It should come as no surprise that you’ll want to use this card for all of your Marriott stays. The card earns 6x Marriott points per $1 spent with the hotel chain. This represents a 4.2% return on your spend with Marriott hotels, based on our 0.7 cents per point valuation for Marriott points.
Hot Tip: With the Silver Elite status, you’ll earn 11x points per $1 for being a Silver Elite member, plus another 6x points per $1 when paying with your card for a total of 17x points per $1 (or 11.9% back).
U.S. Restaurants and U.S. Gas Stations
The card also earns 4x points per $1 at U.S. restaurants and U.S. gas stations. There are cards out there that offer a much better return on your spending for both dining and gas stations, but both of these categories present a great opportunity to earn extra Marriott points.
Wireless Telephone Services and U.S. Purchases for Shipping
If your business has significant shipping and telephone service expenses, then the Marriott Bonvoy Business card is a stellar option as it will reward you with 4x points for every $1 you spend in these categories.
Again, this makes for an excellent opportunity to earn extra points for expenses you’re likely to be making anyway.
Finally, the Marriott Bonvoy Business card earns 2x points for every $1 you spend on all other purchases. While this isn’t a top option for non-bonused spending, it is worth considering for those trying to earn as many Marriott points as possible.
Refer-a-Friend Bonus Rewards
Know another business owner in need of a solid travel rewards card? You can refer people to the Marriott Bonvoy Business card and earn up to 50,000 Marriott points per year — 10,000 for each referral.
To send out a referral, visit the Refer-a-Friend website and log in using your Amex username and password (or your credit card information).
Adding Ultimate Rewards Cards
Marriott is one of the Chase Ultimate Rewards transfer partners, so utilizing their credit cards can help you earn extra Marriott points as well!
If you’re interested in learning about some Chase credit card options, here are some of our favorites for personal and business use.
Hot Tip: If you’re a regular reader of the Upgraded Points, you know we value Chase Ultimate Reward points much higher than Marriott points, so we generally don’t recommend transferring Chase points over to Marriott.
Once you’ve racked up a bunch of Marriott points, which redemption methods offer the best value?
Not surprisingly, one of the best ways to redeem your Marriott points is for award stays at Marriott hotels.
Marriott has over 6,900 hotels worldwide across 30 different brands. Marriott has 8 different award categories, and with the addition of peak and off-peak pricing, free nights can range anywhere from 5,000 to 100,000 points per night. Depending on which hotels you decide to use them with, you can receive excellent value for your Marriott points on hotel stays.
Hot Tip: Want to extend the value of your Marriott points even further? Then take advantage of the fifth-night free perk on your award stays. This effectively earns you a 20% discount on the number of points required for a redemption!
Airline Transfer Partners
Similar to American Express Membership Rewards and Chase Ultimate Rewards, your Marriott points are also a transferable currency. But unlike the first 2, Marriott has a massive list of over 40 airlines you can transfer your points to.
Although, while the list of potential transfer partners is longer, these are not 1:1 transfers. Marriott points, for the most part, transfer at a 3:1 ratio with a 5,000-mile bonus for every 60,000 Marriott points transferred. This means that transferring 60,000 Marriott points to Korean Airlines would result in 25,000 miles in your account.
From a numbers standpoint, this might seem like a terrible idea. Why would it be a good idea to end up with fewer points after a transfer, right? But keep in mind that not all points are created equal.
If you’re transferring your Marriott points to an airline in order to have enough for a redemption, or moving them to an airline program that doesn’t have any other transfer partners, then it can make a lot of sense.
Cardholders also have the option of redeeming their points for one-of-a-kind experiences through the Marriott Experiences portal, like sporting events or culinary trips.
Some experiences cost a set number of Marriott points, while others are auction-style, allowing you to attempt to outbid others. Be certain of your travel plans before bidding, though, as most experiences are nonrefundable.
Marriott Hotel + Air Package
Marriott allows you to redeem your points for one of their Hotel + Air packages, which consist of a 7-night hotel stay plus a stash of airline miles.
When you buy a Hotel + Air Travel Package, you’ll get a certificate for a 7-night Marriott hotel stay plus a certain number of airline miles ranging from 50,000-110,000, depending on which package you choose. Packages range from 255,000 all the way to 750,000 Marriott points, depending on how high of a hotel category you select.
Hot Tip: When Marriott and SPG merged, the Hotel + Air package redemptions were devalued in a big way — but that doesn’t mean there isn’t still value to be had. Check out our full guide to find out which packages make the most sense.
Marriott, like many programs, also allows you to redeem your points for products or merchant gift cards. The redemption rates when doing so are generally pretty poor and it seldom makes sense to do so.
Bottom Line: At Upgraded Points, we highly advise that you redeem your points either for hotel stays, or via an airline transfer partner whose points are both valuable and hard to earn, like Alaska Airlines, Japan Airlines, or Korean Air.