25 Best Ways To Earn Lots of Marriott Rewards Points [2017]

jw marriott hotel

Marriott International is a global company with more than 5,700 properties in over 110 countries. Members of Marriott Rewards collect points for stays at hotels owned by Marriott and its partners.

Reward points can also be earned for using branded credit cards.

This article will break down the many ways available to earn Marriott Rewards points so you can redeem them for some amazing hotel stays.

Earn Marriott Points With Flexible Point Credit Cards

There’s a huge benefit to earning points with flexible credit cards (Chase/Amex/SPG etc) because they enable you to transfer the points to so many different airline and hotel partners.

This may be more advantageous to you if you want that flexibility vs earning just Marriott points with one of their credit cards (more details below on your options here!)

1. Chase Ultimate Rewards Credit Cards

Use any of our recommended Chase Ultimate Rewards credit cards and transfer points to the Marriott Rewards program. Each Ultimate Rewards point converts to 1 Marriott Rewards point, and it takes approximately 2 days for the transfer to complete.

Recommended Chase Cards (Personal)

CREDIT CARDCARD INFO
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

(Our #1 rewards card).
  • 50,000 bonus points.
  • That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through
    Chase Ultimate Rewards.
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide.
  • $0 Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Annual Fee: $0 the first year, then $95
  • Card Review
Chase Sapphire Reserve℠ Card
  • 50,000 bonus points
  • 3X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide
  • Annual Fee: $450
  • Card Review
Chase Freedom®
  • Earn 5% cash back in bonus categories
  • No annual fee
  • Card Review
Chase Freedom Unlimited℠

Recommended Chase Cards (Business)

CREDIT CARDCARD INFO
Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card
  • Earn 3 points per $1 in select categories
  • Annual Fee: $95
  • Card Review
Chase Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card
  • Earn 5% cash back in select business categories
  • No Annual Fee
  • Card Review

2. Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Cards

As we discussed above, Starwood and Marriott recently merged, making it easy to transfer points between these 2 loyalty programs.

One way to build up your SPG Starpoints balance is to use the Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express or the Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express.

Think of all the Starpoints you could transfer!

CREDIT CARDCARD INFO
Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express
  • Earn 25,000 bonus Starpoints®
  • Redeem Starpoints® at over 1,300 participating hotels and resorts in over 100 countries and for flights on more than 150 airlines with SPG flights.
  • Up to 5x Starpoints® on eligible purchases. Terms Apply.
  • $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95.
  • Full Review
Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express
  • Earn 25,000 bonus Starpoints®
  • Up to 5x Starpoints® on eligible purchases. Terms Apply.
  • $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95.
  • Full Review

3. American Express Membership Rewards Credit Cards

marriott-rewards-american-express-membership-rewards
You can transfer points to Marriott from American Express if you go through Starwood Preferred Guest first.

Though you can’t transfer American Express Membership Rewards directly to Marriott Rewards, there is another way to do it.

First, transfer your American Express Membership Rewards points to SPG Starpoints (1,000 MR=333 Starpoints). Then transfer the Starpoints to Marriott Rewards points in 1,000-point increments (1 Starpoint=3 Marriott Rewards points).

It’s almost a 1:1 ratio!

Use the following Amex cards to earn SPG points and start the process:

Recommended Amex Cards (Personal)

CREDIT CARDCARD INFO
The Platinum Card® from American Express
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points
  • 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel.
  • Up to $200 Uber Savings Annually.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit. Terms Apply.
  • Annual Fee: $550
  • Card Review
Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express
  • Earn 25,000 points.
  • 3x points for flights booked directly with airlines.
  • 2X points at US restaurants, US gas stations, and at US supermarkets. Terms Apply.
  • Annual Fee: $0 for the first year, then $195
  • Card Review
The Amex EveryDay® Credit Card from American Express
  • Earn 10,000 Membership Rewards® points
  • 2x points at US supermarkets, on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1x). Terms Apply.
  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Card Review

Recommended Amex Cards (Business)

CREDIT CARDCARD INFO
The Business Platinum Card® from American Express OPEN
  • Earn up to 75,000 Membership Rewards® points.
  • Get 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit. Terms Apply.
  • 50% more points on business purchases of $5,000 or more and 35% Airline Bonus.
  • Annual Fee: $450
  • Card Review
The Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN
  • Earn 50,000 Membership Rewards® points
  • Get 3x points - Choose 1 out of 5 categories.
  • Plus, 2X points on the 4 remaining categories and 1X points on other purchases. Terms Apply.
  • $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $175
  • Card Review
The Blue Business℠ Plus Credit Card from American Express
  • Earn 2X points on everyday business purchases such as office supplies or client dinners. Terms Apply.
  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Card Review

Earn Points With Marriott Rewards Credit Cards

Open a Marriott Rewards Account

Marriott Rewards loyalty program
Marriott Rewards is the free loyalty program from Marriott Hotels. Enroll to earn points that can be redeemed for free nights and more!

