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A few days ago we saw the introduction of the new Marriott Rewards® Premier Plus Credit Card, The card has a welcome bonus of 100,000 Marriott Rewards bonus points after spending $5,000 within three months, which is a generous bonus. I value Marriott Rewards points at ~0.8 cents each, so to me those points are worth $800.
The card has a $95 annual fee, and offers lots of perks that more than justify that, in my opinion, including a free night award on your account anniversary every year (which can be used at a property costing up to 35,000 points per night) as well as 15 elite qualifying nights towards status every year.
However, this card isn’t for everyone:
- Marriott has credit card agreements with both American Express and Chase, so you have lots of cards to choose from, and another card may work better for some
- You’re not eligible for the new Marriott Premier Plus Card if you currently have the Marriott Rewards Premier Card, or received a new cardmember bonus on that card in the past 24 months (those with the Premier Card can upgrade to this card, but won’t receive the full welcome bonus when they do that)
- The card is subjected to the 5/24 rule, meaning you typically won’t be approved if you’ve opened five or more new card accounts in the past 24 months
With that in mind, I think it’s worth recapping some two of the other Chase hotel credit cards that also offer anniversary free night certificates, are potentially easier to be approved for, and for many, will offer an all around better rewards structure.
The value in the new IHG Rewards Club Premier Card
For some people, the IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card may end up being all around more rewarding, and also easier to be approved for. This card isn’t subjected to the 5/24 rule, meaning that you’re eligible even if you’ve opened five or more new card accounts in the past 24 months. Furthermore, unlike with Marriott, you are eligible for this card even if you have the other version of the IHG Card, which has since been discontinued.
What makes this $89 annual fee card special?
- It offers a welcome bonus of 80,000 IHG Rewards Club points after spending $2,000 within the first three months, which is a very achievable spend threshold, plus a further 5,000 points for adding an authorized user and having them make their first purchase within that same timeframe
- It offers an anniversary free night certificate valid at any hotel that retails for up to 40,000 IHG Rewards Club points per night, which covers over 95% of IHG properties
- It offers a fourth night free on award redemptions, which can save you up to 25% on the cost of an award
- It offers IHG Rewards Club Platinum status for as long as you have the card, which offers bonus points and room upgrades
- It offers a $100 TSA Pre-Check or Global Entry fee credit once every four years
Redeem your anniversary free night certificate at the InterContinental Bangkok
The Hyatt Credit Card continues to be awesome
Given that we’ve seen devaluations to some hotel credit cards lately, I think it’s worth pointing out that The Hyatt Credit Card is as good as ever. Much like the IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card, the card isn’t subjected to the 5/24 rule, so you can be approved even if you’ve opened five or more new card accounts in the past 24 months.
What makes this $75 annual fee card worthwhile?
- It offers a welcome bonus of 40,000 World of Hyatt points after spending $2,000 within the first three months, plus a further 5,000 points for adding an authorized user and having them make their first purchase within that same timeframe; I value World of Hyatt points at ~1.5 cents each, so to me that’s like a bonus worth $675, which is great
- It offers an anniversary free night certificate valid at any Category 1-4 World of Hyatt property, which covers a vast majority of properties; best of all, as of this year that night even counts towards status
- It offers Discoverist status for as long as you have the card, and Explorist status when you spend $50,000 on the card in a calendar year
Redeem your anniversary free night certificate at the Park Hyatt Saigon
Personally I think the new Marriott Rewards® Premier Plus Credit Card is worth it for the great sign-up bonus and the anniversary free night certificate. However, the card is subjected to 5/24, those with the Marriott Premier Card aren’t eligible for it, and not everyone will find it as worthwhile as I do.
If you are looking for another Chase hotel card, it’s hard to go wrong with either The Hyatt Credit Card or the IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card, both of which offer great sign-up bonuses, anniversary free night certificates, and aren’t subjected to 5/24.