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Which Credit Card Should I Use to Pay for Marriott Stays?


Many people who enjoy using rewards credit cards claim that getting free airline tickets and hotel stays are their favorite perks.


When you have a credit card that offers a big multiplier, then you can quickly ring up a lot of points and redeem them for valuable rewards.


There are a few things to think about when comparing credit cards to select the right one. Some cards offer different redemption options when you book directly or use a portal.


A common question for many credit card holders is, “which credit card should I use to pay for Marriott stays?”

In some ways, this is an easy question to answer. According to some experts, like The Points Guy, Amex Membership rewards are valued at 2 cents each.


When you earn 5X points, your return is 10%. But, since the Marriott points are generally rated as being worth 0.8 cents each, the actual return when booking Marriott stays is only about 4.8%. This would suggest that using the Amex Platinum is a better choice for Marriott stays.


However, the fact that you can earn 6X Marriott points when you use the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless card may make it a better deal. Just be careful to ensure you are getting the full 6X points, and not having it reduced to 5X points (some hotels are only worth 5X).


To earn the full 5X points using the Amex, you need to make your reservations for hotels through the Amex Travel portal. You can find a variety of hotels in the “Fine Hotels & Resorts Bookings” area. If you choose to not use this method, you will not be eligible for the following perks:


  • Earning Marriott points
  • Earning elite night credits
  • Gaining elite Marriott status


Even at the entry level, Marriott members earn 10X points for every dollar spent at Marriott properties. You don’t have any special status for this perk.


If you book the same reservation through Marriott, you would earn 16X points, giving you a return of 12.8%, better than the Amex Platinum card.


If you use your Amex Platinum card to earn a Marriott Gold status, then you earn an additional 25%, making your ultimate reward rate 18.5X, or 14.8%. There are also other perks, in addition to the boatload of points, including better rooms, late checkout, and welcome packages.

If you want to reserve a Fine Hotels & Resorts property, you will earn 5X MR (equals a 10% return) for the prepaid reservation, and other benefits that may vary according to each property.


For example, at the Ritz Carlton in Hong Kong, you would earn an upgraded room when you arrive, breakfast for two each day, a late checkout option, and up to $100 credit to spend on the property.


Sadly, you won’t earn any Marriott points for sure on this stay, since earning FHR benefits is usually considered enough when it comes to perks. If you are trying to reach Marriott elite status, you may wish to book your reservations differently to continue to earn points.


The Bottom Line

There are two ways to think about the answer to which credit card you should use for Marriott stays. On one hand, you will earn 5X points when using the Amex Platinum card, and you won’t earn any additional points when using the third-party booking sites, such as the Amex portal. On the other hand, you will earn tons of points if you use the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless card, plus continue to earn points when you book your stay. If you have the choice, use the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless card for your Marriott stays.

Marriott Bonvoy Boundless

 Amex Platinum


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