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Compare the Features and Benefits of IHG One Rewards Traveler Credit Card and
Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card

Detailed Comparison Overview

Key Facts
Annual Fee
Avg. Min. Credit Score
Ongoing APR
Balance transfers fees
Best Multiplier
Avg. Point Value
(Learn More)
Bonus Offer
Rating
Review
Key features
Unique Card Benefits
Secondary Car Rental CDW Waiver
Grants Hotel Status
Extended Warranty
Purchase Protection
Trip Protections
No Foreign Transaction Fees
Travel and Emergency Assistance Services
No Fees for Authorized Users
Free Access to Credit Score
Annual Statement Credits
Free Annual Hotel Night
Earns Transferable Points
Airport Lounge Access
Global Entry / TSA PreCheck Reimbursement
Return Protection
Metal Card
Amex Offers
Annual Fee
$0
Avg. Min. Credit Score
670-850 *
Ongoing APR
21.49%-28.49% (Variable)
Balance transfers fees
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Best Multiplier
5x Hotels

At IHG brand hotels and resorts booked directly; otherwise earn 2X.

3x Cable / Internet / VOIP Phone
3x Gas Stations
3x Cellular Phone Service
3x Dining Out / Food Delivery
3x Streaming Services
2x Everything Else
Avg. Point Value
(Learn More)
$0.004
Bonus Offer
Limited Time Offer: Earn 100,000 bonus points after spending $2,000 on purchases within the first 3 months of account opening.
Rating
YBCC Card Rate Stars Filled
YBCC Card Rate Stars Empty
(3.95) Our Review

Our ratings are determined by the authors and editors on our team. Each individual card feature is compared against all other cards we offer and the total score is an average of those 4 ratings.

Review

The IHG Rewards Traveler Credit Card is IHG’s no-annual-fee credit card. As such, it doesn’t offer the excellent perks that come with the IHG Premier Credit Card — like a free night each account anniversary, automatic Platinum Elite status, and other travel perks.

However, the IHG Traveler Card still offers surprisingly good benefits for a no-annual-fee card. You’ll get IHG Rewards’ intro level Silver Elite status, fourth night free on rewards stays, and a 20% discount on purchases of IHG Rewards points.

Screenshot showing IHG card benefit of 20% discount on purchases of IHG Rewards points.

Silver Elite status doesn’t offer too many perks — 20% bonus points at IHG hotels and resorts, a shot at late checkout, and not having to worry about point expiration. Cardholders can spend $20,000 in a calendar year to upgrade to Gold Elite status. Gold Elite status includes 40% bonus points at IHG hotels and resorts.

In addition to the sign-up bonus, IHG Rewards Traveler Credit Card cardholders will earn bonus points on IHG hotel stays, dining, gas stations, select streaming services, and utility monthly bills. Cardholders earn 2 points per dollar spent on all other eligible purchases. Considering the IHG Rewards point value is only around 0.4 cents per point, that’s not the best possible return on your other purchases.

So, you might just want to limit using your IHG Traveler Card to IHG hotels and resorts. By charging IHG hotel stays to their IHG Traveler Card, cardholders will earn a total of at least 17 points per dollar spent:

  • 5 points per dollar spent by charging the IHG hotel stay to their IHG Traveler Card
  • 10 points per dollar spent as an IHG Rewards member.
  • 2 bonus points per dollar spent at as Silver Elite (or more if you have a higher tier of IHG Rewards elite status)

For those unfamiliar, the IHG Rewards loyalty program includes a wide range of hotel brands. On the luxury side, you can earn and redeem IHG points at InterContinental Hotels, Kimpton, Hotel Indigo, Six Senses, and Regent Hotels. On the flip side, you can earn and redeem IHG points for stays at Holiday Inn Express, Holiday Inn, Holiday Inn Club Vacations, Candlewood Suites, and Staybridge Suites. That range of earning and redemption options is truly impressive.

Read more
Unique Card Benefits
yes
Secondary Car Rental CDW Waiver
yes
Grants Hotel Status
yes
Extended Warranty
yes
Purchase Protection
yes
Trip Protections
yes
No Foreign Transaction Fees
yes
Travel and Emergency Assistance Services
yes
No Fees for Authorized Users
yes
Free Access to Credit Score
yes
Annual Statement Credits
no
Free Annual Hotel Night
no
Earns Transferable Points
no
Airport Lounge Access
no
Global Entry / TSA PreCheck Reimbursement
no
Return Protection
no
Metal Card
no
Amex Offers
no
Annual Fee
$650 (Rates and fees)
Avg. Min. Credit Score
670-850 *
Ongoing APR
20.99%-29.99% (Variable)
Balance transfers fees
-
Best Multiplier
6x Hotels

6X points only applies to Marriott Bonvoy hotels and resorts booked directly through Marriott. Otherwise, earn 2X

3x Airfare
3x Dining Out / Food Delivery
2x Everything Else
Avg. Point Value
(Learn More)
$0.006
Bonus Offer

Earn 95,000 Marriott Bonvoy bonus points after you use your new Card to make $6,000 in purchases within the first 6 months of Card Membership. Terms apply.

