Existing cardholders can keep their card or upgrade. Check personalized upgrade offers available through 12/31/2018 here.
If you’ve never stayed at a Marriott brand hotel before, chances are you’re not much of a traveler.
We say this because you would have to be consciously trying to avoid this huge hotel chain, with over 5,700 participating Marriott Rewards and SPG hotels.
Marriott is one of the largest hotel chains in the world, and you’ll find some great properties in their portfolio.
If you’ve got a trip in mind, you may want to use the Marriott Rewards® Premier Credit Card to book your hotel!
Card Summary Table
- Card Bonus & Info (Partner Content)
- Card Provider
- Card Focus:
- Car Rental Agencies
- Annual Fee
- $0 first year, then $85
- Rewards Center
- Foreign Transaction FeesNone
- Typical UsersFrequent Travelers, Hobby Travelers, International Travelers
- Customer Service Number
1-800-935-9935 (Available 24/7)
- Login Link
- PartnersMarriott Brand Hotels (19 different brands)
- Interest Rates ?
- 17.49% - 24.49% Variable
- Late fees
- See Rates & Fees
- Balance Transfers
- 17.49% - 24.49% Variable
- Cash Advance APR
- 26.49% Variable
The Ideal Cardholder
Sign-Up Bonus, Earning Categories, and Points
Right now the card offers bonus points upon signing up and spending the required amount in the allotted time (see card summary table above).
You earn 5 points for every $1 spent at over 5,700 participating Marriott Rewards and SPG hotels, 2 points for every $1 spent on airline tickets purchased directly with the airlines, at car rental agencies & restaurants and 1 point everywhere else.
Then, you get 1x points for everything else you purchase. With rewards rates as cheap as 6,000 pts per night (Category 1 PointSavers) and 5,000 for an upgrade, this is a pretty good deal.
Card Benefits and Elite Status
The Chase Marriott Rewards® Premier Credit Card benefits are really where this card shines. Each year, you automatically get 1 free hotel stay anywhere worldwide, up to a Category 5.
Category 5 hotels include Courtyard, Renaissance, Residence Inn, Fairfield Inn and more, depending on your location.
Next, you start off with Silver status in the Marriott Rewards Program, which is the second level of their status program. You’d have to stay 10 nights in a year to earn this otherwise, which makes it a nice perk!
Benefits include late checkout, weekend discounts, and a bonus of 20% added to the points earned for the stay. They also include a 5th night free each time you book 4 nights or more!
Gold is the next tier up, which requires staying 50 nights in the hotels in a year. This is quite a jump, but for those who travel often it isn’t that hard to achieve. At this level you get free breakfast for 2, lounge access (where applicable), and a 25% point bonus.
To make reaching Gold status and beyond a bit easier, for every $3,000 you spend on the card you also get 1 Elite credit toward your status (equal to one night’s stay).
So if you’ve only stayed 25 nights this year in hotels (giving you 40 Elite credits when added to your existing 15), but you’ve spent over $30,000 on the card, you should be awarded Gold status through the elite credit benefit from Chase.
Be sure to check that your Elite credits are getting applied to your account, as this can take up to 6-8 weeks.
If you truly travel a lot, then reaching the Platinum Elite status is your best bet. By doing so, you will earn 50% additional points per stay.
This will really help you rack up the points and allow you to redeem many awards for your personal travel.
Other Travel Partners and Benefits
Traveling frequently with United becomes a little bit sweeter with the Marriott credit card, too. With the RewardsPlus Program, you can earn Silver status with United MileagePlus program when you reach Platinum Elite at Marriott.
If you want to transfer points to MileagePlus from Marriott Rewards, you’ll receive a 20% discount. That means 8,000 Marriott points will give you 2,000 MileagePlus points. (It takes 10,000 points to get 2,000 miles on most other airlines.)
Another great feature of the Chase Marriott Rewards® Premier Credit Card is no foreign transaction fees.
This is especially useful for travel abroad, so that you can pay for the lodging without worrying about an additional standard 3% fee added on top of your bill.
