2017 Comparison Review: Marriott Rewards Credit Card vs. IHG Rewards Club Select Credit Card vs. Club Carlson Credit Card


Traveling the world is one of the best experiences that you can have in life. You experience new cultures, meet new people, taste delectable – and sometimes unpalatable – new foods. Unfortunately, we all know that traveling can be very expensive.

With the cost of flights – international and domestic – rising every year, it becomes harder and harder to afford to fly. Vacations also involve accommodation which can be just as costly as flights.

Wouldn’t it be nice if there were a way to earn free hotel accommodations? Actually, there is! With hotel rewards cards, like the Marriott rewards card and IHG rewards club credit card, you can earn credits towards free nights at hotels across the globe.

Image source: Pixabay

Finding a hotel rewards credit card is not difficult. There are many options, including the Marriott Rewards Premier Credit Card, IHG credit card, and even the Club Carlson credit card. The list can go on and on, but the trick is finding the right hotel rewards credit card for you.

So what is the best hotel rewards credit card out there? Is it the Marriott rewards card? The IHG rewards club credit card? Or another option entirely?

The answer to that question might lie in this article, where we break down three different hotel rewards credit card options for you. We will look at important features of each card, like the Marriott Premier credit card, and see how they measure up against each other.

By looking into the features that make these three credit cards unique, you can decide what credit card would make the best addition to your wallet: the Marriott Premier credit card, IHG rewards credit card or Club Carlson credit card.

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Why Open a Hotel Rewards Credit Card?

You know that travel is expensive. Often, flights are not the most expensive part of a trip, depending where you are traveling to. A hotel rewards credit card, like the Marriott Rewards Premier Credit Card or IHG rewards card, can help you rack up free nights at top hotels across the country and worldwide.

Aside from earning free nights at top hotels, a hotel rewards credit card, like the Marriott credit card, also allows you to partake in the world of e-commerce which means you can take advantage of travel discounts and deals that are found on the Internet.

A card like the IHG credit card also has no foreign transaction fee. That means you can use it when you travel internationally and not rack up any extra charges. A card like the IHG rewards card also saves you from the hassle of worrying about currency exchanges.

Overall, a hotel rewards credit card like the Marriott Premier credit card has more benefits than just earning free nights. With signup bonuses, concierge extras, and no foreign transaction fees, these credit cards can be a great addition to your wallet.



Comparison Review List

The list below is sorted alphabetically:

  • Marriott Rewards Premier Credit Card
  • IHG Rewards Club Select Credit Card
  • Club Carlson Premier Rewards Visa Signature® Card

High Level Comparison Table

Credit Card Names

Annual Percentage Rate (APR)

Annual Fee

Foreign
Transaction Fee

Cash Back Rewards

Club Carlson Premier Rewards Visa Signature® Card

14.24-23.24%

$75

None

Yes

IHG Rewards Club Select Credit Card

16.24-23.24%

$49,waived
first year

None

Yes

Marriott Rewards Premier Credit Card

16.24-23.24%

$85

None

Yes

Table: Above list is sorted alphabetically



Marriott Rewards Card vs. IHG Rewards Club Select Credit Card vs. Club Carlson Credit Card

Every hotel is unique and so is every hotel rewards credit card. There are different features to consider, but you also need to take into account whether you like the hotels that are backed by the credit card.

When you are doing a Marriott rewards credit card review and review of other hotel rewards credit cards, it is important to consider these key features:

  • Fees
  • APRs & introductory offers
  • Rewards earning
  • Signup bonus

Take the time to analyze how the cards stack up against each other in regards to these features. This will help you choose the card that best meets your needs.

Does the Marriott Premier credit card have the best rewards program in your opinion? Do you like that the IHG rewards credit card has the lowest annual fee? Is the Marriott credit card worth the high annual fee?

These are all questions to ask yourself when you are comparing hotel rewards credit cards. Decide what features matter most to you in a hotel rewards card, and base your final selection off that.  

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Fees

There are fees that come with any credit card, like the IHG Rewards Club Select Credit Card. You need to consider foreign transaction fees, annual fees, cash advance fees, balance transfer fees, and even late payment fees when looking at credit cards. When you select a credit card, it is important that you know what fees come with them.

When it comes to annual fees, all of these credit cards have one. The Marriott Rewards Premier Credit Card has an annual fee of $85 while the Club Carlson Premier Rewards Visa Signature® Card has a $75 fee. The IHG Rewards Club Select Credit Card has an annual fee of $49 which is waived the first year.

When looking for a hotel rewards credit card, chances are that you are into travel. That means you want to find a credit card with no foreign transaction fee. This means that you can use your credit card outside of the country without incurring any international charges.

Unfortunately, the Club Carlson credit card has a 3% foreign transaction fee which is among the highest that you will see. The Marriott rewards credit card is great because it has no foreign transaction fee. The IHG rewards credit card also has no foreign transaction fee, so it might be a good choice for frequent international travelers.

Balance transfer fees are another thing to take into consideration. The Marriott rewards credit card and IHG rewards credit card both have a balance transfer fee of 5%. They also both have cash advance fees of 5%. These are on the higher end for most credit cards.

It is important to take a moment to look at how these cards stack up, especially in terms of fees that matter most to you. 



APRs & Introductory Offers

Credit card companies charge an annual percentage rate (APR) which the interest rate charged on your credit card balance if you carry a balance.

With 42.1% of Americans carrying credit card debt, it is important to choose a credit card with a lower APR so that you don’t find yourself in a mountain of credit card debt. If you do not pay your bill in full every month, this is especially important.

If you are looking for the lowest APR on our list, the Club Carlson credit card has a variable APR between 14.24 percent and 23.24%. Though this is average for APRs, it is the lowest on our list.

The Marriott rewards credit card and IHG rewards credit card are both offered by Chase and have the same variable APR. With either of these cards, you will see a variable APR between 16.24 percent and 23.24 percent. These APRs apply for both purchases and balance transfers.

Some credit cards offer introductory 0% APR periods. During this time, you will not accrue any interest on purchases that you make. This is a great feature to have, especially if you are planning to book a large trip and would like some time to pay it off.

Unfortunately, the Marriott rewards credit card, IHG rewards credit card, and Club Carlson credit card do not offer a 0% introductory period.

The APR of a credit card and any introductory APR offer is definitely a feature that should be closely considered.

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Rewards Earning

Companies offer different rewards to entice you to use their credit cards. With hotel rewards credit cards, like the Marriott rewards card or IHG rewards credit card, there are rewards that go beyond simple cash back or points. Just having a card like the Marriott Rewards Premier Credit Card can get you benefits.

Image source: Pixabay

The Marriott rewards credit card has a great rewards program. You will earn 5 points per dollar spent at over 4,000 Marriott locations around the world. You will also earn 2 points per dollar spent on airline tickets, car rental agencies, and restaurants. 1 point per dollar will be earned on all other qualifying purchases.



The Marriott rewards credit card is an all-around great card for anyone who spends a lot on travel, especially those loyal Marriott customers. With over 4,000 locations throughout the world, you can likely find a Marriott or partner hotel near where you are traveling. There is also no limit to the points that you earn, and if you make one purchase on your Marriott rewards credit card every 24 months, they will never expire.

The IHG rewards credit card has a similar program to the Marriott rewards credit card, which makes sense since they are both offered by Chase. You will earn 5 points per every dollar spent at IHG Hotels and 2 points per dollar spent at gas stations, grocery stores, and restaurants. For all other purchases, you will earn 1 point per dollar spent with the IHG rewards credit card.

Similar to the IHG rewards credit card, the Club Carlson credit card also offers a rewards program. You will earn an impressive 10 points per dollar spent at participating Carlson Rezidor hotels. You will earn 5 points per dollar spent everywhere else. This is a great way to quickly earn cash back rewards if you are a loyal Carlson Rezidor member.

Your loyalty is also rewarded with the Club Carlson credit card. Each year when you renew your Club Carlson credit card, you will earn 40,000 points. If you spend $10,000 on your card and renew it, you will also earn one free night. This is a great bonus for anyone planning on spending at least $10,000 on their Club Carlson credit card.

If you are looking for a hotel rewards credit card, like the IHG rewards credit card or Marriott rewards credit card, make sure that you consider how their rewards programs stack up against the competition.

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Signup Bonus

With so much competition for credit cards out there, companies like to offer a signup bonus to entice you to apply for their credit card. This is true for the cards on our list like the Marriott rewards credit card.

We love the Club Carlson credit card because of the two-tiered signup bonus. You will automatically earn 50,000 points when you apply and qualify for the card. However, as an added bonus, you will get 35,000 points when you spend $2,500 on your Club Carlson credit card in the first 90 days.

The signup bonus for the Club Carlson credit card equates to 9 free nights at a Category 1 hotel, which equates to a vacation worth of free nights. This is a huge bonus, especially if you are planning to spend at least $2,500 up front.

When it comes to a signup bonus, the Marriott rewards credit card falls to second place – though second place, in this case, is still an impressive 80,000 points. You will need to spend $3,000 in the first 3 months of opening your Marriott rewards credit card.

Despite the Marriott rewards credit card being lower than the Club Carlson credit card, it is still an impressive reward. If you are a loyal Marriott customer, you will easily earn free nights with this bonus.

The IHG rewards credit card also offers a signup bonus, though it isn’t as generous as the Marriott of Club Carlson rewards credit cards. You will earn 60,000 bonus points if you spend $1,000 in the first three months. Though you earn less than you would with the Marriott rewards credit card, it is nice for someone who isn’t planning to spend more than $1,000 in the first few months of having the card.

If you are looking for impressive signup bonuses, these hotel rewards credit cards do not disappoint. Though a signup bonus is not make or break with a credit card, it is definitely something to take into consideration.

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Conclusion: Marriott Rewards Credit Card vs. IHG Rewards Credit Card vs. Club Carlson Credit Card

When you are selecting the best hotel rewards credit card, it is important to consider different features of a credit card and then see how they measure up against each other overall.

One credit card might have a tremendous rewards program, but a high annual fee is not worth it. Another might have no annual fee and a good signup bonus, but you travel internationally, and this card only has domestic hotels. When doing a Marriott rewards credit card review or review of other cards, these are things to keep in mind.

Make sure that you consider these key features when you are analyzing hotel rewards credit card offerings: 

  • Fees
  • APRs & introductory offers
  • Rewards earning
  • Signup bonus

Do not just choose the first credit card that you receive an offer for. It is always a good idea to do some research, such as a Marriott rewards credit card review and other credit card reviews.

Whether you chose the IHG credit card, Club Carlson credit card or Marriott rewards credit card, be sure to choose the one that fits your individual needs best.



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