34 Best Ways To Earn Lots of Marriott Rewards Points [2018 Update]

Marriott Hotel Thailand

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If you’re a Marriott loyalist, perhaps you’ve become savvy at earning lots of Marriott Rewards Points.

Changes to the Marriott Rewards program with the acquisition of Starwood and Ritz-Carlton, however, might have newer converts appreciating a primer on all the ways we can earn lots of Marriott Rewards Points.

Actually, with all the changes, even seasoned Marriott Rewards members might welcome an earnings refresher!

One thing’s for certain: when it comes to hotel loyalty points, more is better. With that philosophy in mind, we’re going to take a look at dozens of ways we all can earn more Marriott Rewards Points.

Marriott Rewards Points are valuable since they can be redeemed for:

  • Free hotel/resort stays
  • Room upgrades
  • Discounts off room rates
  • Vacation packages
  • Car rentals
  • Gift cards
  • Donations to charity
  • Transfers to airline partners
  • …and more!

In this article we’ll look at a multitude of ways you can earn all the Marriott Rewards Points you desire. Let’s get started.

Sign-up Bonuses and Spending on Marriott Branded Credit Cards

Chase issues Marriott Rewards-earning personal and business credit cards. You’ll start earning Marriott Rewards Points immediately on every purchase, and qualify for a sign-up bonus once minimum spending requirements are met.

Sign-up bonuses are the fastest way to earn Marriott Rewards Points, but there are plenty of ongoing earning options that make it smart to have at least 1 Marriott branded card in your wallet if this is your hotel of choice.

Marriott Rewards® Premier Plus Credit Card

A generous sign-up bonus puts Marriott Rewards Points in your pocket quickly after completing the initial spending requirements. You’ll continue earning on the card with:

  • 6 points for every $1 spent at participating Marriott and SPG hotels
  • 2 points for every $1 spent on all other purchases

Marriott Rewards® Premier Plus Business Credit Card

Also offering a generous sign-up bonus, the Marriott Rewards® Premier Plus Business Credit Card delivers a stash of Marriott Rewards Points after the required spending requirements.

The business version of the Marriott Rewards® Premier Plus Credit Card offers more ways to earn Marriott Rewards Points than the personal version, with 4 points per dollar spent on several common business spending categories:

  • 6 points for every $1 spent at participating Marriott and SPG hotels
  • 4 points for every $1 spent on gas station, restaurant, shipping, internet, cable, and phone service purchases
  • 2 points for every $1 spent on all other purchases

Remember that Chase has a 5/24 rule for new applications. To find out which Chase credit cards are affected and how the Chase 5/24 rule works, you’ll want to access our complete guide.

Marriott Hotel on Beach San Juan
Use your Marriott Rewards Points to stay at a beach property such as the San Juan Marriott Resort, which can be booked for 30,000 points. Image courtesy of Marriott.com.

Sign-up Bonuses and Spending on SPG Branded Credit Cards

There are several SPG-branded credit cards that earn generous sign-up bonuses and Marriott Rewards Points, which are all issued by American Express.

Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express

In alignment with the earnings on the Marriott-branded credit cards, the Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express offers 6 points per dollar spent at Marriott affiliated properties and 2 points per dollar on all other purchases.

Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express

The Starwood Preferred Guest Business Credit Card from American Express also earns 6 points/$1 spent at Marriott affiliated properties and then adds the 4 points per dollar business categories of U.S. restaurants, U.S. gas stations, wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers, and on U.S. purchases for shipping. All other purchases earn 2 points/dollar.

New! Starwood Preferred Guest® Luxury Card from American Express

The Starwood Preferred Guest® Luxury Card from American Express comes with a generous sign-up bonus and plenty of ways to earn Marriott Rewards Points.

  • 6 points per $1 at SPG and Marriott hotels
  • 3 points per $1 at U.S. restaurants and flights booked directly with airlines
  • 2 points per $1 all other purchases

Spending on Your Ritz-Carlton Rewards Credit Card

For those who currently hold the Chase Ritz-Carlton Rewards Credit Card, you’ll be earning Marriott Rewards Points in the following ways.

  • 6 points per $1 spent at participating Ritz-Carlton, SPG, and participating Marriott properties worldwide.
  • 3 points for every $1 on dining, car rentals, and airline purchases.
  • 2 points per $1 all other purchases

The Ritz-Carlton Rewards credit card is not currently open to new applicants.

Bottom Line: Spending on Marriott/SPG/Ritz-Carlton credit cards and earning the associated sign-up bonuses are the fastest ways to earn Marriott Rewards Points. 