Sign up here to join Marriott Rewards, and you will be assigned “Member” status, which is the first tier in the elite status program. Unlike bank-established loyalty programs (e.g. Citi ThankYou Rewards), you don’t need an affiliated credit card to start earning points!

Hot Tip: You can combine points with a spouse or domestic partner for free when making a redemption! This is a terrific way to qualify for bigger awards!

4. Marriott Rewards Credit Card Sign-Up Bonuses

One of the fastest ways to earn Marriott Rewards points is by using one of the 2 Marriott co-branded credit cards: the Chase Marriott Rewards® Premier Credit Card or the Chase Marriott Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card.

Both of these hotel credit cards offer a good sign-up bonus as well as free night offers! They do come with an annual fee, however.

As a Marriott credit card holder, you’ll automatically skip the first tier and become a “Silver” member, which will earn you extra perks explained below.

As always, it’s a good idea to evaluate your financial situation before selecting a card to ensure it fits your spending habits. When you’ve made a decision, click on the card links in the table below to learn about current sign-up promotions and apply!

Loyalty ProgramCredit Card Review
Marriott Rewards Loyalty ProgramChase Marriott Rewards® Premier Credit Card
Chase Marriott Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card

5. Marriott Credit Card Bonus Categories

Using Marriott credit cards is a terrific strategy for earning Marriott Rewards points. Every credit card purchase earns 1-5 points per $1 spent, depending on the bonus category.

For example, earn a whopping 5 points per $1 spent at the more than 5,700 participating Marriott Rewards and Starwood Preferred Guest properties around the world! That’s on top of the 5-10 points per $1 earned for being a Marriott Rewards member!

Also, earn 2 reward points per $1 spent when using the card to book airline tickets through the airlines, as well as at restaurants and car rental agencies.

6. Marriott Rewards Elite Status

marriott-rewards-elite-status
Marriott Rewards has 4 levels of elite status that let you climb to better and better rewards.

As already mentioned, you will start out in the loyalty program with either Member status (for opening a Marriott Rewards account) or Silver Elite status (for having a Marriott Rewards credit card). The other membership tiers are Gold and Platinum.

Each tier comes with a variety of perks like free in-room Wi-Fi, room upgrades, and much more. Here, we’ll focus on the bonus points earned based on your membership tier.

Tier LevelBonus Points
MemberN/A
Silver Elite25%
Gold Elite50%
Platinum Elite100%

Silver Elite status is a permanent benefit for as long as you remain a Marriott credit card holder.

Every year, you’ll receive 15 credits with your Chase Marriott Rewards® Premier Credit Card, ensuring you remain at Silver Elite status and continue to earn 25% bonus points!

In addition, every time you spend $3,000 on the card you will receive 1 credit, which will help you move up to a higher status and earn more bonus points!

Stay 50 qualifying nights to achieve Gold status, and 75 qualifying nights for Platinum status.

7. Link Your SPG Account for More Points!

Marriott International and Starwood hotels recently merged.

While there are no plans to combine the 2 loyalty programs (Marriott Rewards and SPG) into one program until at least 2018, you can link your accounts to earn more points and benefits than ever before!

When you link a Marriott Rewards and SPG account, you’ll automatically enjoy the same status in both programs.

marriott rewards spg elite status
Link accounts for an instant status match in both Marriott Rewards and Starwood Preferred Guest programs.

(Just a quick note, The Ritz-Carlton is also part of this merger. However, you can only become a member of 1 loyalty program between either The Ritz-Carlton Rewards or Marriott Rewards.)

With merged accounts, you’ll still earn Marriott Rewards points and SPG Starpoints for hotel stays separately, depending on which program your hotel is a part of. Marriott brands and SPG brands will remain in the same programs.

You can’t use one program’s points with the other’s directly, but you can transfer them between programs to build up your Rewards or Starpoints for bigger redemptions!

Marriott Rewards SPG transfer
Transfer Marriott Rewards points to Starpoints when you link the 2 loyalty programs.

