CarefulBuilder14 wrote:Marriott is a great card for:
1. People with very predictable travel plans that are confident they'll be staying at a Cat 1-4 (or 1-5 after the first year) Marriott within a 6-month timeframe most years. For me, those restrictions are a bit too much.
2. People who stay at Marriott properties frequently and can really benefit from elite status. By this, I mean Gold or above.
I really have to wonder if this card would be nearly as popular as it is for everyday spending if it wasn't black and made of metal. Marriott points just so rarely have a decent cent-per-point value. I don't see what's so exciting about automatic Silver status with the card - it's at Gold where the real benefits begin. And to go from the status the card starts with all the way to Gold would require $105,000, or 35 qualifying nights, or some combination thereof each year.
Booking through the Marriott website with a CSP, you can get 10 Marriott points and 2 UR points per dollar. With the Marriott card and Silver status, I think you get either 17 or 18 Marriott points (I'm not sure if the 20% bonus applies to the 5 points from the Marriott card, too.) Unless the URs are used for a great Hyatt room or United flight, the Marriott points are probably going to be worth more - but not that much more - and that's spending at the hotel itself (not everyday spending).
For all other spending (non-travel as well as non-Marriott travel) there are many cards can easily crush Marriott in reward value.
I like Marriott hotels, but I'd rather pay with a CSP.
I can now fully understand and agree with your assessment of the card. Unless there's some increased sign up offer for it that's more than 70k points, I don't see it being worth it for a lot of people.