How to get all 5 Marriott Bonvoy cards

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A while ago, a reader asked me how it’s possible to have multiple Marriott cards.  There are quite a few cards issued by both Amex and Chase, but each has strict offer terms that make the card or the bonus available only if you don’t have cards X or Y, and you didn’t get a bonus on card Z in the past 24 months, and you weren’t born on a Tuesday (I may have made up that last part).  The point is that even though there are many different cards, it’s not easy to figure out how to get more than one or two.  For full details about all of the Marriott cards currently available, see: Which Marriott Bonvoy card is best?

The main reason someone may want a bunch of Marriott cards is for their annual free night certificates.  The cheaper cards (most around $95/year) give you a free night certificate each year good for any hotel that costs up to 35,000 points per night.  We call these “35K free night certificates”.  The pricier cards ($450/year) give you a free night certificate each year good for any hotel that costs up to 50,000 points per night.  We call these “50K free night certificates”.  Those pricier cards also offer travel statement credits of up to $300 per year so those cards can cost as little as $150 per year net.

I previously showed that it is easy to get at least $200 value from 35K free night certificates and at least $300 from 50K free night certificates.  In other words, if we think of each card’s annual fee (less travel credits) being the price to buy these certificates, holding onto Marriott cards is sort of like prepaying for heavily discounted Marriott nights.  Those who stay often at Marriott hotels and can make good use of these certificates would do well to get as many Marriott cards as they can.

My goal for this post is to figure out how someone could start from zero and obtain as many Marriott cards with free night certificates as possible.  Many of us have multiple Marriott cards today because we obtained them before all the crazy rules were put into place.  That’s great for us, but not helpful for those looking to start signing up for cards now.  This post is specifically for those starting with no Marriott cards at all.

This post is not meant to be advice.  I simply wanted to figure out whether it’s possible to start new and get all of the cards that are now available which offer free night certificates.  Think of this as a puzzle.  Whether the solution I present below makes any sense for anyone to actually do is not something I considered in developing it.

What is possible?

Marriott cards that offer 35K free night certificates

There are three different cards that offer annual 35K certificates for those starting new.  A fourth card, Chase’s Bonvoy Premier Plus Business, is no longer available new and there’s no way to get it if you don’t already have a Chase Marriott business card.

Marriott Bonvoy American Express Card
  1. Bonvoy from Amex ($95): This card is not available new, but you can product change from the Bonvoy Brilliant Amex.
  2. Bonvoy Boundless from Chase ($95): Available new
  3. Bonvoy Business from Amex ($125): Available new

Marriott cards that offer 50K free night certificates

There are two different cards that offer annual 50K certificates:

  1. Bonvoy Brilliant from Amex ($450): Available new
  2. Ritz-Carlton from Chase ($450): This card is not available new, but you can product change from any consumer Chase Marriott card such as the Bonvoy Boundless or fee-free Bonvoy Bold.

Can you get more than one of the same card?

Chase’s terms explicitly state that you cannot sign up for one of their Marriott cards if you already have a Chase Marriott card.  With Amex, though, the restriction is specifically with the welcome bonus.  You cannot get a welcome bonus for a card you already have (or have had in the past).  So, with Amex, it may be possible to sign up for a second card of the same type as long as you don’t mind that you won’t get a bonus. This is especially likely to be true for the Bonvoy Business card.  Note, though, that Amex won’t approve new credit card applications if you already have 4 or 5 Amex credit cards.

With either bank, it may be possible (I haven’t tested it) to get two of the same by product changing to a different card, signing up for the card that you want two of, and then changing the first one back to the desired card.  For simplicity’s sake, for the rest this post I’m going to assume that you cannot get two of the same card at the same time.  My goal is to figure out how to get all 5 different cards.

Can you play two player mode?

When two people travel together often, it’s always possible to double the number of acquired cards by having each traveler sign up separately for the same cards.  For the rest of this post we’ll assume that we’re only looking at expanding cards for one person since you can apply the same solution to two people to get twice as many cards.

A plan

If you don’t worry about welcome bonuses, Amex Marriott cards are easy to get.  Amex lists many restrictions against getting the welcome bonus if you already have other Marriott cards, but they don’t stop you from getting their cards without a bonus.

