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I recently covered some of the announced changes to the SPG/Marriott credit card line-up that are to come in 2018, and provided a rundown of what Marriott and SPG cards and bonuses are currently available as of today. While the good news is that we know some new Starwood and Marriott cards are to come in 2018, the flipside of that is that it is very likely that some of the currently available products will stop being available for new sign-ups at some point in 2018. If you missed those posts and are at all interested in those programs, I encourage you to take a look at them and start getting your Marriott and SPG card strategy in order so you don’t miss out on any bonuses you were hoping to get.
That said, this post specifically was born out of a simple but important question I received in the comments section of one of those recent posts about what is next for the Marriott and SPG cards.
The question was, which credit card is best to pay for Starwood and Marriott hotel stays? Is it a SPG Amex, a Chase Marriott Card, or the Chase Ritz Carlton Card?
The best credit card for Marriott and Starwood stays is…
Thankfully, this is a question with a pretty clear-cut answer. The Chase Marriott and Ritz Carlton cards all award 5 points per dollar for eligible spending in Marriott, Ritz Carlton, and Starwood hotels. The Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card and the Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card award 2 points per dollar at Marriott, Ritz Carlton, and Starwood hotels. Since the transfer ratio between Starwood and Marriot is 1:3, this means that the SPG cards are the winners since they are earning the equivalent of 6 Marriott points per dollar vs. the 5 earned currently on the Chase Marriott and Ritz Carlton Cards.
Now, the caveats to one of the SPG Amex cards being the best choice for eligible Marriott and SPG hotel spending is if you are working on hitting a bonus of some sort on one of the cards. In that case, whatever bonus or perk you are working on could tip the scales in favor of that card if you need all the spending you can get to help meet your goal. Additionally, remember that the Ritz Carlton Card offers a 10% bonus on points earned on the card each year, though that alone still doesn’t make it more valuable for in-hotel spend than the SPG Amex Cards.
It would not surprise me if they align the in-hotel spending bonuses on the cards in the coming year so that one issuing bank doesn’t always win this contest, but for now, the SPG Amex cards reign supreme, even when paying for a Marriott stay.
What credit card do you use to pay for SPG and Marriott hotel stays?
Editorial Note: The opinions expressed here are mine and not provided, reviewed, by any bank, card issuer, or other company unless otherwise stated.