This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.
Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available. View the current offers here.
Good news if you’re interested in booking award travel with Marriott or Ritz-Carlton: The Marriott Rewards Premier Credit Card and the Marriott Rewards Premier Business Credit Card are increasing their sign-up bonuses to 80,000 points after $3,000 spent in the first three months. That’s 30,000 Marriott Rewards points more than the standard 50,000-point offer.
This isn’t the first time Chase has bumped on the bonus on the Marriott card — we saw another 80,000-point offer back in July 2015 — but now’s a great opportunity to take advantage if you’ve missed out in the past. And though getting this sign-up bonus entails spending $3,000 in the first three months rather than $2,000 for the standard 50,000-point offer, the extra 30,000 points you’ll earn are worth $210 based on TPG’s latest valuations.
Is It Worth It?
With the Marriott-Starwood merger on the horizon, you may be wondering whether it’s worth signing up for a Marriott card when so much remains to be seen about the future of both hotel loyalty programs. As TPG recently counseled a reader, since Marriott will be acquiring Starwood, it’s more likely that the Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express (along with its business version) will bite the dust than the Marriott co-branded cards.
While that means there’s probably no great urgency to grab the Marriott Rewards Premier Card before it’s no longer available, the just-announced 80,000-point offer could be reason enough to apply now rather than later — especially if you’d like to book award travel for the coming months.
Based on TPG’s valuations, 80,000 Marriott Rewards points are worth about $560. If you add another user and make a purchase in the first three months, you earn an additional 7,500 points, bumping the total value up to about $612.50. (For the standard 50,000-point sign-up bonus, you get 5,000 points for adding an authorized user.) Since Marriott points can be used at Ritz-Carlton properties and vice versa, the sign-up bonus is also good for a night at up to a Tier 5 Ritz-Carlton property, such as the Ritz-Carlton Grand Cayman, where TPG recently stayed.
The Marriott Rewards Premier Card also offers a free stay at a Category 1-5 hotel each account anniversary. You also get 15 credits toward elite status — enough for Marriott Rewards Silver Elite status — so you can enjoy late checkout, a 20% points bonus on stays and more. Finally, as a cardholder you get one elite credit for every $3,000 you spend, so this card can be a huge part of your strategy toward earning Gold or Platinum status, which offer more rewarding perks such as complimentary room upgrades.
If you frequently stay at Marriott properties, this increased sign-up bonus makes it a great time to sign up for the Marriott Rewards Premier Card. The points are enough for a two-night stay at one of the brand’s Category 8 (or Category 9, if you find PointsSavers availability) properties, and the card offers you automatic Silver Elite status along with a nice head start to the much more rewarding Gold status.
Also, keep in mind that Marriott is a transfer partner of Chase Ultimate Rewards, so you can top off your account if you’re stockpiling points from a card like the Chase Sapphire Preferred or the Ink Plus Business. And if you’re looking into booking travel, consider Marriott’s lesser-known five-night hotel packages, which include both an award stay and award miles to book a flight with a variety of airlines.
For more information and ideas on how to use those 87,500 points, see these posts below:
9 Marriott Properties That Make Awesome Award Redemptions
The Award Traveler’s Guide to Marriott Rewards
Marriott’s CEO on the Future of Marriott Rewards and SPG
Marriott Details Its New Cash + Points Awards
How would you use the points from this elevated sign-up bonus?