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Updated October 30, 2012

Marriott Rewards Premier Credit Card Review: 50000 Bonus Points vs Annual Fee

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As an upgrade to the regular Marriott Rewards card, the Marriott Rewards Premier card offers a bigger sign-up bonus and a higher rewards rate in exchange for a higher annual fee (of $85). If you consider the Marriott a home away from home, this card would be a wise investment.

9/7/2013 Update: We're sorry, Marriott Rewards® Premier Credit Card is no longer available on CreditDonkey. This offer may have been discontinued or may no longer be available to new applicants.

Overall Score

4.0

Rewards

4.5

Fees

3.5

Benefits

4.0
5-point scale (the higher, the better)

Pros and Cons

  • 50000 bonus points after you spend $1,000 in your first 3 months
  • Silver Elite status
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Smart Chip
  • $85 annual fee

Bottom Line

Excellent hotel credit card for Marriott frequent travelers

This card is an upgrade over the Marriott Rewards Credit Card. While the Premier Card is more expensive, it collects rewards at a much higher rate than the regular Rewards Card does. If you are planning a number of visits to Marriott hotels in the future, it may be worth your while to upgrade to the Marriott Rewards Premier Credit Card.

Rewards

The Marriott Rewards Premier Credit Card earns bonus points on virtually all purchases. You earn 5 points for every dollar spent on stays at Marriott properties, 2 points for every dollar spent on dining, airline ticket, and rental car purchases, and 1 point for other purchases.

These points can be converted into free nights at Marriott hotels. The cost of a free night depends on the category of your selected hotel; higher category hotels are more expensive. A free night at a Category 1 hotel costs about 7,500 points.

If you do not want free hotel nights, you can also redeem your points for airline miles or for merchandise at the online SkyMall.

Bonus

When you first sign up for the Premier Card, you receive several bonuses. You receive a certificate good for 1 free night at a Category 1-4 hotel after you are approved for this card. After you spend $1,000 in your first 3 months from account opening, you also earn 50,000 bonus points, which are good for 6 free nights at a Category 1 hotel. The Premier Card gives an additional free night certificate for a Category 1-5 hotel every year you hold this card.

Benefit: Elite Status

The Marriott Rewards Premier Credit Card helps you achieve Elite Status at the Marriott chain. Elite Status gives you access to room upgrades, faster check-in, and discounts on your stays.

There are three types of Elite Status: Silver, Gold, and Platinum. It takes 10 qualifying nights to earn Silver Status, 50 to earn Gold Status, and 75 to earn Platinum Status.

If you have a higher status, you receive more benefits. Each year you hold the Premier card, you are credited 15 qualifying nights, automatically giving you Silver Status. You also receive 1 qualifying night for every $3,000 spent on purchases made with the card.

Annual Fee

The Premier Card has a higher annual fee than the regular Rewards Card does, but it is waived for the first year. The Marriott Premier Card costs $85 per year, $40 more than the Marriott Rewards Card.

Pros

  • Earns bonus points on virtually all purchases; points can be converted into free hotel stays, airline miles, or merchandise
  • Gives a 1 free night stay certificate for a free hotel night at a Category 1-4 location after account approval
  • 50,000 bonus points after you spend $1,000 in the first 3 months from account opening
  • Gives a free hotel night certificate every year the card is active
  • Automatically earns 15 qualifying Marriott nights, good for Silver Elite Status
  • Earns additional qualifying nights for Elite Status; 1 night is earned per $3,000 in purchases

Cons

  • Annual fee of $85, $40 more per year than the Marriott Rewards Card
  • No introductory APR

Bottom Line

This is a good card for consumers who know they are going to travel and stay at Marriott hotels frequently. If you are unsure of your travel plans, this card may be too expensive relative to its benefits.

9/7/2013 Update: We're sorry, Marriott Rewards® Premier Credit Card is no longer available on CreditDonkey. This offer may have been discontinued or may no longer be available to new applicants.

Follow @CreditDonkey or write to David R at davidr@creditdonkey.com

Editorial Note: This content is not provided by Chase. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by Chase. This site may be compensated through the Advertiser's affiliate programs.

Disclaimer: This content was first published on February 3, 2012. This content may have been updated on October 30, 2012. Information including APR, terms and benefits may vary, be out of date, or not applicable to you. Information is provided without warranty. Please check Chase website for updated information.

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