Marriott Rewards Loyalty Program Review

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Marriott Summary Table

  • Hotel Brands Marriott Hotels & Resorts

Branded and Partnered Credit Cards

Hotel Overview

The Marriott Hotel brand, run by Marriott International, is a major hotel chain that both manages and franchises hotels and resorts around the world. They have over 4,000 properties now in more than 78 countries and territories.

Portfolio Expansion

Marriott is adding more hotels to their portfolio through partnerships and acquiring foreign brands, most recently the RC Hotels of Spain, Protea Hotels of South Africa, and Delta Hotels of Canada.

Even more recently, Marriott announced that it had purchased Starwood Hotels.

Well-Known Properties Worldwide

Marriott’s flagship properties are often iconic buildings for the city, such as the JW Marriott at L.A. Live in downtown Los Angeles, or the JW Marriott Marquis Dubai,which boasts the tallest twin hotel towers in the world.

This Dubai Marriott is itself in the shadow of the world’s tallest structure, the Burj Khalifa.

The Marriott brand is renowned for its consistent, Western standards and quality mattresses. Known as the Marriott Bed, the mattresses can be found in all Marriott brand rooms, and is also for sale to private homes.

Marriott Hotels: A Brand Leader

The Marriott brand recognition and consistency, regardless of one’s location in the world, has made it one of the 3 preferred hotel brands for business travelers (alongside Hilton and Starwood).

Comforted by Brand Consistency
Marriott Hotels are known for their Marriott Bed, which is well-known as one of the most comfortable hotel beds, and is even offered for private ownership.

Marriott Rewards Program

Marriott’s loyalty program for its hotels is called Marriott Rewards.

It is easy to sign up, free to join, and you immediately qualify for their beginner’s tier (Member), which allows you to earn points and qualifying nights toward elite status.

Elite Status Information

Elite status nights are reset every year on January 1 (not on the date of your membership anniversary), so make sure you keep in mind the end of the year when making hotel bookings.

The rewards program offers a wide range of benefits, from free WiFi to room upgrades and lounge access, so read on to learn more!

How To Earn Marriott Rewards Points

We have detailed many ways to earn Marriott Rewards around our site.

Typically, you will earn 5-10 base points per dollar spent on your room through the Marriott Rewards program. Bonus points from your elite status are earned based on these points.

How Elite Status Bonus Points Are Earned

For example, as a Platinum member, your 50% bonus means you would earn 10 base points plus 5 bonus points, for a total of 15 points per dollar.

To earn more points, simply stay more and earn a higher status tier to get the bigger bonus.

That can be tough for travelers who don’t stay in a hotel that often. Luckily, there are a number of ways you can earn your Marriott Rewards points aside from booking and staying nights.

Earning Bonus Points With Marriott Credit Cards

Of course, our first option would be to get the Chase Marriott Rewards® Premier Credit Card, which allows you to earn additional bonus points just for spending money on the card.

You will earn 5x points for Marriott stays; 2x points for airfare purchased directly with an airline, spending at restaurants, and car rentals; and then 1x points for all other purchases.

Earning Bonus Points by Transferring From Starwood Preferred Guest

Since Marriott Rewards is now combining with Starwood Preferred Guest, you can transfer points between the programs. It must be done in increments of 1,000 points, and 1 Starpoint is equal to 3 Marriott points.

Earn Bonus Points for Hosting Events

If you need to hold a big event, Marriott rewards you very generously for doing it with them. You can get 3x points (up to 50,000 maximum) for the rate of the rental, as well as for any guest rooms booked because of the event.

Additionally, you get 10 elite status credits just for booking the event, and up to 10 more for each additional guest room booked.

Other Ways To Earn Bonus Points

Make sure also to look out for bonus points when you’re booking, or elite member privileges that may earn you extra points after 2 or more stays; Marriott often puts out offers for 1,000-2,000 bonus points for stays.

If you’re a Platinum member, one of the options for a Platinum arrival gift is points, so don’t forget to ask!

Points can also be earned on spa or resort services, golf courses, and hotel dining at the luxury brands.

Marriott Rewards partners with Hertz on rental car deals, where you can get up to 35% off, as well as earn 2,000 points on rentals of 2-4 days and 5,000 points on rentals of 5 days or more.

Use CDP code 154080 & PC# 169680 when booking on Hertz.

Keep in mind, there is a new points expiration policy where if you haven’t had any activity for 24 months, you will forfeit all of your remaining points.

Earning Points the Upgraded Way

Additional guides to points earning are in our credit card review and Maximizing Points areas of the site. Some guides for earning Marriott Rewards points using their branded credit cards are linked here:

Loyalty Program Credit Card Review
Marriott Rewards Loyalty Program Chase Marriott Rewards® Premier Credit Card
Chase Marriott Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card

Also, because SPG is a partner, you could use SPG cards to earn Marriott points:

Loyalty Program Credit Card Review
Starwood Preferred Guest Loyalty Program Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express
  Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express

Chase Ultimate Rewards also partners with Marriott, so using any of their cards will help you earn more points toward Marriott Rewards. Note that in order to transfer your points directly, you’ll need to own at least 1 of the cards starred (*) below:

Loyalty Program Card Review
Chase Ultimate Rewards Loyalty Program Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card*
Chase Sapphire Reserve Card*
Chase Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card
  Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card*
Chase Freedom Unlimited℠
Chase Freedom®

Another way to earn Marriott points is to use other loyalty programs that partner with Marriott Rewards. Simply earn points with them and transfer to your Marriott Rewards account for redemption!

