About Marriott Rewards Premier Business Card
Business owners and employees who travel often know how valuable a card like the Marriott Rewards Premier Business can be.
This hotel rewards credit card offered by Marriott presents you with some pretty strong benefits and points earning potential.
Whether you know what those terms mean or not isn’t important—it’s the research you do before you choose a hotel rewards business credit card that counts.
We’ve crafted this Marriott Rewards Premier Business review to meet that research need. We’ve gone into the fine print of the card, read up on the rewards advantages and crunched the numbers ourselves so that you don’t have to.
Over the course of the next few minutes we have together, we’re going to give you a step-by-step analysis of how this card may or may not benefit you.
Along the way, we’ll give you some clear, simple examples of what the card’s points are worth and how you can maximize your membership in order to get free nights and other perks that come with this card.
The review will work through the following topics:
- The Hotel-Specific Benefits
- How to Maximize Your Points
- The Non-Hotel Benefits
- Rates and Fees
The Marriot Rewards Premier Business Card’s Hotel-Specific Benefits
Take a minute to think about what matters most to you when you’re staying at a hotel. Is it spacious accommodations you want? Or do you prefer excellent service no matter how big or small the room is? Or maybe you want the little things like a welcome gift, free internet and free meals.
Keep those preferences in mind as we work through the Rewards Premier’s business benefits because they’ll factor into your decision about whether or not this card is good for you.
15 Free Elite Nights
The Marriott Rewards loyalty program has four tiers: Member, Silver, Gold and Platinum.
Assuming you’ll get this card when you apply for it, Marriott will give you 15 free Elite nights, which is an industry way of saying “experience points”. You get one Elite night for every night you stay at a Marriott property.
Those Elite nights are useful because you can use them to level up to Silver, Gold and Platinum levels in the Marriott rewards program.
Silver status requires 10 stays per year, Gold requires 50 and you’ll have to stay at least 75 nights. Marriott’s fine print says that your rewards stays count toward these thresholds, which is important to keep in mind when we talk about the free nights you can get with your points.
You’ve probably already deduced that your 15 free Elite nights get you automatic Silver status.
The only benefit Silver status gives you above what a regular member gets is a 20% bonus on the points you use to book your room. So, if you spend 10,000 for a rewards night, you’ll get 2,000 deposited back to your account after you book.
To put it simply, you won’t get any extra white-glove treatment or upgrades with Silver status. Our recommendation is to set your sights on Gold status because the benefits are exponentially better:
- 25% points bonus
- Guaranteed room type
- Complimentary room upgrade
- Guaranteed 4 p.m. late checkout
- Complimentary breakfast for two and lounge access
80,000 Introductory Bonus Points
While the 15 free Elite nights help you get a better guest experience, it’s the 80,000 bonus points that will get you the bulk of your free stays the first year you own this card.
Exactly how many stays those bonus points get you is up for interpretation. Marriott’s redemption rates for their various hotels are split up into nine different categories. Here’s the chart we pulled straight from the Marriott site:
Marriot Rewards Chart
The points totals on the left are the regular rates and the totals on the right are the “sale” rates that occasionally happen but are limited to just a few properties.
As you can see, how many nights you get out of your intro rewards depends on the hotel at which you decide to stay.
There are more than 100 Category 1 hotels in the United States, but most of those properties are Marriott’s low-end brands like Fairfield Inn & Suites, SpringHill Suites, Courtyard, TownePlace Suites and Residence Inn.
Now, when we say “low-end”, we mean the hotels in Category 1 aren’t considered luxury properties. They’re very functional, though, if you’re looking for a simple, big room when you travel.
You’ll find the same style of properties in Categories 2 and 3, which means you literally have hundreds of options in cities all across the country for suite-style rewards nights.
It’s in Category 3 that you start to see some mid-level properties trickle into the mix: Tempe’s MOXY, Tucson’s AC Hotel and the Bakersfield Marriott are examples of this.
Category 4 hotels are still flooded with Fairfield, SpringHill, Courtyard, TownePlace and Residence properties.
In fact, it’s not until Category 6 that you see more mid-range and upscale properties. Of course, the relevance of these properties depends on your travel needs. If you’re bouncing from city to city and need simple accommodations, luxury isn’t really a factor.
However, if you want nice accommodations no matter where you’re at, then take what we’ve showed you into consideration. You may not find a suitable property until you hit the 30,000-point range, and even then, the selection is limited.
Bonus Point Structure: 5x, 2x 1x
The moment you start using your Marriot Rewards Premier card for purchases, you’ll earn rewards points you can redeem for free nights.
You’ll get five points for every dollar you spend at Marriott/Starwood properties. Marriott and Starwood are in the process of merging, which is why you’ll get bonuses for Starwood purchases.
