Understanding Marriott Credit Card Eligibility Rules

Understanding Marriott Credit Card Eligibility Rules

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All credit cards with welcome offers have restrictions regarding who is eligible for the bonuses, and at times they can be complicated. However, if you ask me, Marriott’s co-brand card portfolio is next-level when it comes to understanding eligibility restrictions.

That’s not to say the cards are hard to be approved for, but rather that it can take some effort to understand if you’re eligible for the bonus on a particular card, based on which other cards you have. In this post I wanted to discuss that in more detail, for anyone who is considering applying for a Marriott credit card.

Why are Marriott’s credit card eligibility rules so complicated?

Many wonder why Marriott has such complicated restrictions regarding who is eligible for card bonuses. You can’t simply get each Marriott credit card once, but rather eligibility for a card is based on whether you’ve had select other cards, whether you’ve applied for other Marriott cards in the past 30 or 90 days, etc.

Ultimately these complicated restrictions come down to a few factors:

  • Credit card issuers add restrictions regarding welcome offers to encourage profitable consumer behavior; they don’t want you to get all of these cards just for the bonuses
  • Marriott has co-branded credit cards issued by both American Express and Chase (there are a total of six — three from each issuer), and eligibility for some Chase cards is even based on whether you have Amex cards, and vice versa
  • The Marriott Bonvoy program was only launched in 2019, after the merger between Marriott and Starwood; previously both Marriott and Starwood had different cards, and whether or not you’ve had one of those cards plays into the eligibility requirements for the bonuses on current cards
Marriott has six co-branded credit cards

General Marriott credit card eligibility requirements

Before we talk about the eligibility requirements for specific card welcome bonuses, let’s talk about the rules of being approved for Marriott’s cards more broadly, as each card issuer has different rules.

Marriott Amex card requirements

The following three Marriott credit cards are issued by American Express:

If you want to get approved for an Amex card, keep in mind that:

  • Amex limits consumers to having at most five Amex credit cards at any time (this excludes hybrid cards), and it doesn’t matter whether these are personal or business cards
  • Amex will typically approve people for at most two credit cards in a 90 day period
  • Anecdotally I find that Amex cards are much easier to be approved for than Chase cards, especially with instant approvals; however, I’d still recommend having a credit score of at least 700
Some Marriott Amex cards offer an annual free night certificate

Marriott Chase card requirements

The following three Marriott credit cards are issued by Chase:

If you want to get approved for a Chase card, keep in mind that:

  • Chase has the 5/24 rule, whereby you typically won’t be approved if you’ve opened five or more new card accounts in the past 24 months (with any issuer)
  • Chase doesn’t have a strict limit on how many cards each person can have, but rather the limit seems to be the overall amount of credit you can be issued
  • Chase will typically approve people for at most two personal credit cards in a 30 days period
  • I’d only apply if you have a very good credit score, ideally at least 700
Both Marriott Chase cards can help you earn elite status

Which Marriott credit cards are you eligible for?

With all of that out of the way, let’s talk about the restrictions around earning the welcome offers on these cards. Can you apply for one Marriott credit card? Two? How about three? Does it matter which ones? I’ve seen some sites try to create charts to make this easier, but personally I’ve just found that to create even more confusion.

Eligibility if you’ve never had a Marriott credit card

Let’s start with the ideal situation — you’ve never had a card from Marriott or any of its predecessors, including Marriott Bonvoy, Marriott Rewards, and Starwood Preferred Guest. If that’s the case, you’re eligible for any one of the six cards, and you’re eligible for the welcome offers as well.

Want to get two or three Marriott credit cards?

This is where it starts to get tricky. If you’ve never had a Marriott credit card before and you want to get two or three Marriott credit cards, there’s one combination of cards you can get, assuming you don’t want to get the cards more than two years apart:

What other Marriott card combinations can you have?

There are some other combinations of the six cards that you can get over time, but you’d have to wait, and the rules may make your head spin. Looking at the eligibility restrictions for the welcome offers among the current six cards…

You can’t get the welcome bonus offer on the Marriott Bonvoy Business, Marriott Bonvoy Bevy, or Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant if:

You can’t get the welcome bonus on the Marriott Bonvoy Bold if:

You can’t get the welcome bonus on the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless if:

What happens if you’ve had other Marriott credit cards in the past?

If you have any cards from back when the Marriott Rewards or Starwood Preferred Guest programs were around, I’d recommend just looking at the restrictions on the application pages:

  • For Amex cards, go to the “offer & benefit terms” section of the card application
  • For Chase cards, go to the “offer details” section of the card application

I’m not trying to be unhelpful, but the reality is that each card has dozens of different scenarios about eligibility for welcome bonuses, depending on which cards you have, or have had in the past. At some point I’m doing a disservice and complicating things by listing it all out, when the application terms list them as easily as they can possibly be listed (which still isn’t very easy, admittedly).