With an $85 annual fee, you may wonder if the card is worth it. For frequent travelers, such as those who take trips for business, you will likely find no downside.
The 15 Elite credits per year and 1 free stay more than make up for this moderate fee. Plus, the sign-up bonus points can be put to use for free nights and upgrades worth way above that amount.
Like most cards, the sign-up bonus is only available to new cardmembers. If you’ve never used the card and want to maximize your ability to stay in style at Marriott hotels, then this is the card for you.
With extra benefits such as Silver status, a partnership with United, no foreign transaction fees, and the ability to earn additional Elite credits through spending, you will find this card very valuable if you travel with Marriott.
Great Card If
- You stay a minimum of 25 nights per year in hotels (earns you the next tier status)
- Your job requires you to travel and stay in hotels frequently, and you use your personal card to pay for it
- You love to travel and stay at Marriott properties around the world
- You enjoy getting upgrades on your rooms so you can lounge in style
Don't Get If
- You don’t prefer Marriott brand hotels over the other available brands
- The locations you travel to don’t have Marriott brand hotels
- You want more flexible redemption options
U.P. Pro Tips
Have a wedding or other big event or meeting coming up? Hold it at a Marriott brand hotel and earn big.
You get up to 80,000 points for the room at 3x pts earning. Then you also get points for any of your guest’s rooms, regardless of whether you pay or not.
Not stopping there, Marriott will give you 10 Elite credits toward your Elite Status when you book 10 or more guest rooms for 1 night or more.
This is on top of also earning an additional 10 Elite credits instantly just for booking in the first place!
How to Use the Marriott Rewards® Premier Credit Card: The Upgraded Way
Best Way To Maximize Points
Clearly, you’ll get the highest value earning points by using the card while staying at hotels and raking in points from the rewards program itself.
But there are other ways to earn points and some tips you can follow to make sure you get the most value out of this card.
Tip #1: As we said, your best bet is to use this card for 5x points and get the 5x or 10x through the Marriott Rewards program when staying at the hotels.
You’ll also get an Elite status bonus as you make your way up the ranks!
Tip #2: If you’re traveling with companions, use the card to book their rooms as well and earn additional points.
You can earn points for up to an additional 2 rooms, but it must all be on your card and you must be staying in one of the rooms.
Tip #3: For any large event (weddings, conferences, etc.) you are planning, hold it at a Marriott hotel to earn huge.
Get up to 3x earning (50k pts max) on the rate, points for any guests that stay in a room, and lots of Elite credits!
Tip #4: Earning Elite status allows you to earn points more quickly, so reaching Platinum is going to pay off if you stay in hotels a lot.
The bonus jumps from 25% to 50% and you’ll get even better benefits, including Hertz Gold status when you earn Gold Elite status, and MileagePlus Silver when you reach Platinum status.
Tip #5: Be flexible. If you keep an eye on the Bonus Deals, you can find some that give you an extra 1,000-2,000 points per night.
You may also find exclusive savings in different hotels or areas, which helps you both maximize the earning of points and minimize your spending!
Tip #6: Participate in the new Badges Rewards program Marriott has added to their loyalty program.
You will earn a few extra miles here and there (the total available right now is 1,725). Though the earnings aren’t massive, you could earn up to 350 pts by staying at each of the different brands for a minimum of 2 nights (25 pt each).
While doing this, you can also earn the Explorer badges, for which a total of 375 pts are available. Finally, earn up to 400 points as you work your way toward 1000 nights of cumulative stays. Here is a breakdown of the earnings.
Tip #7: If you’re more interested in airline miles, switch from earning points to earning miles through your chosen airline program.
At the basic membership level, the value of the two is equal. Therefore, earn miles if that is what you are interested in. This way, you don’t have to wait until you accumulate a minimum amount to transfer.
However, we don’t recommend doing this if you have Elite status, as you will earn more points than miles in equivalent value. You can always transfer later. See Card Math for details.
Tip #8: If you want to be a spokesperson for Marriott, you can earn up to 50,000 points each year through the Referral bonus.
