Marriott Rewards Premier Credit Card: 50,000 Bonus Points

Marriott Rewards® Premier Credit CardAnother 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. 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, that¿s up to 7 Free Nights
  • 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 3,700 Marriott locations, 2 points on airline ticket purchases directly with airlines, at car rental agencies & restaurants and 1 point elsewhere
  • 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

I’m trying to work out if this card is worth it. Marriott points don’t appear to be convertible to gift certificates, so if you can’t use free hotel nights then this card isn’t for you. However, I’m trying to plan a Europe trip next year using mostly points and miles. I’m already counting on two free “expensive” nights from the Hyatt credit card, but given how expensive hotels are I want to see if I could stretch this card out for multiple free nights. Marriott properties include Renaissance Hotels, Courtyard, Residence Inn, and Fairfield Inn & Suites.

How far can 50,000 points take me? The redemption chart is below (click to enlarge). Pointsavers offer better redemption rates, but it doesn’t look like the high demand locations are often on that list. With 4 nights, you get the 5th night free. On a Category 2 hotel, it looks like I could theoretically get 7 nights out of this credit card deal (5 nights + 1 free + the 1 night free certificate).

Marriott Point Value Experiment – San Francisco
I’m not very familiar with Marriott points, so let’s test them out in San Francisco, California on a random weekday night in November.

San Francisco Marriott Union Square (Cat 6) = $400 a night = 30,000 points
Courtyard Oakland Emeryville (Cat 3) = $200 = 15,000 points
Residence Inn San Francisco Airport (Cat 4) = $240 a night = 20,000 points

Union Square is prime location, while the other two hotels would still place me near San Francisco and accessible via public transportation (BART). With this card, 50k points would be worth around $600, and I still have the 1 free night certificate. I could get 4 nights at the Courtyard Emeryville for 45k points + the certificate.

Marriott Point Value Experiment – Paris
Renaissance Paris Vendome Hotel (Cat 8.) = 40,000 points = 309 Euros = $420
Courtyard Paris Saint Denis (Cat 5) = 25,000 points = 199 Euros = $270

Again, the Vendome would be fancy and great location, while the St. Denis would be in an outer neighborhood but on the Metro line.

I would mentally reduce the calculated values a bit, since otherwise I’d probably use Priceline or Hotwire or similar to book a hotel. This may not be $700 value card, but should be safely a $400+ value for those with travel plans coming up. For my needs, if I can get at least 3 nights in Europe taken care of with this card, especially given the EUR/USD exchange rate, that should be a good value for us.

As before, compare with the other $500+ Bonus credit card promotions currently available.

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“Disclaimer: This content is not provided or commissioned by the issuer. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the issuer. This site may be compensated through the issuer’s Affiliate Program.”

Comments

  1. One thing to watch out for – I’ve heard (but haven’t confirmed myself) that Chase isn’t giving out the bonus points if you have had a Marriott card in the past.

    If anyone can confirm/deny that, it would be really helpful :)

    I’m seriously considering this card since I stay at Marriott occasionally, and I love how convenient they are.

  2. “St. Denis would be in an outer neighborhood” is spot on. (And, by “outer”, it also means a bit 3rd world…)

    IMO, you should never stay outside of the ring road in Paris. Especially not for $270 a night.

  3. one thing to note about the annual night stay is that it MUST be used with 6 months of issue. The downside then is, say you are a teacher and cannot easily travel during the winter months. If you signed up for this card now, you’d have an anniversary date of around November. This means you’d have until May to use the free night. Probably not the most convenient.

    If you are someone like that, you may want to hold off until maybe March so you can use your free night stay each year well. $85 a year as an annual fee even sounds like an okay deal if that means you have a free night stay at a decent hotel once a year that you can use in a pinch or as part of a planned vacation.

  4. I have this card and I like the Marriott Rewards program because you can use their points for an overnight hotel as well as a destination hotel. The bonus is good, but it’s not really any better than other cards out there right now. The best thing about this card is the anniversary night for Cat. 1-5, which will yield a recurring net profit over the $85 annual fee.

    Normally, you earn 10 points per $1 spent at all properties except for Residence Inn and TownePlace Suites, which are the extended stay brands offering only 5 points/$1 spent. When you add up the regular 10 points/$1, the extra 2 points/$1 that the Silver Elite status gets you, and the 5 points/$1 that this credit card will get you, you’re now earning 17 points/$1, which makes Marriott Rewards a very competitive hotel rewards program. Gold members earn 17.5 points/$1 and Platinum members earn 20 points/$1. They also use targeted “Mega Bonuses” which are tailored to your hotel stay patterns and can seriously increase your point total.

  5. @Ed – Is it really that bad, or just not American suburbia? I checked out the TripAdvsior reviews and they are pretty good:

    Tripadvisor Courtyard Paris Saint Denis

    Supposedly 3 min walk to metro, hotel opened in 2009. I’ll have to look into it further. Another reviewer mentioned the Marriott Courtyard in Neuilly, Cat 6.

  6. FYI – don’t forget the whole name your own price thing with priceline.

    I’ve stayed at the Munich renaissance Marriott for $50 a night using priceline. Yeah, freaking rocks for $50 a night.

  7. Eric Jacobson says:

    This card (one each for me and my wife) has paid for about 10 stays all over the midwest (mostly Fairfields, some residence inns). It was a rude awakening when I used up the points and had to learn to pay again. You really can’t go wrong by getting this card. Marriott did recategorize some hotels last spring, requiring more points, so like with any point based bonuses, hoarding is not a good idea.

  8. Hi Jonathan,

    You can use the points to redeem for gift certificates, but with the new program its not that good a deal. 41,000 pts for a $100 Nordstroms gift card. 66,000 pts for $200. To see the gift card options, on the top bar hover over Marriott Rewards, then in the drop down click on Use Marriott Rewards Points. Then click on Shopping or Retail Certificates.

    Hope that helps!

  9. Vince Thorne says:

    Thanks for sharing this information. The 1 night free stay per year means that the card pays for itself and more when you travel. QUestion is, whether you will be spending more by giving all your business to Marriott than you would if you were to shop around for the best deal.

  10. I have this card and usually stay at Marriotts when I travel for business–I use the card exclusively for business travel. A year ago we used maybe four years worth of points on a 10 night stay at the Marriott resort in Kaui. That was a category 5 hotel at the time.

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