A Great Hotel Credit Card Has An Even Better Sign-Up Bonus

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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:

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.

Bottom line

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.

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  1. Hi Ben,

    I’m really enjoying reading your reports on your several trips. Thanks a lot.

    One request: pls, take photos of your boarding passes!! An anthusiast airline geek & amazing aircraft trip reporter like you shld have a whole collection of pix of BPs to share with your faithful readers!

    Hope u can start doing it soon!


  2. Hi Ben, I literally applied a monthago and got the card 2 weeks ago. I haven’t hit the spend requirements so am I still eligible for the 100K bonus or did I narrowly miss it? Thanks! Also am I eligible for the 7,500 authorized user if that has already been done for me?

  3. I’d caution on the free night. We’ve had the card for quite some time and recently every year we struggle to make sure we can use the certificate. Cat 1-5 really isn’t much — there’s been so much category inflation over the years on properties such that the free night is becoming less and less valuable.

  4. The marriott annual free night offer is not as good as IHG, Hyatt and Hilton, but sign up bonus is certainly lucrative.

  5. SB (and others that BMW) – I am totally baffled as to the reason you BMW about Lucky talking about credit cards and promotions. Do you realize it is a business? If you are that easily offended – look elsewhere. I enjoy reading OMAAT and have no problems have Lucky and his team getting referrals. I personally have benefited from reading the reviews and if they get some fees from the links – great! It’s capitalism.

  6. I agree about the limited value of the annual night certificate. It is often hard to find worthwhile properties to redeem it. I just canceled the card because of this, and I was a longtime card holder.

  7. If I were to apply for the card, should I keep the points on Marriott Rewards, or should I transfer them to SPG? Since I stay at Starwood properties more, or should I keep the 100,000 points in my Marriott Rewards account?

  8. @Andy — It doesn’t matter. They can be transferred back and forth. 33,333 SPG points –> 100K Marriott points –> 33,333 SPG points, etc.

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