If you like to travel or often have to do so for work, getting a rewards credit card may be a smart idea. Those who specifically prefer Starwood and Marriott properties have a lot of choices, and finding an option that suits your spending style, preferences, and frequency of travel is easy because of the variety available. No matter what type of travel arrangements you have or the purpose of your trip, there are multiple choices out there. However, we decided to make it easier by narrowing it down from the huge field.
Here are five credit cards that are ideal for Starwood/Marriott guests.
1. Ritz-Carlton Rewards Card
If you enjoy staying at Ritz-Carlton properties in addition to Starwood/Marriott, you’ll definitely want to check out this credit card. Points earned between both companies are interchangeable and can be redeemed for the same benefits. You’ll get an automatic upgrade to Gold Elite status during your first year of having the card, and to maintain it you just have to spent $10,000 during each account year. To reach Platinum Elite Status, you’ll need to spend at least $75,000 in a year. Additional perks of having the Ritz-Carlton Rewards Card include an annual $300 travel credit and $100 hotel credit, Ritz-Carlton Club upgrade, complimentary airport lounge access, access to a concierge, and Global Entry privilege.
- APR: variable 16.24% to 23.24% for balance transfers and purchases; 25.24% for cash advances
- Annual Fee: $450. It’s a bit steep, but this is a credit card aimed at big spenders who will earn enough rewards to offset the annual fee.
- Bonus Points: You can earn up to 60,000 Starpoints and 180,000 Marriott points in a year.
- Introductory offers: If you spend $5,000 during the first three months after you sign up for the card, you’ll receive a free three night stay at any Tier 1 to 5 Ritz-Carlton property.
2. Marriott Rewards Premier Credit Card
This card earns five points for every dollar spent at Marriott and Ritz-Carlton properties, plus you’ll get double points on airfare, car rentals, and restaurants. On all other purchase you’ll earn one point, which makes this card a good option for those who want flexibility. Points don’t expire and there’s no limit to the number of points that you can earn. In addition, you can reach Elite status fairly easily, and you’ll receive one free night stay at any Category 1 to 5 Starwood/Marriott property each year on the anniversary of your account opening.
- APR: variable 16.24% to 23.24% for purchases and balance transfers; 25.24% for cash advances.
- Annual Fee: $85
- Bonus Points: Spend $3,000 on any purchases within three months of signing up and you’ll receive 80,000 bonus points.
- Introductory offers: If you use the option to add at least one authorized user to your account and make any purchase within three months of signing up, you’ll receive 7,500 additional bonus points.
3. American Express Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card
The loyalty points program attached to the Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card is highly regarded, and it provides an excellent value considering the number of redemption options available and how quickly you can earn points. To reach Gold Elite status you’ll need to spend $30,000 in a calendar year. Points can be redeemed for a free night stay at any Starwood property, including W Hotels, Aloft, and St. Regis. In addition, you’ll receive complimentary in-room internet access during your stays at participating hotels.
- APR: variable 15.49% to 19.49% on purchases and balance transfers; 25.24% for cash advances
- Annual Fee: $95; the fee is waived during the first year
- Bonus Points: Earn up to 32,000 Starpoints and 96,000 Marriott points each year.
- Introductory offers: Spend $3,000 within the first three months of opening your account and you’ll receive two free nights at any Category 1 to 5 Starwood/Marriott property.
4. American Express Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card for Businesses
The perks that go along with the Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card for Businesses are similar to the aforementioned option, but this card is geared toward business owners. You’ll receive Sheraton Club lounge access with the card, as well as special business discounts through other programs. An accelerated track to earning Gold status and the chance to earn free nights and flights are other big advantages. Opening a business account with this Starwood/Marriott card comes with the option of obtaining additional cards for your employees at no additional fee.
- APR: 15.49%, 17.49%, or 19.49% depending on your credit; 25.24% for cash advances
- Annual Fee: $95; the fee is waived during the first year. Any employee cards that you obtain will have no annual fee.
- Bonus Points: Earn up to 96,000 Marriott points and 32,000 Starpoints throughout the year.
- Introductory offers: Spend $5,000 within the first three months of opening your account and you’ll receive two free nights at any Category 1 to 5 Starwood/Marriott property.
5. Chase Sapphire Reserve
The Chase Sapphire Reserve card is an excellent option if you travel often or spend a significant amount of money on travel related expenses each year, including accommodation and airfare. The $450 annual fee is hefty, but you can easily redeem enough benefits to cancel out the fee if you regularly use the card. It’s a good option for Starwood/Marriott guests because you’ll earn three points for every dollar spent on hotel and travel purchases and one point for every dollar spent on all other purchases.
Another benefit of having this card is the $300 annual travel credit, which is issued as a statement credit. You’ll also enjoy no blackout dates when you book flights, a $100 application fee credit for Global Entry, and 24/7 access to Chase’s Worldwide Travel Assistance program and the Visa Infinite Concierge. In addition, this card transfers points 1:1 with a number of other hotel and airline loyalty programs, making it well worth a look.
- APR: variable 16.24% to 23.24% for purchases and balance transfers; 25.24% for cash advances
- Annual Fee: $450
- Bonus Points: You can earn up to 33,333 Starpoints and 100,000 Mariott points each year.
- Introductory offers: You’ll receive an additional 100,000 bonus points if you spend at least $4,000 on purchases within three months of opening your account. That’s equivalent to a $1,500 travel credit.