Posted on February 27, 2017
Don’t use your Marriott Credit Card…EVER!
Before we really get into it, I do think you should get the Marriott Credit Card. If not now, at some point, because the bonus is at a good level at 80K points and the points have become more valuable and flexible with the recent merger with SPG (Starwood Preferred Guest) which we will get into later.
Also, the Business Marriott Credit Card isn’t subject to Chase’s so called “5/24” rule which makes it a good option for those with more than 5 new account in the last 2 years.
With that being said, after you complete the spend to get the bonus, NEVER USE IT AGAIN. Just take that thing, put it in a bag and bury it in the backyard (but remember to cancel it in a year so you don’t pay the annual fee again). I would say destroy it but they are made of metal and seem indestructible which is annoying.
Wait, why shouldn’t I use it?
Well you shouldn’t be using it because you should be using the American Express SPG or Business SPG credit card instead! And here’s why:
Marriott recently purchased Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) and you can freely transfer Marriott and SPG points between your accounts at a 1 to 3 ratio!
So let’s take a look at the differences between these cards and why the SPG card is the better option:
Chase Marriott Credit Cards-
2X Points on restaurants, car rentals and airline purchases
5X Points at Marriott and SPG properties
1X Points on all other purchases
These cards also give you 15 nights towards Elite Status and give you Marriott Silver up front, but both of these you get IMMEDIATELY without spending anything. You also get an annual free night at a Category 1-5 property. Again, just for paying the annual fee – nothing to do with spend.
There is an option to get one Qualifying night for everything $3K spent but that is not a good route to elite status.
These cards currently have the highest bonus they have EVER had at 35K, first of all, which doesn’t look overly big but remember that SPG transfers to Marriott at a 1 to 3 ratio.
2X Points at Marriotts and SPG properties
1X Points on all other purchases
Personal cards don’t get your much extra besides the great bonus and SPG points with spend but the Business card gets a plethora of other benefits like Lounge Access at Sheratons, Boingo Airport WiFi membership and the ability to get Gold Status when spending $30K in a calendar year (which will give your reciprocal Marriott Gold Status).
Looking at the Numbers
But wait, looking at the numbers the Marriott Card gets 5X points at Marriott/SPG hotels and 2X points at restaurants, car rentals and airlines, isn’t that better than SPG’s 2X at Marriott/SPG hotels and 1X everywhere else?!
Well, that is where math comes in. You remember math, I’m sure you took a class or two on it at some point during school. Well, remember I said that SPG transfers to Marriott at a 1 to 3 ratio earlier? That means the 2X points SPG has at Marriott/SPG hotels is really 6X Marriott points (2X3= 6) AND since it is 1X everywhere else that means you are really getting 3 Marriott points on ALL other purchases all the time! So who cares about the 2X points on the Marriott card at restaurants or whatever! You are getting 3X with the SPG!
In terms of status, the Silver Status you get with the Marriott Card is almost useless but as we said before you get that anyway without spending anything. But with the SPG Business you can get Gold Status in SPG which is reciprocal to Marriott for $30k spend. Although I would get it for free with this method (sorry, post is a bit old).
Now I’m not saying the American Express SPG is the card you should use for everything but if you are trying to get Marriott points then it’s a much better choice than the actual Marriott credit card.
You should of course get the Marriott Personal and Business Cards at some point but after that bonus don’t waste your dollars on them! Use your SPG card to gain points in this combined program. And now is the time to get these cards as well with both the Personal and Business having the highest bonuses ever!
What do you think? Is there any value in actually using a Marriott Credit Card?