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When it comes to hotel credit cards in Canada, it’s slim pickings.

But that’s okay. Because we get everything we need and more in the .

Outstanding perks, useful insurance, flexibility, and great earn rates can all be found in this card.

And with over 7,000 Marriott Bonvoy locations worldwide, you’re sure to find a Bonvoy-branded hotel no matter where your travels take you. And even if you don’t, there are loads of different ways you can use your points, like transferring to over 40 airline partners.

Earn Marriott Bonvoy points

Every time you use your card, you’re earning points that you can use towards Marriott Bonvoy stays, among many other things.

How many points will you earn, exactly?

With the , you’ll get:

  • 2 points per $1 spent and
  • 5 points per $1 spent at Marriott Bonvoy locations.

For a complete breakdown of what your points are worth, check out our American Express Marriott Bonvoy rewards program analysis.

How many points do you need to earn to get a free night?

Well, it depends. Marriott hotels are divided into 8 categories and each hotel is assigned a category number. The higher the category number, the more points you’ll need to redeem for a free night.

The higher-end hotels are assigned a higher category number since staying at one of these locations is generally more expensive, whether because of better location or higher-quality accommodations.

There’s also peak and off-peak pricing. When a hotel is busier, you’ll see peak pricing, and when it’s not, off peak pricing. Standard rates lie somewhere in between.

Here’s a table showing the points required for each hotel category.

New Marriott Bonvoy hotel redemption chart

And, there’s also a cash and points chart, in case you want to redeem and don’t have enough points saved up.

Marriott Bonvoy cash and points redemption chart

Here’s a few examples of various hotels and their prices.

Marriott Bonvoy category 7 hotel

The Ritz-Carleton in Montreal, for example, starts from $980 per night, and is assigned to category 7.

Example of a category 7 hotel

Marriott Bonvoy category 4 hotel

On the other hand, the Aloft Montreal Airport hotel starts from $244 per night and is assigned to category 4.

Example of a category 4 hotel

Marriott Bonvoy category 2 hotel

And finally, here’s an example of a hotel assigned to category 2 in Guelph, Ontario, starting at $156 per night.

Example of a category 2 hotel

Marriott Bonvoy welcome bonus

As for a welcome bonus, you’ll be able to earn 50,000 Marriott Bonvoy points after spending $1,500 in the first 3 months. That’s enough points to pay for up to 4 nights at a category 2 hotel, or up to 2 nights at a category 4 hotel.

Related: Which Canadian Rewards Program Is Worth The Most?

Hotel rewards comparison

Other than the Marriott Bonvoy card, the only other hotel-branded credit card in Canada is the Best Western Rewards Mastercard.

Here’s how the two stack up against each other:

Hotel Credit Card Welcome Bonus Annual Fee Approx. Dollar Value Apply Now
American Express Marriott Bonvoy 50,000 Marriott Bonvoy points – enough for up to 4 night stays* (terms) $120 $485 (assuming a point value of 0.0097) Apply Now
Best Western Rewards Mastercard 20,000 Best Western Rewards points – enough for 1 night stay (terms) $0 $162 (assuming a point value of 0.0081) Apply Now

*At a category 2 hotel

What Marriott Bonvoy points can be used for

Perhaps what’s most impressive with this hotel-branded credit card is its level of flexibility. You’re able to use your points for so much more than just hotel stays:

  • transfer to airline partners,
  • travel packages,
  • flights,
  • car rentals,
  • brand-name merch,
  • gift cards, and
  • Marriott moments.

So even if you’re not a hotel dweller, maybe one of the most standout features is your ability to transfer your points to over 40 airline partners, with the majority of them at a 3:1 ratio. That’s simply unheard of.

You can find the complete list here.

Marriott Bonvoy credit card insurance coverage

Aside from the typical purchase insurance included with most cards, the Marriott Bonvoy card also includes some coverage for hotel burglaries and delayed, lost, or stolen baggage. So, if anything ever happens to your belongings on your travels, you’ll have some added peace of mind.

