BEST CREDIT CARDSBEST CREDIT CARDSMARRIOTT REWARDS PREMIER PLUS REVIEW: PRIME PERKS AND CHOICES

Marriott Rewards Premier Plus Review: Prime Perks and Choices

(NO LONGER AVAILABLE) A free night's stay every year, automatic elite status and an array of redemption options made this an outstanding card, even for occasional travelers.
Claire Tsosie Author Avatar
Oct 23, 2018 2:02 p.m. PDT
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This page includes information about the Marriott Rewards® Premier Plus Credit Card, currently unavailable on NerdWallet. The information about the Marriott Rewards® Premier Plus Credit Card has been collected by NerdWallet and has not been provided or reviewed by the card issuer.

The Bottom Line

4.1

NerdWallet rating

The free night's stay each account anniversary more than made up for the card's annual fee. The bonus, rewards and redemption options were grand, too.

Marriott Rewards® Premier Plus Credit Card Image
Marriott Rewards® Premier Plus Credit Card
Annual Fee
$95
Rewards Rate
2 points per dollar
Points
Intro Offer
Earn 75,000 Bonus Points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
Points
Recommended credit score
Intro APR
N/A
Regular APR
18.24%-25.24% Variable APR
Recommended credit score
Marriott Rewards® Premier Plus Credit Card Image
Marriott Rewards® Premier Plus Credit Card
Annual Fee
$95
Rewards Rate
2 points per dollar
Points
Intro Offer
Earn 75,000 Bonus Points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
Points
Recommended credit score
Intro APR
N/A
Regular APR
18.24%-25.24% Variable APR
Recommended credit score
  • Annual fee

    $95

  • Rewards rate

    2 points per dollar

  • Bonus offer

    Earn 75,000 Bonus Points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.

  • Intro APR

    N/A

  • Ongoing APR

    APR: 18.24%-25.24% Variable APR

    Cash Advance APR: 27.24%, Variable

  • Balance transfer fee

    Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.

  • Foreign transaction fee

    $0

  • Earn 75,000 Bonus Points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
  • Get the card that helps you earn more with U.S. News & World Report's No.1 Hotel Rewards Program, Marriott Rewards.
  • Earn 6X points per $1 spent at over 6,700 participating Marriott Rewards & SPG hotels.
  • 2X points for every $1 spent on all other purchases.
  • Automatic Silver Elite Status each account anniversary year.
  • Path to Gold Status when you spend $35,000 on purchases each account year.
  • 15 Elite Night Credits each calendar year.
  • 1 Free Night Award (valued up to 35,000 points) every year after account anniversary.

Pros and Cons

Pros

High rewards rate

No foreign transaction fee

Cons

Has annual fee

High APR

Detailed Review

» This card is no longer available

Following Marriott's merger with Starwood Hotels & Resorts, the Marriott and Starwood loyalty programs were combined and rechristened as "Marriott Bonvoy." In February 2019, this card evolved into the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card. Read our review of that card or see other Marriott credit card options.

• • •

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 as Marriott was integrating Starwood Hotels & Resorts (and its SPG rewards program) into its operations. The card 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 people 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: Basics

Card type: Hotel.

Annual fee: $95.

Sign-up bonus: Earn 75,000 Bonus Points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.

Ongoing rewards:

  • 6 points per $1 spent at participating Marriott Rewards and SPG hotels.

  • 2 points per $1 spent on all other eligible purchases.

Foreign transaction fees: None.

Other benefits:

  • Free Night Award (valued up to 35,000 points) every year after account anniversary.

  • Automatic Silver Elite status and accelerated path to Gold status.

Compare to Other Cards

ANNUAL FEE
$95
INTRO APR
N/A
REGULAR APR
21.49%-28.49% Variable APR
RECOMMENDED CREDIT SCORE
ANNUAL FEE
$0
INTRO APR
N/A
REGULAR APR
21.49%-28.49% Variable APR
RECOMMENDED CREDIT SCORE
ANNUAL FEE
$95
INTRO APR
N/A
REGULAR APR
21.49%-28.49% Variable APR
RECOMMENDED CREDIT SCORE
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Benefits and Perks

Valuable sign-up bonus and ongoing rewards

The card offers a sign-up bonus that can set you up nicely for your next trip: Earn 75,000 Bonus Points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.

In addition to the card's robust ongoing rewards, you can earn points for Marriott purchases just by being a Marriott Rewards 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 10% 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 17% on certain Marriott purchases.

Redemption flexibility

Marriott acquired Starwood properties in 2016, making it the largest hotel chain in the world, according to The Associated Press.

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.

Alternatively, you could transfer points to airline miles at a rate of 3:1 (3 points for 1 airline mile) with more than 40 different airlines, or take advantage of other redemption options.

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

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.

  • 10% bonus on Marriott points.

  • Access to exclusive phone lines for booking reservations.

  • Compensation if Marriott can’t honor your reservation.

The 10% 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 10% boost would add 200 points to the points earned through Marriott, so you’d earn 3,400 points in total.

With this card, you can also earn Gold Elite status if you spend $35,000 or more each account anniversary year. After this threshold is reached, your Gold Elite status will be in effect through Dec. 31 of the following year.

Drawbacks and Considerations

You're locked into 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 bonus rewards on travel and dining, and those points can be transferred at a 1:1 ratio to several airlines and hotel loyalty programs, 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 75,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's over $900 when you redeem through Chase Travel℠. The annual fee is $95.

Weak rewards outside 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, which you can use to redeem for credit toward several types of travel purchases, including hotel stays. Its annual fee is $95, and it doesn't charge foreign transaction fees. You'll also get a generous sign-up bonus: Enjoy a one-time bonus of 75,000 miles once you spend $4,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 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.

How To Decide If It's 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.

Alternate Pick: Greater flexibility
Transfer points to Marriott, or use elsewhere

Get bonus rewards on categories like travel and dining. Points can be transferred to several airline and hotel loyalty programs, including Marriott. You can also use them to book travel through Chase at 1.25 cents per point. There's a big sign-up bonus, too. Annual fee: $95.


Methodology

NerdWallet reviews credit cards with an eye toward both the quantitative and qualitative features of a card. Quantitative features are those that boil down to dollars and cents, such as fees, interest rates, rewards (including earning rates and redemption values) and the cash value of benefits and perks. Qualitative factors are those that affect how easy or difficult it is for a typical cardholder to get good value from the card. They include such things as the ease of application, simplicity of the rewards structure, the likelihood of using certain features, and whether a card is well-suited to everyday use or is best reserved for specific purchases. Our star ratings serve as a general gauge of how each card compares with others in its class, but star ratings are intended to be just one consideration when a consumer is choosing a credit card. Learn how NerdWallet rates credit cards.

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