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. Please check out our advertiser policy for further details about the partners we work with. Thanks for your support!
I’ve written extensively about the Marriott Rewards® Premier Credit Card, which has a sign-up bonus of up to 87,500 bonus points — you earn 80,000 Marriott Rewards points after spending $3,000 within three months, plus an additional 7,500 bonus points when adding the first authorized user, after they make their first purchase within three months.
The card has an $85 annual fee, which I consider to be more than worthwhile given that you receive an annual free night certificate, valid at any Category 1-5 property. You should have no issues getting more than $85 of value out of that (though purely in terms of annual free night certificates I think the IHG® Rewards Club Select Credit Card is even more compelling, given that it offers a free night at any IHG hotel in the world, and the annual fee is just $49.
Improved perks on Marriott’s business credit card
There’s also a business credit card offered by Marriott — the Marriott Rewards Premier Business Credit Card. The card is generally comparable to the personal version:
- Earn a sign-up bonus of 80,000 points after spending $3,000 within three months
- An annual free night certificate valid at a Category 1-5 property
- A $99 annual fee
Marriott Rewards Gold status is a useful mid-tier status level, given that it offers lounge access, guaranteed 4PM check-out, room upgrades, etc. I actually think there’s not much difference between Marriott Gold and Platinum.
Club lounge at the Marriott Auditorium Madrid Airport
So this new perk is the easiest way to get useful Marriott status through credit card spend.
The Marriott Rewards® Premier Credit Card offers 15 elite qualifying nights towards status annually, plus an additional elite qualifying night for every $3,000 spent on the card. Gold and Platinum require 50 nights and 75 nights, respectively, meaning you’d have to spend $105,000 to achieve Gold status, and $180,000 to achieve Platinum status.
Is it worth spending $50,000 to achieve Gold status?
Is it worth spending $50,000 on the Marriott Rewards Premier Business Credit Card to earn Gold status? It certainly could be, but keep in mind the opportunity cost. The card offers one point per dollar on base spent, and I only value Marriott points at ~0.8 cents each, while there are other cards where I value the return at ~2.5%, like the Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card and Chase Freedom Unlimited®.
So by my valuation, the opportunity cost per dollar spent is ~1.7%, meaning that $50,000 of spend on this card “costs” you ~$850 ($50,000×0.017).
The math is a bit more complicated than that, since everyone values points differently, and the Marriott Card also offers 5x points at Marriott hotels, as well as 2x points on airline tickets, car rentals, restaurants, office supply stores, and more. Still, there’s not a single spend category where I consider this to be the best card.
It’s nice to see Marriott introduce a legitimate opportunity to earn valuable status through credit card spend. The previous thresholds of $105,000-180,000 were simply too high. I’ll be curious to see if this new perk is also expanded to the Marriott Rewards® Premier Credit Card.
When it comes to earning hotel status through credit cards, Hilton still takes the cake. Those with the Citi® Hilton HHonors Reserve Card receive Gold status for as long as they have the card, plus earn top tier Diamond status if they spend $40,000 on the card in a year.
Would you put $50,000 of spend on a Marriott Card to earn Gold status?
Non-Affiliate Product Disclaimer: The information for the Marriott Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card and the AmEx Everyday Preferred 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.