6 Reasons To Apply For The Marriott Rewards Premier Credit Card

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As I first wrote about a couple of weeks ago, the Marriott Rewards® Premier Credit Card has a best ever sign-up bonus at the moment, that can potentially earn you more than 100,000 points.

In this post I wanted to look at six reasons you should consider applying for this card. In no particular order:

A sign-up bonus of 100,000 + 7,500 points

With this sign-up bonus 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

That’s a massive sign-up bonus, and the biggest we’ve ever seen on this card. I value Marriott points at ~0.8 cents each, so to me 107,500 points are worth ~$860.

The ability to convert those points into 35,000+ Starpoints

Now that Marriott has taken over Starwood, keep in mind that points can be moved between Marriott Rewards and Starwood Preferred Guest. Marriott Rewards points can be moved to Starpoints at a 3:1 ratio, meaning that 107,500 Marriott points would be worth ~35,800 Starpoints.

While there are plenty of great uses of Marriott points, the ability to transfer points between programs is awesome.

An annual free night certificate

The Marriott Rewards® Premier Credit Card offers an annual free night certificate on your account anniversary every year. This can be redeemed at a Category 1-5 property, which covers a majority of Marriott’s property. To me, this more than justifies the $85 annual fee, and I think a lot of people should be able to maximize the value of that.

If you’re looking for another Chase card that gets you annual free night certificate, consider the IHG® Rewards Club Select Credit Card. That card has only a $49 annual fee, and the free night certificate has no caps — it can be redeemed at any IHG property.

Redeem your free night certificate at the Marriott New Delhi

15 nights towards status annually

The Marriott Rewards® Premier Credit Card offers 15 elite qualifying nights towards status annually. This means you automatically get Marriott Silver status for as long as you have the card, and then you’d need only 35 nights or 60 nights to earn Gold or Platinum, respectively.

On top of that, you get an additional elite qualifying night for every $3,000 spent, so this is the best card for spending your way to Marriott Platinum status, if you’re so inclined.

If you’re a Marriott loyalist, this is a great way to get a status fast track. Do note that if you just want to earn status with Marriott as easily as possible, consider picking up The Platinum Card® from American Express, which comes with SPG Gold, and then that can be matched to Marriott Gold.

Marriott Gold members and above receive complimentary executive lounge access

We don’t know how much longer the card will be around

Marriott has taken over Starwood, and in 2018 it’s expected that the Marriott Rewards and Starwood Preferred Guest programs will be integrated. We don’t know what the future of the loyalty program will look like, and also don’t know what the future of the credit card partnership will look like.

It’s possible that Amex will take over the agreement, it’s possible that Chase will take over the agreement, or it’s possible that they both issue cards. Since a new loyalty program is being created, it’s also possible that there will be a new product altogether. The point is, we don’t know how much longer this exact product will continue to be around, which makes it worth considering.


The great value of Marriott’s Hotel + Air packages

One of the best uses of Marriott points are their Hotel + Air packages, where you can redeem points for a package consisting of airline miles and a week of hotel stays. In many cases these packages get you roughly the same number of miles as Starwood’s direct mileage transfers, plus you get a week of hotel stays. This is a fantastic value, and a reason to consider accruing Marriott points.

For example, here are the rates at which you can convert Marriott Rewards points into United miles:

RewardsPlus Hotel + Air Package7 Nights + 55,000 Miles7 Nights + 77,000 Miles7 Nights + 110,000 Miles7 Nights + 132,000 Miles
Category 1-5200,000220,000250,000270,000
Category 6230,000250,000280,000300,000
Category 7260,000280,000310,000330,000
Category 8290,000310,000340,000360,000
Category 9320,000340,000370,000390,000
Ritz Tier 1-3350,000370,000400,000420,000
Ritz Tier 4-5470,000490,000520,000540,000

A word of caution

Do note that the Marriott Rewards® Premier Credit Card is subjected to Chase’s 5/24 rule, meaning you’re unlikely to be approved for the card if you’ve opened more than five accounts in the past 24 months. If this does apply to you, I’d recommend considering the IHG® Rewards Club Select Credit Card, which isn’t subjected to the rule. That card offers an annual free night certificate, Platinum status for as long as you have the card, and a 10% refund on points redemptions.


If you aren’t subjected to the 5/24 rule and don’t yet have a card like the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, I’d highly recommend that as well.

Bottom line

The sign-up bonus we’re seeing at the moment on the Marriott Rewards® Premier Credit Card is the best I ever recall seeing. This is a card that’s worth holding onto long term for the annual free night certificate it offers, which more than justifies the annual fee, in my opinion.

On top of that, the card has a huge sign-up bonus that’s potentially worth 35,000+ Starpoints, and can also help you requalify for status with Marriott. If you don’t yet have this card but are eligible, I’d consider applying for it.

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  1. Do you expect to see an enhanced sign-up bonus for the Ritz Carlton credit card soon as well? Thanks!

  2. @ Brian — We saw one a few months ago. I wouldn’t necessarily count on another one anytime soon, though you never know.

  3. although the business version of this card only has a signup bonus of 80,000 points, it is NOT under 5/24. I was just approved at something like 27/24.

  4. Hi Lucky, your story was awesome as I love “free” stuff myself . My suggestion to you is if youre “homeless” ,where is your cards going ?Usually Credit cards issuer required a physical address and not a p.o.box… I might find a way myself but maybe your readers has face that challenge and they will like to know on your blog .

  5. I’m over 5/24, my wife has one left, she’s already gotten Reserve and Ink, trying to decide between this and Preferred. UR more flexible and $0 first year on Preferred, but annual night is appealing. Is it true that Biz version of this isn’t subject to 5/24 (annual fee higher though)? Anything I’m not considering? Thanks.

  6. I’d love to apply for the Marriott Visa but am over 5/24 as well. Applying for the CSR in January put me at 5/24, and I applied for the SPG Amex two weeks ago.

    @Lucky — Would be interesting if you posted a poll to see what percentage of your readers are over/under 5/24. I bet folks from Chase would like to see your results also. Maybe you could offer them insights into your results in exchange for a (OMAT) CSR signup link 🙂

  7. I would like the biz card if it is not under the 5/24. Don’t want to waste the hard pull. Lucky ?

  8. This card has been significantly devalued over the years by category creep. It used to be that the free night was good at most any of Marriott’s hotels. Now you can’t even book the airport at SFO. This is one of the few times I disagree with Lucky. I wouldn’t waste the hard pull on your credit report.

  9. @Lucky: re: Marriott’s Hotel + Air packages. I looked at it on Marriott’s website, and the page said the credit of United points showing up on my United account can take up to 6 weeks. Have you ever taken advantage of this? Did you have to wait 6 weeks? That time frame seems to be far too long.
    Also, as for the hotel reservation: do I have to use those for the same trip which I got the airmiles for?

  10. @Daniel B I just did this two months ago. Took three days for the 132,000 miles to show up in my United account, not six weeks. No need whatsoever to use the certificate on the same trip. We are using our 7 night certificate on a Category 5 TownPlace Suites in Florida next winter that would normally run at least $250 per night (including taxes). So there is value there.

  11. @Lucky, I know it’s sheer speculation, but what do you think the likelihood of a 100k offer for the business version is?

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