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By: Caroline Lupini
Chase launched the Marriott Rewards Premier Plus Credit Card in May 2018 as part of the Marriott-Starwood merger. This card isn’t the best choice for everyday spend, but it comes with an annual free night certificate that easily makes up for the annual fee, and offers some minor benefits for Marriott guests.
The Marriott Rewards Premier Plus Credit Card offers two free nights, up to 35,000 points each, after you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months of holding the card.
The Marriott Premier Plus Card has the following bonus categories:
- 6X at Marriott hotels (including former Starwood brands and Ritz-Carlton)
- 2X on all other purchases
There is no limit on the number of bonus points you can earn in these categories.
This card has a $95 annual fee, which is not waived for the first year.
Benefits of the Marriott Premier Plus Card
Annual Free Night Award (Up to 35,000 Points)
One of the best benefits of the Marriott Premier Plus card is that it offers a free night certificate valid at properties that cost up to 35,000 points per night. Unfortunately, you won’t get this certificate the first year that you have the card, rather it will kick in after you’ve had the card for a full year.
Since Marriott’s new award pricing chart out in 2019, but the time you’ve earned your first certificate it will be valid at Category 1-5 properties during off-peak times and Category 1-4 properties during peak times.
Complimentary Marriott Silver Elite Status
Opening the card will give you automatic Silver Elite status in the Marriott Rewards program – normally you’d have to spend 10 nights at Marriott hotels to reach that level. Silver status gives you a 10% bonus on points earned from Marriott stays and priority late checkout (based on availability).
You can also get Gold Elite status if you spend $35,000 on the card in a calendar year, but the only significant differences from Silver Elite are room upgrades (subject to availability), faster internet, and more bonus points on stays – so there are probably better cards on which to spend $35,000.
15 Bonus Elite Nights
If earning status with Marriott is one of your goals, the Marriott Premier Plus card provides 15 elite nights each calendar year which can give you a nice boost. Currently, it’s possible to stack this benefit from multiple Marriott or SPG cards, but starting in 2019 you will be capped at 15 bonus nights from a credit card regardless of how many Marriott and SPG cards you have.
Lost Luggage Reimbursement
If you use your Marriott Premier Plus card to buy a flight and your checked or carry-on luggage is damaged or lost by the airline (or another common carrier), Chase will reimburse you up to $3,000 per passenger.
Trip Delay Reimbursement
If your flight, train or other “common carrier” (i.e. not private/charter) transportation is delayed more than 12 hours or long enough to require an overnight stay, Chase will reimburse you and your family up to $500 per ticket for unexpected expenses during your delay such as meals and lodging.
Rental Car Collision Damage Waiver
If you rent a car and pay for it in full with your Marriott Premier Plus card, Chase will provide coverage in case the car is damaged or stolen, so you don’t have to pay extra to the rental agency.
However, when traveling in the United States this coverage is secondary – if you have a personal auto insurance policy, you’ll need to file a claim with them first, and then Chase will pick up anything that’s not covered.
Extended Warranty and Purchase Protection
If you use the Marriott Premier Plus card to make a purchase, Chase will add one additional year to the manufacturer’s warranty (if it’s three years or less), and reimburse you for stolen or damaged items (up to $500 per claim with a lifetime maximum of $50,000).
How to Use Marriott Rewards Points
Marriott Rewards points are pretty flexible. You can use them to book hotels in the Marriott portfolio (over 6,800 hotels now!) and you can even transfer your Marriott points to airline partners.
An additional Category 8 and Off-Peak and Peak pricing will be introduced in 2019. In general, this means that awards are going to get more expensive next year so, if you have something in mind, we recommend booking now.
If, your award redemption does benefit from the changes, you can usually change to the lower rate without penalty (just make sure to double check the change/cancellation policy before you book).
Here’s the current Marriott award chart.
Like we mentioned above, you can also transfer points to over 40 airline partners, including many airlines that don’t have other transfer partners like Alaska, American, Japan Airlines, and Lufthansa. And that’s the real sweet spot or Marriott points! You can transfer points to most airlines at a 3:1 ratio (3 Marriott Rewards points = 1 airline mile) and for every 60,000 points you transfer, you’ll get a 5,000-mile bonus.
Is the Marriott Premier Plus Card Right for You?
This card isn’t right for everyone, but the welcome bonus goes a long way to making it a great card. However, you’ll want to make sure you’re eligible before you apply as this card is subject to Chase’s 5/24 rule. If you’ve opened 5 or more personal credit cards from any bank — or business cards from Capital One or Discover — in the past 24 months, you won’t be eligible.
You also can’t sign up for this card if you currently hold the Chase Marriott Rewards Premier credit card, though you may be able to upgrade to this card and receive some kind of incentive.
Additionally, whether you are eligible for this card also depends on what cards you have opened with Chase because Marriott offers credit cards with both American Express and Chase. You will not be eligible for the welcome bonus if any of the following apply:
- You currently have a Starwood Preferred Guest personal credit card from American Express, or had it open within the past 30 days
- You opened a Starwood Preferred Guest personal, Business, or Luxury card with American Express in the past 90 days
- You received a welcome or upgrade bonus for a Starwood Preferred Guest Business or Luxury credit card from American Express in the past 24 months
The Marriott Rewards Premier Plus credit card may be a good choice if you are under 5/24 and qualify for the welcome bonus – it’s a great way to rack up a bunch of Marriott Rewards points quickly, and the free night certificate makes up for the annual fee.
If you’re over 5/24, check out the Marriott Rewards Premier Business Credit Card (which isn’t subject to the 5/24 rule) or one of the Starwood Preferred Guest credit cards from American Express.
Editor’s Note: Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.