Marriott Rewards Visa 70,000 Point Sign-Up Bonus

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Update: This offer is expired. You can find the current offer details here.

A few weeks ago I wrote about the increased sign-up bonus on the Marriott Rewards® Premier Credit Card.

For a limited time Chase is offering 70,000 Marriott Rewards points after spending $2,000 in the first three months, plus one free night stay at a Category 1-4 property after account approval. The $85 annual fee is even waived the first year.

I’m generally not a huge Marriott guy. Marriott Rewards seems to win every award for best hotel loyalty program, which I don’t really get. But I guess the big selling point for them is that they have properties everywhere, and a wide range at that, to suit all tastes and budgets. For my personal travel goals, their elite qualification tiers are too high and benefits too limited.

That being said, I’m still planning on picking up the Marriott Rewards® Premier Credit Card with my next round of credit card applications.


Increased sign-up bonus

When I decide which credit cards to sign-up for, there are two aspects of the sign-up bonus that I consider:

  • The absolute value of the sign-up bonus — what’s the best offer out there?
  • Whether the sign-up bonus will last or not — would you rather sign up for a card with a slightly better bonus that’s likely to stick around, or a card with a slightly worse bonus that’s likely to disappear soon?

In this case I’d argue the Marriott Rewards card is potentially actually one of the “absolute” best hotel sign-up bonuses out there, and also not likely to last very long.

So for example, I want to pick up both the Fairmont and Marriott Chase Cards eventually, but in my next round of applications will go for the Marriott Card since they have a promotional offer which isn’t likely to last.

Annual Category 1-5 free night certificate

The great thing about most hotel credit cards is that they’re not just great for the sign-up bonus, but also totally worth keeping long term. The Marriott Card comes with a free annual night certificate valid at a Category 1-5 property. No matter what I do to try and avoid Marriotts, I can’t avoid them altogether.

For example, earlier in the year I had an overnight at Sao Paulo Airport, and the Marriott was by far the best option. I ended up spending ~$200 for the night, when I could have used a free night certificate… if I had one.


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, so this is really only valuable if you’re already staying at Marriott’s and just need a boost to get to the next level.

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.

Bottom line

The increased sign-up bonus certainly makes the Marriott Rewards® Premier Credit Card more compelling, and I plan on getting the card while the increased bonus is in effect. I will also 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® CardChase Freedom®Ink Bold® Business Charge CardInk Plus® Business Credit Card, or Ink Cash® Business Credit Card, as those cards have better bonus categories and accumulate a more flexible points currency. That being said, I wouldn’t consider transferring Ultimate Rewards points to Marriott Rewards to be “efficient,” given the other great transfer opportunities with Ultimate Rewards points, like Hyatt Gold Passport, Korean Air SkyPass, and Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer, just to name a few.

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  1. Good luck finding a Category 1-4 property in any major city. Want to visit Milan, you’ll be using your free night at the AC Hotel Bologna-sville.

  2. @ Jason — The terms state:
    “This new cardmember bonus offer is not available to either (i) current cardmembers of this consumer credit card, or (ii) previous cardmembers of this consumer credit card who received a new cardmember bonus for this consumer credit card within the last 24 months”

    So that seems to suggest that as long as you don’t have the card now and haven’t received the bonus in the past 24 months, you’d be eligible.

  3. This offer has been available for quite a while with a simple workaround detailed on FT. Of course, that wouldn’t earn a commission. And I’m sure Chase doesn’t let you talk about things like that.

  4. Ben, just got the Chase Freedom card in July. How easy do you think I could get another Chase card since it’s not been 6 months? I have a few other Chase cards but never have had any Marriott.

  5. @ 100K — There’s no six month rule that I know of. Unless you have a ton of Chase cards, I doubt you’ll have trouble getting approved.

  6. “I’m generally not a huge Marriott guy. Marriott Rewards seems to win every award for best hotel loyalty program, which I don’t really get.”

    Ben – I have to remind myself that most bloggers do not have the travel patterns of the average person and that’s why they don’t get Marriott. While I acknowledge the value of SPG and Hyatt’s programs, they just don’t have the footprint that Marriott and Hilton do in the United States. When I travel for work, a Marriott or Hilton is likely the most convenient hotel (sometimes the only major chain hotel) to where I will be. While I don’t get upgrades at a Springhill Suites, I do know what I am getting each and every week. Even when I am in a city with SPG and Hyatt options I often stick with Marriott or Hilton because I have status and a corporate rate. Most Marriott people that read the blogs get your argument for Hyatt and SPG, but those programs won’t win unless they become more main stream.

    As for the card – I have had it for awhile now and only use it for my Marriott spend, but the free night comes in handy and gets you a solid return on the anual free if you don’t plan to use it in a major city.

  7. @Lucky – I just called AS, the agent told me that there is a limit of 40k miles I can buy, but I remember in more than one of your posts, you wrote that there is no limit to the number of AS miles one can buy, could you clarify please, thanks! I’ve a strong feeling the agent is wrong.

  8. @ Silver — You can buy a maximum of 40K miles per transaction. You can make multiple transactions, though.

  9. If there is indeed a limit, is there a way around this, say, have 2 accounts under my name – if that is not illegal.

  10. One thing to remmber is that Marriott earns generous points for paid say – $10 per dollar. I travel a decent amount for business. It’s great getting $10 per dollar when I stay at a Ritz-Carlton, JW Marriott or Marriott Marquis for a couple of days for a conference or whatever at an inflated rate when the company is paying. Having this card (or any of the Ultimate Rewards cards) is a great way to augment that.

  11. C’mon, Ben, you’re better than this. I expect the gratuitous CC plug out of Gary, but not you.

    This offer has been out for months.

  12. Gene is right, the Ritz offer is the smart pick, especially since it comes with Gold status that otherwise takes 50 nights to earn and gives you lounge access, unlike Starwood.

  13. @Haterz

    Let’s pile on!


    Thanks for keeping us in the loop. Always appreciated.


    A guy who doesn’t pay for travel, and milks credit cards for every last cent worth of free travel and doesn’t bother reading FT.

  14. Just a side comment…. I got Marriott Gold via my United 1K status, so if the pursuit is Marriott status there is easier ways.

  15. I just cancelled my Ritz card (the $395 was coming due, and the card wasn’t worth that much). Will that count as a Marriott card?

  16. @ mbh — They’re separate products, though per the rules you can only be a member of the Ritz Carlton Rewards or Marriott Rewards program, and not both.

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