The small percentage of people who optimize their credit card rewards require using specific credit cards for specific types of purchases. Maximizing these rewards requires willpower, and possibly at least ten different cards. One travel rewards card would be used to book flights and pay for other travel expenses, one gas rewards card would be used to pay for gasoline, and so on. If you expect to spend a lot of time away from home in hotels, you’ll need a hotel rewards credit card to optimize your cash back and other rewards, like the Marriott Rewards Credit Card.
After you spend $1,000 in your first three months from account opening you can receive 30,000 bonus points on the Marriott Rewards Credit Card. Redeemable for up to four free nights at a category one Marriott hotel. After account approval Chase happily throws in two more free nights at a hotel in categories one through four, so you’ll have up to six free nights almost immediately. The amount of points needed to redeem a free night stay varies on the quality of the Marriott hotel; the higher the category number, the more points needed to receive a free night’s stay.
The Marriott Rewards Credit Card awards all cardholders with points for every eligible dollar spent. The amount of points earned for certain purchases is as follows:
- Three points for every $1 spent at over 3,600 Marriott locations
- One point for every dollar spent on other purchases
There is no maximum to the number of points that cardholders can earn every year, and the points never expire as long as the credit card account remains open and in good standing. Your account must be in good standing at all times, and any missed payment or charge over your limit will forfeit your ability to earn points. One mistake will not close your account, but multiple mistakes could.
The Marriott Rewards Credit Card includes a variable purchase APR currently at 14.24%, and there is currently no introductory offer. There is a annual fee of $45, but that fee is waived for all cardholders for the first year. Chase offers a couple additional perks worth mentioning with this card:
- Earn ten night credits upon account anniversary, toward your next Elite membership level
- Earn an additional Elite night credit for every $3,000 spent annually
Depending on where you stay when you’re traveling for business or pleasure, the Marriott Rewards Credit Card offers a great rewards program with an excellent up-front bonus. To apply, visit their secure application page.
Updated May 10, 2013 and originally published March 30, 2011. If you enjoyed this article, subscribe to the RSS feed or receive daily emails. Follow @flexo on Twitter and visit our Facebook page for more updates.