Best Credit Card for Marriott stays?

Old Aug 15, 19, 10:45 am
  #1  
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Best Credit Card for Marriott stays?

I am curious to know which credit card people use to pay for their Marriott stays.

I have the Chase Sapphire Reserve and I donít really see a big advantage using the Bonvoy branded cards (Amex Bonvoy Brilliant, Chase Bonvoy Bold, Boundless) over CSR. Unless your goal is to stack up as many Marriott points as possible, the 3x points you'd get from CSR is more versatile and in general more valuable dollar-wise than say the 6x points you'd get from Amex Brilliant.

I'm not going into the different perks as the Amex card does give a free night award up to 50,000 points per year and better lounge access so I'm still keeping that card. I'm strictly talking about which card to use for your stays. It sounds counter intuitive, but looks like it's better to charge your Marriott hotel stays with CSR and not Bonvoy cards. Am I missing something here?
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Old Aug 15, 19, 10:51 am
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Originally Posted by FlyBruin View Post
looks like it's better to charge your Marriott hotel stays with CSR and not Bonvoy cards. Am I missing something here?
You're not missing anything. With CSR, there's very little need for a hotel or airline card. The only exception (for me) is if the annual fee gets a cheap enough free night or something, but I still never charge anything to those other cards.
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Old Aug 15, 19, 10:57 am
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Originally Posted by FlyBruin View Post
Am I missing something here?
I agree with your analysis.

I have the Classic Marriott Visa that gives me one elite night credit for every $3,000 in spend (and 5x points for Marriott spend compared to a slightly higher multiple for the current credit cards), but I'm using that mostly to get me up to the 10 year requirement for lifetime Platinum status (I'm 5 nights shy of year 9 (2019) and will use it to help get to year 10 (and lifetime platinum status) in 2020.)

The CSR is an excellent product IMHO for hotel spend.

After I achieve lifetime Platinum next year, I may or may not keep the Classic Marriott Visa.

At the time SPG and MR merged into the Bonvoy program, I cancelled the business MR Visa and both the business and personal SPG Amex cards. And now that peak/non-peak award values are being implemented, I'm even more happy that I did so as the value of the "free night" coming out of the credit card products is diminishing.
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Old Aug 15, 19, 11:15 am
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Originally Posted by dgreen12 View Post
I have the Classic Marriott Visa that gives me one elite night credit for every $3,000 in spend (and 5x points for Marriott spend compared to a slightly higher multiple for the current credit cards), but I'm using that mostly to get me up to the 10 year requirement for lifetime Platinum status (I'm 5 nights shy of year 9 (2019) and will use it to help get to year 10 (and lifetime platinum status) in 2020.)

After I achieve lifetime Platinum next year, I may or may not keep the Classic Marriott Visa.
What does Lifetime Platinum status get you? We plan to keep the classic Visa as it is very helpful in maintaining Platinum status annually.
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Old Aug 15, 19, 11:20 am
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Originally Posted by Old Hickory View Post
What does Lifetime Platinum status get you?
Just not having to worry about hitting the threshold every year.
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Old Aug 15, 19, 11:52 am
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I dumped my AmEx and Chase bonvOY cards and just use Citi Premier that gets 3x TYP per US$ at hotels.
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Old Aug 15, 19, 7:37 pm
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The Chase UR system is pretty good, but I use the AMEX SPG Biz card to rack up 6x Marriott Points and also keep it segregated from my CSR that is used for personal use. Makes expenses much easier.

Also, I don't use UR at all when I am booking hotels, since it comes through as Expedia and you don't get any elite benefits at the hotel because of that. So it's nice to have an easy source of Marriott points for personal hotel bookings without having to transfer from CSR and getting a lower redemption rate because of that.
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Old Aug 16, 19, 6:55 am
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Originally Posted by dgreen12 View Post


After I achieve lifetime Platinum next year, I may or may not keep the Classic Marriott Visa.
I had the same thought about a year ago before the new LT program rolled out - now I'm LT Plat. I still have the card, thought I find that I'm now mainly using my Amex Platinum. Interestingly, as I'm sitting at only about 55 nights this year, I'm thinking about switching the majority of my charges to the Marriott Visa in order to get to 75 nights. So for a (relatively) low annual fee, it can serve a useful purpose as a secondary card.