Refer-a-Friend Bonus Rewards (Chase)

You can refer friends for Chase credit cards and earn up to 50,000 points per year. To see if your card is eligible, visit the Refer-a-Friend website and enter your last name, zip code, and the last 4 digits of your credit card number.

American Express Refer a Friend
Log in to the American Express site to refer a someone you know and receive rewards points. Image courtesy of American Express.

Refer-a-Friend Bonus Rewards (American Express)

If you currently have an SPG-branded credit card from American Express, you can also refer a friend to them and earn rewards points.

Just log in to your online American Express credit card account and select the method you want to use to invite your referral.

You can have American Express send an email, post on your Facebook page, use Twitter, or copy your referral link and send an email of your own.

Brands of Marriott Hotels
Earn 10 points/dollar at these Marriott/SPG/Riz-Carlton brands. Image courtesy of Marriottrewards.com.

Base Points and Bonus Points for Stays at Marriott/SPG/Ritz-Carlton Hotels/Resorts

Did you know you can earn points without using a Marriott, SPG or Ritz-Carlton branded credit card to earn Marriott Rewards Points when staying at any Marriott family property?

Marriott Rewards members earn 10 Marriott Rewards Points for every $1 spent on qualifying purchases made at any of the core 25 Marriott properties listed above, regardless of which credit card you use (5 points per $1 at Residence Inn, TownePlace Suites, and Element properties).

In addition to the base points earned when staying at Marriott collection properties, elite members receive bonus points.

For example, a Platinum Elite member would receive a 50% bonus, for a total 15 Marriott Rewards Points per $1 spent at any of the 25 core Marriott collection properties!

Elite LevelBonus Marriott Rewards Points Earned
  • Silver Elite
  • 10%
  • Gold Elite
  • 25%
  • Platinum Elite
  • 50%
  • Platinum Premier Elite
  • Platinum Premier Elite with Ambassador
  • 75%

Hot Tip: You can triple dip on Marriott Rewards Points when staying at Marriott affiliated properties. You’ll receive points for using your branded credit card, base points in the Marriott Rewards program for your stay, and an additional percentage bonus if you have elite status. 

Earn Rewards at Long-Term Stay Properties

You can also stay at extended-stay properties such as Marriott Executive Apartments and ExecuStay properties to earn 2.5 Marriott Rewards Points per $1 spent.

Reward a Friend – Earn Marriott Rewards Points

When you tell your friends about the Marriott Rewards program and they stay at a Marriott property, you’ll earn Marriott Rewards Points. Be sure to have your friend sign up for the Marriott Rewards program before staying.

Here’s how the Reward a Friend program works:

  • Send invitations to your friends.
  • They receive 2,000 points per stay, up to 10,000 Marriott Rewards Points
  • You receive 2,000 points for each time they stay, up to 10,000 Marriott Rewards Points for a maximum of 5 referrals per year. That’s 50,000 extra Marriott Rewards Points!

Earn Rewards for Purchasing Gift Cards

Purchase Marriott gift cards with your Marriott/SPG/Ritz-Carlton credit card at participating Marriott properties and receive 6 points per dollar spent. Marriott gift cards make great gifts for weddings, milestone birthdays, anniversaries, or graduates who will be traveling.

Transfer Ultimate Rewards to Marriott Rewards

You could also top off your Marriott Rewards account by transferring your Ultimate Rewards Points earned on several Chase credit cards. The transfer is simple, has a 1:1 transfer ratio, and takes about 2 days.

The transfer is not an awesome value for your Ultimate Rewards Points — but you might find value in transferring points to use for an upgraded room, or if you find a PointSavers rate (which can start at 4,000 Marriott Rewards Points for a level 1 off-peak night).

The following Chase credit cards allow you to transfer Ultimate Rewards Points directly:

The below Ultimate Rewards-earning credit cards do not allow direct transfers to Marriott Rewards. You can, however, transfer your Ultimate Rewards Points earned on these credit cards first to one of the premium Chase cards listed above and then to Marriott Rewards.

Transfer American Express Membership Rewards to Marriott Rewards

Use any of our recommended Amex Membership Rewards credit cards and transfer points to Marriott. As with Chase transfers, this is not a high-value transfer option compared to other Amex partners.

Each Membership Rewards point converts to 1 Marriott point, and transfer are almost instant.

Recommended Amex Cards (Personal)

Recommended Amex Cards (Business)

Transfer From Diners Club Rewards

If you have a Diners Club Rewards credit card, you can transfer those points to Marriott Rewards at the rate of 1,250 Diners Club Rewards points to 1,500 Marriott Rewards Points.

