Yesterday I applied for the Marriott Rewards Premier Business credit card. To my delight, I was automatically approved after submitting the application.

The Marriott Rewards Premier Business credit card is issued by Chase, who is known for denying people for the majority of their cards who have opened almost any five credit cards from any bank in the last 24 months. I have opened far more than five credit cards in the last 24 months, but I decided to go for the Marriott Business card anyways as the rule is known not to apply it. Looks like the collective wisdom is right, at least in my case.

Probably due to forbidden fruit syndrome more than anything else, I’m pretty excited about my first Chase card. I wish it was a Sapphire Reserve card, but you can’t always get what you want. At least I’ve established a relationship with the bank. Step 1 accomplished.

Quick Facts

  • Sign up bonus: 80,000 Marriott Rewards for spending $3,000 within three months of account opening
  • Category bonuses: 5x at Marriott properties, 2x on airline tickets purchased directly with the airline, car rental agencies, restaurants, office supply stores, internet, cable, and phone services purchases
  • Marriott Rewards Gold Elite benefits when you spend $50,000 the card each account year
  • Anniversary bonus: A free night stay in a Category 1-5 hotel each year after account anniversary
  • Global Acceptance: Visa, chip technology, and no foreign transaction fees
  • Annual fee: $99, not waived

Why I Want Marriott Rewards

I typically don’t patron chain hotels. I don’t collect many hotel rewards and I don’t have elite status with any hotel loyalty program. I tend to stay at Airbnbs, sometimes at hostel if it’s for a short term stay, and occasionally at mom and pop boutique hotels if the price is right.

I LOVED this boutique hotel in Taipú do Fora, Brazil called Pousada Latina Arte.
I LOVED this affordable boutique hotel in Taipú do Fora, Brazil called Pousada Latina Arte. Read my trip report.

So why am I interested in Marriott points? Because I can turn them into SPG points or United miles.

Starwood Preferred Guest and Marriott merged last year, resulting in many advantageous opportunities for both SPG members as well as Marriott Rewards members. One such opportunity is the ability to link accounts and transfer from Marriott to SPG at a 3:1 ratio or the other way at a 1:3 ratio.

The 83,000 Marriott points (minimum, not accounting for category bonuses) you’d earn from reaching the minimum spending requirement for the bonus translates to over 27,000 SPG points.

SPG has a massive amount of airline transfer partners, and most of the good partners transfer 1:1. On the left is the loyalty program, and on the right is the transfer rate.

Aegean Airlines 1:1
Aeromexico Club Premier 1:1
Aeroplan/Air Canada 1:1
Air Berlin 1:1
Air China Companion 1:1
Air New Zealand Airpoints 65:1
Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan 1:1
Alitalia MileMiglia 1:1
All Nippon Airways (ANA) Mileage Club 1:1
American Airlines AAdvantage 1:1
Asia Miles 1:1
Asiana Airlines 1:1
British Airways Executive Club 1:1
China Eastern Airlines 1:1
China Southern Airlines Sky Pearl Club 1:1
Delta Air Lines SkyMiles 1:1
Emirates Skywards 1:1
Etihad Airways 1:1
Flying Blue 1:1
Gol Smiles 2:1
Hainan Airlines 1:1
Hawaiian Airlines 1:1
Iberia Plus 1:1
Japan Airlines (JAL) Mileage Bank 1:1
Jet Airways 1:1
Korean Air 1:1
LATAM Airlines LATAM Pass 1:1.5
LifeMiles® of Avianca 1:1
Miles and More 1:1
Qatar Airways 1:1
Saudi Arabian Airlines 1:1
Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer 1:1
Thai Airways International Royal Orchid Plus 1:1
United Mileage Plus 2:1
Virgin Atlantic Flying Club 1:1
Virgin Australia 1:1

 

Unfortunately the transfer rate to United is pitiful. If I desire United miles in the future, then instead I would just transfer Marriott points directly to United.

Marriott has a special relationship with United which allows you to convert specific amounts of Marriott points to United miles:

Screen Shot 2015-08-17 at 6.43.26 PM

So with 56,000 Marriott points, I could buy 25k United miles and still have 27k Marriott points leftover to turn into 9k SPG points.

Why Marriott Rewards Are Perfect for My Current Situation

There are two reasons why Marriott Rewards are perfect for my current situaiton.

  1. I already have a decent balance of SPG points thanks to my Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card from American Express. Having the ability to top off my Starpoint account if need be will be mighty convenient for big redemptions, especially considering the 5k bonus earned for every 20k increment of Starpoints transferred to airline loyalty partners. You should always try to maximize Starpoints by making transfers to airlines in 20k increments.
  2. I have no United miles or Ultimate Rewards as I was cut off by Chase’s 5/24 rule a long time ago, so the ability to turn Marriott Rewards into United miles could prove very useful.

Eligibility for Business Cards

If you’re unsure of whether or not you’re eligible for a business credit card, read How to Get Approved for Business Cards. There are many out there who are likely eligible that don’t realize it. I opened this card for my “Ebay business”, as I’ve been selling items on Ebay lately. I opened it under my own social security number as the sole proprietor, was honest about the projected low annual income and how long I’d been in business, and was automatically approved. You don’t need to be running a multi-employee corporation raking in big numbers to be eligible for business credit cards.

The personal version of this card is the Marriott Rewards Premier credit card and has a similar offer to the business card. It also comes with 80k Marriott points after $3k of spending in three months, but you can also get 7,500 more points for adding an authorized user.

Bottom Line

Yesterday I applied and was automatically approved for the Marriott Rewards Premier Business card.  Once I’ve spent $3,000 on my new card, I’ll have at least 83,000 Marriott Rewards which I could use to redeem for free nights at Marriott points (unlikely), to buy United miles at decent right (more likely), or to transfer to SPG at a rate of 3:1 (the most likely scenario).

What’s the latest credit card you’ve opened or plan to open soon?

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