You can earn 5 referrals each year, and you earn 2,000 points per stay they make in the year (up to 5 per person). Even more lucrative, your friends will also earn the 2,000 points bonus up to 10k points!
Tip #9: If you are a Platinum member, be sure to get your Platinum Arrival Gift! Depending on the hotel brand, you can get between 200-1,000 bonus points for your stay.
Best Way to Redeem Points
Many ways exist to redeem your Marriott points. From room redemptions to upgrades to flights, you’ll likely be confused as to which might offer the highest values. Here are the ways we would suggest redeeming your points.
Types of Redemptions and Their Value
Redemptions can be standard, upgrades, PointSavers, or Instant Redemptions. All the styles can be reviewed here.
You tend to get better value when redeeming for higher category hotels, but the value varies widely among locations and categories, so be sure to do some number crunching.
Our sample valuations found anything from $0.004 to $0.016 per point, so getting rooms at the upper end of this range obviously maximizes your value for the dollar.
Also keep in mind that while the value of a point may be higher, that might not be more valuable to you.
Would you most like to really squeeze the most “value” out in terms of dollars? Or would you rather stretch the total number of nights you can be on the road?
The former may get you 1 or 2 nights in a really fancy hotel, and the latter may get you 5-10 nights in a lower quality hotel but allow you access to a higher quality or longer trip.
Quick Tips for Redeeming Points
Tip #1: Standard redemptions seem to give the highest value.
Tip #2: Redeem your rooms in multiples of 5 if you’re going to be staying put for a longer period of time and are flexible.
For every 5 nights you book, you get 1 night totally free! This applies to standard room redemptions.
Tip #3: For the truly flexible traveler, the PointSavers option will allow you to stretch your points much further.
The maximum discount available for these rewards is up to 33%! Check it out regularly to find deals that might appeal to you.
Tip #4: If you are a United MileagePlus flyer, use the RewardsPlus benefit to transfer points from your Marriott account to your MileagePlus account at a 20% discount over other airlines. Transferring points back into your Marriott account can be done at a 1:1 ratio.
Tip #5: Transferring points to airlines is a good way to use points that aren’t being used. However, in most cases, using them for free Marriott nights will give you a higher value than you can get with an airline transfer.
If you start accumulating a large number of Marriott points, a transfer may be more valuable if you don’t have any other options, but be sure to do your own calculation.
For instance, 10,000 Marriott points could be worth $80-$150 when used as a free night. The same amount only gives you 2,000 airline miles. At $0.02 each that’s only $40, so the hotel room is much more valuable.
However, if you transfer 140k points and get 50k airline miles, you could turn that into $1,000+ in airline value. In Marriott, you may be able to get anywhere from $500-$1,000, but it depends on where you stay.
Tip #6: Room upgrades are tricky and must be calculated for each specific instance.
Sometimes they are worth the value, and sometimes they aren’t. Check into using the cash upgrade option to get your desired upgrade at the highest value (and potentially save your points).
Also, when you’re Gold or Platinum, you can get free upgrades anyway and still earn points on your room; if you use a points upgrade you won’t earn points that night.
Tip #7: We don’t recommend using the Instant Rewards, as they tend to be of much lower value than room redemptions.
Marriott has a variety of partners in their program through which you can earn and redeem miles. The following is a list of Marriott’s stated partners:
Marriott Partners: Hertz, CruisesOnly, ShopMyWay Mall, Flowers, Gifts & Wine Boutique, NRG Home Solar, EnergyPlus, The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, Avios, Ctrip, Travelling Connect.
Airline Partners and a Sliding Scale Transfer Ratio
Here are the airline partners and their respective miles/points equivalents. Each airline has a sliding scale; the more you transfer the more you get.
This will be denoted as follows: Low End (hotel pts/airline miles); High End (hotel pts/airline miles).
This will give you an idea of what the lowest and highest valued options are for transferring points. The further down the list, the fewer miles you will get.
