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The IHG and Marriott hotel brands are two of the most popular large-chain hotels for UK travelers. Both offer a rewards credit card that helps you boost your elite status, as well as your points for free hotel nights. Which card is better – the IHG Rewards Club Credit Card or the Marriott Amex Bonvoy Credit Card?
The Marriott Bonvoy credit card is better if you have a high yearly spend on your credit card of £28,000 or more or a business traveler who can travel and claim back spend. If you are a casual traveler and want fast rewards, then the IHG Rewards card would be a better choice.
IHG Rewards Club Card vs Marriott Bonvoy Card
|Marriott BonVoy Credit Card
|IHG Rewards Club Credit Card
(if £3,000 is spent in the first 90 days)
(if £200 is spent in the first 30 days)
|Elite Status Offered
|Minimum points needed for a free night
|Gold Elite status
(if you spend £15,000 in a year)
Free Reward Night
(if you spend £25,000 in a year)
Marriott Amex Bonvoy Credit Card Pros and Cons
The Marriott Bonvoy credit card was certainly designed for high spenders. You may need to spend big, but the rewards are equally as big.
There’s a 20,000 BonVoy point bonus waiting, as long as you spend £3,000 or more on your credit card within 90 days of opening your account. This is enough for a free night in London (using the Heathrow Windsor Marriott Hotel on a Saturday night in July as an example)
As well as the sign-up bonus you’ll also be given instant access to Silver Elite status, which gives you late checkout, free WiFi, and 10% bonus points per stay. You’ll also collect Bonvoy points for every £1 you spend on the card. This is 6 points for every £1 spent at a Marriott hotel, and 2 points for every £1 spent almost everywhere else.
If you are a high spender and stay in Marriott hotels often, this can really boost your account balance. If you spend £15,000 in a single year, you’ll be upgraded to Gold Elite status where an upgrade to the next room, 250-500 bonus points, and 25% bonus points await you per stay.
For those really big spenders that would reach £25,000 spend per year on your card, you’ll be given a free night reward voucher to be redeemed against any hotel night with a redemption rate of 25,000 points or less.
As I said, the rewards are big, but your spending has to be high too. It’s not primed for casual travelers who don’t have large expense accounts and want to earn free nights for a weekend break. There is an annual fee for the card but at £75 per year, it’s one of the cheaper annual fee for a premium card on the market.
If though you travel just a couple of times a year, and are not devoted to the Marriott brand, then you may want to pass over this card and take a look at the IHG Rewards Club card.
IHG Rewards Club Credit Card Pros and Cons
The IHG Rewards credit card is perfect for the casual traveler who enjoys holidays and short breaks each year.
This card comes with 10,000 IHG Reward points and only requires you to spend £200 in the first three months. That’s more than £70 a month from opening your account. The starting free night point price at IHG is 10,000 points, so you should be able to use your bonus for a free hotel night, or part-pay with IHG rewards and pay the rest of the nightly fee in cash.
There is no annual fee for this card either. Considering your welcome bonus could be worth a free hotel night, this is a really big plus. There are two other big benefits of this card I want to explain. The first benefit is an immediate upgrade from Club level to Gold Elite status. This gives you extended check out until 2 pm and a 10% bonus on points for every stay.
For an annual free card, these benefits are really good!
You’ll also collect 2 IHG Reward Points for every £1 spent on your card at IHG hotels, and 1 IHG Reward point for every £1 spent almost everywhere else.
It’s been hard to find any. This really is a good credit card with good bonuses. If you’re a heavy spender, you may not find the extra bonuses to match your spending. Once you have your 10,000 sign-up bonus and your Gold Elite status, there are no more targets to reach or more rewards to unlock.
Other Hotel Credit Card Options with Bonuses
Although other UK-based hotel credit cards have appeared on the market, one by one they have all stopped accepting new customers. As of 2021 the IHG Rewards Club and Marriott Bonvoy credit cards are the last two credit cards on the market for UK residents. This is frustrating for many considering the sheer number of credit card and points available options on offer to the US market, some with very large signup bonuses.
We will keep a monitor and track of all the point-earning cards on the market and keep our guides updated.
IHG Rewards Card vs Marriott Bonvoy Card – The Insider’s Notes
The Marriott Bonvoy credit card is best suited to high spenders, high-expense account business travelers, and small business owners. Spend £25,000 per year to unlock all extra benefits including a free night worth up to 25,000 Points as well as an upgrade to Gold Elite status.
IHG Reward Club credit card is best suited to casual travelers. The annual fee-free card instantly gives you enough IHG Reward Points for a free hotel night (based on their lowest cost hotels) for a spend of just £200 in the first three months – and an instant enrolment into Gold Elite status is great for those looking for a late checkout and extra IHG points above base per stay.
These are the only two hotel credit cards currently on the market.