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To really get things going they’re offering an initial bonus of 100,000 points after $5000 spend on purchases in the first 3 months of cardmembership.
Al Maha Desert Resort
The card comes with an annual free night that seems improved compared to the old card, too. The earlier free night was valid up to category 5, a room that would cost up to 25,000 points. This new card gives you an annual free night after each account anniversary valued for hotels which cost up to 35,000 points. That means it’s good for hotels which are in the first five out of an initial seven categories.
Return on unbonused spend doubles, too — it will be as strong on spending as the legacy Starwood American Express come August.
- 6 points per dollar at Marriott Rewards (and Starwood) hotels
- 2 points per dollar everywhere else
The card comes with automatic Silver elite status. Spending $35,000 in purchases on the card in an account year earns Gold status. And beginning next year you receive 15 elite nights towards status as well.
My view is this is a great signup bonus. The Marriott card used to be weak for spending, it’s now improved and above average, but not what I want top of wallet day in and day out. I last valued Marriott points at $0.008 apiece, suggesting 1.6% return for unbonused spend. My guess is points value will trend closer to $0.007 going forward.
The annual free night gives the card a long-term place in your wallet — and doubly so if you’re working towards Marriott status. Note that you will be able to earn 15 nights towards status in total from credit cards, not 15 nights per card.