Selecting Green Choice and Welcome Gift Points

When you check in to a Marriott collection property, you’ll be offered the option to receive bonus points in exchange for forgoing daily housekeeping. You can earn 500 points per day at most properties and up to 5,000 points per stay. You can opt out of housekeeping for up to 3 consecutive days in a row.

(Some hotels like Courtyard, Fairfield Inn, and SpringHill Suites only offer 250 bonus points/night.)

Gold Elite members or higher also have the option to select 500-1,000 Marriott Rewards Points (depending on the property) in lieu of breakfast or a welcome amenity.

Marriott Moments
Earn Marriott Rewards Points by booking Marriott Moments. Image courtesy of Marriott.com.

Earn Big When Booking Marriott Moments

Marriott Moments is a special program offering hundreds of special activities and experiences chosen specifically for Marriott Rewards members. Select from gourmet cooking lessons, a riverboat jazz brunch in New Orleans, or perhaps a New York City speakeasy walking tour.

Marriott Moments offers experiences at destinations all over the world — best of all, you’ll be earning 10 bonus Marriott Rewards Points for each $1 spent on Marriott Moments!

Get Rewarded for Your Events

With Marriott’s Rewarding Events program you’ll earn Marriott Rewards Points for booking your meeting, wedding, or other special event at a Marriott property.

You can earn 2 points per dollar spent on eligible room, food, beverages, and audio/visual charges for a total of up to 60,000 Marriott Rewards Points for each event. Platinum Premier Elite members can earn a maximum of 105,000 points per event.

You can also earn Elite qualifying nights for your event booking.

Sign up for Bonus Rewards at Promotion Central

When Marriott runs a promotion, you can earn extra Marriott Rewards Points for your stays. If you’re a member of Marriott Rewards, you should receive an email asking you to register whenever there is a new promotion.

You can always check out Marriott’s Promotion Central to sign in and see if there is a new promotion you may have missed.

Earn Rewards While Roaming

Marriott partners with TravellingConnect for cellular roaming services in over 25 countries worldwide. Signing up is free, and Marriott Rewards members earn 2 points/dollar spent on services.

Marriott Desert Hotel Arizona
Earn Marriott Rewards Points when purchasing Marriott Vacation Packages. Image courtesy of Marriott Vacations

Book Marriott Vacation Packages

Vacations by Marriott runs ongoing specials that offer bonus Marriott Rewards Points for booking vacation packages in addition to the points earned on the purchase price.

As an example, one recent promotion offered 10,000 Marriott Rewards Points for booking a 4-night stay or longer at a Westin property. You can check out the Vacations by Marriott site to see their current bonus point specials.

Earn Marriott Rewards Points for Car Rentals Through Hertz

Marriott partners with Hertz in its Marriott Moments program to offer Marriott Rewards members up to 35% off base car rental rates and unlimited miles.

Members enjoy the benefits of reserving now, paying later, and even canceling their reservation for free. Use code 154080 during booking for discount and benefits.

Best of all, Marriott Rewards members can earn up to 3,000 Marriott Rewards Points for Hertz car rentals of 2 days or more.

Book Your Cruise Through CruisesOnly.com

With over 500 trained cruise experts on staff and a 110% money-back price guarantee, popular discount cruise agency CruisesOnly is a Marriott partner as well.

Receive special pricing, bonus amenities, and 2 additional Marriott Rewards Points for every $1 you spend at CruisesOnly.com. Earn even more (up to 60,000 Marriott Rewards Points!) when you book a balcony or suite stateroom.

Your “Identity Can Earn Marriott Rewards

If you’re a member of the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas Identity rewards program, you may transfer loyalty points to Marriott Rewards. You must contact the Cosmopolitan Identity Program to do so.

Shop With Marriott Rewards MORE

Earn 1,000 Marriott Rewards points for your first purchase of $25 or more when shopping through the Marriott Rewards MORE website. You can even qualify for the 1,000-point bonus when using Marriott Rewards Points to make your purchase!

You don’t need to use a Marriott/SPG/Ritz credit card to earn points on your MORE purchase. Visa, MasterCard, and American Express can all be used to complete the transaction, and you’ll still earn Marriott Rewards Points.

Check Out Marriott Vacation Club Ownership

With over 4,000 Marriott properties and 3,000 affiliated resorts, many vacationers enjoy the convenience of owning a Marriott Vacation Club timeshare.

Signing up to visit one of their properties and listening to their presentation can net you a stash of Marriott Rewards Points.

Purchasing Marriott Rewards Points

If you’re just short of enough points for a particular redemption option, you may want to purchase a small number of Marriott Rewards Points to top off your account.

