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Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available. View the current offers here – Marriott Rewards Premier Credit Card
TPG Reader Enrique wrote in to ask about one of the latest sign-up bonus offers:
“Is the Marriott Rewards Premier card with an 80,000-point bonus worth getting?”
Marriott recently released a limited-time increased sign-up bonus offer for the Marriott Rewards Premier Credit Card. You can earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening, so long as you haven’t received a new card member bonus for this product in the past 24 months.
So is it worth getting? In my opinion, yes it is. This card normally offers a sign-up bonus of 50,000 points, so the 80,000 is a nice bump. That’s worth two free nights at any Category 6 Marriott property, and you can even redeem those points at Ritz Carlton as well. Those hotels can easily be $300 a night or more, making those points worth $600 or more in value. (I conservatively value Marriott points at 0.7 cents apiece, so you should expect to get at least $560 in value.)
Even though the $85 annual fee isn’t waived, you’re getting several free nights. Aside from that, you’ll earn 5 points per dollar spent at Marriott and Ritz-Carlton, and 2 points per dollar spent on airlines, car rentals and restaurants (though I’d actually recommend earning the 2 points per dollar on the Chase Sapphire Preferred card, since you can then transfer to Marriott or any of the other Ultimate Rewards partners as you see fit.)
But the real kicker is that this card pays for itself every year, since you get a free night at a Marriott Category 1-5 location annually after you pay the $85 annual fee — there’s no additional spending requirement. It’s pretty hard to find a Marriott Category 5 property that isn’t going to get you at least $85 in value.
So overall, I think it’s a solid card. There are no foreign transaction fees, and naturally it’s a great option if you often stay with Marriott.