Earning reward nights at a Marriott or Starwood hotel is simple when you have a Marriott Rewards® Premier Plus Credit Card.
Cardholders collect six points per $1 spent when you use the credit card at participating Marriott and Starwood hotels. The card also gives two points per $1 spent on all your other purchases, which means that even your everyday purchases can do double-duty helping you earn toward another free night stay. Those points don't expire unless you don't use your card for 24 months.
If you get this card, you'll want to use it soon so you can start accruing points quickly. The card's introductory bonus opportunity offers new cardholders 75,000 bonus points when you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first three months.
Being a hotel rewards card, you'll want this card in your wallet when you're traveling. Why? The card gives you travel-related benefits to protect you when you're away from home and you can reap the benefits provided for your brand loyalty.
The Marriott Rewards® Premier Plus Credit Card lets you redeem points for stays at more than 5,700 Marriott and The Ritz-Carlton locations, as well as Starwood-branded hotels around the world. That includes Four Points by Sheraton, Sheraton hotels, W Hotels and Westin hotels.
Hotels within the Marriott Rewards® program are separated by category with the lowest-cost locations (Category 1) costing 7,500 points for a standard reward free night. The most luxurious locations are Category 9 and require 45,000 points for a free night. You also get a free night in any hotel (up to a 35,000-point redemption value) each year after your account anniversary, which alone will more than likely offset your annual fee of $95.
You can also use your points for airline miles, flights, car rentals and cruises that you can book through the Marriott Rewards® site, though your best value is to redeem them for hotel stays.
There is a $95 annual fee, but, as mentioned earlier, it shouldn't be too difficult to offset – especially during that first year with the exceptional welcome bonus. Going forward, the annual free night will likely more than offset that fee and that's not even taking into consideration the points you earn just using your card..
The Marriott Rewards® Premier Plus Credit Card is an excellent choice for a world traveler. It doesn't charge foreign transaction fees, so you can shop internationally without any worries about added fees. Plus, the card covers you with trip interruption insurance, baggage delay insurance, lost luggage reimbursement and Visa Signature® Concierge Service.
Trip interruption insurance will cover you and your traveling companions for unreimbursed expenses like meals and hotel stays (up to $500 per ticket) if your flight on a common carrier is delayed more than 12 hours or requires and overnight stay. The card also gives you peace of mind about your luggage. If your bags wind up in Singapore and you find yourself in Australia, the card reimburses you for items like toiletries and clothing for baggage delays that are more than six hours. You get up to $100 a day for five days. Also, if your bags or an immediate family members' bags are lost or damaged, the card covers you for up to $3,000 per passenger.
Beyond the travel benefits, the Marriott Rewards® Premier Plus Credit Card can make you feel like a king or queen the more you stay at participating hotels. The Marriott Rewards® program lets you progress into Silver, Gold and Platinum Elite status when you stay at participating hotels. The higher tier status you achieve, the more additional bonus points you gain. Additionally, cardholders in higher tiers get complimentary enhanced in-room Internet access, complimentary room upgrades and guaranteed 4 p.m. late checkout.
Similar to other hotel-branded credit cards, you'll need to stay at participating hotels to make this card truly worthwhile. Plus, though you only need to redeem 7,500 points for Category 1 hotels, there aren't many locations classified as Category 1, so you'll likely need more than 7,500 points for a night if you're using your points. If you're looking for a more flexible travel credit card, there are ones on the market, such as the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card, that allow you to use your rewards on credits for different types of travel. The Marriott Rewards® Premier Plus Credit Card does not offer an introductory no-APR period, and it charges a 5 percent balance transfer fee, so there are better options if you're looking mainly to transfer your balance to another card.
The Hilton Honors American Express Ascend Card is offering a higher welcome offer opportunity: 100,000 points, and you'll only need to spend $2,000 in the first three months to earn it. Terms apply. See Rates and Fees.
The Hilton Honors American Express Ascend Card has a more generous rewards program, too, particularly if you're looking to use your rewards card for everyday purchases. It offers 12 points per $1 on eligible purchases at participating Hilton hotels and six points per $1 at U.S. restaurants, U.S. supermarkets and U.S. gas stations. All other purchases earn three points per $1. The more generous rewards program comes with an annual fee of $95, just like with the Marriott card. One major difference to consider is that with the Hilton card you'll need to spend $15,000 in a calendar year to earn a weekend night stay reward; there is no spending requirement to earn the reward each account anniversary year with the Marriott card.
One last thing to consider if you travel via air often, the Hilton card offers you 10 complimentary airport lounge visits each year.
The IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card's rewards program features a higher earn rate at branded hotels, but limits the purchases for which you'll earn two points per $1. IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card cardholders earn 10 points per $1 spent at IHG hotels, including Holiday Inn and Crowne Plaza properties; two points per $1 at gas stations, grocery stores and restaurants; and one point per $1 for all other purchases (as compared to two points per $1 on all other purchases with the Marriott card). Much like the Marriott card, the IHG card offers cardholders one free night stay annually, but IHG cardholders also earn a free night each time you redeem rewards for any stay of four or more nights.
The IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card has a lower bonus threshold for more bonus points. The card offers 80,000 bonus points when you spend $2,000 on purchases in the first three months (and another 5,000 points if you add an authorized user and make a purchase in the first three months). Overall, the earning is a bit less, but the $89 annual fee is also a lower fee to offset. Plus, the IHG card offers cardholders a reimbursement of their Global Entry or TSA Precheck® applicaton fee every four years, a reimbursement of up to $100.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card allows cardholders to collect points for hotel stays (among other things) without the restriction of having to redeem them at specific hotels. The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card offers two points per $1 spent on travel and dining at restaurants and one point per $1 for other purchases.
One aspect that sets the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card apart is that it gives cardholders 25 percent more value on points when they're redeemed for flights, hotels, car rentals and cruises through the Chase Ultimate Rewards® portal.
You can pick up 50,000 bonus points when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months with the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card and, thanks to the 25 percent added value, those points equal $625 in travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
The card has a $95 annual fee, which is waived the first year. Overall, this is a flexible and extremely popular travel rewards card. If you're looking for flexibility and general rewards, this may be a better bet for you. If you truly are brand-loyal to Marriott or Starwood, you might appreciate the loyalty perks with the Marriott card.
The Marriott Rewards® Premier Plus Credit Card is a slam dunk if you regularly stay at Marriott or other participating properties. Getting six times the points for staying at those hotels can certainly lead to a lot of points quickly.
Another benefit, of course, is that you'll receive a free night stay after each account anniversary; that's a sweet loyalty gift and will more than likely offset your annual fee in and of itself.
Whether you travel domestically or internationally, the Marriott Rewards® Premier Plus Credit Card offers a combination of Marriott-related perks and travel benefits that make the card an excellent option for any travelers who stay at those properties.