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A few days ago Chase launched their new co-branded Marriott credit card – The Marriott Rewards Premier Plus card. While there are two different sign up bonuses for this card, the best perk is that it comes with a free night annually which helps justify the annual fee of the card. This is a card worth apply for for the sign up bonus (I’ve gone into detail below about the two offers and the pros/cons) as well as the ongoing free night benefit.
This offer comes with 100,000 Marriott Rewards points after spending $5,000 within the first three months. There is also a $95 annual fee that is NOT waived the first year. Learn more
This is probably the more favorable offer, but it really depends on the person. With this offer you are getting a fixed number of points with no expiration date to when you can use the points. So you can use the points at any Marriott or Starwood property at any point you like. You can use the points at both low level and high level properties, giving you a ton of flexibility. And if you prefer to use your points at Starwood properties, you can transfer the points directly to your Starwood account (100,000 Marriott points = 33,333 Starwood points) and redeem for a Starwood property immediately after they are earned.
I value Marriott points at a minimum of 0.75 cents per point, so this offer is worth $750 minus the $95 annual fee = $655. With that being said, if you use your points strategically you can typically get a much better value.
This offer will give you a $200 statement credit after your first purchase on the card within the first 3 months, plus 2 free night award certificates after you spend $3,000 on the card within the first 3 months of account opening. The $95 annual fee is also waived for the first year. Learn more
This is a very different type of offer and while receiving a $200 statement credit off the bat is nice, the main issue is the 2 free night award certificates. These certificates are capped at properties that cost 35,000 Marriott points, so cannot be used at any Marriott property you desire. They also cannot be used at Starwood properties until the award chart is fully merged in August. If you have a specific property in mind that costs 35,000 points now or will cost 35,000 points in August (although the full hotel category chart has not yet been disclosed), this will be the better offer. But if you are looking to redeem for anything else, the 100,000 point offer will be much better for you. Also keep in mind that the 2 free night certificates expire a year after they are earned (which means you must USE them by this date, not just REDEEM them by this date). I personally do not love having an expiration date tied to a credit card sign up offer, but that is me.
If you are going to redeem the two night free certificates at hotels that cost 35,000 points on the button, then this offer is worth $725 ($262.50 per free night certificate + $200 statement credit). Of course this is a better “value” then the 100,000 point offer but only if you 100% will be redeeming the 2 free night certificates at a 35,000 point property within the next year. If you were to redeem the free night certificates at just one less category at a hotel that costs 30,000 points, you’ll see the value is slightly less then the 100,000 point offer. Redeeming the two night certificates at a 30,000 point property is worth only $650 ($225 per certificate plus $200 statement credit).
My personal preference is the 100,000 point offer. This is because I prefer an offer that gives me more flexibility and isn’t tied to an expiration date. But for the person that absolutely has a hotel in mind that is exactly 35,000 points, then go with the 2nd offer.
The benefits and ongoing perks are the exact same, it is only the sign up offer that differs. As previously mentioned, my favorite perk of the card is the free night certificate you’ll receive upon account renewal. While the annual fee is $95, I believe the free night certificate is worth way more. The free night is valid at any hotel that is 35,000 points or less. You’ll see from the chart below that this will cover 5 out of the 7 hotel categories once the new award chart comes out in August 2018, which is a decent number of Starwood and Marriott properties! Category 8 properties and off-peak/peak awards will not come out till 2019. Or, if you redeem the free night certificate before August, that will allow you to redeem at a Marriott category 1-7 property. I am happy to know that come August there will be a few Marriott and Starwood properties in NYC that will require 35,000 points so you can use the free night certificate there. That is just one example, but I’ll happily pay only $99 for a night in NYC! And since there will be many Marriott and Starwood cards offering the free night certificate, you can get a few certificates per year which will make for a nice inexpensive long weekend vacation! I love credit cards that make it worth my while to keep the card year after year, and this free night award definitely carries that benefit.
- The Marriott Rewards Premier Plus Credit Card Offer #1: 100,000 Marriott Rewards points after spending $5,000 within the first three months. $95 annual fee. Learn more
- The Marriott Rewards Premier Plus Credit Card Offer #2: $200 statement credit after your first purchase on the card within the first 3 months, plus 2 free night award certificates after you spend $3,000 on the card within the first 3 months of account opening. $95 annual fee is waived for the first year. Learn more
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