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Two new travel rewards credit cards hit the shelves this spring and they both promise stellar rewards and free night benefits. But which is better: The IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card or the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card? Both have numerous incentives and both come with a free 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 Club Premier versus Marriott Bonvoy free night award.

IHG Rewards Club Premier credit card

Who wouldn’t want 125,000 bonus points right off the bat? The IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card offers just that for an extremely low initial spend requirement: $3,000 in the first three months (as long as you don’t already have the card and haven’t already earned the cardmember bonus in the past 24 months).

As for elite status, the IHG Rewards Club Premier card gives you automatic Platinum elite status as long as you are a cardmember. That means you’ll get 20% off any time you buy points with your Premier card. You’ll also get a free award night at an IHG hotel valued at 40,000 points on your account anniversary each year. If you redeem points for at least a four-night consecutive stay you’ll automatically get the fourth night free.

For the first 12 months, new cardholders can also earn 40x points total per $1 spent when you stay at an IHG hotel. After that, you will earn 25x points per $1 at IHG properties. Additionally, you can earn 4x points on all other purchases for the first 12 months. After that, you will earn 2x points at gas stations, grocery stores, and restaurants and 1 point per $1 on everything else.

The annual fee is $89 and the card also comes with a $100 Global Entry credit.

Marriott Bonvoy Boundless credit card

The Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card offers the ability to earn 75,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months of account opening. You also get one free night award annually on your account anniversary valid for a stay at a property with a redemption value up to 35,000 points. As for earning additional points, you’ll collect 6x points for every dollar spent at over 6,900 participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels. 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 cardmember. That’s a win because Silver Elite members are credited with a 10% bonus on base points earned during every stay. 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.

IHG Premier vs. Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Free Night Award Earnings

If you earn that bonus that comes with the IHG Rewards Club Premier credit card, that is enough for 25 free nights at a Category 1 hotel. Plus there’s that fourth night free when you stay four nights in a row.

Stays at Marriott Hotels can cost as little as 7,500 per night. That means you can earn 10 free nights at a Category 1 hotel with the signup bonus plus the 15 elite night credits. Points collected per dollar spent is lower than the IHG Premier card, though, so rewards won’t stack up as fast unless you aren’t using either card for hotel stays very often.

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® Rewards Club 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. In that case, consider the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card that earns 10x miles per $1 spent through hotels.com.

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® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card versus Marriott Bonvoy free night award depends on you.

Johnny Jet Editorial

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Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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