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Earlier this month, Marriott and Chase announced a brand new co-branded credit card: the Marriott Rewards Premier Plus. The new card, part of a new, integrated Marriott Rewards program, has a lot in common with the old version that it replaces, although there are a few minor upgrades.
However, one of the new card’s most notable features is its introductory sign-up bonus. For a limited time, new cardholders can get 100,000 Marriott points when they spend $5,000 on the card in the first three months.
That many points can be worth 4-5 nights at a major hotel, or even more outside of a city center.
Off-peak stays at category 1 hotels start at just 5,000 points, while peak nights at the most expensive properties — category 8, which goes into effect in February — are 100,000 points. When you search in a major city like New York, Chicago, or London, it’s currently possible to find great options for 20,000-35,000 per night.
If you’re planning to take a vacation this summer — especially if you’re likely to stay in a Marriott hotel — this is an ideal time to apply for the new Marriott card for two primary reasons.
Keep in mind that we’re focusing on the rewards and perks that make this card a great option, not things like interest rates and late fees, which can far outweigh the value of any rewards.
When you’re working to earn credit-card rewards, it’s important to practice financial discipline, like paying your balances off in full each month, making payments on time, and not spending more than you can afford to pay back. Basically,treat your credit card like a debit card.
1. The sign-up bonus has a steep spending requirement — use planned large expenses to meet it.
Opening new credit cards and earning sign-up bonuses is the fastest way to earn points and frequent flyer miles. You may even help your credit score by doing so.
However, in order to earn those large deposits of points and miles, you typically have to spend a certain amount of money on the card beforehand (there are two reasons for this: first, the card issuer earns a fee from merchants and card processors every time you use the card, and second, because the card issuer wants you to get used to using the cards).
That means that the best way to make sure that you’ll meet the minimum spending requirements is to open a card when you’re planning to spend enough anyway — that way you don’t end up spending more than you would have anyway.
Vacations can be expensive, especially when it’s a family trip. By taking advantage of those upcoming expenses, for which you’ve already budgeted, you can earn this limited-time bonus.
And that brings us to the second reason that now is a good time to open a card.
2. Earn more points on spending than with the old Marriott card from Chase.
The new Marriott Premier Plus earns 6x points per dollar spent at Marriott, Starwood, and Ritz Carlton hotels. It also earns 2x points on other purchases.
That’s an increase of one point per category from the previous version of the car (the old Marriott Premier earned 5x and 1x point on those categories respectively).
If you’re going on vacation this summer, and you’re also staying in a Marriott hotel, you can le verge that higher earning rate to get a ton of points towards your next trip.
For example, assume that your room total for the stay is $1,200.
As a standard Marriott Rewards member, you earn 10x points per dollar spent at most Marriott properties. Just from the stay, you’ll get 12,000 points.
By paying for the stay with your Marriott Premier Plus, you’ll earn 6x points on the whole purchase, so that’s 7,200 points. Plus, the remaining $3,800 you spend to meet the minimum for the sign-up bonus will earn you 7,600 points — assuming you don’t spend anything else at a Marriott property during that time.
By the time you’re back from vacation and finish meeting the sign-up bonus requirements, you’ll have just under 130,000 Marriott Rewards points.
Opening a new credit card when you know that you’re going to spend more money than normal is one of the best ways to earn a sign-up bonus. That’s something that’s worth keeping in mind as summer vacations approach.
The new Marriott Premier Plus card is offering one of the highest-ever bonuses on a Marriott credit card, but only for a limited time. That makes it a great candidate to open before your next trip. If you’re planning to stay in a Marriott hotel anyway, then it’s an even better option.
There are even more perks and benefits that come with the card, too — you can read about them here.