Chase will give you two points for every dollar you spend in the following areas:
- Airline tickets bought from the airline
- Car rentals from car rental agencies
- Office supply stores
- Internet service purchases
- Cable service purchases
- Phone service purchases
All other purchases will get one point per dollar. Exclusions include money-based purchases like pre-loaded cards, casino chips, gambling deposits and traveler’s checks.
Based on statistics we gathered up from CreditCards.com, we estimate that the average Marriot Rewards Premier Business cardholder will spend about $30,000 on his or her card.
Assuming that average spend is business-related, you might be able to get 2x bonuses on about $15K, which is 30,000 rewards points. The remaining $15,000 in purchases will be 1:1, so your total rewards each year could be around 45,000 points.
Marriott will also give you a free night on your anniversary, as well as a free fifth night when you book four nights with cash or points.
Another perk? Marriott will give you 1 Elite night for every $3,000 you spend. So, if you spend $30,000 a year on your Marriot Rewards Premier, you’ll have 10 Elite nights through spending and the complimentary 15 you get on your cardmember anniversary.
An Overview of What Your First-Year Rewards Will Look Like
We’re going to start out this section by saying it can be confusing to understand the full value of the Rewards Premier card from Marriott, but we’re going to make it easy:
- Total bonus/spend points the first year: 125,000 points
- 20% bonus for Silver status: 25,000 points
- Total points: 150,000
- Yearly Elite nights: 15
- Spending Elite nights: 10
- Total Elite nights: 25
If you stay at Category 1 properties, you’ll pay 7,500 points a night. Based on our calculations of 150,000 first-year points, you can get 20 free nights. The implications here are huge.
Gold Elite Status
If you book Cat. 1 hotel stays and get those 20 nights, then you could conceivably have 45 Elite nights the first year without spending a dime: 15 from the bonus, 10 from spending and 20 from stays.
That means you’ll only need five extra nights to hit Gold status.
Fifth Night Free
We framed your points value in terms of how many free nights you could get: 20 if you’re counting rewards nights.
However, Marriott’s fifth-night-free perk makes those points even more valuable. If you stick with Category 1 hotels, then your 20 free nights are good for five stays of four nights.
Marriott will tack on an extra night for free since you’re booking four, which means those 20 first year nights are actually worth 25.
However, you only get 25 nights if you do four-night stays. If you’re just hopping across the country on weekend trips, then this perk will be irrelevant.
An Overview of Your Second-Year Rewards
Once the second-year hits, you won’t have the 80,000 points and the Elite-night credit you’d get from the rewards nights you cash in because of that 80K bonus are gone, too.
Your rewards will be confined to the 15 Elite nights you get every year, your free anniversary night and your 45,000 rewards points from your spending. Throw in your 20% bonus on points redemptions and you’re looking at 54,000 total, which is seven free Category 1 nights and eight if you take advantage of the fifth-night free perk.
The Marriott Rewards Premier Business Card’s Non-Hotel Perks
Chase is going to give you a series of standard travel card rewards that include free employee cards.
Basically, you won’t have to pay a foreign transaction fee and you get a series of shopping and travel protections that comes standard with a Visa Signature card.
Those benefits include reimbursements for lost or delayed luggage on flights you purchase with your Marriot Rewards Premier card.
You’ll also get extended warranties, price protection, rental car insurance and zero-liability on fraudulent purchases. Consult your benefits guide to get the details on restrictions and limitations related to these benefits.
The Marriott Rewards Premier Business Card’s Rates and Fees
According to CreditCards.com, the average balance on business credit cards is around $3,600. If you anticipate carrying a balance, keep the following interest rates and fees in mind:
- APR: 16.99% to 23.99%, based on creditworthiness
- Penalty APR: Up to 29.99%
- Annual fee: $99
- Foreign transaction fee: None
- Late/returned payment: Up to $39
- Balance transfer fee: 5%
The number you really need to keep in mind here is the penalty APR. Chase says this APR will kick in if you don’t pay your minimum payment on time or you make a payment that’s returned. According to the fine print, that penalty APR could apply to your account indefinitely.
The Pros of the Marriot Rewards Premier Business Card
We see the Marriot Rewards Premier’s greatest strength being the first-year rewards. Savvy cardholders can leverage the points to get at least 20 free nights, then use those free nights and other perks to get within 5 nights of Gold Elite status.
The Cons of the Marriott Rewards Premier Business Card
Based on our research, we’d say the biggest drawback of this card is the fact that your complimentary Silver Elite status is paltry and the card has a penalty APR that kicks in the moment you make a late payment.
Who’s a Good Fit for The Marriot Rewards Premier Business Card?
We see this card being a good fit for a business owner who travels often and is more concerned about getting free nights rather than luxury. The Marriott Rewards Premier card has hundreds of Category 1 and 2 hotels that offer good value.
If you’re uncertain about getting this card, take a look at our article on the best business rewards credit cards of 2017. We break down some of the leading business rewards credit cards and help you see how each one can benefit you.