Earning a Stack of Rewards
There are many direct and indirect ways to earn Marriott points. If you’ve run out of direct methods, try utilizing your Ultimate Rewards cards or some airlines partners, such as AAdvantage.

How To Redeem Marriott Rewards Points

You can redeem your Marriott Rewards points for hotel stays at any Marriott and partner hotels, or you could use them for room upgrades, hotel amenities, and other services.

There are no blackout dates for use of rewards points toward hotel nights, which means that using them during peak holiday travel or other busy periods can exponentially increase their value!

Types and Cost of Room Awards in Marriott Rewards

Your rewards can be used as a standard reward, a PointSavers reward, or an Instant Redemption.

The easiest way to use your points is to book from Marriott.com and click on the “use points” option. It will then list all the hotels in your search city that have availability during your stay.

The amount of points you use depends on time, location, and brand. We performed a sample valuation and found redemptions valued anywhere from $0.004-$0.016 per point, so look for deals in the upper range if booking rooms.

Other Ways To Find Deals

You can also find upgrades and other deals by booking a hotel room like you normally would, and then in the next screen clicking on the Member Deals tab.

Not all hotels and rooms have special deals available, but sometimes (especially at flagship hotels) you’ll see options to pay for their cheapest room and then use points to upgrade into a junior suite.

This can be a fun way to experience 5-star service without breaking the bank!

If you want to stretch the value of your points even further, use the 5th Night Free option to book your rooms. This gives you 5 nights for the price of 4 and allows you to save points for your next redemption.

PointSavers redemptions can also be valuable, giving a discount of up to 33% per room. You’ll have to check around for deals.

2 Options for Earning Miles Through Marriott

There are 2 ways you can get miles through Marriott: by directly earning them instead of points for stays, or by transferring them.

When you choose to earn miles for your stays (which you denote in your account), then you will earn 2 miles/$1 in most airline programs. The majority of airlines transfer 10,000 points to get 2,000 miles.

Value of Earning Miles Versus Points

These options are essentially equivalent in terms of amount earned if you have no elite status. In effect, if you spent $1,000 on Marriott rooms, you would earn 10,000 points.

If you were earning miles, you would earn 2,000 miles. This is the equivalent amount of a transfer to a loyalty partner.

However, the value of the points will be different. You’ll have to calculate your own situation, but in general, Marriott points are more valuable at lower levels.

Going up the sliding scale, though, transferring to miles can begin to be more valuable. For example, we found that 10,000 Marriott points are worth more than 2,000 miles in a basic Category 2 redemption.

With miles worth $0.02 each, you’ll only have $40 of value versus a potential $100 in value for a free night.

At the higher end of the sliding scale, though, you get more miles. If you transfer 140,000 points, you will get 50,000 miles for most airlines.

You can use 140,000 points to book 7 nights in a Category 4 hotel costing $140 per night, for a total of $980 in value. But 50,000 points could be used at $0.02 for a minimum of $1,000 in airline value.

Keep this in mind when valuing your points!

Marriott Rewards® Premier Credit Card

  • Earn 100,000 Bonus Points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
  • Plus, earn 7,500 bonus points when you add the first authorized user and make a purchase in the first 3 months from account opening.
  • Enjoy 1 Free Night Stay at a Category 1-5 hotel every year after your account anniversary date!
  • Earn unlimited Marriott Rewards points and get Free Night Stays faster
  • Earn 5 points per $1 spent at participating Marriott Rewards & SPG hotels
  • 2 points per $1 spent on airline tickets purchased directly with the airlines, at car rental agencies & restaurants. Plus 1 point per $1 spent everywhere else
  • The fastest way to earn Marriott Rewards Elite Status. Receive 15 Elite Credits guaranteeing Silver Elite Status or better.
  • All for an $85 Annual Fee
Apply Now Full review

FAQ

What is Marriott Rewards?
The Marriott Rewards program is the hotel loyalty program for Marriott International hotels.

By signing up to the program, you get access to a number of additional benefits when staying at Marriott properties, and you’ll earn more benefits the more you stay.

Each stay earns you points in the system, which can eventually be redeemed for free nights and other rewards. The program is free to join and use and is a great way to enhance your vacations!

Why should I join Marriott Rewards? Is it worth it?
Marriott Rewards is a free program offered by Marriott International to enhance your experience while staying at Marriott properties.

By signing up and staying at Marriott hotels, you will earn points and credits toward your elite status. The higher your elite status, the better benefits you get.

Elite status benefits include things such as free WiFi, free nights, room upgrades, bonus points, and more.

