A reader reported receiving the following offer to earn up to 120,000 points with a new Marriott Rewards Premier Credit Card:
My initial reaction was that the offer was surely terrible. After all, I had previously reviewed and dismissed an advertised 150K Marriott offer. I figured that this one would be just as bad. But, I was sort-of wrong. Under certain circumstances this 120K offer may be worth pursuing…
Comparing the Marriott 120K offer to other offers…
One way to evaluate this offer is to compare it to the best public offer for the same card. The current public offer for the Marriott Rewards Premier Card is 80K bonus points after $3K spend (check this page for up to date offer information). After $3K spend, you would have 83,000 Marriott points, or more, since you’ll earn at least 3,000 points for that $3,000 spend (the card earns 1X for most purchases, 2X for airline, car rental, & restaurants; and 5X at Marriott & SPG properties).
With the 120K offer, you would have to spend $8,300 in order to earn the same 83,000 points. So, clearly, the public 80K offer is better if you don’t need additional points. That said, if you need 120,000 points, the public offer would require $40,000 of 1X spend (less if you spend in bonus categories). So, from that viewpoint, the 120K offer is better if you want or need that many Marriott points.
Another option for earning Marriott points is through SPG (Starwood Preferred Guest) cards. The current public offer for the personal SPG card is 25,000 points after $3K spend. Since SPG points transfer 1 to 3 to Marriott, you would have 28,000 SPG points or 84,000 Marriott points after meeting the card’s spend requirement. You would then need to spend $12,000 more to get to 120,000 Marriott points. Again, the Marriott 120K offer is better if you want or need that many Marriott points. Heck, it’s even better for earning SPG points if you need 120K / 3 = 40,000 of them. The math flips around, though, if you have a targeted SPG offer for 30K points after $3K spend. In that case, including points from spend, you would have 33K SPG points or 99K Marriott points after just $3K spend. If you really need 120K Marriott points, you can get there with $7K additional spend for a total of $10K spend. The targeted SPG 30K offer is better than the targeted 120K Marriott offer. And, obviously, the 35K targeted SPG offer that some have reported is even better.
Update: The following offer for the SPG Business Credit Card has expired. See the link to our SPG Business Card page below for more information on the current available offer.
Now let’s look at the current SPG Business Card offer: Earn 25K points after $6K spend in 3 months, and an additional 10K points after an additional $4K spend in first 6 months. In other words, you can earn 35,000 bonus points after $10K spend. When you factor in the points from spend, you’ll have at least 45,000 SPG points. If you transferred those points to Marriott, you’d have a total of 135,000 Marriott points after $10K spend. The current SPG business card offer is better than the targeted 120K Marriott offer.
For those who want or need 120K Marriott points, and are able to spend $12K (presumably you have a year to do so), the targeted 120K offer is better than the public 80K offer. Meanwhile, the SPG card offers (targeted personal offer and public business card offer) are even better than the targeted Marriott 120K offer.
The first decision to make is to decide whether to go with Marriott or SPG or both. If you only want one new card, and you haven’t had it before, then I’d argue that the SPG cards offer the most bang for the buck.
If you decide you want a Marriott card (either because you can’t qualify for a new SPG card or you want both), then deciding between the public and targeted Marriott offers is essential: you can’t get both. If you’re looking for the best bang for your buck, go for the 80K offer. If you’re looking to earn as many Marriott points as possible, go for the 120K offer.
Note: If you’re interested in the 80K offer, you may find that you’re targeted for a better version of that offer by logging into your Marriott account. Then, go through the steps of booking a hotel (but don’t actually complete the final booking step) to see if you are presented with an even better offer.