Marriott Rewards Premier Credit Card: 80,000 Bonus Points Review

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Marriott Rewards® Premier Credit CardMost travel cards offer an ongoing sign-up bonus, but it’s even better when you snag them during a bump-up – this time it is the Marriott Rewards® Premier Credit Card from Chase. Check out the highlights below, and remember that it is free and takes just a minute to add an authorized user:

  • Earn 80,000 Bonus Points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
  • Plus, earn 7,500 bonus points when you add the first authorized user and make a purchase 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!
  • Earn unlimited Marriott Rewards points and get free stays faster
  • Earn 5 points for every $1 spent at 4,000 Marriott locations, 2 points for every $1 spent on airline tickets purchased directly with the airlines, at car rental agencies and restaurants and 1 point everywhere else.
  • The fastest way to earn Marriott Rewards points towards free nights
  • The fastest way to earn Marriott Rewards Elite Status.  Receive 15 Elite Credits guaranteeing Silver Elite Status or better.  Plus, Earn 1 Elite Credit for every $3,000 spent on purchases.
  • All for an $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 Tier 5 hotel in the world. Or, 80,000 points can get you four nights at any Category 4 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)

Category 8 Hotels (40,000 points per night, 35,000 if Pointsaver)

Category 7 Hotels (35,000 points per night, 30,000 if Pointsaver)

Category 6 Hotels (30,000 points per night, 25,000 if Pointsaver)

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

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.

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.

  • Marriott Rewards® Premier Credit Card

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  1. “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.

  2. 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.

    • I believe the certs are being extended to use within 12 months now. But always double check. The 6 month rule does impact the “value” of these certificates as they can not be stored forever.

      • I can verify – they are now 12 months.

        Historically, they’ve ALWAYS been able to extend it another six months (from the time you call in ) as long as you called Marriott before the certificates expired.

        I travel somewhat regularly with family for vacation and have always been able to use these certificates. There’s almost always an airport hotel at Cat5 or lower, Or just someplace to stop mid-way on a driving trip. But not usually in a really desirable vacation location or in downtown of a big city.

  3. 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.

  4. @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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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!

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. One of your reader posted this website yesterday. On this website it says that $1000 should be spent in the first 3 months (not $2000) to get the 70,000 points. Which site should I believe? The one you are pointing us to or the one below?

    • You are correct, thanks, Naveen also e-mailed me to point out the difference. There are often different offer details depending on the link you go through. (This is why you should always save a copy of the webpage(s) to PDF when you apply for any credit card.) The link I provided and the link you can find at the Marriott home page both have a $2,000 spending hurdle. I have added the link with the lower $1,000 hurdle to the post.

      • the traditional offer on this card has been to waive the annual fee for the first year, get 70,000 points AND a free night certificate. Then on your 1st year anniversary receive another free night certificate and the annual.
        If you were to cancel after a year you’d net 70K plus two nights (the sign up and the annual)

        THIS offer gives you 10,000 more points but you HAVE to pay the annual fee upfront and get no free night bonus.

        THIS is an inferior offer and should be noted. 10,000 additional points at an upfront cost of $85 is not better.

        • Which offer are you referring to? The current offers: (1) get 50,000 points after spend $1000 in first 3 months, 1 free night certificate, waive 1st year annual fee, get 1 night certificate for Cat1-5 annually at anniversary; (2) get 70,000 points after spend $2000, 1 free night certificate, waive 1st year annual fee, get 1 certificate annually;. Or, this new offer, (3) get 80,000 points after spend $3000, and no free night certificate, no waiver of $85 annual fee, get 1 certificate annually after anniversary. IMHO, 1 and 2 are much better than described in this post.

  11. Brad Forc says

    We are using our certificate for a nice Residence Inn in Rhode Island near the beach.

    One of the best factors about the program is the fact that they don’t change the Category in high demand time periods. Thus, a NYC hotel on New Year’s Eve ID a great points value vs. Some random date.

  12. This seems like a good deal on the surface, but pay close attention. The older 70,000 point offer has the annual fee waived the first year & it comes with a free night in a category 1-4 property on approval. This new offer makes you pay the annual fee and no free night. Boo.

    old link

    • one correction. The free night on old card link of 70k is only one time bonus not annual bonus like new offer.

      • No, Chase premier credit cards always give 1 free Cat1-5 night certificate annually at your anniversary as cardmember.

  13. I have had this card for roughly six years. The annual fee of $85 for a category 5 hotel is a no brainer. In addition they give 15 bonus nights per year toward their loyalty tiers and one additional night per $3K spent on the card.

    The only downside is that with the recovering economy, and more hotel demand, Marriott has significantly increased the number of points needed for a typical room since 2009. Some of the properties I’ve regularly stayed in have doubled in terms of point cost.

  14. Joshua Katt says

    Just beware, as Shane says above, annually, you can count on your favorite properties to increase 1 cat level or 5,000 points. The annual 1-5 cert is harder and harder to use, you can pretty much forget about it on both coasts near something you want/need to do. But in the midwest next to a rural interstate, no problem! Again, not impossible but odds that you have a real need and can use the free night are not great…

  15. The 5th bullet point in the article above curently reads “and 12 point everywhere else.” I believe this is a type should read “and 1 point everywhere else.”

  16. This is a card I have seen over many years now, and considered getting multiple times, but never took the plunge. I’m thinking about doing it this time while the increased bonus is available. A couple months ago the bonus was only 50,000 points, but is now 80,000. Although back then the $85 annual fee was waived for the first year, and does now not appear to be. Two questions:
    1) Does any one know when this increased bonus promotion ends? Is it typically a quarterly promotion, or only available a shorter time? Is there an exact date published anywhere?
    2) Is it typical for this card to remove the first-year annual fee waiver when they have an increased sign-up bonus, and then return it when it goes back down to the “standard” sign-up bonus? If so, I need to weigh the value of paying the first year annual fee against the increased annual bonus and decide whether it is worth signing up now or waiting.

    • I got an e-mail from Marriott about this offer, and it runs through April 30, 2016.

    • 1) usually it’ offered for about 3-4 months. They did this last year for like 4 months that expired August 30, 015.
      2) Typically, Marriott offered 50k bonus points with 1st year Annual Fee waived. Other times, they offered 70k points with 1st year AF waived. They also offer 40k bonus points +$100 with 1st year AF waived. For a limited time (3months, upto January 31, 2016), they offered 50k bonus points, plus $200 marriot giftcard, with 1st year AF waived. The current 80k bonus with no AF waived offer is probably not good because you’re paying $85 for either 10k or 30k points (depending on what offer is offered).

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