Home > Credit Cards > Review: Marriott Rewards Credit Card

Comments 0 Comments

[Update: Some offers mentioned below have expired. For current terms and conditions, please see card agreements.]

If you prefer to stay at Marriott hotels when you’re on the road, you should check out the Marriott Rewards Credit Card. I’m not particularly loyal to a specific brand, but I’ve often stayed at Marriott properties, especially when I travel with my family because the rates are usually pretty good.

I’ll let you know right up front that you need excellent credit to qualify for this card. As soon as you get approved, you get two free night e-certificates. You know what else I really like about this card? After your first use, you get 30,000 Bonus Points, which you can redeem for up to four free nights. See, I really like it when you can get the bonus without spending a lot of money. Hey, buy a cup of coffee and you’ve got the 30,000 bonus points.

Rewards and Benefits

Stay loyal to Marriott and you can rack up points quickly. To give you an idea of what the points are worth, a Category 1 hotel requires 7,500 points for a free night and a Category 8 hotel requires 40,000 points for a free night. You can get more information about rewards here, but I’ll give you a quick rundown:

  • Earn three points for every $1 spent at Marriott locations.
  • Earn one point for every $1 spent on other purchases.
  • Get one Elite Night Credit for each $3,000 spent. There’s no limit to the number of elite nights you can earn.
  • Get a credit for 10 nights toward Elite status every year.

You start out with Silver elite status, which gives you oodles of perks, such as priority late checkout (something I always seem to need!) and a 20 percent bonus on top of your Marriott Rewards base points when you stay at one of the properties. This card is also a Visa Signature card, which means you get an abundance of benefits, such as 24/7 concierge service, access to tickets to major sporting events, and special discount travel packages.

Rates and Fees

Rewards credit cards always have interest rates on the high side, but this one is reasonable. Here are a few of the basic costs:

Purchase APR: You get a variable 14.24 percent. There’s only a 21-day grace period so be on your toes and pay the bill on time to avoid interest. Note: The penalty rate is a variable 29.99 percent. So there’s another incentive to pay your bills on time!

Balance Transfers: There’s a 3 percent transfer fee. There’s no intro rate, so you get the purchase APR, which is a variable 14.24 percent. There are better cards than this for a balance transfer.

Foreign transaction fee: 3 percent

Annual fee: Waived for the first year; after that, it’s $45 a year.

Bottom Line

For the Marriott loyalist, this card is a good option. You can redeem your points at Marriott hotels when you travel, but you can also redeem them for airline miles, travel expenses and more. So you have some flexibility.

Comments on articles and responses to those comments are not provided or commissioned by a bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by a bank advertiser. It is not a bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

Please note that our comments are moderated, so it may take a little time before you see them on the page. Thanks for your patience.

Certain credit cards and other financial products mentioned in this and other sponsored content on Credit.com are Partners with Credit.com. Credit.com receives compensation if our users apply for and ultimately sign up for any financial products or cards offered.

Hello, Reader!

Thanks for checking out Credit.com. We hope you find the site and the journalism we produce useful. We wanted to take some time to tell you a bit about ourselves.

Our People

The Credit.com editorial team is staffed by a team of editors and reporters, each with many years of financial reporting experience. We’ve worked for places like the New York Times, American Banker, Frontline, TheStreet.com, Business Insider, ABC News, NBC News, CNBC and many others. We also employ a few freelancers and more than 50 contributors (these are typically subject matter experts from the worlds of finance, academia, politics, business and elsewhere).

Our Reporting

We take great pains to ensure that the articles, video and graphics you see on Credit.com are thoroughly reported and fact-checked. Each story is read by two separate editors, and we adhere to the highest editorial standards. We’re not perfect, however, and if you see something that you think is wrong, please email us at editorial team [at] credit [dot] com,

The Credit.com editorial team is committed to providing our readers and viewers with sound, well-reported and understandable information designed to inform and empower. We won’t tell you what to do. We will, however, do our best to explain the consequences of various actions, thereby arming you with the information you need to make decisions that are in your best interests. We also write about things relating to money and finance we think are interesting and want to share.

In addition to appearing on Credit.com, our articles are syndicated to dozens of other news sites. We have more than 100 partners, including MSN, ABC News, CBS News, Yahoo, Marketwatch, Scripps, Money Magazine and many others. This network operates similarly to the Associated Press or Reuters, except we focus almost exclusively on issues relating to personal finance. These are not advertorial or paid placements, rather we provide these articles to our partners in most cases for free. These relationships create more awareness of Credit.com in general and they result in more traffic to us as well.

Our Business Model

Credit.com’s journalism is largely supported by an e-commerce business model. Rather than rely on revenue from display ad impressions, Credit.com maintains a financial marketplace separate from its editorial pages. When someone navigates to those pages, and applies for a credit card, for example, Credit.com will get paid what is essentially a finder’s fee if that person ends up getting the card. That doesn’t mean, however, that our editorial decisions are informed by the products available in our marketplace. The editorial team chooses what to write about and how to write about it independently of the decisions and priorities of the business side of the company. In fact, we maintain a strict and important firewall between the editorial and business departments. Our mission as journalists is to serve the reader, not the advertiser. In that sense, we are no different from any other news organization that is supported by ad revenue.

Visitors to Credit.com are also able to register for a free Credit.com account, which gives them access to a tool called The Credit Report Card. This tool provides users with two free credit scores and a breakdown of the information in their Experian credit report, updated twice monthly. Again, this tool is entirely free, and we mention that frequently in our articles, because we think that it’s a good thing for users to have access to data like this. Separate from its educational value, there is also a business angle to the Credit Report Card. Registered users can be matched with products and services for which they are most likely to qualify. In other words, if you register and you find that your credit is less than stellar, Credit.com won’t recommend a high-end platinum credit card that requires an excellent credit score You’d likely get rejected, and that’s no good for you or Credit.com. You’d be no closer to getting a product you need, there’d be a wasted inquiry on your credit report, and Credit.com wouldn’t get paid. These are essentially what are commonly referred to as "targeted ads" in the world of the Internet. Despite all of this, however, even if you never apply for any product, the Credit Report Card will remain free, and none of this will impact how the editorial team reports on credit and credit scores.

Your Stories

Lastly, much of what we do is informed by our own experiences as well as the experiences of our readers. We want to tell your stories if you’re interested in sharing them. Please email us at story ideas [at] credit [dot] com with ideas or visit us on Facebook or Twitter.

Thanks for stopping by.

- The Credit.com Editorial Team