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Two travel rewards credit cards hit the shelves, and they both promise stellar rewards and reward night benefits. But which is better: The IHG One Rewards Premier Credit Card or the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card? Both have numerous incentives, and both come with an annual night certificate, but which one is better?
Depending on where you like to stay and where you spend your money, you may find that one is a better choice than the other. Read on to find out which is the best option for you: IHG Rewards Premier versus Marriott Bonvoy free night award.
IHG One Rewards Premier credit card
New cardholders can earn IHG One Rewards Premier Credit Card earns 140,000 Bonus Points after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
The annual fee is $99.
As for elite status, the IHG Rewards Premier card gives you automatic Platinum elite status as long as you are a card member. You’ll also get a reward night at an IHG hotel on your account anniversary each year. If you redeem points for at least a 3+ night consecutive stay, you’ll automatically get the 4th night as a reward.
Cardholders can earn up to 26 points total per $1 spent when they stay at an IHG hotel. Also, earn 5x points per $1 spent on purchases on travel, gas stations, and restaurants. Earn 3x points per $1 spent on all other purchases.
There are no foreign transaction fees. It also comes with a $100 Global Entry, NEXUS, or TSA PreCheck fee credit.
Marriott Bonvoy Boundless credit card
The Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card offers the ability to get one free night award annually on your account anniversary valid for a stay at a property with a redemption value of up to 35,000 points. As for earning additional points, you’ll earn up to 17x total Bonvoy points per $1 spent at over 7,000 hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy® with the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Card.
You can also earn 3x Bonvoy points per $1 on the first $6,000 spent in combined purchases each year on grocery stores, gas stations, and dining.
For non-hotel spending, expect 2x points per dollar spent on all other eligible purchases.
Marriott Gold Elite status is attainable when you spend $35,000 on purchases each account year. With your Marriott Bonvoy Boundless, you are given automatic Silver Elite Status each account anniversary year as long as you are a card member. That’s a win because Silver Elite members are credited with a 10% bonus on base points earned during every stay.
Additionally, earn 1 Elite Night Credit towards Elite Status for every $5,000 you spend.
Other perks like a dedicated guest service line and late checkouts are included, too. You can also get up to 15 elite night credits every calendar year.
New Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card cardholders can earn 3 Free Night Awards (each night valued up to 50,000 points) after qualifying purchases.
The IHG Premier vs. Marriott Bonvoy Free Night Award Breakdown
Obviously choosing which card is right for you will depend greatly on which hotel rewards program you participate in regularly. A Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card will do little good if you tend to remain loyal to IHG hotels. Likewise, the IHG One Rewards Premier Credit Card will have limited value after the bonus if you regularly stay at Marriott properties.
The exception is if you are loyal to neither hotel group and are just looking to earn some free nights and earn for periodic stays while you’re at it.
If you stay at hotels fairly infrequently and your normal spending is spread in categories across the board, the Marriott card might offer the best return on investment. It offers more points per dollar spent in all categories other than Marriott stays and the potential for more free nights the first year.
However, if you do a significant amount of spending at hotels, the IHG Premier card offers far more bang for the buck. Plus there’s that Global Entry credit.
In short, where to redeem the IHG One Rewards Premier Credit Card versus the Marriott Bonvoy night award depends on you.