Here’s a comparison with the Best Western card to illustrate the differences in insurance coverages:

Credit Card Insurance American Express Marriott Bonvoy Best Western Rewards Mastercard
Extended warranty 1 year 1 year
Purchase protection 90 days 90 days
Travel accident $500,000 $1,000,000
Flight delay $500 N/A
Baggage delay $500 N/A
Lost or stolen baggage $500 N/A
Hotel burglary $500 N/A
Trip interruption N/A $2,000
Rental car accident N/A $200,000
Rental car theft and damage Yes Yes
Rental car personal effects N/A $1,000
Apply Now Apply Now

More Marriott Bonvoy credit card perks

Another place where this card shines is with its perks – the most famous of which is the annual free night stay. This alone makes this card worth its annual fee.

What’s more, you’ll get automatically upgraded loyalty status. Just having this card in your wallet will bump you up to Silver Elite status.

Silver Elite status holders can take advantage of:

  • 10% bonus points on stays,
  • priority late checkout,
  • a dedicated Elite reservation line,
  • complimentary Wi-Fi,
  • reservation guarantees, and
  • exclusive member rates, among other benefits.

And when you spend $30,000 on the card annually, you’ll even get bumped up to Gold Elite status. Gold Elite status holders can take advantage of:

  • 25% bonus points on stays,
  • room upgrades,
  • 2pm late checkout,
  • points welcome gifts,
  • and more.

Elite status comparison chart

On top of all that, you get 15 Elite night credits every calendar year, which can be used towards reaching your next Elite status level.

Related: Best American Express Credit Cards In Canada

Marriott Bonvoy credit card requirements

For most travel credit cards, the income requirements can be quite high, usually $60,000, $80,000, and even $200,000 for higher-end credit cards.

But for the , you won’t have to worry – there are no income requirements whatsoever, making this card accessible to more Canadians of all income brackets.

As for credit score, if you have fairly good credit, you have a good chance at getting approved for this card.

How the new Marriott Bonvoy compares to the old SPG

If you’ve been on the fence with this card because of its recent rebranding, we’re here to set your mind at ease.

There isn’t anything different between the old and the new – aside from a shorter, catchier name and a new card design.

Marriott Bonvoy and SPG card design comparison

Marriott Bonvoy Rewards Old SPG Rewards
Earn rates * 2 points per dollar spent
* 5 points per dollar spent at participating Marriott Bonvoy properties (Sheraton, Marriott, St. Regis, Delta, Courtyard, etc.)
* 2 points per dollar spent
* 5 points per dollar spent at SPG and Marriott locations.
Annual fees $120 $120
Insurance coverage 8 different insurance coverage 8 different insurance coverage
Perks * Transfer points to over 40 airline partners
* Annual free night
* Automatic Silver Elite status
* Automatic Gold Elite status after spending $30,000 annually on the card
* Transfer points to over 40 airline partners
* Annual free night
* Automatic Silver Elite status
* Automatic Gold Elite status after spending $30,000 annually on the card
Welcome bonus 50,000 points after spending $1,500 in the first 3 months 50,000 points after spending $1,500 in the first 3 months

Any downsides?

Although this card has great redemption value when redeeming for hotel stays or transferring to airline partners, it leaves something to be desired when it comes to other redemption methods.

For example, the average point value when redeemed for car rentals is a disappointing 0.13 cents per point.

You’re getting a slightly better value when redeeming for gift cards or merchandise, but not much more: 0.34 and 0.37, respectively.

If you value these kinds of redemption methods, there are better options available.

And as with any American Express card, its biggest downside is limited acceptance. No matter how great this card is, if American Express isn’t accepted at your go-to shops, it might not be the best fit for you.

The bottom line

Whether you like the new changes to the Marriott Bonvoy card or not, it still stands as the best hotel credit card available in Canada. The perks it carries make it worth its annual fee (and then some), providing you with truly outstanding value.