2014 Marriott Credit Card: Don't Apply Without Seeing This!
Should you apply for the Marriott Rewards® Premier Credit Card? Hold off on the application ‘til you see this review of the Chase Marriott rewards program. Make sure you know about all the new benefits that come with it so you don't miss out on any.
Marriott hotels give you clean, modern rooms with all the amenities you want at a fair price. But even though I frequently stay at their properties, previously I wasn't a fan of the Marriott rewards credit card. Why? Because the program wasn't generous enough. However, a while back Chase re-vamped the card and it's now the best deal in the hotel category as of Dec 2013. If you've ignored it in the past, it’s time to take another look.
Here’s the lowdown on the Chase Marriott Rewards Premier Visa Signature card:
As you can see the rewards are very generous and the annual fee is reasonable, especially considering the fact that every year after your account anniversary date, you get 1 free night stay that can be redeemed at a Category 1-5 property. For example, both the Waikiki and Waikoloa beach resorts are category 5, so that benefit is definitely a tremendous value. It's also worth mentioning that this Marriott credit card has chip & signature technology and no foreign transaction fees.
- 5 points per dollar at 3,600 Marriott locations
- 2 points per dollar on airline tickets purchased directly with the airline, and at car rental agencies & restaurants, 1 point per dollar elsewhere
- 15 Elite Credits towards your Elite status after account approval and every year after your account anniversary (that ensures you will always have at least Silver status!)
- Introductory Annual Fee of $0 the first year, then $85.
- Receive 1 Free Night Stay after account approval (good for a category 1-4 location).
- Best promo (Dec 2013): Use this link to earn 50,000 bonus pts + no annual fee for 1st year
(just spend $1,000 or more in your first 3 months from account opening to get the bonus points)
Fast Track Your Elite Status
You get 15 Elite Credits after your credit card account is approved and then every year after your account anniversary date. That will ensure you have at least Silver Elite Status (which requires 10 Elite credits).
The perks you get with the Silver tier of Elite Membership (which come thru Marriott, not the credit card) include things such as:
- 20% bonus on base points earned during stays
- Priority late checkout when available
- Weekend discount at participating Courtyard & SpringHill Suites
- Private reservation line only for Elite members
- Plus other benefits
This is a huge advantage whether you travel a lot or a little...
Frequent traveler? You are fast-tracking your way to Gold/Platinum Elite, by receiving 15 Elite credits thanks to your Marriott Premier card. This helps you reach the higher tiers quicker, which give additional perks like free room upgrades, gifts/meals, and more.
Occasional traveler? You have the privilege of being in the Silver Elite, a tier you normally may not reach on your own if you stay fewer than 10 nights per year.
And for purchases made with the Marriott Rewards credit card, you will earn 1 additional credit towards your Elite status for every $3,000 spent.
Visa Signature Benefits
This is a Signature tier Visa card, which means you get a number of additional benefits for no additional cost. Consult Visa for the Terms and Restrictions.
Other benefits from Visa Signature include Lost Luggage Reimbursement, Travel Accident Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Emergency Card Replacement and Emergency Cash Disbursement, and a few others. Consult Chase and Visa for benefit details, rules, and restrictions.
- 24/7 concierge service – You can call up concierge anytime for help with just about anything, such as planning a trip or event, restaurant advice and reservations, hunting down those hard to find tickets and much more.
- Warranty Manager Service – With this benefit you have the ability to get up to 1 additional year of coverage on eligible U.S. warranties of 3 years or less, for all eligible purchases paid for using your Chase Marriott credit card.
- Purchase Security – This benefit applies to all eligible items for the first 90 days from date of purchase. You’re covered up to $500 per claim (subject to yearly maximum) against theft, damage from fire/vandalism/accidentally discharged water, and some weather conditions.
How can you spend your points?
With the new Marriott Rewards credit card program you have quite a few options…
- Marriott Hotel Stays – Redeem your points for stays at Marriott locations. Each free night at a category 1 hotel is only 7,500 points. The most you will ever pay is 45,000 points per night and that’s for a category 9 (which are their cream of the crop, most luxurious properties). So the points really give you bang for your buck when redeemed for free hotel stays.
- Airline Miles – You always have the option of converting your credit card points to miles… there are over a couple dozen airlines participating! However this route won't yield the best value, so I don't recommend it unless you have more points than you know what to do with.
- Car Rentals, Cruises, & Trains – You can convert your points to cruise certificates, rental cars, and European train tickets.
- Travel Packages & Services – Spend your points on an all-inclusive getaway to the Caribbean with airfare, cash them out for a Priority Pass airport lounge membership, professional golf training or just rounds on your own, plus many other options.
- Other options – Use your Marriott Rewards to go shopping, give to charity, and more.
As I mentioned at the start of this review, in my opinion the old version was a bad deal. But as you can see, the recently re-vamped Marriott credit card promotions/rewards give you a lot of benefits for very little money. In fact, you could make the argument this is the best hotel credit card on the market right now.
And I saved the biggest surprise for last. This card is actually made out of metal! When you set it down to pay the slick black finish, along with the solid heavy metal as it clings the table, leaves quite the impression! Don't be surprised if you get some oohs and ahhs. But don't worry, your secret is safe with me... I won't tell them that you got this bad boy for almost $5k less than what the AmEx "black card" costs!
As of December, here is the most lucrative bonus offer available for the Marriott Rewards Premier Credit Card. I wish this offer was around when I applied! Honestly you should take advantage of this while it's still available because I would be surprised if such an uber-generous promotion stuck around very long.
Here's the link to earn 50,000 bonus points -AND- get no annual fee for your first year
(remember the spend requirement to earn the bonus points is only $1k in first 3 months from acct opening!)
Don't forget you also get 1 Free Night Stay after account approval (good for a Category 1-4 location). And every year after your account anniversary date, you will receive 1 Free Night Stay at a Category 1-5 hotel!
About Marriott Hotels: Founded in 1927, the Marriott chain now consists of over three-thousand hotels across the world. They operate under different names, including Marriott, Courtyard, Fairfield Inn, Springhill Suites, and Ritz-Carlton. In addition to their normal motels, they also run extended-stay facilities like Residence Inn, as well as some timeshare resort properties. They issue their own card, the Marriott Rewards credit card, through Chase.
Disclaimer: Although this site advertises Chase cards, this review reflects my own opinions and has not been endorsed/reviewed by them. You should consult Chase directly for any rules, limitations, and exclusions related to the Marriott card program.
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