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The Marriott Rewards® Premier Credit Card has increased its sign-up bonus for a limited time to 80,000 points from 70,000 — a boost big enough to cover a one-night stay in a category 2 hotel. This offer expires on Aug. 31, 2015, and is exclusively available for new customers who spend $3,000 in the first three months of card membership. Dive in to see if this is the best card for your spending needs.
Why would I want the Marriott Rewards® Premier Credit Card?
The Marriott Rewards® Premier Credit Card is a good option for cardholders who spend on Marriott stays, airline tickets, car rentals and meals at restaurants. Rewards are best redeemed for Marriott stays, and the card offers hotel-specific perks, so you should stay at Marriott locations frequently to get the best possible value out of the card.
The pros of the Marriott Rewards® Premier Credit Card
The Marriott Rewards® Premier Credit Card rewards cardholders with 5X points at Marriott locations, 2X points on airline tickets purchased directly from the airlines, at car rental agencies and at restaurants, and 1 point per dollar spent on everything else. It’s a great card for racking up travel rewards, provided you want to redeem them for Marriott stays.
Each year, you’ll receive a free night’s stay at a Category 1-5 hotel. This equates to 7,500 to 25,000 in free points. To get the most value out of this perk, you should opt for a night in a Category 5 hotel.
The Marriott Rewards® Premier Credit Card is one of the few cards on the market with automatic Elite status for cardholders. As long as your account is open and in good standing on your anniversary, you’ll receive credit for 15 nights, giving you Silver Elite status each year, no matter how much you spend. Silver Elite status comes with a 20% bonus on base points earned during stays, free in-room Wi-Fi, priority late checkout, a weekend discount, reservation guarantee and more.
Finally, the card has no foreign transaction fees, whereas many other cards charge 3% on each transaction abroad. So if you spend $5,000 internationally in a year, you could save $150 in fees by using the Marriott Rewards® Premier Credit Card.
The cons of the Marriott Rewards® Premier Credit Card
This card isn’t for everyone. If you don’t stay at Marriott locations when you travel, the high rewards and hotel-specific perks won’t benefit you. Instead, you should look for a general travel credit card or another hotel credit card.
We estimate the value of a Marriott Rewards point at 0.9 cents, which is slightly lower than the industry standard of 1 cent each. However, the increased sign-up bonus would still come out to $720, which is a tidy sum just for hitting a certain spending requirement. And the card’s annual fee is $85, but the sign-up bonus value alone makes up for it many times over.
A big drawback of this offer is that it appears to exclude the card’s usual benefit of a free night’s stay upon account approval at a Category 1-4 hotel. Depending on which hotel you choose, this benefit can be worth up to 20,000 points, so you’d be better off with the standard offer. Keep in mind that you’ll still get the annual free night each year on your cardmember anniversary with either offer.
The bottom line: The Marriott Rewards® Premier Credit Card is a great choice if you want hotel rewards and Marriott is your hotel brand of choice. You’ll enjoy automatic Elite status, no foreign transaction fees, an annual free night’s stay and high rewards on your Marriott bookings. If this sounds good to you, jump on this offer before it expires.
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