Several credit cards allow you to make referral links. These referral links extend a particular sign-up bonus to give to a friend/family member while giving you points if they are approved. It is really a pretty nice system to reward both people.
A Marriott Card Offer of 3 Free Nights
But, there are some cards that you really need to watch out for. In some cases, the referral offer can be even better than the public offer or the affiliate offer (like with the American Express Business Gold card). At other times, they can be worse than the public offer. Here is one such offer.
3 Free Nights at Marriott – Not a Good Deal?
Link: (don’t use this to apply! Use the one below – this is the personal referral link with this inferior offer) Marriott Offer
The referral offer for the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless card from Chase offers 3 free nights. But, these are not unrestricted free nights or even 3 free nights at any hotel. Nope – they are the same free nights you receive with some Marriott cards each year you hold them. That means they are restricted to a hotel that charges 35,000 points or fewer per night.
While such an offer may sound nice, even Marriott’s own math on it should be enough to turn you away from the offer.
So, at the most, this sign-up offer is worth 105,000 points – by Marriott’s own standard. Now, let’s look at the publicly available offer on this card.
The Better Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Card Offer
While this offer requires spending $2,000 more in the same timeframe ($5,000 in 3 months), it comes with 100,000 Marriott Reward points as the prize for doing so. So, why is this offer better if you are missing out on 5,000 points in value compared to the above offer?
This offer is better because points are (almost) always the better option over free nights. While free nights have expirations/limits/other things, points offer total flexibility. If you want to stay at a top tier hotel, you could do that with 100,000 points. If the lowest tier properties are more your speed, this offer can give you a lot more nights than just 3 nights.
Plus, you could also use your Marriott points for some of the awesome Marriott Moment packages where you trade points for incredible experiences and packages. Or, you could transfer them to an airline for miles to fly with. Neither of these are possible with free night certificates.
So, if you are a good friend, give your friends the public link above instead of your personal referral link! 🙂