Another reason you might purchase points is to keep your points from expiring, since Marriott Rewards Points expire after 24 months of inactivity on your account.

Members may purchase a maximum of 50,000 points per calendar year in increments of 1,000 at a rate of $12.50 per 1,000 points.

Everything Else You Need to Know

The Marriott Rewards Program allows you to select whether you want to earn miles or rewards points for all these activities. To make your selection, log in to your Marriott Rewards account and update your online profile.

If you do not make a selection, the program will default to earning Marriott Rewards Points.

Once you’ve earned plenty of Marriott Rewards Points, you’ll proably want to know the best way to redeem your points. Check out our guide on the best ways to redeem Marriott Rewards for the most value.

Final Thoughts

While the Marriott Rewards program has seen major changes lately, there are so many ways to earn Marriott Rewards Points and a variety of redemption options available that the program still offers significant value.


*Featured image credit: Marriott Rewards

FAQ

Can you have more than 1 Marriott credit card?

Yes, you can have more than 1 Marriott credit card. The Marriott Rewards credit cards issued by Chase are offered in both a personal version and also a business version.

You could also have one or more of the SPG-branded credit cards issued by American Express that earn Marriott Rewards Points as well.

How do Marriott Rewards Points work?

Marriott Rewards Points are points earned by members of the Marriott Rewards program.

It’s free to join the Marriott Rewards program, so that should be your first step. Then all your stays at Marriott affiliated properties will earn Marriott Rewards points based on the amount of your purchases.

There are many other ways to earn Marriott Rewards as we’ve covered in the article. Once you have accumulated Marriott Rewards Points, you can redeem them for a variety of options including free nights, room upgrades, vacations, gift cards, and much more.

Where can I find Marriott promotions?

How many rewards points do I need for a hotel stay?

The number of Marriott Rewards Points you will need for a 1-night stay will depend on the hotel category. A category 1 hotel starts at 7,500 points while a category 4 costs 20,000 points.

There are also sales where rooms are discounted to as low as 4,000 points per night for a category 1 hotel during off-peak dates. These sales are called PointSavers and can offer good value for your Marriott Rewards Points.

Current PointSavers can be found on Marriottrewards.com.

How can I contact Marriott customer service?

Call Marriott customer service at 1 (800) 721-7033.

Which hotel chains are included in the Marriott brand?

The following hotel chains are part of the Marriott brand: Fairfield Inn by Marriott, Marriott Hotels & Resorts, Autograph Collection, Renaissance Hotels, SpringHill Suites by Marriott, Courtyard by Marriott, Ritz-Carlton, JW Marriott, AC, Delta Hotels, EDITION, MOXY Hotels, Protea Hotels, St. Regis, The Luxury Collection, W Hotels, Westin, Sheraton, La Meridien, Tribune Portfolio, Design Hotels, aloft, Four Points, and element.

Do Marriott Rewards Points expire?

Marriott Rewards Points expire after 2 years unless you have qualifying activity on your Marriott Rewards Account. Qualifying activity includes making a paid or reward stay.

Other qualifying activities include purchasing points, holding a meeting or other event at a Marriott affiliated property, and earning/redeeming points.

Making a purchase on a Marriott/SPG/Ritz-Carlton credit card will also qualify and keep your points from expiring.

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4 comments

  1. Jennifer · August 29, 2018 · Reply

    You can no longer earn Marriott points through shopmyway.

  2. I am a platinum for life SPG member. The new combined program is a disaster for me. My CC points earned on spending is cut by a third. The no housekeeping bonus is cut by 2 thirds.
    The hurdles to find and book a room online used to be just a couple of clicks, now it is a much more confusing and time consuming process. For instance: On SPG you click on a city in which you wish to stay and you get 1 screen with a list of different pricing options all together. Now, with Marriott, you get a list of 100 hotels and each hotel has a best price listed. The best price is always advance purchase which I don’t care about. So I have to click and click and go back and forth making for a very frustrating experience. Even tho’ I’m Platinum, I’ll find myself going to Hyatt and Priceline to avoid the hassle of Marriott’s reservation site. Thanks.

    • Christine Krzyszton · September 14, 2018 · Reply

      Thanks for your comments, Mark. I am a long term SPG elite member as well (not Platinum lifetime like you, however) and I have experienced similar frustrations with the earnings, the booking process, the awards program and other changes. I have started limiting the brands in my search on the Marriott site to just my preferences; it helps narrow the choices. The booking site still has other problems that I’m confident will be worked out over time but for now, it’s tough to deal with. I feel your pain although I’m hopeful the IT problems will diminish soon.

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