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Update: The below links for the Starwood Preferred Guest cards are expired, but you can learn more about the best current offers here!
Update: The Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express has a limited time offer through 11/1/2017. Learn more about best available offers here.
The Marriott Rewards® Premier Credit Card is offering the biggest sign-up bonus I ever recall seeing on this card, allowing you to earn up to 107,500 points upon completing minimum spend and adding an authorized user.
How to earn up to 107,500 Marriott Rewards points
Under this new offer on the Marriott Rewards® Premier Credit Card, you can earn:
- 100,000 Marriott Rewards bonus points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening
- 7,500 bonus points when you add your first authorized user and they make a purchase within three months
In other words, that’s potentially a sign-up bonus of 107,500 Marriott Rewards points after spending $5,000, adding an authorized user, and having them make a purchase. Keep in mind that Marriott Rewards points can be converted into Starpoints, so the 107,500 Marriott Rewards points are also worth almost 36,000 Starpoints. That’s a huge bonus!
In terms of actual return on everyday spend, the card offers 5x points per dollar spent at Marriott properties, 2x points per dollar spent on airline tickets purchased directly with airlines, at car rental agencies, and at restaurants, and 1x point per dollar spent on everything else.
Two valuable perks of the Marriott Credit Card
The Marriott Rewards® Premier Credit Card has two perks which make it especially valuable:
- Upon your account anniversary every year you get a free night certificate valid at up to a category 5 property
- You earn 15 elite night credits towards status annually just for having the card, and an additional elite night credit for every $3,000 spent on purchases, with no caps
The free night certificate should more than justify the annual fee every year, while the elite night credits can be extremely valuable if you’re going for status with Marriott. With enough spend, you can even earn top tier status exclusively on credit card spend. Not that I’d recommend earning status that way, but it is worth noting that the option is out there.
Restrictions on applying for this card
The welcome bonus on the Marriott Rewards® Premier Credit Card isn’t available to those who have received a new cardmember bonus on this card in the past 24 months.
Furthermore, this card is subjected to Chase’s 5/24 rule. That means that typically those who have opened more than five or so accounts in the past 24 months won’t be approved for this card. This doesn’t apply to everyone all the time, but is a general policy.
Alternatives to this card
In the event that you aren’t eligible for the sign-up bonus on this card, or aren’t interested for whatever reason, keep in mind that there are a couple of other cards that are offering a big sign-up bonus, with points that can be converted into Marriott Rewards points:
- For the Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express, earn 25,000 Starpoints after spending $3,000 within three months, plus an additional 10,000 Starpoints after spending another $2,000 within six months; $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95
- For the Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express, earn 25,000 Starpoints after spending $5,000 within three months, plus an additional 10,000 Starpoints after spending another $3,000 within six months; $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95
Both of those cards offer 35,000 Starpoints upon completing minimum spend. Starpoints can be converted into Marriott Rewards points at a 1:3 ratio, so those 35,000 Starpoints are worth 105,000 Marriott Rewards points. You can potentially pick up both the SPG Personal Amex and SPG Business Amex, for a total of 210,000 Marriott Rewards points.
This is the best sign-up bonus I ever recall seeing on the Marriott Rewards® Premier Credit Card. Now that Marriott has taken over Starwood, we don’t know what the future of the credit card agreement will look like for the combined program. In the meantime, it’s great to see Amex and Chase competing for members’ business. Assuming you’re eligible for the sign-up bonus on the card, I’d definitely take advantage of this offer. Also keep in mind there’s just over a week remaining for the increased SPG Amex bonuses.