[20% Discount], Low End (8,000/2,000), High End (112,000/50,000): United MileagePlus
Low End (10,000/2,000), High End (140,000/50,000): Aeromexico, Aeroplan (Air Canada), Alaska, American Airlines, British Airways, Copa Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Frontier Airlines, GOL/Varig, Hawaiian Airlines, Iberia Airlines, Virgin Atlantic, Southwest
Low End (10,000/1,500), High End (140,000/35,000): Aeroflot, airberlin, Air China, Air France/KLM, Alitalia, ANA, Asia Miles, Asiana Airlines, Avianca-TACA, China Eastern, China Southern, Emirates, Etihad Airways, Japan Airlines, Jet Airways, LAN, Lufthansa Miles & More, Multiplus, Qantas, Qatar Airways, Saudi Airlines, Singapore Airlines, TAP Air Portugal, Turkish Airlines.
Other Non-Airline Partners
And finally, you can transfer to the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas loyalty program: Low End (5,000/2,000), High End (250,000/100,000)
Or you can use the points to book rail tickets in Europe and Asia.
Are the current Marriott Rewards® Premier Credit Card offers really worth it? Crunching a few numbers will help us see whether this card will work for your personal situation.
A Quick Recap: Card at a Glance
First, let’s look at the cost and earning potential of the card. From our Marriott credit card review above:
|Annual Fee||Points Earned|
|$85||5 pts/$1 at Marriott Hotels||2 pts/$1 on airfare, restaurants, car rentals||1 pt/$1 for all other purchases|
Then, of course, you get the sign-up bonus that is currently available.
Using the Model Families: Points Earned in a Year
Using our trusted trio of families, we’ll calculate just how much you could earn in a given year. We’ll assume they put all hotel spend on the card along with the airfare and restaurants.
|Family||Hotel Spend||Airfare + Restaurant Spend|
Performing some simple calculations, we came up with the following table of points earned in the year:
These values were obtained by multiplying hotel spend by 5 and adding it to the airfare/restaurant spend times 2 (HS*5 + A/RS*2 = TOTAL). As you can see, points range from 29,800 to 78,100 for 1 year of spending.
The Value of the Points Earned: Free Nights
So what value do they actually get from the points? Redeeming points for free rooms starts at 6,000 points and goes up to 45,000.
The following table was taken from Marriott’s Website to give you a breakdown of the cost of redemption per hotel category:
|Hotel Category||Points Reward for 1 Night Stay (Regular)||PointSavers Reward|
*Courtesy of Marriott Rewards’ How to Redeem Points site
At the very least, the Kennedys could redeem almost 5 free nights of Category 1 PointSavers rewards, or almost 2 nights in a PointSavers Category 4. The Hartnells could earn up to 13 free Category 1 nights or 5 Category 4 nights.
If they use the 5th night free option, they’ll expand their ability to make points work for them and save 15,000 points (if using the PointSavers Category 4).
Obviously, how many free nights you earn will depend on your style of travel and what deals are available at the time.
However, it is clear that you should get at least a couple free nights from points earned over the year (plus a few more with the bonus points), as well as your 1 free night per year from the card itself.
Points Value: Room Upgrades
Alternatively, you could use your points to upgrade a room you are already paying for. This costs 5,000 points in most hotels (some require double or more depending on the category/view).
One thing to note is that you can’t earn points for a room when you use a reward to upgrade (and of course, you can’t earn points for standard redemptions either).
Free Nights and the Cost of the Card
One free night is worth more than $85 (the cost of the annual fee), so all the additional points you earn go above and beyond the cost of the card.
Also, note that since you get a free night each year just for having the card, that makes up for its cost as long as you’re using this benefit.
Your free night is good for up to hotel Category 5, which would be worth up to 25,000 points (or $249 per night based on a random search of Category 5 hotel prices).
Points Earned Through Marriott and Elite Status
Now, what we didn’t calculate above was how many Marriott points you earn through the program itself while staying the night. The amount you earn depends on the hotel you stay in, but it’s either 5 or 10 points per qualifying dollar.
Qualifying dollar means either room rate only (the majority of the hotel brands) or on all qualifying charges (5 of their chains). Additionally, you earn bonus points depending on your status: Silver (20%), Gold (25%), and Platinum (50%).
