Chase is running a limited time offer on the Chase Marriott Visa for 80K bonus points for spending $3,000 in 3 months. Plus you’ll get another 7.5K points for adding a free additional user card, for a total of 87.5K points.
The normal signup bonus for this card is 50K.
You also get a free night at a category 1-5 hotel every year that you renew the card, which takes the sting out of the $85 annual fee. If only the Starwood card offered that!
There are no foreign transaction fees and you earn 2 points per dollar on airfare, car rentals, and restaurants and 5 points per dollar at Marriott hotels.
Marriott allows free point transfers between spouses, so if 2 spouses both get a Marriott card and spend $3,000 on each they would have at least 181K points.
The Marriott program is split into “categories” and “tiers.”
Marriott has 9 categories of hotels that range from 7,500 to 45,000 points per night or 6,000 to 40,000 points per night when they’re on PointSavers.
Marriott also has 5 tiers of Ritz Carlton hotels that range from 30,000 to 70,000 points per night or 20,000 to 60,000 points per night when they’re on PointSavers.
When you stay 4 nights you get the 5th night free. You can browse hotels in each of those categories and tiers via the find button on this page.
You can also transfer points into miles here. The ratios aren’t great, but if you need some Southwest points for Companion pass status that can be worthwhile. If you collect 110K Southwest points in a year you can bring a companion with your for free for the rest of the year and all of the following year on both paid and award tickets. The ratios to United are also better than most other airlines.
Of course Starwood is in the process of merging with Marriott, but it will be a while until the programs are merged. Marriott’s CEO has promised multiple times not to mess with SPG’s value proposition, but we’ll see what that means when the full details come out. At this point nothing is known and there are lots of possibilities. The programs could be run separately or either loyalty program could win out. Ideally they’d realize the passion that SPG members have for Starpoints and simply convert Marriott points into an SPG type of loyalty program with something like a 50% haircut in points for Marriott members. But ideally doesn’t always happen.
Will the SPG AMEX or the Chase Marriott card survive? Might both survive? Those are all questions we might not know answers to until next year.
But in the meantime it can definitely make sense for both Marriott members and SPG members to take advantage of an offer like this as the points are very likely to be combinable in the future.
Marriott hotels in Israel:
Point hotels in Israel are hard to come by.
Not long ago Starwood had 13 properties that were all bargains with Starpoints. I stayed in many of them on a month-long trek across the holy land in August of 2007 spending just a couple thousand Starpoints per night to stay in Jerusalem, Haifa, Eilat, Tiberias, and the Dead Sea. Now there’s just 1 left, the Sheraton Tel Aviv, and at 12K-16K points per night it’s not the bargain it once was. Though with the SPG business card you’ll get free access to their lounge starting next month. The W Tel Aviv-Jaffa was slated to open fall 2015 but that has been pushed back to November 2016. By the time that Starwood merges with Marriott you will be able to use points at both of those hotels.
Hyatt had a Jerusalem hotel but now has nothing.
Hilton has had several hotels in Jerusalem over the years that have come and gone. The David Citadel opened as the Hilton Jerusalem in 1998 but left Hilton in 2001. The Waldorf Astoria is an awesome addition to the scene, though it’s 64K-80K points per night. Citi gives 2 free nights there with the Citi Hilton Reserve card. The Reserve card even gives Gold status which earns you free breakfast, a real treat at the Waldorf.
Israel currently has 2 Marriott hotels:
The Ritz-Carlton Herzliya is a new luxury hotel that has been getting rave reviews on TripAdvisor and on DDF, where they’ve nicknamed it the Ritzaliya. They even provide complimentary rides in the hotel’s Jaguar.
It is a Ritz-Carlton tier 3 hotel which means that it’s 50,000 points per night or 200,000 points for a 5 night stay (40,000 points per night).
A superior room on 04/21 is $660 or 50K points, a value of 1.32 cents per point. Or you can use 200,000 points for 5 nights, a value of 1.65 cents per point. The 87.5K signup bonus can be worth $1,443.75 for a redemption at that value per point.
If you need more points you can transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points to Marriott, but in most cases there are better uses for Ultimate Rewards points. After all you can buy increments of 1,000 points for $12.50 and Ultimate Rewards are worth more than that.
The Renaissance Tel Aviv Hotel is a category 7 hotel that goes for 35,000 points per night or 140,000 points for a 5 night stay (28,000 points per night.)
A standard room on 06/19 is $300 or 35K points, a value of .86 cents per point. Or you can use 140,000 points for 5 nights, a value of 1.07 cents per point. The 87.5K signup bonus can be worth $936.25 for a redemption at that value per point.
What’s your favorite Marriott redemption?