Any credit cards you use will continue to link to the associated loyalty program, and you will continue to earn points in that program. If you have elite status through your credit card, it can be applied to the other program through status match.

Linking your Marriott Rewards and SPG accounts

Just log in to your Marriott Rewards account and follow the prompts to link the 2 accounts. If you are not already an SPG member, enroll online here first.

You must link accounts online. It’s not possible to link accounts:

  • With the Marriott mobile app or SPG app
  • At hotel check-in
  • By telephone
  • With your Elite Concierge or ambassador

Find answers to any other questions about how the merger will affect these loyalty programs here.

8. Stay at Marriott Hotels (Marriott Points by Brand)

Marriott has more than 4,000+ brand hotels in over 70 countries. Earn 5-10 points per $1 based on the hotel, which not only includes the standard hotel brands but also the Marriott Vacation Club properties:

marriott points by brand
This chart shows the Marriott points by brand that you will earn. Depending on the property, earn 5-10 points/$1.

Hot Tip: As a Marriott Rewards member, you can earn points for your qualifying stay plus 2 additional rooms. At least 1 of the rooms must be reserved and registered in your name. You must also stay in 1 room and pay for all of them. Make sure your membership number appears on your folio and the folio for the 2 additional rooms.

Business Stays, Meetings, and Events

9. Executive Hotel Stays

Marriott executive apartments
Earn points for stays at Marriott Executive Apartments.

Looking for a place to stay on extended business?

Earn 2.5 points or 1 air mile per $1 on the room rate at Marriott Executive Apartments. You will also earn 1 elite night credit for every 3 nights stayed. Execustay, another Marriott property, offers the same deal.

10. Host Business Meetings or Events

If you’re in need of a place to hold a meeting, look no further. Marriott offers meeting and event services that earn you points!

Earn a maximum of 50,000 points (3 points per $1) or 15,000 miles (1 mile per $1) for 1 qualifying event. You’ll even earn miles on room stays associated with your event, whether you cover the room or not!

You also have the option of splitting the 50,000 points with another member.

Hot Tip: Book 10+ rooms for at least 1 night and earn points plus 10 Elite night credits. Use the credits toward achieving the next tier level so you can earn a bigger bonus on stays.

Utilize Travel Partners

11. Choosing Miles Over Points

Do you prefer to earn frequent flyer miles rather than points?

You can’t earn points and miles for the same stay, but you can choose between the 2 options since Marriott partners with more than 40 airlines. For instance, earn 2 Alaska Mileage Plan miles per $1 for Marriott stays.

Of course, you can also convert points into miles when redeeming for a reward.

12. Hertz Auto Rental

Marriott rewards hertz
Rent a car from Hertz for 500 Marriott Rewards points.

Earn 500 Marriott Rewards points when booking a Hertz car rental. Use code 154080 for additional discounts and benefits.

13. Book With CruisesOnly

If you’re planning a cruise, consider booking it through CruisesOnly, a Marriott Rewards partner. Earn thousands of Marriott Rewards points for sailing on world-class cruise lines.

14. Earn Avios for Stays

Marriott rewards british airways avios
Get 2 Avios/$1 for hotel stays and redeem them with over 1,000 partners like British Airways.

Avios is the travel reward currency of over 1,000 partners including British Airways, Iberia, and Norwegian Cruise Lines.

As a Marriott Rewards member, you receive up to 2 Avios per $1 spent on hotel stays. To start earning Avios for travel rewards, upgrades, and more:

  1. Log in to your Marriott Rewards account
  2. Select ‘Miles’ as your earn preference and then choose Avios
  3. Add your Avios membership number when you book a stay or check in 
  4. Avios will be applied to your account 6 weeks after your stay

15. Book with Ctrip

Marriott rewards Ctrip
Earn Ctrip points for Marriott hotel stays, and then redeem them for travel rewards.

Members of both Marriott Rewards and travel booking partner Ctrip can earn Ctrip points for stays at the thousands of Marriott hotels worldwide. Ctrip points can be redeemed for travel rewards.

16. Travelling Connect

Call abroad and earn up to 10 Marriott Rewards per minute of call time with Travelling Connect. Participating networks are located in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia, and the Americas.

Home & Retail Options

17. Home Utilities and Services

Earn points for NRG Home utilities and NRG Home Solar in select states. Click on a link to find out if the offer is valid where you live. Always read the terms and conditions carefully before enrolling in a program to ensure it fits your budget.

