Marriott Credit Card Review & Benefits (80k points) Getting the most out of it

  • Extra big earning on Marriott spending. With the Marriott Rewards Premier Card, you get 5x points per dollar on all spending at Marriott locations – if you stay several times a year you should seriously consider holding the card to pay for your stays.
  • Faster elite qualifying. You get 15 credits toward the next level of Elite status every year, and you can earn 1 additional Elite Credit for every $3,000 you spend on the card. 50 credits or nights earn you Gold status, and 75 earn you top tier Platinum status.
  • Free night certificate limited. You get a certificate for a free night each year you hold the card, but it’s only good for Category 1 – 5 hotels, and there aren’t a lot of those in the biggest city centers or most popular vacation spots.
  • $85 annual fee. While not huge, you’ll need to get value out of the 5x points at Marriott hotels, elite night credits, or free night certificate to justify it.


Overall Rating
3/5 Stars   
Key Features

The Marriott Rewards Premier Credit Card is the flagship card for earning Marriott Rewards, and we only give it 3 stars because for many people, other cards that earn Marriott points may be better choices, and we talk about those below. But if you need help earning Marriott elite status, or spend thousands of dollars a year at Marriott properties, then the fee and benefits can be worth it, including:

Fast earning at Marriott. You earn 5x points on all Marriott purchases, and 2x points at restaurants, on airline tickets purchased directly from the airline, and car rental agencies. No other card earns Marriott points more quickly when you’re spending money at Marriott hotels.

A boost in elite night credits. You get 15 credits toward Elite status every year. And for every $3,000 you spend on the card, you earn 1 more Elite credit. To earn Gold Elite status with Marriott you need 50 elite credits or nights a year, and that gets you free breakfast or lounge access, better internet access, and select room upgrades. Earning 75 elite nights or credits in a year earns you Platinum status which offers you a higher bonus on your stays and a guaranteed gift on arrival.

A free night that’s not for the best hotels. The card does give you a free night certificate each year, but it’s only good at Category 1 – 5 hotels, and with all of the reshuffling of categories, most of the better hotels are no longer in the Category 1 – 5 band. But there are some decent values, and if a free night at a decent hotel that’s not in the most popular destinations is of value to you, then keep it in mind.

No fees on foreign transactions. There’s also an EMV chip built in, but it’s basic chip and signature, not full chip + PIN technology.


Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Miles dont expireas long as card is open
Learn more

Partner Offer

50,000 bonus points

Intro Offer

$0 introductory annual fee the first year, then $95

Annual Fee


Foreign Transaction Fee Waived

Yes - transfer to United MileagePlus, Southwest Rapid Rewards, Marriott Rewards, and more

Points Can Transfer to Airline Miles ?

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