In 2013 should you apply for the Marriott 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 was never a fan of the Marriott rewards credit card. Why? Because the program wasn't generous enough. However, Chase re-vamped the card and the new version is way better than ever before. If you've ignored them in the past, it’s time to take another look for 2013.
Here’s the lowdown on the new Chase Marriott Visa Signature (Premier version):As you can see the rewards are very generous and the annual fee is reasonable, especially considering the fact that you get a free night every year at your account anniversary (and obviously a free night at a category 1-5 property can be worth a lot more than $85). For example, both the Waikiki and Waikoloa beach resorts are category 5, so that benefit is definitely a tremendous value. Not to mention the Marriott Rewards Premier card has no foreign transaction fees and a built-in EMV smart chip.
Automatic Elite Status
If you have one of these credit cards you're going to automatically start at Silver Elite status every year (that normally wouldn't happen until after staying 10 nights during a calender year). The perks you get with Elite Membership include things like:
- 20% bonus on Marriott Rewards base points
- Priority late checkout
- Weekend discount at participating Courtyard & SpringHill Suites
- Private reservation line for Elite members only
- 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 starting every year at Silver with 15 nights credit thanks to the 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 night 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 free benefits:
Other Signature-tier benefits include Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Reimbursement, Travel Accident Insurance, Emergency Card Replacement and Emergency Cash Disbursement, and a few others. Consult Chase and Visa for benefit details.
- 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.
- 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.
- Warranty Manager Service – With this benefit you have the ability to get 1 additional year of repair on eligible U.S. warranties of 3 years or less, for all eligible purchases paid for using your Chase Marriott credit card.
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 40,000 points per night and that’s for a category 8 (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. And whenever you use your points for a 7-night stay at a category 7 or 8 property, you are awarded an extra 15,000 bonus points.
- 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 newly 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 about $5,000 less than what the AmEx black card costs! Right now here is the most lucrative sign-up bonus currently available...
Marriott Rewards Premier Visa Signature card:1 free night upon approval + 50,000 pts for spending $1k in 3 mo + no annual fee for 1st year (remember you also get a free night every year on account anniversary at 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.