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November 3, 2015

Rewards Credit Cards

Marriott Rewards® Premier Credit Card Review

Similar to all tailored credit cards, the Marriott Rewards® Premier card provides rewards and benefits to cardholders who stay at Marriott hotels. Those who have no interest in redeeming points for free stays at Marriott hotels should mark this card off their list, but for any Marriott hotel regulars, you won't find a better travel rewards credit card.

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The Good

Major signup bonus

Immediately once you sign up, you are offered a bonus of 50,000 points after spending $1,000 during your first three months. This offer is unmatched by any other travel credit card available.

Free one-night stay

The Marriott Rewards® Premier card offers multiple opportunities for you to earn a one-night free stay at a Marriott hotel. As a brand new cardholder, you get one free night at a Marriott hotel. Afterwards, there is an anniversary bonus of one free night at any category 1-5 hotel each year. So not only are you earning reward points, but the Marriott Rewards® Premier card offers complimentary one-night stays to show their appreciation of their loyal customers.

Rewards opportunities everywhere

There are endless opportunities offered by the Marriott Rewards® Premier card to earn points wherever and for whatever you purchase. From any of the Marriott locations (over 3,600), you will receive five points per dollar spent. Airline tickets, restaurants, and car rentals will earn you two points per dollar spent. Any other purchases will automatically earn one point for every dollar you spend if it doesn't land on the categories above. In addition to all that, there is no maximum limit on your point accumulation, which allows you flexibility in how you manage your rewards.

Elite membership offers

Even with all the rewards made available by the Marriott Rewards® Premier card, there are still more opportunities as an Elite member to gain more bonus points based upon your Elite status level. Every year after the anniversary of your account, 15 nights credit will be given to you as well as the opportunity to earn one night toward Elite status for every $3,000 you spend. Similar to points rewards, there is no limitation on the number of nights you can accumulate.

The Bad

High annual fee

Besides the specialized nature of the Marriott Rewards® card, the only other negative is the annual fee of $85, which is fairly high for a credit card. However, for the first year, the Marriott Rewards® Premier card requires no annual fee.

High default penalty APR

In comparison to other travel credit cards, the Marriott Rewards® Premier card requires the highest default penalty APR of 29.99%. This can be very dangerous if you are the type to occasionally miss payment due dates, exceed your credit limit, and/or make payments that are returned unpaid.

The Details

Rates and Fees

  • Annual Fee: $85 ($0 first year)
  • Cash Advance Fee: $10 or 4% per cash advance
  • Cash Advance Rate (APR): 19.24%
  • Foreign Currency Transaction Fee: None
  • Introductory Rate (APR): None
  • Standard Rate (APR): 15.99%* Variable

Penalty Fees

  • Default Penalty Rate (APR): 29.99%
  • Late Payment Fee: Up to $15 - $35 (depending on balance)
  • Minimum Interest Charge: None
  • Over-Limit Fee: None
  • Returned Payment Fee: Up to $35

Balance Transfers

  • Introductory Balance Transfer Rate (APR): None
  • Standard Balance Transfer Fee: $5 or 3% per transfer
  • Standard Balance Transfer Rate (APR): 15.99%* Variable


  • Additional Rewards for Dining: 2 points per $1
  • Additional Rewards for Gas: None
  • Additional Rewards for Groceries: None
  • Additional Rewards for Shopping: None
  • Additional Rewards for Travel: 2 points per $1 and 5 points per $1 (Marriott hotels)
  • Bonus Points Offered: (1) annual free stay; (2) 15 nights credit every year; (3) 1 night credit for every $3,000 spent
  • Rewards Earnings for All Purchases: 1 point per $1
  • Sign-Up Bonus: 50,000 points after spending $1,000 within first 3 months
  • Type of Reward: Points

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