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The Marriott Rewards Premier Credit Card has been offering an 80,000-point sign-up bonus since February, and just in time for the spending-heavy holiday season it has a new offer. Currently, you can earn up to 150,000 points when you sign up for this card (or 50,000 Starpoints if you opt to transfer to Starwood Preferred Guest).
As is often the case with sign-up bonuses that look this good on the surface, you’ll have to spend a lot to earn the full amount of points. The offer breaks down as 5 points per dollar on all purchases made with the card within the first year from account opening, up to $30,000. On the bright side, the $85 annual fee is waived for the first year.
You also have an opportunity to earn 7,500 bonus points when you add the first authorized user and make a purchase in the first three months from account opening. Additionally, you’ll get a free night stay at a Category 1-5 location every year after your account anniversary date, 5 points per dollar spent at participating Marriott locations & 2 points per dollar spent on airline tickets purchased directly with the airlines, at car rental agencies & restaurants and 1 point per dollar spent everywhere else.
Is it worth it?
This current bonus provides the opportunity to earn almost double the points as the 80,000-point sign-up offer, but you’ll need to spend significantly more if you want to max out the promotion. Previously, to earn 80,000 points, you needed to spend $3,000 in the first three months. If you spent just $3,000 with the current 150,000-point offer, you’d earn just 15,000 points (3,000 x 5 points per dollar). That’ll only get you a single free night at a Category 3 Marriott hotel (or a Category 4 property if you can find PointSavers availability).
You’d have to spend a whopping $16,000 on the Marriott Rewards Premier Credit Card with this current offer to earn just 80,000 points — more than five times the spending requirement for the 80k offer. So clearly, if your goal is to simply earn a lot of Marriott Rewards points by opening a credit card and meeting a straightforward spending threshold, the current 150k bonus isn’t ideal. And since you have to spend quite a bit to get tons of rewards with this offer, you should definitely consider adding an authorized user to get an easy 7,500 points.
You do have a full year to spend $30,000 and earn up to 150,000 points, which could make maximizing the offer more manageable, but you have to factor in the opportunity cost of using this card rather than a more rewarding option. TPG values Marriott points at 0.9 cents apiece, so you’ll earn a return of 4.5% on the first $30,000 you spend in the first year. That isn’t horrible, but you can get more value for your spending with other cards — especially for bonus categories such as travel and dining, where the Chase Sapphire Reserve Card gets you a 6.3% return on spending.
If you’d like to earn Marriott elite status, however, this card could make sense. As a cardholder you’ll automatically get 15 elite credits, enough for Silver status with 5 extra credits to help you toward Gold. You can earn an additional elite credit for every $3,000 you spend on the card.
At first glance, the ability to earn up to 150,000 points makes this Marriott Rewards Premier Credit Card sign-up offer look appealing. Unfortunately, though, you’ll really only get a significant stash of rewards if you spend quite a bit, since the bonus gets you 5 points per dollar on the first $30,000 spent in your first account year. This offer isn’t a “must” unless you anticipate spending quite a bit on this card — and in that case you still might want to weigh whether or not there are better options since the card’s bonus categories aren’t the most rewarding.
Will you be signing up for the card with this current bonus?
Featured image courtesy of Aruba Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino.
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
|Intro APR||Regular APR||Annual Fee||Foreign Transaction Fee||Credit Rating|
|N/A||16.24%-23.24% Variable||Introductory Annual Fee of $0 the first year, then $95||0%||Excellent Credit|