Points earned can be used directly on free rooms, spent in the Marriott shopping portal, or transferred to other loyalty account travel partners.

We think it is worth signing up to a free program that gives you a better experience on your vacations!

It’s especially worth it if you’ll be staying in lots of Marriott hotels over the year and can earn a higher elite status to enjoy greater benefits.

How does Marriott Rewards work?
First, you sign up to the program and get a membership number and loyalty account. Then, each time you stay at Marriott hotels, you will earn base points as well as elite status credits.

If you earn enough base points or status credits, you will advance to the next level of elite status.

The elite status tiers are Member, Silver, Gold, and Platinum. It takes an increasing number of points, nights, and/or stays to reach the next tier.

As your elite status level goes higher, you’ll get better benefits, such as complimentary upgrades and other free services.

You can earn bonus points as well. These are earned for hotel stays, and you will receive more the higher your elite status goes. Points can also be earned by patronizing businesses that Marriott partners with.

Once you have accumulated enough points, you can use them for free rooms, free merchandise, travel, or transfer them to travel partners.

Is there a Marriott Rewards credit card?
Yes, you can see our reviews of the Chase Marriott Rewards® Premier Credit Card and the Chase Marriott Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card.

You can also earn Marriott points by transferring them from Chase Ultimate Rewards, meaning you can use the 6 Ultimate Rewards cards to earn points:

How many Marriott Rewards points do I have?
To see your rewards balance, you’ll need to sign in to your Marriott Rewards account here. Once you sign in, you’ll see your rewards balance at the top of the page.

Alternatively, you can add your account under a service like AwardWallet.com, and all your points will be tracked in a single location.

What are Marriott Rewards points worth?
Marriott points can be worth a variety of dollar amounts. We did a random sampling for our Chase Marriott Rewards® Premier Credit Card review and found values between $0.004-$0.016 per point.

A free night in a Category 1 hotel costs 7,500 points, and a Category 9 costs 45,000; these figures can help you see the range of values. You can find the full rewards chart here.

Are Marriott rewards points transferable?
Yes. You can transfer them to other Marriott Rewards members, donate them to charity, or transfer them to travel partners. Transferring to other members costs $10 unless you are a Gold or Platinum member (in which case the fee is waived).

When do Marriott Rewards points expire?
Marriott points will expire after 24 months of no account activity. To keep them, you just need to earn or redeem points or stay in a Marriott hotel.

Spending money with your Marriott Credit card also meets this criteria.

Where is my Marriott Rewards number?
You’ll see your rewards number when you log in to your account. You could also find an email from Marriott when you joined that has your number on it. Finally, when you joined you received get a membership card where your number will appear.

If none of those methods work, you can either use the “forgot my password” function to find your information, or call Marriott customer service to retrieve your number.

What are the Marriott Rewards benefits? What are Marriott Rewards elite status levels?
The benefits of joining Marriott Rewards are many. You get free in-room WiFi as well as exclusive offers, a 5th night free on redemptions, and the ability to use their travel partners. 

As you work your way up the levels, you’ll earn more. The elite status levels are Member, Silver, Gold, and Platinum.

Additional benefits include late checkout, gift shop discounts, special reservation lines, complimentary upgrades, faster internet, partnered program status benefits, arrival gifts, and more!

Perhaps the best benefit is bonus points for staying, which will allow you to reach rewards more quickly.

What is a JW Marriott?
This is the luxury brand of hotel under Marriott International. There are currently 76 JW Marriotts across big cities and resort locations worldwide.

What is the Marriott Vacation Club?
Marriott Vacation Club is the Marriott timeshare program. You can buy into the program to earn the ability to utilize more than 50 Vacation Club resorts.

In addition, there are hundreds of other affiliated properties and access to additional vacation awards. Like most timeshares, you purchase a bank of points for the year which you can use toward properties around the world.

Which hotels are included in Marriott Rewards?
The Marriott brand includes the following hotel chains: Marriott Hotels & ResortsRenaissance HotelsJW Marriott, BULGARI Hotels and ResortsRitz-CarltonProtea Hotels, Delta HotelsCourtyard by Marriott, Fairfield Inn by MarriottSpringHill Suites by MarriottAutograph Collection, AC, EDITION, and MOXY Hotels

What is a Marriott Rewards upgrade certificate?
Marriott offers you 2 options for upgrading your room: using points or paying money. In either case, you’re purchasing a “certificate” to upgrade your room. You can also earn upgrade certificates in other ways.

Points certificates generally cost 5,000 points, and a room may cost 1-2+ certificates to get an upgrade for the night. When using a paid upgrade, you do not spend any of your points.

What are Marriott Rewards PointSavers?
These are rooms offered at a discounted rate when redeeming points. For instance, a 15,000-point Category 3 room only costs 10,000 if it is a PointSavers room. The highest discount offered will be 33% off the typical rate.

What is a Marriott Rewards redemption with cash upgrade?
This simply means you’ve booked a reward room for the night with your points, and chosen to pay for an upgrade using cash. You will not earn any additional points for the room.