Chase, though, has two types of restrictions.  Like Amex, they have restrictions that prohibit getting a welcome bonus if you have certain other Amex Marriott cards or if you’ve received a bonus on certain other Amex Marriott cards in the past 24 months.  But Chase also has eligibility criteria to qualify for Marriott cards at all.  For example, you can’t get the Chase Bonvoy Boundless card (with or without a welcome bonus) if you currently have one of the following Chase Marriott cards or if you’ve received a welcome bonus for any of these cards in the last 24 months:

  • Marriott Bonvoy Premier
  • Marriott Bonvoy Boundless
  • Marriott Bonvoy Bold

All 5 Cards in 15 Months

Given the Marriott card signup restrictions, I believe you could get all 5 Marriott cards that offer free night certificates by doing so in this order:

  1. Sign up for the fee-free Bonvoy Bold from Chase.  Do NOT meet the bonus spend requirements.  If you receive a bonus, you won’t be eligible for another Chase Marriott card for 24 months.
  2. Wait 12 months and then call to upgrade the Bonvoy Bold to the Ritz card.  The 12 month wait is necessary because Chase won’t allow an upgrade any sooner than that.  Upgrading is necessary before the next step because Chase won’t let you sign up for another Chase Marriott card if you currently have one.  Luckily the Ritz card isn’t included in that restriction.
  3. Sign up for the Bonvoy Boundless card from Chase.  This time it is fine to earn the welcome bonus.
  4. Sign up for the Bonvoy Brilliant card from American Express.  You won’t qualify for the welcome bonus, but you should be able to get the card.
  5. Wait a week and then sign up for the Bonvoy Business card from American Express.  You won’t qualify for the welcome bonus, but you should be able to get the card.
  6. Call to downgrade the Bonvoy Brilliant card to the Bonvoy Amex card.
  7. Wait 91 days from the day you signed up for the Bonvoy Business card.  Now, sign up, again, for the Bonvoy Brilliant card from American Express.  You won’t qualify for the welcome bonus, but you should be able to get the card.

The above process will take over 15 months to complete, mostly due to the requirement of converting the first Chase Marriott card to the Ritz card before signing up for the next Chase Marriott card.  It may be possible to do some of the Amex signups before signing up for the second Chase card, but I’m not sure that Chase will approve a new Marriott card if you already have an Amex Marriott card and you certainly won’t get the welcome bonus.

4 Cards Quickly

If you’re OK with getting only one Chase Marriott card and three Amex Marriott cards, then the following should be possible:

  1. Sign up for the Bonvoy Boundless card from Chase.  Meet the spend requirements and earn the welcome bonus before moving on to step 2.
  2. Sign up for the Bonvoy Brilliant card from American Express.  You won’t qualify for the welcome bonus, but you should be able to get the card.
  3. Wait a week and then sign up for the Bonvoy Business card from American Express.  You won’t qualify for the welcome bonus, but you should be able to get the card.
  4. Call to downgrade the Bonvoy Brilliant card to the Bonvoy Amex card.
  5. Wait 91 days from the day you signed up for the Bonvoy Business card.  Now, sign up, again, for the Bonvoy Brilliant card from American Express.  You won’t qualify for the welcome bonus, but you should be able to get the card.

Eligibility Rules

Greg’s Interpretation of the Terms

You’ll find the detailed terms later in this post, but the following displays are my attempt to simplify the rules.  These displays take into account only the cards discussed in this post:

Chase Sign Up Eligibility

Chase Welcome Bonus Eligibility

Amex Welcome Bonus Eligibility


All-in-one Eligibility Matrix

This display visually shows the rules as I understand them:


Product Eligibility and Bonus Eligibility Terms

The following terms are copied directly from each card’s signup page…

Bonvoy Brilliant Amex:

