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Marriott Rewards Premier Plus Review: Prime Perks and Choices

Aug. 14, 2018
Marriott Rewards Premier Credit Card: Good Fit for Loyal Travelers
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For travelers who stay at hotels often, the Marriott Rewards® Premier Plus Credit Card is worth every penny — even at $95 a year.

The card debuted in May 2018, after Marriott International’s acquisition of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide. And it comes stacked with top-shelf benefits: a free hotel night once a year, automatic elite status and plentiful redemption options.

While the card isn’t a good choice for folks who rarely travel, it’s a fine pick if you’re looking for a hotel loyalty program with a huge portfolio of properties to choose from.

Marriott Rewards® Premier Plus Credit Card

Marriott Rewards® Premier Plus Credit Card

Apply Now on Chase's secure site
  • Recommended Credit Score
  • 690
    850
    Good - Excellent
  • Card Details
  • Pros

    • High rewards rate
    • No foreign transaction fee

    Cons

    • Has annual fee

    Annual Fees

    $95

    APR

    • APR: 17.74% - 24.74% Variable APR
    • Cash Advance APR: 26.74%, Variable

    Bonus Offers

    Earn 75,000 Points after spending $3,000 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening with the new Marriott Rewards® Premier Plus Credit Card!

    Intro APR

    • N/A
  • Additional Information
    • Earn 75,000 Bonus Points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
    • Free Night Award (valued up to 35,000 points) every year after account anniversary.
    • Earn 6X points per $1 spent at participating Marriott Rewards & SPG hotels.
    • 2X points for every $1 spent on all other purchases.
    • Guaranteed Silver Elite Status each account anniversary year.
    • Path to Gold Status when you spend $35,000 on purchases each account year.
    • Coming in 2019, 15 Elite Night Credits each calendar year.
    • Earn unlimited Marriott Rewards points and get Free Night Stays faster.

Key benefits of the Marriott Rewards® Premier Plus Credit Card

Sign-up bonus: Earn 75,000 Points after spending $3,000 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening with the new Marriott Rewards® Premier Plus Credit Card!

Annual fee: $95

Ongoing rewards: 

  • 6 points per $1 spent at participating Marriott Rewards and SPG hotels.
  • 2 points per $1 spent on all other eligible purchases.

Other benefits:

  • Free Night Award (valued up to 35,000 points) every year after account anniversary.
  • Automatic Silver Elite status.
  • No foreign transaction fees.

Points are worth 1 cent on average, according to NerdWallet valuations. To see whether this card is worthwhile for you, use our calculator below:

Why you might want the Marriott Rewards® Premier Plus Credit Card

YOU WANT A LARGE SIGN-UP BONUS AND ONGOING REWARDS

The sign-up bonus on the Marriott Rewards® Premier Plus Credit Card is one of the most valuable available: Earn 75,000 Points after spending $3,000 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening with the new Marriott Rewards® Premier Plus Credit Card! Stretched as far as possible, that’s enough to eke out several nights at hotels.

In addition to the card’s robust ongoing rewards, you can earn points for Marriott purchases just by being a Marriott member. You’ll get 5 to 10 points per dollar spent on qualifying charges, depending on the location. With the Silver Elite status the card provides, you’ll also qualify for a 20% bonus on points earned through your Marriott membership. More on that later.

All told, that could ratchet up the effective rewards rate on this card to an impressive 18% on certain Marriott purchases.

» MORE: Chase credit cards mobile app review

YOU LOVE MARRIOTT BUT ALSO VALUE FLEXIBILITY

Marriott acquired Starwood properties in 2016, making it the largest hotel chain in the world, according to The Associated Press. It boasts over 6,500 locations in 127 countries and territories.

The massive scale of this hotel network makes this card especially valuable for folks looking for plenty of redemption opportunities. Locations aren’t just limited to big cities, as is the case with some hotel brands.

YOU WANT TO EARN A FREE NIGHT EVERY ANNIVERSARY

This is perhaps the most valuable benefit on this card. Every year, the card gets you a free night award worth up to 35,000 points. That more than makes up for the annual fee of $95.

This free night expires after 12 months. If you travel less frequently but always stay at Marriott, this benefit alone might give you reason enough to get this card. 

STATUS IS IMPORTANT TO YOU

The Marriott Rewards® Premier Plus Credit Card automatically comes with Silver Elite status. That status, which is one step up from basic membership, gets you a laundry list of goodies, including:

  • Priority late checkout.
  • 20% bonus on Marriott points.
  • 10% discount at participating Marriott gift shops.
  • Access to exclusive phone lines for booking reservations.
  • Compensation if Marriott can’t honor your reservation.

The 20% bonus on Marriott points applies to points earned through the hotel, not through your credit card. Say you spent $200 on a hotel stay and earned 2,000 base points through Marriott and 1,200 points through the Marriott Rewards® Premier Plus Credit Card. The 20% boost would add 400 points to the points earned through Marriott, so you’d earn 3,600 points in total.

Why you might want to go with another card

YOU’RE NOT READY TO PLEDGE LOYALTY TO MARRIOTT

If you frequent several hotel brands, not just Marriott brands, a travel card that lets you transfer points to multiple loyalty programs might be a better fit.

Try the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card. It offers 2 points per dollar spent on travel and dining and 1 point per dollar spent on everything else. Those points can be transferred at a 1:1 ratio to several airlines and hotel companies, including Marriott. Like the Marriott Rewards® Premier Plus Credit Card, it doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees. It also features a valuable sign-up bonus: Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. The annual fee is $0 for the first year, then $95.

YOU DON’T WANT TO KEEP TRACK OF BONUS CATEGORIES

The Marriott Rewards® Premier Plus Credit Card makes an excellent sidekick to the cards in your wallet that offer flat-rate 1.5% or 2% rewards. But if you’re a one-credit-card type of person, you might want plastic that offers a top-notch rewards rate on all purchases — not just on purchases in bonus categories.

Consider the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card. You’ll get 2 miles per dollar spent everywhere, which you can use to redeem for credit toward several types of travel purchases, including hotel stays. Its annual fee is $0 for the first year, then $95, and it doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees. You’ll also get a generous sign-up bonus: Enjoy a one-time bonus of 50,000 miles once you spend $3,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $500 in travel.

You can see how these cards stack up to others in their category by checking out our roundup of the best credit cards.

Is the Marriott Rewards® Premier Plus Credit Card right for you?

The Marriott Rewards® Premier Plus Credit Card isn’t a good pick for people who are on a tight budget or don’t travel much. But it’s a perfect fit for travelers who prefer Marriott or want to join a hotel loyalty program that offers abundant choice.