Marriott Rewards® Premier Credit Card Review

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"Your Ticket to an Annual Free Night"

A free night and second tier status along with high earning potential make this a great card if you stick within the Marriott brand.

Update: this card has been replaced by the Marriott Rewards® Premier Plus Credit Card (see our review of the new card here) and is no longer accepting new applications.

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 Snapshot

  • Welcome Bonus & Info (Partner Content)
  • Rewards Center
  • Customer Service Number
    1-800-935-9935 (Available 24/7)
  • Login Link
  • Card Focus:
    • Airlines
    • Car Rental Agencies
    • Dining
    • Hotels
  • Typical Users
    Frequent Travelers, Hobby Travelers, International Travelers

The Ideal Cardholder

Hotel Lobby
The Chase Marriott Rewards® Premier Credit Card would be a great choice if you’re looking for a beginner’s hotel card to start earning points!

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.

Bottom Line:  Earn 5x points for hotel purchases and 2x on restaurants, airfare, and car rentals when you use the Chase Marriott Rewards® Premier Credit CardEarn 1x points for everything else!

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.

Bottom Line: Get automatic Silver status and extra Elite Credits for spending on the Chase Marriott Rewards® Premier Credit Card! This makes Elite Status more attainable.

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.

Bottom Line: The Chase Marriott Rewards® Premier Credit Card holds value with a free night each year, which is worth more than the annual fee of the card. It also gives Elite status and has additional benefits to boost value.

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

Card Fees

  • Annual Fee
    • $0 first year, then $85
  • Foreign Transaction Fees
    None
  • 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

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!

Wedding Party
Getting married? Hold it at a Marriott brand hotel and you can get a ton of bonus points for your Marriott Rewards account!

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.

Receiving Welcome Gift
Don’t forget to ask for you Platinum Arrival Gift when you arrive at the hotel, which can be up to 1,000 bonus points or some other perk!

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.

Low End (10,000/1,000), High End (140,000/25,000): JetBlue, Virgin America.

Other Non-Airline Partners

And finally, you can transfer to the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas loyalty programLow 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.

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!

Photo Credits/Credit/Copyright Attribution:
Hotel Lobby: Dmitry Kalinovsky/Shutterstock
Wedding Party: oliveromg/Shutterstock
Receiving Gift: Pressmaster/Shutterstock
Airport Hotel: Ingvar Bjork/Shutterstock

FAQ

Is the Marriott Rewards® Premier Credit Card worth it?

The Marriott card is a solid choice for those who use hotels often and prefer Marriott.

Even if you don’t, your everyday spending on the card along with the benefits you get from it more than make up for the card’s annual fee.

Using the card, you could earn anywhere from 6-15 nights per year, depending on the category of hotel you stay at and the particular price of that hotel.

You also are able to earn credit toward your Elite status, which makes this much easier to achieve if you are a frequent traveler. For every $3k spent, you earn more Elite credits.

Lastly, when you own this card, if you redeem 5 nights with points you get the 5th night free (5 nights for the cost of 4). This is because you automatically start out with Silver status, and a 5th night free is one of the benefits of this tier.

How does the Marriott Rewards® Premier Credit Card work? How do I earn my points?

The card works separately but concurrently with your Marriott Rewards loyalty membership. With a few exceptions, you will earn points each time you swipe your card.

Depending on what category you’re spending in, you will earn a different number of points. For instance, stay at Marriott hotels and earn 5x pts per dollar spent.

Chase tracks and automatically shares this information with Marriott, who will then credit your account with the appropriate number of points.

When using hotels, you earn points on top of the points you’re already earning just by being a member. So it’s best to use the card in order to optimize the number of points you earn while staying at a Marriott!

Is there a 0% APR offer for the Marriott Rewards® Premier Credit Card?

No, this card does not offer a 0% APR at this time.

What is the Marriott Rewards® Premier Credit Card login?

Simply sign in through your account via the Chase bank portal to access the card and finances. To access your Marriott Rewards account to check your account balances in that program, sign in through the Marriott portal.

What is the Marriott Rewards® Premier Credit Card annual fee?

The annual fee for the Marriott Rewards Visa is $85 per year.

Does the Marriott Rewards® Premier Credit Card have a foreign transaction fee?

No. Enjoy using your Marriott Rewards® Premier Credit Card overseas to stay in your favorite Marriott brand hotels without any additional fees.

What are the Marriott Rewards® Premier Credit Card benefits?

The card has some good benefits. It’s most obvious one is the points earned through purchases, which are anywhere from 1-5x points.

Next, you get 1 free night per year good worldwide. This benefit alone pays for the cost of the card as long as you use it!

In addition, the card offers you 15 Elite credits toward your Marriott Rewards status each year, which starts you with automatic Silver status (the second tier). You get 1 additional credit for each $3,000 you spend on the card.

For being a Silver member, you also get a 5th night free when redeeming 5 nights at a time. That’s 5 nights for the cost of 4 (this is only good in multiples of 5).

As a United MileagePlus member, when you reach Platinum status in Marriott you automatically earn Silver in United. You’ll also get a 20% bonus when transferring miles to the MileagePlus program from Marriott.

Finally, Marriott has loads of other partners you can utilize via their rewards portal. From shopping to dining to transferring points to airline partners, you won’t have a problem finding something to use your rewards for.

What rewards do I get with the Marriott Rewards® Premier Credit Card?

Marriott Rewards points earned from the card go into your loyalty account and allow you to shop through their online portals, use the points to purchase travel, or transfer to travel partners.

What is the difference between the Marriott Rewards® Premier Credit Card vs Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card?

The Marriott Rewards® Premier Credit Card is a card specifically for Marriott hotels. It earns points on everyday spending, as well as on airlines, restaurants, and car rental agencies at a slightly higher rate.

It earns the most points when used to purchase rooms at Marriott hotels.

On the other hand, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is a general bank loyalty card that earns points for travel and dining, plus fewer points for everyday general spending.

Both cards have a variety of benefits and partners which make them valuable. The Marriott credit card offers a free night each year, but the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card does not offer anything like this.

A Marriott Rewards® Premier Credit Card will cost you a little less ($85/yr versus $95/yr) and earn points at a higher rate.

But the points in Chase Ultimate Rewards are typically valued much higher than the points in Marriott Rewards.

The Marriott card also gives you Elite Status in Marriott Rewards, which the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card does not do.

There are a variety of travel insurances offered when you use the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card to purchase travel; the other card does not offer this.

When do points expire on the Marriott Rewards® Premier Credit Card?

To retain your Marriott Rewards points, you must stay active on your account every 2 years. This can be done in a number of ways.

First, you can stay at a hotel (using cash or points) or redeem points in any other way.

You can also just make a purchase using your card, or earn points through one of their partnered programs.

Finally, you can can purchase points or host a qualifying meeting or event.

Things that do not count include gifting/transferring points, receiving points as a gift, and earning points through social media programs.

What credit cards can you use to earn Marriott Rewards points?

You can obviously use one of the directly partnered cards: the Marriott Rewards® Premier Credit Card and Chase Marriott Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card.

You can also use one of the Chase Ultimate Rewards Cards like the Chase Freedom Unlimited℠.

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1 comment

  1. Dave Gibbs · June 17, 2018 · Reply

    Good luck applying for this card, I did not have a # so I’m unable to complete online application. I called, was unable to speak with anyone after 8 minutes on hold. I emailed my complaint 4 days ago and still haven’t heard back.

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