CompanyProduct or serviceBonus points
NRG Home Utilities (select states)10,000 bonus points (up to 2/$1)
NRG Home SolarSolar energyUp to 30,000 points

18. Earn Through Online Shopping

Marriott rewards shop my way
The Shop My Way portal has hundreds of online retailers. Make purchases and earn Marriott points at the same time.

Earn Marriott Rewards points for shopping at online retailers through the Shop My Way portal. Be on the lookout for special limited time offers for extra points! Need flowers, gifts, or wine? The Shop My Way Boutique has just what you need.

Converting to Marriott Rewards Points

19. Diners Club International

marriott rewards diners club international
Diners Club International is a Marriott Rewards transfer partner.

Convert Diners Club® Club Rewards® points into Marriott Rewards points through Diners Club International.

20. Identity Points

If you are a member of the Identity Points program at The Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas, you can transfer Identity Points to Marriott Rewards points.

Special Offers and Deals

21. Refer a Friend

Earn up to 50,000 reward points by referring friends to the Marriott Rewards program. Refer up to 5 new members each calendar year. They’ll benefit by earning 2,000 bonus points for their first 5 stays (10,000 points total!).

Marriott Rewards refer a friend
Refer friends to Marriott Rewards for additional bonus points!

You could also try using the Chase Refer A Friend program if you have the Marriott Rewards® Premier Credit Card.

22. Earn Points and Badges

The Badges program is a fun way to earn badges (and points!) for staying at Marriott hotels. Plus, this program is free!

Automatically earn Marriott points for these badges:

BadgePoints Earned
Brand Explorer Badges25 points
5-Brand Explorer50 points
10-Brand Explorer75 points
Uber Brand Explorer250 points
100-Night Badge25 points
500-Night Badge125 points
1,000-Night Badge250 points

23. Your Choice Housekeeping

Marriott rewards your choice housekeeping
Skip housekeeping and bank Marriott Rewards points!

What if there was a way to help the planet and earn points at the same time? There is!

Get a credit of 500 bonus points for each day you skip housekeeping services at participating Renaissance and Marriott hotels.

Pass on housekeeping at participating Courtyard, Fairfield Inn, and SpringHill Suites hotels and earn 250 bonus points per day.

The program allows you to pass on housekeeping for up to 3 consecutive days when you provide your Marriott Rewards number at check in.

24. Link Your Social Media

Link your social media accounts (Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook) to Marriott Rewards, and you may earn extra bonus points!

Marriott periodically offers specials, such as a holiday promotion with the opportunity to earn 1,500 Marriott Rewards points! Plus, you’ll keep up-to-date on new promotions and unique ways to earn more points.

25. Marriott Rewards Member Specials

Marriott Rewards deals
Find Marriott Rewards deals in an instant by searching the database.

Search for promotions and deals at the Marriott Rewards website. Just enter the city and state where you want to travel to find points/mile offers, partner offers and more!

Conclusion

As you can see, Marriott offers a huge number of ways to earn Marriott Rewards points. Start collecting them now and you’ll have plenty of points to redeem for Marriott stays, upgrades, and partner offers!

Don’t forget, Starwood and Marriott are now connected, so you could also earn lots of Starwood points and transfer them between programs.

Photo Credit:
Courtyard Marriott Liberty Square:  fotiyka/Shutterstock.com

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

FAQ

Can I earn Marriott Rewards with a credit card?
Yes, there are 2 Marriott Rewards credit cards from Chase: the Chase Marriott Rewards® Premier Credit Card and the Chase Marriott Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card.

You can also transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points to Marriott points after earning them with the 6 Ultimate Rewards cards.

Also available are the Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express and the Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express.

Finally, you can transfer points to Marriott from American Express Membership Rewards as long as you go through Starwood Preferred Guest first.

When do Marriott Rewards points expire?
Marriott Rewards points remain valid as long as there is activity on the account (earning, redeeming, or a Marriott stay). If there is no activity for 24 months, they will expire.

Where can I find Marriott Rewards promotions?
Check for new Marriott Rewards promotions here.

Should I earn Marriott Rewards points or miles?
While Marriott Rewards airline partners do run promotions for bonus miles, overall you will usually get more value from Marriott Rewards points. Calculate your own situation to determine which is better for you.

How can I contact Marriott Rewards customer service?
Call Marriott Rewards 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, BULGARI Hotels and Resorts, MOXY Hotels, and Protea Hotels.