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Credit & Charge Card Reviews (18): Marriott Rewards Mastercard

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This is my review of the Marriott Rewards Mastercard UK credit card.

It is part of my series of articles looking at the major UK loyalty credit cards and discussing whether or not they are worth applying for.  These articles will be linked to the relevant sections of the ‘Credit Card Offers‘ page.  My other UK airline and hotel credit card reviews can be found here.

As with all rewards cards, this is not a suitable product for you if you do not clear your balance in full every month.  You should focus on a credit card with a low interest rate such as the AA Low Rate Card. This has a very attractive representative APR of 6.4% variable on purchases and balance transfers.

Key link:  Marriott Rewards Mastercard application form

Key facts:  No annual fee

The representative APR is 16.9% variable.

About the card

The Marriott Rewards Mastercard is issued by Creation.  Creation may not be a familiar name but they are behind many store cards and are owned by a joint venture between French bank BNP Paribas and French store chain Galerie Lafeyette.  The current card was launched in 2011 and replaces an earlier one run by Halifax.

What is the sign-up bonus?

10,000 Marriott Rewards points, when you spend £200 within 6 months.  This is worth 2,000 Avios or other airline miles if converted directly.   It only gets you a free night in a rarely-spotted Category 1 or 2 hotel – a top end Marriott in Category 9 would be 45,000 points.

This compares poorly with the Hilton HHonors Visa card where the sign-up bonus gets you a free night ANYWHERE, even the most expensive Conrad or Waldorf-Astoria property.

Any other benefits?

Yes, you get Marriott Rewards Silver Status for as long as you hold the card, by virtue of receiving 10 night credits towards elite status each year, as well as 2,000 bonus Marriott Rewards points each year you keep the card.

However, Marriott Rewards status is not really worth it at this level.  The only real benefit of Silver (as you can see from the link above) is that you might, and only might, avoid the room overlooking the service entrance or next to a noisy lift shaft.  You also receive a 20% base points bonus.

Reaching Gold status requires 50 nights per year, far more than any competing chain.  Even the 10 night credits received from this card only makes a modest dint in that target.

What is the annual fee?

There is no annual fee.

What do I earn per £1 spent on the card?

The earnings rate on the card is 1 point per £1 for general spending (2 per £1 at Marriott properties) and double that outside the UK.

Remember that the Marriott card has a fee of almost 3% for foreign currency transactions.  Despite the offer of double points, you may want to consider getting a separate card to use abroad which charges no foreign exchange fees, such as the Post Office Money Platinum card (free, no rewards) or the Lloyds Avios Rewards card (£24 fee, earns Avios).

What is a Marriott Rewards point worth?

Whilst this is always hypothetical, I tend to work on the basis on a top-category hotel costing £250 – what you would pay in New York, Paris or London including tax.  On that basis, a Marriott point is worth about 0.55p based on a 45,000 point redemption for such a room.

On this basis, 1 point per £1 is equivalent to a 0.55% rebate on your spend.  This is very poor.  The return on overseas spend is twice as high,  but you will be paying the 2.99% FX fee which can be avoided by using an FX-free card such as that offered by the Post Office.

The return is OK when spending at Marriott hotels and when earning double points abroad, but few people will put enough money through those to make it worthwhile holding a card just for that purpose.

How does this compare to a cashback credit card?

The best cashback card on the market which offers a) a MasterCard or Visa, b) no annual fee and c) unlimited cashback is the Asda card, which pays 0.5%.  The best ‘pseudo cashback’ card is the House of Fraser MasterCard, which offers 1% of your spend in House of Fraser gift vouchers.

For an average spender, the Marriott card therefore offers very poor value.  You would be better off using selling the House of Fraser gift vouchers on eBay and spending the money on a Marriott hotel directly.

The card is fundamentally useless to anyone who does not already have a stash of Marriott points.  Spending £45,000 to get one free night in a Category 9 hotel is frankly crazy.

Other points to note

American Express Membership Rewards stopped being a Marriott Rewards partner some years ago.  This means that, if you need to top-off a Marriott account to get to a suitable level for a redemption, the credit card may offer an easy way to get the points you need.


Whilst the card is free, using the sign-up bonus of 10,000 Marriott points for 2,000 Avios points or a quarter of a free night in a top-tier property simply doesn’t cut it in the current market.

On-going earning is also very poor.  It is difficult to imagine a worse rate than 1 point per £1 given their weak spending power.  The only positive points to consider are the free Silver status (not that Silver benefits get you much) and the 2,000 bonus Marriott Rewards points annual bonus (worth £10) which may benefit some.

The application form for the Marriott Rewards Mastercard can be found here.

How to earn Marriott Bonvoy points and status from UK credit cards

How to earn Marriott Bonvoy points and status from UK credit cards (November 2022)

There are various ways of earning Marriott Bonvoy points from UK credit cards.  Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses.

The official Marriott Bonvoy American Express card comes with 20,000 points for signing up, 2 points for every £1 you spend and 15 elite night credits per year.

You can apply here.

Marriott Bonvoy American Express

20,000 bonus points and 15 elite night credits Read our full review

You can also earn Marriott Bonvoy points by converting American Express Membership Rewards points at the rate of 2:3.

Do you know that holders of The Platinum Card from American Express receive FREE Marriott Bonvoy Gold status for as long as they hold the card?  It also comes with Hilton Honors Gold, Radisson Rewards Premium and MeliaRewards Gold status.  We reviewed American Express Platinum in detail here and you can apply here.

The Platinum Card from American Express

30,000 points and unbeatable travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review

You can also earn Marriott Bonvoy points indirectly:

and for small business owners:

The conversion rate from American Express to Marriott Bonvoy points is 2:3.

Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which can be used to earn Marriott Bonvoy points

(Want to earn more hotel points?  Click here to see our complete list of promotions from the major hotel chains or use the ‘Hotel Offers’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)

Comments (4)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • Matthew says:

    Could I sign up and spend 200 for an easy 2000 avios and leave the card in a draw and don’t spend anything will I continue to earn an easy 400 avios/year..?

    • Brian says:

      I don’t see why not. There doesn’t seem to be any spending rule. It’s a bit like the Natwest YourPoints card I have which gives me 2000 points a year. I never use the card, but just keep it for those points (probably worth little).

      • Simon says:

        You might have to spend something on the card at least once a year as What’s the Point says to get the 2000 points.

        You need a minimum of 10,000 Marriott points before you can transfer them to Avios also, so whilst you’d get that with the sign-up bonus you would have to wait another 5 years before you’d reach 10,000 points again (assuming you just spent a £1 a year on the card).

        If anyone collects United miles there is a better transfer rate for them

        8,000 Marriott points = 2,000 United miles
        16,000 Marriott points = 5,000 United miles
        24,000 Marriott points = 10,000 United miles
        56,000 Marriott points = 25,000 United miles
        112,000 Marriott points = 50,000 United miles

  • What's the Point says:

    Word of warning, my card/account got suspended for inactivity. They said I needed to spend something on it at least once a year to get the 2,000 Marriott points.
    So I had to apply again to get it again. Spent the £200 again, 10k bonus points showed on credit card site but never transferred to my Marriott account. I didn’t expect to get it twice, so not that bothered.

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

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