In the interest of full disclosure, One Mile At A Time earns a referral bonus for anyone that’s approved through some of the below links. These are the best publicly available offers that we have found for each card. Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, not those of the bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. Please check out my advertiser policy for further details about our partners, including American Express, Chase, and Citi, and thanks for your support!
Update: This offer for Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard® is expired, but there’s currently an opportunity to earn 50,000 miles after spending $3,000 within first 90 days of having the card. Learn more about the special offer here.
The Marriott Rewards® Premier Credit Card is currently offering a sign-up bonus where you can earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
As far as signup bonuses go, this is a decent one:
- Receive 1 Free Night Stay at at Category 1-5 location every year after your account anniversary date
- 80,000 Marriott Rewards points are enough for two free nights at a top-tier property
I tend to ignore the Marriott program as I find their elite status requirements and
lack of benefits to be uncompetitive compared to other hotel chains, but the properties themselves are generally nice, and many people are a fan of the program.
They have nine categories of hotels, with a top-tier property requiring 45,000 points per night:
Even better, you can use Marriott Rewards points for stays at Ritz-Carlton hotels, and they have five “tiers” of reward stays:
So the sign-up bonus alone would give you enough points for a top-tier property like the Ritz Carlton Hong Kong, which is probably the best hotel in the city.
View from my room at the Ritz Carlton Hong Kong
Furthermore, just for having the Marriott Rewards card you also get a free night upon your account anniversary each year valid at category 1-5 properties. Marriott has nine categories, so that’s basically valid for up to a mid-tier hotel.
The Marriott Sao Paulo Airport is surprisingly nice, and only a Category 3 property
You also get 15 nights elite nights towards status each year just for having the card, and an additional one night towards status for every $3,000 you spend. That means you basically get Marriott Silver status for as long as you have the card, which takes just 10 qualifying nights. The catch is that Marriott Silver is probably the least valuable hotel status, and primarily only gets you bonus points on stays.
The card typically earns 5x points per $1 at Marriott hotels, 2x points with airlines, rental car agencies and restaurants, then one point everywhere else.
I value Marriott Rewards points at 0.8 cents each, so you’re looking at a return of 1.6% on bonus categories and 0.8% on everyday spend. Unless you’re putting money on the card to requalify for status (since the card offers one elite qualifying night for every $3,000 spent) this probably isn’t worth putting spend on.
The way I look at it, there are three components to the value of a credit card:
- The sign-up bonus
- The value the card gives you for everyday spend
- Any bonuses you may get for having the card long term
The increased sign-up bonus certainly makes the Marriott Rewards® Premier Credit Card more compelling, and I would keep the card for the free anniversary night, but I still wouldn’t use this card for everyday spend.
If you really want to accrue Marriott points you’re almost always going to be better off earning Ultimate Rewards points through the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, Chase Freedom®, Ink Bold® Business Charge Card, Ink Plus® Business Credit Card, or Ink Cash® Business Credit Card, as those cards have better bonus categories and accumulate a more flexible points currency.
Non-Affiliate Product Disclaimer: The information for the Chase Freedom® and the Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card has been collected independently by One Mile At A Time. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.