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Since earlier this year, the Marriott Rewards® Premier Credit Card has been offering an sign-up bonus, which is one of the best I’ve ever seen on the card. With the merger between Marriott and Starwood well underway, and the possibility of a “new” credit card product eventually being introduced, I think it’s worth posting about this offer again.
Earn up to 87,500 points
Under this offer on the Marriott Rewards® Premier Credit Card (which has an $85 annual fee) you can earn:
- 80,000 Marriott Rewards bonus points after you spend $3,000 on purchases within three months
- 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 87,500 Marriott Rewards points after spending $3,000 and adding an authorized user. I value Marriott Rewards points at ~0.8 cents each, so to me those points are worth ~$700.
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.
Frankly I don’t consider this card to be especially lucrative for everyday spend, since you’ll get better return on a card like the Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card, or Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card.
Two valuable perks of the Marriott Credit Card
The Marriott Rewards® Premier Credit Card has two perks which make it quite 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 $85 annual fee every year. Keep in mind that when the merger is complete, Marriott will by far be the largest hotel chain in the world, so there will be tons of hotels where you can redeem those free nights.
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.
Why you should consider the Marriott Visa soon
I know many people don’t have the Marriott Rewards® Premier Credit Card because they’re not Marriott loyalists, and therefore historically haven’t found the card to be worthwhile.
However, with Marriott and Starwood now in the process of merging, eventually we’ll see the SPG and Marriott Rewards programs merge as well, likely at some point next year, or otherwise in early 2018.
At some point Marriott Rewards points and Starpoints balances will be merged. What we don’t know yet is when that will happen or at what rate. I’d like to see Starpoints convert into Marriott Rewards points at a 1:3 ratio, though if I had to guess, I’d say 1:2 is probably more likely, unfortunately. I’d like to be wrong, but if history with these types of mergers is any indication, I think 1:2 is most likely.
Depending of whether we’re talking about a 1:2 or 1:3 ratio, 87,500 Marriott Rewards points would be the equivalent of ~29,000-44,000 Starpoints. Both of those are good offers, if you ask me.
This is one of the best sign-up bonuses we’ve seen on the Marriott Rewards® Premier Credit Card. Even if you haven’t historically been a Marriott loyalist, this card might be worth picking up for the great sign-up bonus, annual free night certificate, and elite qualifying nights towards status annually. The value of Marriott Rewards points should only increase with the merger, in my opinion, given all the new properties Marriott Rewards members will have access to (meanwhile I’d guess the value of Starpoints will decrease somewhat).
Lastly keep in mind that you can’t receive the sign-up bonus on this card if you have this card and/or have received the sign-up bonus on the card in the past 24 months. Furthermore, Chase generally won’t approve people for the card if they’ve applied for more than five credit cards in 24 months.
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