Update: The offer mentioned below for the Marriott Premier Rewards Visa is no longer available. View the current offer here.
Offer expired: October 16, 2013
Chase released a new sign-up bonus on its Marriott Rewards Premier Visa today. The bonus used to be 50,000 points when you spent $1,000 within 3 months, but now the bonus is 40,000 points when you spend $1,000 in 3 months plus a $100 statement credit after your first purchase.
- 5 points for every $1 spent at over 3,600 Marriott® locations
- 2 points for every $1 spent on airline tickets purchased directly with the airline, and at car rental agencies & restaurants
- 1 point for every $1 spent on purchases anywhere else
- Unlimited Point Accumulation
- Achieve Elite Status FASTER with Annual Credit and Everyday Purchases
- 15 Credits toward your next Elite membership level every year after account anniversary
- Earn 1 Elite Credit for every $3,000 spent
- No foreign transaction fees
- SmartChip technology
- $85 annual fee waived the first year
So the big question is, which offer is better? An extra 10,000 points or the $100 statement credit?
In general, I know a lot of people are drawn to the bigger numbers in a sign-up bonus, but what it comes down to is how much you value Marriott points. Personally, I don’t often see a way to get more than 1 cent per point in value out of Marriott points. For example, let’s say you wanted to book a stay at the JW Marriott at LA Live in October.
To take another example, let’s say you wanted to use your points towards a beach vacation and wanted to book a room at one of the properties in Maui. The Marriott at Wailea is going for $229 a night or 40,000 points in October – just 0.57 cents per point!
The Ritz-Carlton Kapalua is $299 per night or 50,000 points, about 0.6 cents per point. So in terms of comparing the bonuses, those extra 10,000 points would only be getting you $60 in value instead of the $100 statement credit.
However, there are definitely some times that Marriott points can be worth more than 1 cent apiece, so deciding between the extra points and the statement credit really depends on how you plan to use them.
To take a quick example, the UN is in session this week in New York and the city is absolutely packed with foreign diplomats – hotel prices are through the roof. So let’s say you needed to book a last-minute room in Manhattan tonight, a room at the Fairfield Inn & Suites in Chelsea is going for a jaw-dropping $799, but you could also book it for just 35,000 points.
That’s a value of 2.3 cents per point – so your extra 10,000 points would be worth $230 instead of just $100. That’s an extreme example, but if you were in a pinch and rates were high like this, your points could really help you out.
Or if you were planning to visit a property that is typically expensive all year round, like the Marriott Champs-Elysees in Paris, your points would also be worth over a cent apiece. For example, rooms in October are going for 45,000 points or 579 EUR ($780).
As with all things points-related, the value of your points depends on what you plan to use them for. If you have some super-expensive redemptions in mind, it might be worth it to you to go for the offer with 50,000 points instead of the one with 40,000 points and $100 statement credit, but if you find that your typical Marriott redemptions are yielding less than one cent per point in value, the $100 statement credit offer might be the one to consider.
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