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The last couple of years has seen some new partnerships pop up between various travel providers. Uber (for example) has announced new agreements with both Starwood Preferred Guest and Capital One; Emirates and SPG launched Your World Rewards; and Hertz inked deals with both United and Delta to provide new benefits to elite flyers. These all give you opportunities to double-dip by earning points and miles (or taking advantage of additional benefits) that wouldn’t be possible without the partnership.
Every once in a while, these partnerships add additional value through limited-time promotions, and today Chase has announced a new offer for holders of the Marriott Rewards Premier Credit Card, the United MileagePlus Explorer Card and the United MileagePlus Club Card (along with business versions of the cards). The Double Stay, Double Go promotion will be available the entire month of November and allows you to earn bonus miles for using the Marriott card with United and the United card with Marriott. This is a great extension of the RewardsPlus partnership announced back in 2013, and it represents the first time Chase Card Services has gotten involved.
Here’s how it works. From November 1st through November 30th, you can use your Marriott Premier card with United and earn double points on those purchases. Likewise, if you hold either the United Explorer or Club card, you’ll earn double miles on purchases made directly with Marriott. Even better? These bonuses are on top of the points and miles you’d normally earn, and you don’t need to register; you’ll automatically earn the bonus points or miles on eligible purchases.
If you crunch the numbers, this new promotion offers a relatively decent return on your spending (based on TPG’s most recent valuations, which peg Marriott points at 0.7 cents and United miles at 1.5 cents apiece). For example, here’s a breakdown of what you’d earn on the Marriott Premier card if you make a purchase with United:
- Normal earnings: 2 points per dollar spent (return = 1.4%)
- Promotion earnings: 4 points per dollar spent (return = 2.8%)
Here’s the same breakdown for what you’d earn on the United Explorer card if you make a purchase with Marriott:
- Normal earnings: 1 mile per dollar spent (return = 1.5%)
- Promotion earnings: 2 miles per dollar spent (return = 3%)
Finally, here’s the breakdown for what you’d earn on the United Club card if you make a purchase with Marriott:
- Normal earnings: 1.5 miles per dollar spent (return = 2.25%)
- Promotion earnings: 3 miles per dollar spent (return = 4.5%)
As you can see, the promotion gives you a nice incentive to charge these purchases to either one of these cards as opposed to a card that offers a solid return on everyday spending (like the Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express), though you may still want to consider using one that gives bonus points on travel purchases (like the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card).
However, where this gets a bit more complicated is when you have both the Marriott Premier card and a United card, since each one offers standard bonuses when used for purchases at Marriott hotels and United flights (respectively). Here’s a matrix that shows the earning rate during the promotion and the return you’ll get for using each combination of card and transaction:
United Explorer Card
United Club Card
As you can see, if you currently hold both the Explorer and Marriott credit cards, it actually makes sense to continuing using the Marriott card on Marriott purchases and the United card on United purchases. However, the United club card actually gives you a better return on Marriott purchases than the Marriott card. Keep in mind that this is all based on TPG’s most recent valuations. If you value United miles lower, you may want to stick with the Marriott card (and vice versa).
In addition, don’t forget to factor in baggage fees when it comes to paying for United flights with the Marriott card. Both United credit cards offer at least one free checked bag for cardholders. However, you must purchase your flight with the United credit card to utilize this benefit, a noticeable difference between these cards and ones like the Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express or the Citi / AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite Mastercard, which both tie the baggage benefit to a loyalty account, not the method used for payment.
As a result, if you use the Marriott Rewards card for a United purchase during the month of November, you’ll wind up paying checked bag fees when you actually take the flight, costing you at least $50 for a round-trip flight.
For more information about the promotion, be sure to check out the Double Stay, Double Go website.
Here are the details for the two main cards eligible for this promotion:
Marriott Rewards Premier Credit Card
- Earn 50,000 Bonus Points after you spend $2,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening
- Enjoy 1 Free Night Stay at a Category 1-5 location every year after your account anniversary date!
- For every $1 spent, earn 5 points at 4,000 Marriott locations, 2 points on airline ticket purchases directly with airlines, at car rental agencies & restaurants and 1 point everywhere else
- The fastest way to earn Marriott Rewards points towards free nights
- No limit to how many points you can earn
- Pay no foreign transaction fees and enjoy wider acceptance when you travel with your embedded chip card and you make purchases at chip-enabled card readers
- $0 Introductory annual fee, then $85
United MileagePlus Explorer Card
- Start with 30,000 bonus miles after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening
- Check your first bag for free – save up to $100 per roundtrip
- Enjoy priority boarding privileges and visit the United Club with two one-time-use passes every year
- No foreign transaction fees
- Earn double miles on tickets purchased from United, and 1 mile per $1 on all other purchases
- Your miles don’t expire as long as your credit card account is open, with no limit to the number of miles you can earn
- Use your miles for any seat, any time, on any United flight
- $0 intro annual fee for the first year, then $95
Remember that the United MileagePlus Club Card is also eligible for the bonus, as are the business versions of these cards and the United Presidential Plus card (no longer available to new applicants). Right now, you can earn a 50,000 bonus after spending $3,000 in the first three months and enjoy access to United Clubs, two free checked bags and Premier Access when traveling.
I love when unique promotions pop up, and this is an interesting twist on the RewardsPlus partnership. As far as I can recall, it’s the first time that two credit cards have offered reciprocal earning bonuses at each other’s co-branded partners, and I certainly hope that other issuers follow Chase’s lead!
For more information about these cards and programs, check out the following posts:
- Marriott Details its New Cash + Points Awards
- One Year of Earning and Burning with the Marriott Rewards Visa
- The Award Traveler’s Guide to Marriott Rewards
- Earning United MileagePlus Miles without Flying
- How to Book Awards with United MileagePlus Miles
What do you think of the Double Stay, Double Go promotion?
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