Saturday, May 28, 2011

Awesome Hotel Deal!

Okay, so when Chris and I got married my wonderful aunt and uncle gave us an amazing gift and that is where this story begins. In the process of arranging this gift my aunt let us know that since the hotels we would be staying in on our honeymoon were Marriott brand hotels, we should apply for the Marriott Rewards Program.
No charge, just a member number where points add up for each stay at a Marriott hotel which eventually earns you free nights (and actually our honeymoon stays earned us a couple of free nights in themselves). So we did it!
There were several times over the next year when the program would offer special incentives (in the form of bonus points) which we would try to apply. I mean, you have to stay in hotels sometimes so we figured we might as well be building up free nights for it - not to mention that Marriott beds and pillows are amazzzing!
At some point, through the rewards program we were offered a Marriott Visa Card. We are not big credit card people - in fact the ones we do use we pay off each month and only keep for the incentives and cash back. This particular card would have no annual fee the first year and would add points to our rewards card for every dollar spent on it as well as automatically depositing several thousand points into that account. So we took the bait.
And it was GREAT!
We have probably stayed free 7 or 8 times in the last 4 years. Who could ask for more! Even if its just getting away to Charleston for the night - nothing is better than free (and if you do your research you can find a place that serves free hot breakfast). :)

ANYWAY - the purpose of this blog is to fill you all in on the deal we just got this month. Cause YOU can get it too!!

There is now a NEW Marriott Visa (shocking, right). It's called the Marriott Rewards PREMIER Visa and I wanted to share the info with you all so you can enjoy the benefits that we have.
(assuming you qualify)
NOTE: We in no way encourage anyone we know (or don't know) to get a credit card if they are not able to limit their spending and pay off what they spend each month, its just not a good idea so if you fall in that boat, please stop reading. :)

This new card has no annual fee the first year.
You get a free night stay at a category 1-4 hotel automatically when approved.
You also get 30,000 rewards points put into your rewards account when you make your first purchase.
When you use the card at a marriott location you get 5 points for every dollar spent.
Any other purchase on your card gets you 1 point for every dollar.

Let me make that more clear:
A category 1 hotel (some Fairfield Inns and Townplace Suites) costs you 7500 points per night. A category 2 hotel (Some Fairfield Inns, Townplace Suites, Springhill Suites, and Courtyards) costs you 10,000 points.
Category 3's (Some above listed and Residence Inns and Marriotts) cost you 15,000.
And so on with category 4s-8s increasing by 5000 points each.

So if you get 30,000 points with your first purchase on the credit card you automatically have enough for at least 3 FREE nights in a marriott hotel. PLUS the free night stay you get when you qualify for the card.

Here is a list of the different types of Marriott hotels:
Don't be fooled by the listings above - we have stayed at some fairfield inns that are nicer than courtyards - it just depends. Usually the category 1s are a little farther from big cities. (for example, Charleston, SC doesn't have any but they have a category 2 that is right by the outlets off I26 about 15 minutes from downtown).

Ok so that sounds pretty good right? Well, theres more.

After the first year there IS a fee for the card. It's $65 a year. Normally we would cancel a card if it has any annual fee, BUT with this one you automatically get ANOTHER free stay at ANY hotel (Category 1 through 5!) put into your account on the anniversary of when you got the card. Since it gives you a night at a category 5 hotel, to us, that is worth the fee. We would pay more than that for some budget hotels so it still sounds like a great deal to us.

And this free night you continue to get EVERY year as long as you have the card!

Those of you who know me well know that I am always looking out for a good deal and this one was too good to not share. I mean, can't afford a vacation this year??? - well this could cover a few days lodging for you for free and free breakfast if you pick your hotel wisely.

Just don't plan anything before the points and everything are credited to your account or the timing might not work out.

If you decide to give this a try STEP ONE is to register for the Marriott Rewards Program (remember its free and always is) *DO THIS BEFORE YOU APPLY FOR THE CC.
From there you should see a link to apply for the Premier credit card. They will notify you by mail if you got it (by sending your card).

So its up to you, please be careful!! Don't go for the deals they offer if they are not really worth it, but the ones I have mentioned are (in my opinion).

**Notice I didn't state what the interest rates and late fees are - thats because you shouldn't use them!! Haha, if you can't pay your card off each month, as I said before, don't get it!! Some people really can't handle that - they convince themselves that it will be ok to overdo it "just this once". If you are one of those people please don't tempt yourself. :)

If this was too confusing or you have any questions you want to ask me, feel free!

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