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There’s never been a bigger offer for the Marriott Rewards® Premier Credit Card than there is right now. The standard offer I’ve seen for this card over the years was only 50,000 points. I first got the card when the bonus was 25,000 points.
Now it’s 80,000 points after spending $3000 within the first 3 months of cardmembership and an additional 7500 bonus points when you add your first authorized user to the account and make a purchase in that same timeframe.
Now that Marriott points transfer to Starwood, it’s the biggest current public signup offer for Starwood points as well.
In fact, you can only get an American Express signup bonus once for a given card product. If you’ve already had the bonus for a Starwood American Express card, this is an opportunity to get another Starwood bonus as well.
But the signup bonus can go farther than with many other hotel cards:
- It’s worth two nights in a category 8 hotel or 4 nights in a category 4 or 8 nights in a category 2 hotel.
- And you can also, of course, top off a Marriott account with points from for instance a Chase Sapphire Preferred Card. That’s not generally the best use of Chase points but if you’re close to an award it can make sense. (In fact, Chase points now transfer to Starwood as well, at the same rate as American Express Membership Rewards do, through the transitive property of Starwood-Marriott transfers.)
It can make sense to get the card for the bonus. And to keep the card for the annual free night.
There’s a ton of hype around transfers between Starwood and Marriott. There are great arbitrage opportunities, but here are 8 great Marriott hotels where you can spend your points:
Protea Hotel Stellenbosch, South Africa
The Protea Hotel Stellenbosch is set in vineyards of the Cape Winelands district, bordering nature reserves. It overlooks wineries, and is a great jumping off point for exploring the region’s wine and arts scene. This is the second oldest town in the country with Dutch-heritage architecture. It’s 15 minutes from the beach and beside two golf courses.
And it’s a category 1 hotel, 7500 points per night and 5th night is free — so 30,000 points for 5 days.
Courtyard Aguadilla, Puerto Rico
Explore the beaches on Puerto Rico’s West Coast. The property is minutes from the airport and it’s just a category 2 hotel at 10,000 points per night or 40,000 points for 5 nights. That’s a great value since prices are often $150++ per night.
JW Marriott Bucharest, Romania
This is just a category 3 hotel so only 15,000 points per night with fifth night free. This one first stood out to me a year and a half ago when it was featured as one of Travel is Free‘s unbelievably cheap hotel award redemptions.
Mauna Kea Beach Hotel, Hawaii
This Autograph Collection property is on the western side of the island of Hawaii. All rooms have private lanais and soaking tubs.
This is a category 8 hotel, at 40,000 points per night you can book a couple of nights at one of Hawaii’s most classic properties
JW Marriott Grosvenor House, London
The JW Marriott Grosvenor House in the Mayfair area overlooks Hyde Park. Nearby is Buckingham Palace and Madame Tussauds. It’s a top property in Central London.
Meet the spending requirement on this card and earn the full signup bonus, you have enough points for two nights at this category 9 property that’s 45,000 points per night.
The Ritz-Carlton New York, Central Park
There are few archetypal luxury prestige properties quite like the Ritz-Carlton Central Park. Sure, the Ritz in Battery Park is cheaper. But this is the one that’s on bucket lists, right on Central Park with an Art Deco exterior.
It’s 70,000 points per night as a tier 5 Ritz-Carlton redemption, but you’ve got the points to stay here so why not? And transferring Starwood points to Marriott you’ve got a better deal than using Starpoints at Starwood’s own top luxury New York hotels.