Review: Marriott Rewards Premier Card

What's Hot


The Most Sinful City in the U.S. Is … (Hint: It’s Not Vegas)Family

How a Mexican Tariff Will Boost the Cost of 6 Common PurchasesFamily

This Free Software Brings Old Laptops Back to LifeMore

How to Protect Yourself From the ‘Can You Hear Me?’ Phone ScamFamily

Report: Walmart to Begin Selling CarsCars

Where to Sell Your Stuff for Top DollarAround The House

Is Your TV Tracking You? Here’s How to Tell — and Prevent ItAround The House

11 Staging Tips to Help You Get Top Dollar When Selling Your HomeAround The House

21 Restaurants Offering Free Food Right NowSaving Money

20 Simple Hacks to Make Your Stuff Last LongerAround The House

4 Car Insurers That Might Raise Rates Even When the Accident Wasn’t Your FaultCars

How to Invest If Trump Kills the ‘Fiduciary Rule’Grow

12 Surprising Ways to Wreck Your Credit ScoreBorrow

9 Secret Ways to Use Toothpaste That Will Make You SmileAround The House

The 2 Types of Music That Most Improve Dog BehaviorFamily

This is one hotel card that allows you to earn a lot of points. But how valuable is this program?

I review dozens of credit card offers each week to find the best deals. Check out more on our credit card page.

Airline cards are tremendously popular, but are they really the best way to earn travel rewards? Many cardholders who earn frequent flier miles are upset because carriers have increasingly “devalued” their miles – meaning it takes more of them to get where you want to go.

Depending on your circumstances – and your frustration – it may be more profitable to earn rewards for the hotel rather than the flight. Chase’s Marriott Rewards Premier Credit Card allows customers to earn points for free hotel nights and elite member privileges.

Advantages

  • Earn a great sign-up bonus. New applicants receive 50,000 bonus points after the first use of the card – more than enough for three nights’ stay at a mid-priced hotel with their “PointSaver” awards. You’ll also receive a free night’s stay at one of their low- to mid-priced properties (called category 1-4 hotels) after your account is opened.
  • Bonus points from spending. You’ll earn 5 points for every dollar spent at more than 3,400 Marriott properties, 2 points per dollar spent on restaurant, airline, and rental car purchases, and 1 point per dollar spent anywhere else.
  • Get elite status. You automatically earn 15 nights’ credit toward elite status in the Marriott Rewards program, and another night for each $3,000 spent. So you’re immediately granted Silver status, which offers discounts and late checkout.
  • No foreign transaction fees. Thankfully, this is one of a growing number of credit cards that don’t charge extra when purchases are processed outside of the United States.
  • First-year annual fee waived. After your first year, the annual fee will be $85.

Disadvantages

  • Limited award availability. Marriott reveals on its Web page, “Hotels may limit the number of standard rooms available for redemption on a limited number of days.” That means you might be denied an award stay during peak times. Competing chains such as Starwood, Hyatt, and Hilton offer award nights for any available room.
  • High redemption rates. Standard award nights start at 7,500 points for a “category 1” hotel – typically inexpensive properties in suburban or rural areas. But a whopping 40,000 points per night is required for the most luxurious properties. In contrast, a Starwood hotel award night can cost as little as 3,000 points, and a standard room at the most expensive Hyatt is never more than 22,000 points.
  • High interest rate. The standard APR is 15.24 percent. Like most rewards cards, this is a higher rate than customers can find in a non-rewards card. Of course, if you pay off your balance each month, this isn’t an issue. If you carry a balance, forget this card and find one with a lower APR. Check out our 5 Credit Cards With Low Interest Rates.
  • Annual fee. The $85 fee (waived the first year) is a little on the high side. They do offer a Marriott Rewards Credit Card for a $45 annual fee, but it has fewer benefits.

Bottom line

Get it if: You want to earn free hotel stays at thousands of Marriott properties around the world.

Forget it if: You carry a balance or you are turned off by the idea of limited award availability during peak travel periods.

Stacy Johnson

It's not the usual blah, blah, blah

I know... every site you visit wants you to subscribe to their newsletter. But our news and advice is actually worth reading! For 25 years, I've been making people richer without making their eyes glaze over. You'll be glad you did. I guarantee it!

💰🗣📰

Read Next: 21 Restaurants Offering Free Food Right Now

Check Out Our Hottest Deals!

We're always adding new deals and coupons that'll save you big bucks. See the deals to the right and hundreds more in our Deals section.

Click here to explore 1,801 more deals!