But I do plan on re-evaluating it every year.
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Old Aug 16, 19, 9:48 am
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Originally Posted by JBord View Post
Interestingly, as I'm sitting at only about 55 nights this year, I'm thinking about switching the majority of my charges to the Marriott Visa in order to get to 75 nights. So for a (relatively) low annual fee, it can serve a useful purpose as a secondary card.
The thing to watch out for is the hidden cost of that $3000 spend. If it's on charges that would earn 3x on the CSR, the UR points could be worth upwards of $150+. Depending on how you value Marriott points these days, maybe you'd only get back $50 of value on that same spend. When I did this analysis for myself, I realized I could do an overnight mattress run at the business Courtyard nearby on their weekend $80 rate and break even, whenever I actually needed the elite night.

More of a pain but something to keep in mind, especially if Chase brings back that targeted offer for 50k points to upgrade to the new Marriott card that doesn't give elite nights.
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Old Aug 16, 19, 10:15 am
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Originally Posted by MDtR-Chicago View Post
The thing to watch out for is the hidden cost of that $3000 spend. If it's on charges that would earn 3x on the CSR, the UR points could be worth upwards of $150+. Depending on how you value Marriott points these days, maybe you'd only get back $50 of value on that same spend. When I did this analysis for myself, I realized I could do an overnight mattress run at the business Courtyard nearby on their weekend $80 rate and break even, whenever I actually needed the elite night.

More of a pain but something to keep in mind, especially if Chase brings back that targeted offer for 50k points to upgrade to the new Marriott card that doesn't give elite nights.
Yeah, all good points. I am looking at other options, but still going the credit card route for now. Partly because I have a long vacation in September where it's all AirBnb and boutique hotels. It's taking up valuable mattress run time this year . I thought about the risk of not booking any Marriotts on the trip, but honestly we were able to book some really cool places, and that's worth more to me.
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Old Aug 16, 19, 10:46 am
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I still have the older Marriott Visa Signature and the older SPG personal AMEX cards. Since the merger, I haven't been using the AMEX card and thinking of canceling it. Are there any reasons why I might want to keep it? That I'm missing?
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Old Aug 16, 19, 11:34 am
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Originally Posted by cmh flyer View Post
... I haven't been using the AMEX card and thinking of canceling it. Are there any reasons why I might want to keep it?
I can't think of any --- unless the annual fee is a screaming deal compared to the value derived from the free night certificate.

I concluded (for me) that the answer was no.
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Old Aug 16, 19, 11:42 am
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IMHO, Hilton AmEx offers a strong return on Hilton hotel spend. I don't see the same from Bonvoy cards, which is why my Bonvoy card sits in the sock drawer, metaphorically speaking, and non-Hilton hotel spend goes on my CSR.
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Old Aug 16, 19, 11:22 pm
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If you've got the CSR, you've got your answer -- use the CSR. At this point the only reason to carry a Marriott card is for the additional 15 nights/year it gives you, but you can get that from the free Marriott card now.
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Old Aug 17, 19, 6:55 am
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The points made above are good ones, to be sure, but everyone has his or her own needs, values and priorities, and those often change over time. At an earlier stage in life, I was willing to trek out to Morristown and Greenwich on the train (Iím a carless NYer) for Hyatt MRs, but nowadays I put a higher premium on ease and convenience, so I value my Classic Marriott VIsa and the Ambassador status it helps me retain. It also frees me to stay at hotels other than Marriotts when they are a better choice by virtue of location, quality or price. So no matter the UG offer, I plan to keep it and put my spend on it unless and until I get so disgusted with Marriott that I no longer care about keeping status there.
As for the Amex Bonvoy f/k/a SPG card, it now lives in my sock drawer equivalent, but Iíve derived sufficient value from the free night (around a $300 room rate) to warrant keeping it; itís also one of my older cards, so I suppose helps my credit rating, though I would not pay an AF just for that. Whether the introduction of peak pricing changes that remains to be seen; if I find that I canít get a free night in a hotel I want to stay in on a date that works with my travel plans, I wonít keep it.

Last edited by rfrost; Aug 17, 19 at 7:28 am
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