Marriott Free Night Certificates Valid for 1 Year!

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One of the best benefits of the Marriott Rewards® Premier Credit Card is you get a free night annually (on your account anniversary) that can be used at ANY category 1-5 hotel, assuming availability for a standard room. While the card costs $85/year for the annual fee, I receive way more value when I actually redeem my free night certificate. This is actually the first points and miles credit card I actually applied for 11 years ago and even though I do not use it for every day spend, it is one I’ve kept in my wallet through the years. I recently wrote about this credit card and the sign up offer as they are offering a limited time 100,000 point offer.

  • Marriott Rewards® Premier Credit Card – Earn 100,000 Bonus Points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. Plus, earn 7,500 bonus points when you add the first authorized user and make a purchase in the first 3 months from account opening. $85 annual fee.

Over the years I’ve been able to use the free night certificate in places such as Burlington Vermont, Hong Kong, Marina del Rey California, Beverly Hills California, Langhorne Pennsylvania (right at Sesame Place), Anaheim California (Disneyland), and a few other places that I cannot recall off the top of my head. There has never been a year where I did not have a use for this free night certificate. While some of the hotels I listed are no longer eligible for the free night certificate as they are now higher then a category 5, I’ve always received an amazing value. For example, Langhorne, Pennsylvania is probably not a hot spot destination for most people, but if you have kids and want to spend a weekend at Sesame Place, it is the ideal vacation spot. Since this is a seasonal destination, rates over the summer months can be well over $200/night, even a low level category Marriott Courtyard. Spending $85/year to receive the free night certificate was way better then the $200+ I would have had to spend.

Free Night Expiration

When I originally applied for this card over a decade ago, the free night certificate expired 6 months after it hit your account. This was some what limiting because you were then held to only using the certificate during a specific season. I always hated this expiration date, although there were a few years where I was able to get Marriott to extend the free night certificate for me. Another year or two I was able to “trade” my free night with my brother as we were on opposite expiration times and it benefited us both.

However, I want to point out that the free night now expired 12 months after it hits your account! While this change did take affect back in April of 2015, it is still not known to many people. A 12 month expiration is definitely a nice change as it is no longer limited to a certain time of year.

Other Card Benefits

Additionally, the card comes with 15 nights a year towards status. This will guarantee you silver status, but can also help you earn Gold or Platinum. These 15 nights get added to your account when you apply for the card and then every 12 months thereafter. You can also earn 1 night towards status for every $3,000 spend on the card. If you are interested in credit cards that will help you towards status, make sure to check out this post.

The card (along with many other Chase cards) also come with travel insurance/reimbursement. I personally ONLY use a Chase credit card when booking my flights due to these benefits.

  • Trip cancellation insurance — Reimbursement of non-refundable passenger fare due to covered cancellations and emergencies when tickets are purchased with your card (for both silver and premier card)
  • Trip delay reimbursement — If your trip is delayed by more than 12 hours due to a covered event, you can be reimbursed for reasonable expenses, like meals and lodging (for both silver and premier card

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Comments

  1. Great deal, but sadly I luckily don’t charge $3000 over three months. I called Chase and ask them if I could charge $3000 over six months and still be eligible for this offer. They said no.

    • @Chip, you might find it worthwhile to purchase some Visa, MasterCard or Amex gift cards during the 3-month period. That will get you the big Marriott bonus, then you can use the gift cards like credit cards for normal spending in the future.

    • It is very easy to put $3000 on the card in that short period time simply by just using gas and groceries and everyday purchases and then just pay it off before it comes due each monthyou’re not paying any interest that way and you’re gaining points

  2. Threw those free night certificates in the trash two years in a row before cancelling the card. The cat 1-5 hotels were not in locations I traveled. These are lower category hotels. Not worth the annual fee IMHO. And that signup bonus will barely get you one night, if even, in a decent property. I still have yet to use my points now three years later as I always find I don’t have enough points for even one night for the locations I’ve traveled.

    • I may agree with you about the limited value of the annual cat 1-5 free night certificate, but as for the rest, you either aren’t aware of the point requirements of the various categories or you must not be aware of what the current bonus is for the Marriott card if you think it won’t get you 1 night in a “decent property.” Actually the 80-90,000 points will easily get you a couple of nights in some of the nicest Marriotts in New York City or Washington D.C. or most any other big city with maybe points left over. Not too shabby as far as I’m concerned.

      • Agree with Pam but it’s worse than what she said. I had to travel 4 separate times since I got the card-there are NO MARRIOTT CATEGORY 1-5 in the area!!! I have no problem staying at a low category location,it’s just that there were NONE around!

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