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Updated September 24, 2012

Marriott Rewards Credit Card Review: Up to 6 Free Nights

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If you frequently stay at Marriott hotels, the Marriott Rewards credit card can help you earn free hotel stays and Elite status. The card does have an annual fee of $45, but the generous sign-up bonuses and rewards points make it a worthy investment.

3/12/2013 Update: We're sorry, Marriott Rewards® 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

4.2

Rewards

4.0

Fees

4.5

Benefits

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

Pros and Cons

  • 30,000 bonus points
  • Up to 6 free nights
  • 10 nights credit toward Elite
  • $45 annual fee

Bottom Line

Good rewards card for travelers who enjoy the Marriott chain

Annual Fee

There is an annual fee of $45 for this card, which is waived for the first year. However, if you are a frequent traveler and enjoy staying at the Marriott chain of hotels, your benefits will outweigh the fee.

Rewards

Whenever you make a purchase using your Marriott Rewards Credit Card, you earn bonus points. You earn 1 point for each dollar spent on this card for purchases, but not for balance transfers. You earn 3 points for each dollar spent on stays at Marriott hotels.

Points can be redeemed for free nights at Marriott hotels. Marriott ranks its hotels in different categories and the point cost of a free hotel night depends on the hotel’s category. A free night at a Category 1 hotel costs around 7,500 points. If you do not want hotel stays, you can also redeem your points for other rewards, such as airline miles, car rentals, or merchandise from SkyMall.

Sign-up Bonus

When you sign up for the Marriott Rewards card, you receive several bonuses during the first year of the card. After you are approved for this card, you receive a certificate that is good for 2 free nights at any Category 1-4 Marriott hotel. Once you spend $1,000 in the first 3 months after account opening, you receive 30,000 bonus points. This is enough for 4 free nights at a Category 1 Marriott hotel. If you combine the two bonuses, you can receive up to 6 free nights at a Category 1 hotel.

In addition to these bonuses, Chase waives the annual $45 card fee for the first year of this card.

Elite Status

The Marriott Rewards Credit Card also helps you earn Elite status for the Marriott chain of hotels. If you have Elite status, you receive a number of benefits, such as guaranteed room reservations, room upgrades, and discounts on your stays.

Each time you spend $3,000 on your card, you earn a credit of one night towards Elite status. You also get 10 nights’ credit every year on the anniversary of your account.

It takes 10 qualifying nights per year to earn Silver status, 50 to earn Gold status, and 75 to earn Platinum. A higher status means more benefits from Marriott. By using this rewards card frequently, you will quickly earn Marriot Elite status.

Pros

  • Earns rewards points on virtually all purchases and extra points on stays at Marriott properties; points can be redeemed for hotel stays, air miles, and free merchandise
  • Accumulates qualifying nights for Marriott Elite Status; 1 qualifying night for every $3,000 spent on purchases with the card
  • Earn 30,000 bonus points after you spend $1,000 in your first 3 months after account opening, good for 4 nights at a Category 1 hotel
  • Gives a certificate for 2 free hotel nights upon card approval
  • Annual fee is waived for the first year of use

Cons

  • Annual fee of $45 starting in the second year
  • No introductory APR

Bottom Line

This is a good rewards card for travelers, especially those who enjoy the Marriott chain. The card generates a number of hotel benefits and has a low annual fee for a hotel credit card.

3/12/2013 Update: We're sorry, Marriott Rewards® 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
David R is a financial writer at CreditDonkey, a credit card comparison and financial education website. Our data-driven analysis has been recognized by major news outlets across the country and has helped consumers make savvy financial and lifestyle decisions. (read more)

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 January 28, 2012. This content may have been updated on September 24, 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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Compare Marriott Rewards Credit Card to:

Citi Hilton HHonors Visa Signature Card
Apply for Citi Hilton HHonors Visa Signature Card
At Citi's Secure Site
  • Earn 40,000 Hilton HHonors Bonus Points after spending $1,000 within 4 months of account opening*
  • Earn 6 HHonors Bonus Points for each $1 spent at a participating hotel within the Hilton portfolio.*
  • Earn 3 HHonors Bonus Points for each $1 spent on purchases at supermarkets, drugstores and gas stations.*
  • Earn 2 HHonors Bonus Points for each $1 spent on all other purchases.*
  • No annual fee.*
Introductory Bonus Hotel RewardsHotel RewardsDrugstore RewardsGas RewardsGrocery RewardsNo Expiration on RewardsNo Limits on RewardsNo Pre-Set Spending LimitConcierge Car Rental InsurancePurchase ProtectionTravel Accident Insurance$0 Fraud LiabilityEmergency AssistanceIdentity Theft Assistance
Intro APR for PurchasesIntro APR for Balance TransferRegular APRAnnual Fee
N/AN/A
15.24% - 19.24%* (Variable)
None

Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card from American Express
Apply for Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card from American Express
At American Express' Secure Site
  • Earn up to 25,000 bonus Starpoints®
  • Earn 10,000 Starpoints after your first purchase on the Card and an additional 15,000 Starpoints after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases within the first 6 months.
  • Redeem Starpoints for free nights at over 1,100 hotels & resorts in nearly 100 countries and for free flights on over 150 airlines with SPG Flights - all with no blackout dates.
  • Some hotels may have mandatory service and resort charges.
  • Starpoints stay active as long as you continue to spend on your Card.
  • $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $65.
  • Terms and Restrictions apply.
Introductory Bonus Hotel RewardsAirline RewardsHotel RewardsTravel RewardsBonus Airline RewardsNo Limits on RewardsEventsCar Rental InsuranceExtended Warranty Purchase ProtectionReturn ProtectionTravel Accident Insurance$0 Fraud Liability
Intro APR for PurchasesIntro APR for Balance TransferRegular APRAnnual Fee
NoneNone
15.24% - 19.24% variable
$0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $65

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Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed on this page are those of the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer.

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