Let’s assume we’re staying at a chain that earns us 10 points for each qualifying dollar (the Marriott namesake chain for instance).
In this case, looking back at the families, each of the them can earn many additional points for use toward additional stays. We’ll assume that the Kennedys are Silver, the Jetsons are Gold, and the Hartnells are Platinum status.
The following table shows just how many additional points they will earn:
|Family||Hotel Spend||Points Earned||Additional Points Earned||Total Points From All Sources|
|Kennedys||$1,800||18,000||18,000*(1+0.20) = 21,600||51,400|
|Jetsons||$6,000||60,000||60,000*(1+0.25) = 75,000||142,600|
|Hartnells||$10,500||105,000||105,000*(1+0.50) = 157,500||235,600|
That is a pretty solid earning potential! When comparing to the regular rate for a Category 3 hotel (15k pts), the families can earn between 3-15 free nights on top of their 1 free night per year.
A Category 3 hotel in Denver, CO would cost $122 per night in October, making the value of the free nights worth anywhere from $366-$1,830. Nothing to laugh at!
When You Should Use the Earn Miles Feature Versus Earn Points
If you want to utilize your points as miles, you can potentially get a better deal. In the following table, you can see the equivalent points you would get for transferring miles, and the value you could get from those currencies:
|Value of Points||$99||$512|
|At $0.02 per Mile||$40||$1,000|
The value of the Marriott nights was calculated from the equivalent of 1 night in a Category 2 (10k pts), or 2 nights in a Category 9 (~90k pts). As you can see, the value of the airline miles is higher than the Category 9 value we calculated.
This may not always be true, so make sure to check out each individual case!
Wrapping Up the Math
Considering there are more ways to earn extra points, it’s clear the Marriott Rewards® Premier Credit Card holds value and will get you the vacations you deserve.
With between 3-15 nights for our model families, per our calculations, you’ll be enjoying a vacation every year!
The Gritty Details: Everything Else You Need to Know
The sign-up bonus is available as long as you haven’t gotten it in the last 24 months and aren’t a current cardholder. Points take 6-8 weeks to post to your account, so be sure to plan accordingly.
When using the Marriott Rewards® Premier Credit Card to earn points with airlines, restaurants, and car rental agencies, you must book directly through these agencies to ensure the charge is categorized correctly.
Charges That Don’t Earn Points
Purchases that don’t count as “qualifying” at participating hotels include taxes on room rates, gift certificates or gift cards, charges for third-party goods/services, and catering or banquet charges.
However, charges that DO count include the room rate, minibar purchases, phone calls, in-room movies, and room service for food and beverages.
You will NOT be able to get points or Elite credits if you book through any third parties, including any other types of group or corporate discounts.
Other Unique Features
Here’s the low-down on the benefits of the Marriott Rewards® Premier Credit Card. One drawback with this card is that it does not come with all the additional travel benefits like concierge, baggage insurance, and so on.
Annual free night stay – Each year on your cardmember anniversary you will accrue 1 credit for a free night’s stay at any hotel within Categories 1-5. To maximize the value, you’ll certainly want to stay at a Category 5!
15 Elite status credits – Each year, you will earn 15 credits (nights) towards your Elite status for the year. This starts you off at Silver status automatically.
Earning Gold requires staying 50 nights and Platinum requires 75 nights, so there is a large gap in between! This may ensure that the higher status holders really are in their own special category.
1 Elite credit for each $3,000 spent – When you spend $3,000 on your card, you will earn one free Elite credit (equivalent to a night’s stay).
This helps push you toward that next Elite status level. Each additional $3,000 earns 1 more credit, and you can do this an unlimited amount of times. Rack up points and credits as you spend!
Note that the credit comes 6-8 weeks after the end of the month in which you qualify for the bonus.
Therefore, it may be keen to spend more heavily up front so that you earn all your Elite credits in the proper year to hit that Gold or Platinum status. Once you’re there, you’ll be earning a bunch more points!