays during a calendar year.

At Gold Elite status, you will earn 25% more points when using your Marriott Bonvoy Visa at participating properties. As with the Silver Elite, late checkout is honored subject to availability. However, Gold Elite ups the game by offering the possibility of room upgrades when requested at check-in. This perk is also subject to availability and does not include suites. Gold Elite members also have access to complimentary enhanced internet with faster speeds than the basic internet service. Finally, all Gold Elite members will receive a gift at check-in.

Platinum Elite

You can earn this next status by spending $75,000 per year on your Marriott Bonvoy Visa.

Platinum Elite status earns 50% more bonus points when spending at a participating property.

Plus, you will receive the same perks available to Gold Elite members such as complimentary faster internet service and a welcome gift.

Platinum Elite members are guaranteed a 4 pm late check out with only a few exceptions, and room upgrades can include suites when available.

Additional amenities include lounge access at participating properties and guaranteed room type requests. If you request a specific type of room, and the hotel cannot honor your request, you will receive a discount on your stay.

Also, Platinum Elite members will have their choice of an additional annual benefit.

Titanium Elite & Ambassador Elite

The final two categories are ultra-elite levels that can be achieved after racking up 75 nights and 100 nights at participating properties.

These levels offer all of the same perks as the Platinum Elite category plus some additional conveniences and luxuries.

How is my elite status affected by COVID-19 restrictions?

The Marriott Bonvoy Visa by Chase Bank is adding 12 months to 2020 for earning or maintaining elite status. This extension is intended to compensate for peoples' inability to use their card and stay at participating properties during this challenging travel time.

Marriott Bonvoy cardholders now have until February 2022 to meet 2020 status requirements. So, even if you do not book a single night in 2020, loyal customers can achieve or maintain a specific elite status if conditions are met by February 2022.

Who needs this card?

The Marriott Bonvoy Visa is a straight-up travel card because you can only redeem your bonus points at participating properties or transfer them to participating airlines. The good news is these properties extend to over 30 different brands with 7000+ hotels and resorts, and over 40 airlines.

Even if you never book enough nights to take advantage of the elite status program, you will achieve Silver Elite status on your first anniversary. And, you will continue to receive one free night stay every year. This bonus stay makes the Marriott Bonvoy Visa more attractive to people who would not normally consider a card with an annual fee.

The high spending requirements to move tiers on the elite status program suggest this card is for bigger spenders. People who already have an everyday use card might need to start using the Marriott Bonvoy if they want to take full advantage of all this card has to offer.

Still, the Marriott Bonvoy is an excellent choice for people who travel because of the incredible rewards. Just keep in mind, those rewards must be reinvested back into more travel with participating partners.

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