5 free Marriott nights | Coffee Break Ep01


We love talking about points and miles all day, every day. That’s why we’ve decided – in addition to our full-length Frequent Miler on the Air podcast episodes, we’re going to share a little something to enjoy during your Tuesday coffee break too. Not a full hour of discussion and analysis like you’ll find on the full episodes, but a mini version with a single topic of focus.

This week’s coffee break topic? There’s currently a Business Marriott card with an offer for 5, 50K free nights after $8K of spend. But…at the same time, there’s also a consumer card offer for 5, 50K free nights after just $5K of spend. Are either of these offers a good deal? (And is one a better deal than the other?)

On this “Coffee Break” mini episode, Greg and Nick chat about this opportunity and who it may be good for.

5 free Marriott nights | Coffee Break Ep01

Pour yourself a refill of coffee and watch the video above, or click the timestamps below to navigate directly to these highlights within YouTube.

02:24 – The consumer card has a lower spend requirement…but does that mean it’s the better option? Greg thinks not. So…why does he like the business card better?

Check out the Marriott consumer card here, and the Marriott business card here.

03:26 – What is the Marriott “matrix of doom” and why are business cards easier for this? (Read this post to find out which Marriott cards you’re eligible for.)

06:13 – The business card is the only option for stacking.

06:36 – Is this a good offer (regardless of whether you get the business or consumer version?)

08:38 – What are the drawbacks of free night certs?

10:50 – Greg and Nick talk more about how using a cert impacts the fifth night free benefit.

14:23 – Let’s review…is this a smokin’ hot deal for everyone? If you can make good use of the certs and if you’re eligible, sure. But…how confident are you that you can use the certs?

Of course, if you’re a fan of podcasts over videos or posts, you can find this on all your favorite podcast platforms: Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and YouTube Music (formerly Google Play).

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Paul Davis

I like this format better. I have limited time and attention span…


The one item you guys didn’t consider is the ability to upgrade your Chase Marriott to the JPMorgan Ritz Carlton for the 85K FNC, $300 Travel Incidental Credit, and unlimited Priority Pass membership. I think that tips the scales in favor of the Chase Marriott CC over the AMEX Business Marriott CC.

Looking forward to the next coffee break episode 🙂

DC not in DC

Also, the Ritz-Carlton gives primary CDW. No AX cards give primary CDW: “Coverage is not available for vehicles rented in Australia, Italy, and New Zealand. This product provides secondary coverage and does not include liability coverage.”


appreciate short podcasts for breakout topics like this. one note though…. on the pod I dont think you ever mentioned if these were Amex or Chase cards. Wouldn’t be relevant for most non-Marriott cards but since Marriott has multiple issuers and Amex considerably easier than Chase on biz application approvals it seems relevant. Anyway really enjoy more pods like this (in addition to normal format)


can you apply for both the consumer and the business card and end up with 10 free night certificates?


According to the Marriott Eligibility Matrix, no. Once you get the Amex Marriott biz sign up bonus, you cannot get the sign up bonus from Chase Marriott for 24 months. It is also true if you get the Chase Marriott first.


Was happy to find this podcast episode in my feed when I got to the gym earlier today. And really enjoyed it.


Love this quick coffee break!

Would love to hear what you think. I also commented on Tim’s post but I have not heard back yet.

My husband tried to apply for the business since he has the brilliant and this would be a great combo. However. he got the pop up jail sign saying he would not get the bonus if he continue with the application. We tried using my referral link, then incognito mode, still the pop up will show up.

We are trying to figure it why he is in pop up jail could be since he has been putting spend in all his amex: the blue cash every day, hilton business and the marriot brilliant. He only has those 3 with Amex and the last 2 were opened on 1/23 and 6/23 respctively.. Could it be that he is not getting it because he got the brilliant bonus on 1/23 which is 13 months ago? any recommendations to try to get this sign up bonus or should we give up?


What has kept me from applying for the Amex or Chase versions of this offer is what was discussed in the video around the way Marriott hotels are frequently priced into 10-40k and 66k+ tiers, with little in between. I’m not interested in 5 low priced nights, and it’s a challenge to find 5 even medium priced nights that fit the 45-65k space. I frequently see mid-range hotels suspiciously priced at 66-68k points. I honestly wouldn’t be surprised if this offer was set at 50k intentionally to be just out of reach of better hotels, especially anything on a beach. Similarly, the 85k certificates with the Ritz seem to fall short, even with the 15k boost, of the numbers often demanded of higher level hotels, like 106k per night. I do understand that people CAN find hotels that fit, but this does not mean that these are great examples of what other people will want, and therefore these offers should closely be examined before applying.


I think you’ve nailed it, though in reverse order. Once Marriott ditched the award chart and went with flexible award pricing, hotels immediately started changing their award rates to 51K, 66K, 101K, etc. The 35K and 50K certs already existed, so hotels got “creative” in dealing with them when given pricing power. In this case, the egg (award certs) came before the chicken (hotels’ pricing structures).


Applied because of this video!


I love this format of a short in-depth analysis of one topic. I think once a week or when inspiration strikes would be a good schedule for more of these.

David Hanson

Happy to see this.

And thank you again, FM team. for including availability on youtube and podcast platforms!


Excited to check out the first Coffee Break episode, keep the FM audio and video content coming 🙂