As of February 12, 2019, another of our credit cards will join the ranks of our discontinued cards. On that date, Marriott will be consolidating their credit card portfolio under the Bonvoy name and eliminating overlapping cards issued by both Chase and American Express. One of the cards going away to new applicants is the Marriott Rewards Premier Plus Business card from Chase. American Express has the rights to issue the Marriott Bonvoy Business card from here on, but since we’re current cardholders we can keep our card and the current benefits if we choose.
The question is, should we?
I want to make clear that I’m not trying to determine if it’s worthwhile to apply for this card in the next 14 days before the application links disappear. If you’re interested in reading about that, I recommend this excellent article from Greg on The Frequent Miler, which goes over the pros and cons for applying for the card before it goes away.
I’m looking at whether I should keep the card when the next annual fee comes due. Here are the benefits the card will provide on an ongoing basis when it’s renamed the Marriott Bonvoy Premier Plus Business Credit Card from Chase (boy, that’s a mouthful).
The Marriott Bonvoy Premier Plus Business Credit Card From Chase has a $99 annual fee.
Here are the benefits the card provides:
Spending Bonus Categories
The Chase Marriott Business Card (I’m not writing the full name over and over) has a good selection of bonus categories:
- 6X points earned on purchases at Marriott hotel properties
- 4X points earned on purchases at gas stations, dining, internet, cable, phone and shipping charges
- 2X points earned on all other purchases
Free Night Award
Every year, after your account anniversary, you receive a free night at any Marriott hotel valued at up to 35,000 points.
Just having the Chase Marriott Business card gives you automatic Marriott Bonvoy Silver status which provides the following benefits:
- 10% bonus points on eligible stays
- Complimentary in-room internet (if booking with Marriott)
- Priority Late Checkout
If you spend $35,000 on the card per calendar year, you’ll be upgraded to Gold status. Here are the additional benefits you get for being a Bonvoy Gold:
- 25% bonus points on eligible stays
- Enhanced room upgrade, based on availability at check-in.
- 2 P.M. Late Checkout, based on availability
- Welcome gift of points (250 to 500 points depending on the property)
- Complimentary enhanced in-room internet (if booking with Marriott)
Premium Internet Access
While you’ll already get free internet with Marriott Silver status, having the Chase Marriott Business card provides Premium Internet Access at participating hotels.
Night Credits Toward Higher Status Levels
Each calendar year, your Marriott Bonvoy account will be credited with 15 nights towards reaching higher levels of status. Unlike previously, even if you have a personal and business Marriott Credit card, you’ll only receive one 15 night credit.
Here are the levels and how many nights required for each one:
- Silver – 10 nights
- Gold – 25 nights
- Platinum – 50 nights
- Titanium – 75 nights
- Ambassador – 100 nights
The Chase Marriott Business card provides some basic travel protections:
- Secondary Loss Damage Waiver coverage for car rentals
- Lost/Damaged Luggage coverage
- Trip Delay coverage, for delays over 12 hours or overnight
So is the card worth keeping?
Now that I’ve listed all of the facts about the card, the decision about whether or not to keep it is more subjective. What value do I give to each of these benefits? Here’s my take:
Looking at the spending categories, I have to consider that I’d rather earn flexible point currencies instead of having my points locked into Marriott. Now, I’ve been able to get some good value for Marriott points, like for our hotel stay over Thanksgiving in New York where the redemption was worth 2.25 cents per point compared to the cash price. That value was more due to the excessive cash prices the hotel was charging for the holiday but that’s part of the advantage of having points.
Earning 6X points on Marriott stays is the best multiplier I have for hotel charges. The next best I can do is 5X with my Citi Prestige card or 3X with the Sapphire Reserve. I just don’t have many stays at Marriott Hotels where I pay for the room so this isn’t a blockbuster for me.
The 4X for gas stations is also a great benefit and better than any of my other cards. I get 3X with the Citi Premier and 2X to 3X with the American Express Everyday Preferred.
For all of the other categories like dining, phone, and cable, I can get a better return with other cards I have and plan to keep.
Getting Marriott Silver status is nice but it’s really not worth much at all. The free premium internet is a nice perk but it’s not a reason to keep a card. I’m also not going to spend $35,000 a year on this card to get Gold status.
I don’t care about status so the 15-night credits per year aren’t worth anything.
So I’m keeping the card.
There are a few reasons but the main one is the free night certificate. For paying the $99 annual fee, I get a free night at a hotel that costs up to 35,000 points a night. I understand there are limitations when using the free night but there are enough times where we need to use a single night stay and don’t really care where the hotel is located. We’re going to get four of these certificates yearly between our SPG and Marriott cards so we could even use them all together for a longer trip if we find the right hotel. For now, this is a good enough deal for me to tilt the scale to keep the card but I’ll need to see what changes Marriott makes to their reward chart with variable pricing of hotels. If this perk ends up getting devalued and I have a hard time finding a hotel where to use it or if it’s not saving me any money, I’ll reconsider my decision.
The other reason I’m going to keep the card is that I really don’t have any options if I cancel. Since we’ve both had the American Express SPG Business card before (and canceled it when the benefits, like lounge access, were taken away), AMEX will not give us a sign-up bonus again because of their once per lifetime rule. That means there’s no other choice for us. Even if I decided to get the AMEX Marriott Business card with no bonus, the annual fee for the card is $125 and provides almost identical benefits of the Chase card.
I hope that by looking at the card benefits, you’re able to see how to make a decision about keeping or canceling a card that makes sense for you. If you don’t have the same cards that I do or if your travel goals are different, you might come up with a different decision than I did. Heck, I’m not even sure about my decision right now, as I’m taking a gamble that I’ll be able to use the free nights for a good value and not just have to use them up before they expire.
Having a card that’s being discontinued throws yet another variable into the mix. Since you’re not going to be able to get the card ever again, does it have any special benefits that you want to keep? I think the Chase Marriott Business card has some great bonus earning categories that can make sense for someone who doesn’t have other cards or wants to concentrate on a few programs for a specific redemption. As always, Your Mileage May Vary.
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary