Another credit card has upped their usual sign-up bonus given all the competition recently – this time it is the Marriott Rewards® Premier Credit Card from Chase. Thanks to reader Naveen for the heads up. The offer for new Marriott cardholder includes:
- Earn 50,000 Points after spending $1,000 in your first 3 months from account opening
- Receive 1 Free Night Stay after account approval in category 1-4 locations
- Receive 1 additional free night stay at a Category 1-5 location every year after your account anniversary date!
- Introductory Annual Fee of $0 the first year, thereafter $85
- 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
- Achieve Elite Status faster with Annual Credit & Everyday Purchases – 15 Elite Credits after account approval and every year after your account anniversary
- Unlimited Point Accumulation
- No Foreign Transaction Fees and global Chip and Signature technology
We’ve been getting the itch to travel 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. Hotels on their PointSavers list have temporarily reduced redemption costs. Redeem 4 nights and get the 5th night free.
70,000 points is enough to get you a night at any Ritz-Carlton in the world. Or, 70,000 points can get you two nights at any Category 6, Category 7, or Ritz-Carlton Tier 1 hotel. The free night award can be used for up to a Category 4 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 the 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 7 Hotels (35,000 points per night, 30,000 if Pointsaver)
- Honolulu: Courtyard Waikiki Beach
- 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 Free 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 and one Cat 4 night 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. I have gotten to stay at some terrific properties thanks to such point promotions, although I tend to value location and convenience over the bling factor.
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.
The annual fee is waived for the first year. If you are regular Marriott hotel guest, then the free Category 5 night is probably worth the $85 annual fee at the end of your first year.
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