Rating
YBCC Card Rate Stars Filled
YBCC Card Rate Stars Empty
(3.7) Our Review

Our ratings are determined by the authors and editors on our team. Each individual card feature is compared against all other cards we offer and the total score is an average of those 4 ratings.

Review

The Marriott Bonvoy program offers five different co-branded credit card options, from both American Express and Chase. If we start from the top, there’s the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant American Express Card, with a considerable $650 annual fee. But the luxury hotel card comes with a substantial number of perks that make sense for the ultra-Marriott loyalist.

For starters, the card offers complimentary Platinum elite status, which typically requires 50+ nights at Marriott hotels per year. At this elite tier level, you’ll enjoy 50% bonus points at Marriott hotels (on top of the card’s earning rate), room upgrades up to select suites upon availability at most brands, and a welcome gift like amenities, points, or even breakfast. Enjoy a guaranteed late checkout of 4pm at most properties (resorts and convention centers are excluded). You’ll also get 25 annual elite night credits which can help you qualify for that next tier of Marriott status — Titanium or Ambassador Elite, anyone?

Even more interesting is that if you also have the Marriott Bonvoy Business® Card, you’ll earn 15 more elite nights on that card for a total of 40 elite night credits. With Titanium status, which also confers United Airlines Silver elite status, available at 75 nights, you’ll need to stay just 35 nights to achieve it.

As you can expect, this card is quite rewarding for hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy, offering 6x points at Bonvoy properties. The card’s rewards rate is easy to memorize as it also provides 3x points at restaurants worldwide and 2x points on all other eligible purchases, but unfortunately it falls flat compared to other luxury cards on the market with those rates, given that we peg the value of a Bonvoy point around 0.6 cents each.

Still, if you’re a heavy spender, the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant card offers another unique benefit. Once you spend $60,000+ on the card per calendar year, you’ll get access to the Earned Choice Award Benefit. From here, there are some incredibly valuable options like 5 Suite Night Awards, an additional free night award (worth up to 85,000 points), or a $1,000 off a bed from Marriott Bonvoy Boutiques. Perhaps the most lucrative awards are the former two options, as the suite night awards and free night certificate can be of excellent use at some of Marriott’s most bespoke properties.

Even if you don’t anticipate $60,000+ of card spend per year, don’t fret. You’ll still get a free night award just by renewing the card and paying the annual fee on your account anniversary. This free night award will land in your account after the card renewal month, and is worth up to 85,000 Marriott Bonvoy points. You can “top off” with up to 15,000 more points from your account if you want to book a night that costs between 85,000 and 100,000 points.

As mentioned above, we estimate Marriott Bonvoy points to be worth about 0.6 cents each so with the 85,000 point certificate, you’re expected to receive at least a $510 value (or more!) for a property of your choice. Use your free night awards wisely, and you can land free nights at some of the most luxurious properties in Marriott’s expansive portfolio.

Not to mention, the card also comes with an up to $300 dining credit, which is distributed in up to $25 monthly credits. You’ll get a reimbursement for restaurants worldwide, so there’s no reason why you shouldn’t be getting this $300 rebate on your favorite eateries. (Terms apply.)

Bonvoy Brilliant Dining Credit

Finally, the Bonvoy Brilliant card comes with a Global Entry/TSA PreCheck application credit (terms apply), up to a $100 Marriott property credit for eligible stays (terms apply), and a swathe of essential travel and purchase protections to boot.

Simply put, if you have a Marriott Bonvoy member account and want top-notch perks when staying at Marriott properties, look no further than the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant American Express Card.

Rates and Fees for the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant American Express Card

Read more
Unique Card Benefits
yes
Secondary Car Rental CDW Waiver
yes
Grants Hotel Status
yes
Extended Warranty
yes
Purchase Protection
yes
Trip Protections
yes
No Foreign Transaction Fees
yes
Travel and Emergency Assistance Services
yes
No Fees for Authorized Users
yes
Free Access to Credit Score
no
Annual Statement Credits
yes
Free Annual Hotel Night
yes
Earns Transferable Points
yes
Airport Lounge Access
yes
Global Entry / TSA PreCheck Reimbursement
yes
Return Protection
yes
Metal Card
yes
Amex Offers
yes

Learn more about these cards today

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