I signed up for the Marriott Premier credit card last year after seeing an ad on Instagram. The sign up bonus offered 10,000 bonus points for every $1,000 spend in the first year, up to $12,000. Thus, after spending the full $12k you’d end up with 120,000 Marriott points. I jumped at the chance as I love Marriott (formerly SPG) points as I use them for experiences like seeing Phish with 3 friends in a box at MSG.
Then Marriott merged with SPG and they came out with a newer product, the Marriott Premier Plus credit card. The old Premier card earned 5x on Marriott/SPG, 2x on restaurants and certain travel, and 1x on everything else. The new Premier Plus earns 6x on Marriott/SPG, and 2x on everything else. Considering that I book on travel and dining on my Sapphire Reserve anyway, upgrading to the new card basically gave me a 100% bonus on all spend.
I decided to try and upgrade my product, which you can do by going here and entering your information. Folks have reported receiving offers for as low as 10,000 points, and as many as 50,000 points. I was lucky enough to have received a 50k offer, which i’ll admit, was surprising. I figured after securing my outsized signup bonus so recently they’d never give me another 50k for free. I was wrong!
I got the new card, activated it, made my first purchase, then waited. At first I was enough as I’d only received 10,000 bonus points and the line item said “upgrade offer”. I waited a few weeks and finally called Marriott yesterday to ask about what happened to the other 40k. No sooner was I connected to the phone agent did I login to my account and notice a separate line item for 40k points. Score!
New Card Benefits
In addition to the 6/2 earning structure I mentioned above, the card also comes with the following benefits.
- Free night award (valued up to 35k points) every year after account anniversary.
- Automatic Silver elite status
- Ability to earn Gold status after spending $35,000 in a year
- 15 elite night credits
- Free in-room internet at participating hotels
- No foreign transaction fees
While I realize some folks were less than satisfied with the result of the merger, I for one am happy so far. These points are valuable to me because I use them for Marriott moments (not because I stay in a lot of hotels). The price of those experiences hasn’t really increased in lockstep with the new earning structure, which means I have plenty of access for not a lot of points.
Were you offered a retention bonus? If so, for how much? Be sure to let me know in the comment section below.