Bottom line

Marriott has six co-branded credit cards, all of which have great benefits. There’s understandably often some confusion about who is eligible for the bonuses on these cards.

Hopefully the above sheds some light on that question, both when it comes to getting approved for Amex and Chase cards in general, and when it comes to eligibility for each of these products.

If you’re new to Marriott credit cards, the moral of the story is that you can either get any one of the six cards, or if you want to get two to three cards and not wait two years, you’re eligible for the Marriott Bonvoy Business, Marriott Bonvoy Bevy, and Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant.

Personally I think the ideal combination is getting the Marriott Bonvoy Business and Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant, as this maximizes your overall perks by a long shot.

What has your experience been with Marriott Bonvoy credit card eligibility rules?

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  1. Kat Guest

    My spouse has an Amex Bonvoy Bevy card and I am an authorized user. Will that preclude me from receiving the current bonus for a Chase Boundless card if I sign up in my own name?

  2. Sam Guest

    Hello, I wanted to clarify, I have the Brilliant and the Bonvoy Business with Amex and both for over 24 months. If I want a bonus on the boundless I would have to close both these cards?

    1. Jeff Guest

      Correct, you will get a popup that you are ineligible for a Chase Marriott signup bonus before they pull your credit profile. This will give you the opportunity to cancel the application with no hard pull conducted. This stipulation applies even if you got your AMEX Marriott bonus over 24 months ago. (I got mine over a decade ago from Amex via SPG but I was still ineligible for any Chase Marriott signup bonus because I still hold my Amex Marriott cards).

  3. Martin Guest

    Good advide, many thanks.
    Is there possibility to combine the aquired nights from the card with the status challenge?

  4. iamhere Guest

    You have also made this unnecessarily complicated to understand. What it really sounds like is you could apply for all of the Amex cards and get the welcome bonuses but if you apply for a chase card and an Amex card you would not get the bonus for both. What's important to point out is the benefit of having a personal and business card specifically due to obtaining nights and holding the premium Amex card...

    You have also made this unnecessarily complicated to understand. What it really sounds like is you could apply for all of the Amex cards and get the welcome bonuses but if you apply for a chase card and an Amex card you would not get the bonus for both. What's important to point out is the benefit of having a personal and business card specifically due to obtaining nights and holding the premium Amex card because of the status which may be useful if you frequent Marriott hotels

  5. April Guest

    Foremostly I understand that one should be an US resident to be eligible... any idea on how I (who is not US citizen and residing outside US) can obtain these cards???

  6. Aaron Guest

    Question - I signed up for the Chase Boundless 28mo ago and got a welcome offer at the time, and recently have tried to sign up for the Amex Bevy but I get a pop up saying I am not eligible for the welcome offer. I have never had another Marriott card and just have a Platinum and Gold card with Amex currently. Any ideas? Should I call Amex?

  7. Jeff Guest

    I applied and received the Marriott brilliant. 50 days later I applied for the Amex business Bonvoy and got rejected. Still trying to understand why.

  8. BenjaminGuttery Diamond

    Lucky, could You write about the AA cards from Barclay's? They used to appear to have a great eco-system with 5 cards. But now it looks like You can only get the Aviator RED as a new applicant. From what I've read, after 1 year, You can then upgrade to a SILVER or downgrade to BLUE. No one can apply for the Business Card or the 5th Card either. Also, they haven't been "refreshed" in...

    Lucky, could You write about the AA cards from Barclay's? They used to appear to have a great eco-system with 5 cards. But now it looks like You can only get the Aviator RED as a new applicant. From what I've read, after 1 year, You can then upgrade to a SILVER or downgrade to BLUE. No one can apply for the Business Card or the 5th Card either. Also, they haven't been "refreshed" in years and years and the Welcome Offer is stagnant. Is Barclay's thinking of ditching AA? Just seems like they are focused on CITI and not tending to the relationship with Barclay's at all (or visa versa).

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The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.

Kat Guest

My spouse has an Amex Bonvoy Bevy card and I am an authorized user. Will that preclude me from receiving the current bonus for a Chase Boundless card if I sign up in my own name?

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Jeff Guest

Correct, you will get a popup that you are ineligible for a Chase Marriott signup bonus before they pull your credit profile. This will give you the opportunity to cancel the application with no hard pull conducted. This stipulation applies even if you got your AMEX Marriott bonus over 24 months ago. (I got mine over a decade ago from Amex via SPG but I was still ineligible for any Chase Marriott signup bonus because I still hold my Amex Marriott cards).

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Sam Guest

Hello, I wanted to clarify, I have the Brilliant and the Bonvoy Business with Amex and both for over 24 months. If I want a bonus on the boundless I would have to close both these cards?

0
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