Limited-time offer. Most travel cards offer an ongoing sign-up bonus, but it’s even better when you snag them during a limited-time bump-up – this time it is the Marriott Rewards® Premier Credit Card from Chase. The last time I wrote about their limited-time offer was a year ago. The highlights for new Marriott cardholder include:
- Limited Time! Earn 80,000 Bonus Points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening
- Enjoy 1 Free Night Stay at a Category 1-5 location every year after your account anniversary date!
- For every $1 spent, earn 5 points at 3,800 Marriott locations, 2 points on airline ticket purchases directly with airlines, at car rental agencies & restaurants and 1 point everywhere else
- No limit to how many points you can earn
- Pay no foreign transaction fees and enjoy wider acceptance when you travel with your embedded chip card and you make purchases at chip-enabled card readers
- $85 Annual Fee
We’ve started traveling again as a family, so I looked through Marriott’s redemption offerings. Marriott properties include Ritz-Carlton, Renaissance Hotels, Courtyard, Residence Inn, and Fairfield Inn & Suites. You can view their redemption chart here. Redeem 4 nights and get the 5th night free. Hotels on their PointSavers list have temporarily reduced redemption costs.
80,000 points is enough to get you a night at any Ritz-Carlton in the world. Or, 80,000 points can get you two nights at any Category 8 or Ritz-Carlton Tier 1 hotel. Or, it could get you eight nights at a Category 2 hotel. The free night award can be used for up to a Category 5 hotel. In the top right corner of the redemption chart link, you can view a comprehensive list of what hotels are in any specific category. Here are some options that caught my eye.
Ritz Carlton Tier 5 (Highest tier, 70,000 points a night)
- New York: The Ritz-Carlton New York, Central Park
- Grand Cayman: The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman
- Tokyo: The Ritz-Carlton, Tokyo
Category 8 Hotels (40,000 points per night, 35,000 if Pointsaver)
- Honolulu: Waikiki Beach Marriott Resort & Spa
- New York: Residence Inn New York Manhattan/Central Park
- London: London Marriott Hotel Maida Vale
Category 7 Hotels (35,000 points per night, 30,000 if Pointsaver)
- Waikoloa Beach: Waikoloa Beach Marriott Resort & Spa
- Orlando: Marriott’s Cypress Harbour (all 2-bedroom villas near Disney resorts)
Category 6 Hotels (30,000 points per night, 25,000 if Pointsaver)
- Kahului: Courtyard Maui Kahului Airport
- Kailua-Kona: Courtyard King Kamehameha’s Kona Beach Hotel
- Kapaa: Courtyard Kaua’i at Coconut Beach
Ritz Carlton Tier 1 (30,000 points per night, 20,000 if Pointsaver)
Category 4 Hotels (Eligible with Cat 1-5 Certificate or 20,000 points per night standard, 15,000 if Pointsaver)
- Orlando: Courtyard Orlando Lake Buena Vista at Vista Centre
- Orlando: Courtyard Orlando Airport
- Orlando: Fairfield Inn Orlando Airport
- Orlando: Fairfield Inn & Suites Orlando at SeaWorld®
- Orlando: Fairfield Inn & Suites Orlando Lake Buena Vista in the Marriott Village
- Orlando: Courtyard Orlando International Drive/Convention Center
- Orlando: SpringHill Suites Orlando Airport
- Orlando: Fairfield Inn & Suites Orlando International Drive/Convention Center
Adding up the value of two Cat 7 nights (2x 35k) and a Category 2 night (10k) is going to be easily over $500 of value, possibly closer to $700-$800. But as always, hotel points are only good if you can use and enjoy them. Poke around their award listings – Marriott has a lot of different hotel brands to choose from. The Courtyards I’ve stayed in have been modernized and updated, while SpringHill Suites are nice for families. I’ve also gotten to stay at some terrific properties thanks to such point promotions, although I tend to value location and convenience over the bling factor. There is an $85 annual fee that is not waived the first year.
If you’ve gotten a bonus from this Marriott Rewards® Premier Credit Card within the last 2 years, please note the following:
This 80,000 bonus point offer is available to you as long as you have not received a new cardmember bonus for this product in the past 24 months.
I was wrong initially as Marriott points are convertible to gift cards, but it takes 60,000 points to redeem for a $200 gift card for Marriott or retailers like Best Buy, Home Depot, or Nordstrom. That ratio isn’t all that great, you’ll definitely get the most value out of your points if you stay at Marriott hotels.
On your account anniversary, you’ll get a certificate for a free Category 1-5 night which you can weigh against another $85 annual fee. As long as you can use that certificate for a decent hotel, getting $85 value is certainly achievable. For example, a random night at the (Category 4) Courtyard Orlando Lake Buena Vista at Vista Centre was $115 when including taxes.
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