Friday, April 13, 2012

Chase Marriott Premier Card

I almost feel like I'm addicted to writing credit card posts!  But somehow, they're rather fun and satisfying so here goes with another one! The latest card I wanted to write about was the Chase Marriott Premier Visa card. I had applied for this card last summer in anticipation of my trip to Seoul and it was certainly not a bad credit card to have around, especially with the juicy 50k Marriott Reward bonus point offer after first use (although Chase has occasionally raised this bonus to a whopping 70k points!)

Marriott offers a wide selection of hotels around the world and the Courtyard Marriott Seoul Times Square was just one of the hotels I stayed at using Marriott Reward points. However, it is probably noteworthy that Marriott, like Starwood and Hilton, have recently undergone a round of point devaluation with their category changes thus making their points worth somewhat less than they did a few months ago.

I had also redeemed for an excellent valued Category 2 hotel in Montreal at the Fairfield Inn Montreal Airport hotel last Christmas. Unlike the Hilton program, I find that that Marriott points are worth more at their lower end hotels and you can find great free night redemption deals (especially with Pointsavers) generally with their Category 1-4 properties.

As I had discussed here, I find Hilton points to be most useful among all categories of hotels but particularly so at the higher categories. Marriott points are probably worth 1/3 to 1/2 as much as Hilton points generally so using 50k MR points to redeem a night at the Ritz Carlton really makes less sense than 50k HH points to redeem a night at a Conrad hotel.  This might be something to keep in mind even if you do intend to get this card.

This credit card offer comes with:
  • Free 50k points after first purchase (sometimes 70k points)
  • One free night at a Category 1-4 hotel after first purchase
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Annual free night stay at a Category 1-5 hotel on account anniversary
  • 5 points per $1 spend at Marriott hotels
  • 2 points per $1 spend on airline, car rental and dining
  • 1 point per $1 spend on everything else
  • Waived $85 annual fee for first year
Overall, the 50k MR point bonus is certainly quite lucrative (worth at least $600 in value) but the earn rate is rather low unless you do a lot of spending at Marriott hotels. However, unlike the Hilton Surpass card, this card offers a free category 1-5 night each year upon account anniversary, a much more tangible recurring reward, and along with the no foreign transaction fees term, makes this card quite appealing to keep even at the $85 yearly fee. If you are interested, feel free to apply at this public link here.

Disclaimer: This card is only available to US residents.  Also, I am not paid by Chase to endorse their products.

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