If I am going to be planning a wedding at a Marriott branded hotel for late next year. I will be paying for a large portion of it on a credit card (for points purposes) so I am trying to determine if the Marriott Rewards Credit Card is the best bet or if the Ritz Carlton Rewards Credit Card is the best bet. I know they fall under the same umbrella from a rewards standpoint but I am sure there are differences from a features standpoint seeing how the Marriott Rewards Credit Card has an annual fee of $85 and the Ritz Carlton Rewards Credit Card has an annual fee of $350+. Any and all feedback is much appreciated.
nashvilletnguy, I believe you are looking at this the wrong way. Ignore the annual fees for now. The main differences between the cards then are:
(1) Gives 10% bonus on points earned yearly
(2) Gives 3 "upgrade" certificates to club level
(3) Gives Gold status and an opportunity for Platinum status on spend
(4) Gives Lounge Club membership
(1) Gives an EQN per $3000 spent
(2) Gives a cat-4 hotel certificate initially (cat 5 yearly later)
(3) Gives 15 EQNs yearly (guaranteeing Silver and adding to anything else earned)
The annual fees are $85 for the Marriott card and $395 for the Ritz card, but you get $300 of that back on Ritz pretty easily, so its effectively $95 for many cardholders.
What you need to ask yourself really is whether you need EQNs or automatic higher status without the EQNs and 10% points bonus. The lounge membership and upgrade certs are compensation for the effective $95 annual fee, as is the cat4/5 certificate for the $85 fee.
The Marriott Rewards card gives 2 Tier 1-4 free night certificates after $3,000.00 are spent in the first 90 days. The MR credit card no longer gives an enrollment free night certificate, but the Premier card still gives an annual Cat 1-5 free night certificate. If members enroll before 08/31, they can get 80,000 bonus points after $3,000.00 are spent in the first 90 days of enrollment, but the annual fee is not waived the first year.
The Ritz card gives $100.00 credit to be used on food & beverage, spa, or golf on every 2 plus night paid stays (*Offer must be booked in advance of reservation). There is also $300.00 annual coverage for airline incidentals and
Premium Travel insurances and Purchase protection Global acceptance with Chip and Signature Technology.
This should cover everything, but if there have additional questions, please feel free to reach out!
seeing you are a silver i assume you dont travel much. I would go with the ritz card just because you will be given gold and therefore access to the lounge (only you and a guest). From all the rooms you will pay for, you will be give 10% extra from what you earn on the credit card spend (not elite nights nor points for the rooms paid for unless its in the contract). Also you will retain gold for the next year after 10k annual spend on the card. Although it does have a hefty AF the promotion of two certs could easily offset the AF but i would wait just a bit more till around december and see if the 140k bonus points offer comes back which is way more valuable then 2 certs.
The marriott card i would chose if you are silver already (without the card) and if getting the card will bump you up to gold with the 15 night credits.
I have both cards. The Marriott Premier Visa is an excellent way to earn Elite Night Credits towards your status and the $85 annual fee is easily offset by a Category 5 certificate. Since I'm working towards Lifetime Platinum I use this card the most for the purpose of getting additional Elite Night Credits (15 each year plus 1 additional for each 3k spent).
The Ritz Card has excellent benefits if you travel frequently or stay at Ritz properties or looking to get automatic Gold Elite status. The $395 annual fee can be offset by an annual $300 Credit for Airline & Global Entry Fees in addition to a $100 credit for incidental charges (e.g. spa, restaurant) at Ritz properties. The Club Level certificates are very valuable if you stay at Ritz properties. Other valuable perks of the Ritz card include Airport "Lounge Club" Membership, Trip Cancellation insurance, and Primary Rental Car Insurance.