Marriott is the world’s largest hotel chain and has a total of 30 brands in its portfolio (29 that participate in Marriott Bonvoy), which span more than 7,200 properties in over 130 countries and territories. These hotel and resort brands have distinct amenities and services that fit the preferences and budget levels of different types of travelers.
Marriott hotel brands fall under 4 broad categories: Luxury, Premium, Select and Longer Stays. The only Marriott hotel brand that does not participate in the Marriott Bonvoy loyalty rewards program is Ritz-Carlton Reserve.
American Express Fine Hotels are a collection of nearly 70 luxury hotel brands that offer special benefits for Amex Platinum cardholders at more than 1,000 locations in 500+ cities worldwide. Perks include guaranteed 4 p.m. checkout, discounted room upgrades, complimentary breakfast for 2, free Wi-Fi and more. Each hotel also offers a free amenity worth $100+ that’s unique to that location. Amex claims these perks average $550 in total value per stay.… read full answer
You’ll likely recognize many of the brands in the American Express Fine Hotels and Resorts collection, including:
Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts
MGM Resorts International
Omni Hotels & Resorts
Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts
Only Amex Platinum and Platinum Business cardholders can access benefits through the American Express Fine Hotels and Resorts (FHR) program. When you book your stay with one of these cards, you’ll also earn 5 points per $1 spent. And you can use points to pay for future FHR bookings. But it’s important to remember that with luxury perks comes a luxury price tag. The Platinum card has a $550 annual fee. For the Business Platinum card, it’s $595. Neither annual fee is waived for the first year. You will immediately have to weigh that cost against the card’s benefits.
To receive American Express Fine Hotels and Resorts benefits, Platinum cardholders must book rooms online through the amextravel.com portal or by calling Platinum Travel Service at 1 (800) 525-3355.
The best travel rewards programs are the United MileagePlus and Delta SkyMiles frequent flyer programs as well as the Wyndham and Marriott hotel loyalty programs. If you don’t want to commit to a single travel provider, the best general travel rewards program is Capital One Venture Rewards.
United MileagePlus and Delta SkyMiles are the best travel rewards programs for frequent flyers because they offer a variety of perks ranging from free checked bags to airport lounge access. The exact benefits each program gives depends on the level of membership. Generally, though, all members will receive free checked bags and priority boarding on their respective airline’s flights. Higher-level members will also receive access to United and Delta lounges. The programs are free to join and the more you spend, the higher your level of membership. Plus, members can earn free flights faster by applying for a … read full answerUnited credit card or a Delta credit card. Some very rewarding offers are available.
Wyndham Rewards and Marriott Bonvoy are the best travel rewards programs for frequent hotel guests because their members earn the most rewards value per dollar spent and have lots of properties to choose from. For example, Marriott Bonvoy now includes all Ritz-Carlton and SPG properties as well. If you decide to join either of these free loyalty programs, you might also want to consider applying for the Wyndham Credit Card, the Wyndham Credit Card with No Annual Fee or one of the Marriott credit cards. They all require at least good credit for approval.
In other words, there are plenty of different travel rewards programs to fit whichever method of travel you use most often.
Best Travel Rewards Programs:
United MileagePlus – Best Frequent Flyer Program
Wyndham Rewards – Best Hotel Loyalty Program
Capital One Venture Rewards – Best General Travel Rewards Program
Wells Fargo Propel American Express – Best Everyday Travel Rewards Program
Delta SkyMiles – Honorable Mention
Marriott Bonvoy – Honorable Mention
With the best frequent flyer programs, the stress of flying is lessened thanks to priority boarding, lounge access and free flights. With hotel rewards programs, you can easily earn free nights just for staying at your favorite hotels and resorts.
Travel isn’t always limited to just flights and hotel nights, though. Credit cards like the Wells Fargo Propel American Express card can also help you save on public transit purchases like taxis, subway rides, rental cars, and ride-sharing services. And if you travel a lot but not always with the same company or using the same mode of transportation, a credit card with general-purpose travel rewards is a good choice.
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