A couple of weeks ago we learned the full details of Marriott’s new loyalty program, as they’re bringing together Marriott Rewards, Ritz-Carlton Rewards, and Starwood Preferred Guest. As part of this we’ll see a new credit card portfolio from both American Express and Chase. I’ve written a separate post about the new American Express cards (which haven’t yet been introduced), and in this post wanted to look at a new Chase card that’s being introduced this week.
Specifically, the Marriott Rewards® Premier Plus Credit Card has been introduced, and has a big 100,000 point sign-up bonus. If you’re eligible for this card, then I’d highly recommend applying.
Here’s what you need to know about this new credit card:
Marriott Premier Plus Card annual fee
The Marriott Premier Plus Card has a $95 annual fee, which isn’t waived for the first year.
Marriott Premier Plus Card sign-up bonus
The Marriott Premier Plus Card has a huge welcome bonus of 100,000 Marriott Rewards points after spending $5,000 within the first three months. This is a limited time sign-up bonus, and one of the best we’ve seen on a Marriott card. Personally I value Marriott Rewards points at ~0.8 cents each, so to me those points are worth somewhere around $800, which is huge.
Marriott Premier Plus Card eligibility
There are two major restrictions to be aware of with eligibility for this new card:
- 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
- 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
Marriott Premier Plus Card return on spend
The Marriott Premier Plus Card offers:
- 6x points for spend at participating Marriott and SPG hotels
- 2x points on all other purchases
Since I value Marriott Rewards points at ~0.8 cents each, personally I wouldn’t consider the card to be very compelling for spend, at the equivalent of ~1.6% on non-bonused spend, and ~4.8% on select hotel spend.
On the plus side, the card has no foreign transaction fees, so it’s potentially a good card to use for purchases abroad.
Marriott Premier Plus Card annual free night award
Perhaps the most exciting benefit of the Marriott Premier Plus Card is that it offers a free night award on the account anniversary every year. The certificate can be redeemed for a hotel that costs up to 35,000 Marriott Rewards points per night, which should cover a majority of Marriott hotels around the world. To me this more than justifies the annual fee.
Marriott Premier Plus Card status fast track
The Marriott Premier Plus Card offers some perks that will potentially help you earn status faster. Specifically:
- You receive automatic Marriott Silver status for as long as you have the card
- You receive Marriott Gold status when you spend $35,000 on purchases on the card in an account year
- Starting in 2019, you’ll receive 15 elite night credits towards status every calendar year; note that each Marriott account can get that credit at most once, so if you have multiple cards offering that, it won’t stack
What do I make of the new Marriott Premier Plus Card?
The new Marriott Premier Plus Card has a fantastic sign-up bonus. Historically Starpoints convert into Marriott Rewards points at a 1:3 ratio, so a sign-up bonus of ~33,000 Starpoints is excellent.
The way I view it, this is a card that’s worth holding onto for the anniversary free night certificate, valid at a hotel that retails for up to 35,000 Marriott Rewards points per night. That benefit alone should more than justify the annual fee.
Beyond that, though:
- You can generally get a better return on spend than 2x Marriott Rewards points per dollar by using other cards, so this isn’t a card I’d use for everyday spend
- You can earn Marriott Gold status through RewardsPlus if you’re a United MileagePlus Gold member or above, or by having an Amex Platinum Card
- If you are going to put a significant amount of spend on the card, I’d probably recommend using the SPG Luxury Card, where you can earn Platinum status after spending $75,000 in a year
It’s always great to see a new card with a big bonus introduced, so hopefully some of you are eligible for the Marriott Premier Plus Card.
What do you make of the new Marriott Premier Plus Card?