The Updated Marriott Rewards Visa Signature Card

Several years ago, most of my hotel loyalty was directed towards Marriott. The biggest benefit to me, at the time, was the abundance of properties in the Unites States, especially in some of the smaller cities that I travel through (fat chance of a Hyatt in Colby, Kansas!).

The Marriott Rewards program was pretty good to me at the time, so I decided to sign up for the Marriott Premier Rewards Visa by Chase. The sign-up bonus offered me fifty thousand Marriott points, Marriott Silver status for as long as I had the card, and a free night at a category 1-4 property for my first year, though that would increase to categories 1-5 after one year of card membership. This card was my second rewards credit card (first being the United Mileage Plus Visa), and it came in quite handy on several occasions. Back then, our spend with Marriott was pretty substantial.

Fast forward to today, while I devote the majority of my hotel dollars to Hyatt and Hilton, I have kept the Marriott card around for the free silver status, as well as the yearly certificate for a free night at a category 1-5 property, and the ability to receive one additional elite night for every $3,000 spent on the card. As an added benefit, Chase waives foreign transaction fees for the card, which can add up on an extended international trip. On my trip to Australia for Oz Fest, I used my Marriott card for the majority of my larger charges (hotels, etc), and estimate that I saved at least sixty dollars.

Since the trip to Australia, I had not done much with the Marriott card, mostly due to the fact that I don't find Marriott points to be very useful (at least for my purposes). I would much rather direct spends towards my United Visa or my American Express Platinum card. The only thing that those cards do not offer is a chip+pin (or signature) system. Within Asia, Canada, and most of Europe, merchants generally use the chip+pin system, as opposed to swiping the magnetic strips of a credit card like we do in the United States. Although many merchants are equipped to swipe US cards, there are some occasions where a normal swipe card may not work. In my experience, I have had the most trouble when attempting to purchase train tickets in Europe, along with some restaurants in Asia that turned down both of the credit cards I attempted to use, due to the lack of a chip.

Today, I was pleased to open up my mail and see a brand-new Marriott card from Chase. It features their "smart-chip" technology, which will certainly be useful on a few international trips that I will be taking at the beginning of 2013. Furthermore, I was surprised to see that instead of sending a traditional plastic card, Chase had sent me a card that is made with metal, and is apparentely indestrucible.

If you would like to upgrade your current Marriott card, you can either send a message to CardMember Services, through the Secure Message Center, or call the phone number on the back of your card. There is no fee to upgrade.

I'm excited to use this card on my next trip, but in the mean time, has anybody used the chip & signature technology outside of the United States? I would love to hear your experiences, good or bad!


Looks nice! I really like that it has a glossy finish in the front of the card.

Jacob November 14, 2012 at 10:18 am

I went to France for a weekend in June with my Diners Club Professional card. It was rejected in quite a few places and I was force to come up with cash. For my next international trip, only 2 days after I returned from France I made sure to use my British Airways Visa Signature from Chase but I signed up for it during the first 100,000 mile promotion about 2 years ago. The BA Visa is chip and signature. I've used it in Israel and Switzerland with no problems. My friend used his BA Visa in England and France also with no problems.

@Jimmy: The card is pretty sleek, especially when you compare it to the plastic version! I am liking the silver VISA Signature logo, too. It drew some looks last night at Starbucks.

@Jacob: Thanks for the info! I had a lot of problems with my Amex on my last time in France, so I'm excited to use this card in a couple of months. Glad to hear about your experiences with the BA visa.

BR November 14, 2012 at 05:45 pm

I recently got this card. Nice to know I can get a Sapphire-type heavier version with a chip.

Kevin November 16, 2012 at 07:50 pm

Wow that looks nice! Mine expires in May. Will I automatically get that new one?

I would guess that you need to contact Marriott to request this specific card when yours expires in May. Though if it were me, I'd request it right away. Reports are of a 5~ day process from contacting Chase to receiving the card in the mail.

Arjun December 3, 2012 at 01:27 am

How do you actually use it in Europe? I received the card, but when I called Marriott to ask how to use it - i.e. wheres the PIN - they said the PIN is only for cash advances, and not for actually using it. In Europe, they have to swipe the card and take my signature. If that is the case, then whats the point of the Chip in the first place? Obviously the lady I was talking to must be wrong, so wondering if someone can explain a little more about how exactly to use the card in Europe/Canada/Asia.

As an update, I used this card several times during my recent trip to Singapore. Had no problems running it with the chip (I was not prompted for a pin).

Don March 13, 2013 at 01:54 pm

Question: Will the chip in the new Marriott VISA card affect the strips in the other cards in my wallet? One of my cards was in my wallet next to the new card and it now no longer works.....

@Don: I have not run into any problems with the credit cards that sit around my Marriott VISA, though that's not to say that it could not happen. Do you have a cell phone near your wallet?

Kase February 12, 2014 at 02:45 am

Just applied for my Marriott Rewards Premier.... the best card out there by far, especially if you are already a Marriott member!


Marriott Rewards Premier Credit Card 70,000 bonus points after you spend $1,000 in your first 3 months from account opening 1 free night stay after account approval (Category 1-4 hotels) Unlimited Point Accumulation 5 points for every $1 spent at over 3,600 Marriott locations 2 points for every $1 spent on airline tickets purchased directly with the airline, and at car rental agencies & restaurants 1 point for every $1 spent on purchases anywhere else 15 nights credit toward Elite status every year upon account anniversary Earn 1 Elite Night Credit for every $3,000 spent 1 free night stay every year after account anniversary (Category 1-5 hotels) Pay no foreign transaction fees and enjoy global acceptance with Chip and Signature Technology Introductory Annual Fee of $0 the first year, then $85

For non-members, everything is the same except for the bonus points (50,000 instead of 70,000)

If you want this card, apply at member website!

Nancy Cubel May 14, 2014 at 12:44 pm

I just returned from a month in New Zealand and my Marriott Premier Visa with the chip/signature only worked 50% of the time. Back in the states I am having trouble using it at some stores (Walmart etc) The software with the card readers is not user friendly or the chips lack the right software. Can only use this card at swipe only machines.