|Marriott points can be redeemed for free night awards, travel packages, airline miles, or experiences. 5th Night Free Awards: When redeeming points for free nights, the 5th night within a single reservation is free. Airline miles: Points can be converted to airline miles at a rate of 3 points to 1 mile. A bonus is added on when you transfer 60,000 points at a time, such that 60,000 points transfers to 25,000 miles. Also, you'll get a 10% bonus when transferring points to United Airlines.
Everything you need to know about Marriott's rewards program, Bonvoy, can be found here: Marriott Bonvoy Complete Guide
- Annual free night award: Each year, after renewal, you will receive one Free Night Award. The Free Night Award can be redeemed for a one-night stay at Marriott hotels with a redemption level at or under 35,000 points.
- Automatic Silver Elite status: Offers a 10% point bonus on points earned from hotel stays.
- Gold Elite status with $35K spend: Spend $35K within a calendar year to get Gold Elite status good for the rest of that year and all of the next year. Gold elite status offers 2pm late checkout, 25% point bonus on points earned from hotel stays, points-only welcome gift, chance of a room upgrade, and complimentary enhanced internet.
- 15 Elite Night Credits: This is now a standard perk with all currently available Marriott cards. These elite nights count towards your total towards elite status each year. For example, if you stay 35 nights in Marriott properties, you will earn 50 night Platinum status thanks to these 15 elite nights adding to your actual stays. Unfortunately the 15 elite nights do not stack across cards.
How to Meet Spend Requirements
In order to meet minimum spend requirements, people often look for options to increase spend in ways that result in getting their money back. These techniques are referred to as "manufacturing spend". American Express has terms in their welcome offers that exclude some manufactured spend techniques
from counting towards the minimum spend requirements for the welcome bonus. For example, most new cardmember bonuses have terms like this:
Eligible purchases to meet the Threshold Amount of this offer do NOT include fees or interest charges, balance transfers, cash advances, purchase of travelers checks, purchase or reloading of prepaid cards, purchases of gift cards, person-to-person payments, or other cash equivalents.
That said, many techniques for meeting minimum spend are perfectly fine. Here are some techniques that are safe for meeting Amex minimum spend requirements (click each link for more information):
Keep or Cancel?
This card is not particularly rewarding for spend. In my opinion, the decision as to whether to keep the card past the first year should be based on how much you value the annual free night. If you value the free night significantly higher than this card's annual fee, then keep the card. Otherwise, cancel when the annual fee comes due.
Related Cards (Marriott Bonvoy)