I completely agree with you -- my only point is that for $20 extra it is one of the best cards around if you stay at Marriotts a lot since you get 5 points per dollar spent. I have many other cards that give you 2 on everything or double airline miles, but this is the highest for actual point translation.
I did write in an earlier post (after the Rive Gauche incident) that I was using my MR card less and that's true because I have had to or wanted to stay elsewhere.
Just one more example of government fall-out. The reason most credit card companies are raising annual fees is because of the Credit Card Act of 2009, the goal of which was to prohibit “risk-based pricing,” in which card issuers changed the interest rate of a card if the customer’s risk profile changed, and additional restrictions for credit card companies that in general prevents charging overdraft fees.
As a consequence, CC companies have had to find new ways to replace this lost revenue, so annual fees are going up. (The CC Act of 2009 did not address annual fees.)
IMO, government was trying to "protect" the "idiots" who overcharge and underpay their credit cards. So, when it comes to managing credit, those of us who never miss a payment, never exceed their card's limit, etc. and are "credit-savvy" now have to fund the the lost CC revenue previously generated by the idiots via higher annual fees. Another "income redistribution" policy.
Hi Insiders - While I agree that a 23% increase is a bit steep, as I have the Premier card and get a night's credit towards elite status for every $3,000 spent on it, that, along with the points still makes it a good deal. (Not as good as the former annual fee, but still not bad.) nhtraveler