Welcome offer not available to applicants who have or have had this product or the Starwood Preferred Guest® American Express Luxury Card. We may also consider the number of American Express Cards you have opened and closed as well as other factors in making a decision on your welcome offer eligibility.Welcome offer not available to applicants who (i) have or have had The Ritz-Carlton™ Credit Card from JPMorgan or the J.P. Morgan Ritz-Carlton Rewards® Credit Card in the last 30 days,
(ii) have acquired the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card from Chase, the Marriott Rewards® Premier Plus Credit Card from Chase, the Marriott Bonvoy™ Premier Credit Card from Chase, the Marriott Rewards® Premier Credit Card from Chase, the Marriott Bonvoy Bold™ Credit Card from Chase, the Marriott Bonvoy™ Premier Plus Business Credit Card from Chase or the Marriott Rewards® Premier Plus Business Credit Card from Chase in the last 90 days,
or (iii) received a new Card Member bonus or upgrade offer for the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card from Chase, Marriott Rewards® Premier Plus Credit Card from Chase, the Marriott Bonvoy™ Premier Credit Card from Chase, the Marriott Rewards® Premier Credit Card from Chase, the Marriott Bonvoy Bold™ Credit Card from Chase, the Marriott Bonvoy™ Premier Plus Business Credit Card from Chase or the Marriott Rewards® Premier Plus Business Credit Card from Chase in the last 24 months.

Bonvoy Business Amex

Welcome offer not available to applicants who have or have had this product or The Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express. We may also consider the number of American Express Cards you have opened and closed as well as other factors in making a decision on your welcome offer eligibility.Welcome offer not available to applicants who (i) have or have had the Marriott BonvoyTM Premier Plus Business Credit Card from Chase, the Marriott Rewards® Premier Plus Business Credit Card from Chase, the Marriott Bonvoy BusinessTM Credit Card from Chase, or the Marriott Rewards® Business Credit Card from Chase in the last 30 days,
(ii) have acquired the Marriott Bonvoy BoundlessTM Credit Card from Chase, the Marriott Rewards® Premier Plus Credit Card from Chase, the Marriott Bonvoy BoldTM Credit Card from Chase, the Marriott BonvoyTM Premier Credit Card from Chase or the Marriott Rewards® Premier Credit Card from Chase in the last 90 days,

or (iii) received a new Card Member bonus offer in the last 24 months on the Marriott Bonvoy BoundlessTM Credit Card from Chase, the Marriott Rewards® Premier Plus Credit Card from Chase, the Marriott Bonvoy BoldTM Credit Card from Chase, the Marriott BonvoyTM Premier Plus Credit Card from Chase or the Marriott Rewards® Premier Credit Card from Chase.

Chase Bonvoy Bold

Eligibility for this product: The product is not available to either:current cardmembers of the Marriott Bonvoy™ Premier credit card (also known as Marriott Rewards® Premier), Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ credit card (also known as Marriott Rewards® Premier Plus), Marriott Bonvoy Bold™ credit card, or previous cardmembers of the Marriott Bonvoy™ Premier credit card (also known as Marriott Rewards® Premier), Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ credit card (also known as Marriott Rewards® Premier Plus), or Marriott Bonvoy Bold™ credit card, who received a new cardmember bonus within the last 24 months.


The bonus is not available to you if you:

    • are a current cardmember, or were a previous cardmember within the last 30 days, of Marriott Bonvoy™ American Express® Card (also known as The Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express);
    • are a current or previous cardmember of either Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card (also known as The Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express) or Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card (also known as the Starwood Preferred Guest® American Express Luxury Card), and received a new cardmember bonus or upgrade bonus in the last 24 months; or
    • applied and were approved for Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card (also known as The Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express) or Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card (also known as the Starwood Preferred Guest® American Express Luxury Card) within the last 90 days.

Bonvoy Boundless

The product is not available to either:current cardmembers of the Marriott Bonvoy™ Premier credit card (also known as Marriott Rewards® Premier), Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ credit card (also known as Marriott Rewards® Premier Plus), Marriott Bonvoy Bold™ credit card, or previous cardmembers of the Marriott Bonvoy™ Premier credit card (also known as Marriott Rewards® Premier), Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ credit card (also known as Marriott Rewards® Premier Plus), or Marriott Bonvoy Bold™ credit card, who received a new cardmember bonus within the last 24 months.

The bonus is not available to you if you:

are a current cardmember, or were a previous cardmember within the last 30 days, of Marriott Bonvoy™ American Express® Card (also known as The Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express);

are a current or previous cardmember of either Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card (also known as The Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express) or Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card (also known as the Starwood Preferred Guest® American Express Luxury Card), and received a new cardmember bonus or upgrade bonus in the last 24 months; or applied and were approved for Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card (also known as The Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express) or Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card (also known as the Starwood Preferred Guest® American Express Luxury Card) within the last 90 days.

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