If you are a current Marriott Rewards Member, SPG member, or someone looking to join Marriott Rewards, this is the guide for you! Everything you need to know about the Marriott Rewards program – How to redeem points, How to earn more points, How to get elite status, What hotels award you the most, etc… it’s all here. Check it out!
The “New” Marriott Rewards Program Overview:
Marriott International, Inc. is the world’s largest hotel company with more than 6,500 properties in over 127 countries, spread across 29 hotel brands. The 2016 merger of Marriott and Starwood resulted in a combined hotel company with some of the best properties in the world and a set of loyalty programs that cannot be overlooked. Initially, Marriott, SPG and Ritz Carlton all kept their programs separate, but they merged into a single program in August 2018.
Marriott Rewards, Starwood Preferred Guest and Ritz Carlton Rewards are now one program!
Effective August 18. 2018 Marriott Rewards, Starwood Preferred Guest and Ritz Carlton rewards have combined into one Mega-Rewards Program. This combination puts Marriott way ahead of all other hotel loyalty programs and offers the widest range of hotel properties with which to use your hard-earned points!
The new Marriott Rewards program encompasses over 6,500 properties in 29 leading hotel brands across 127 countries and territories. The properties span the range of super luxury brands like St. Regis and Ritz Carlton to economy hotels like Fairfield Inn and Four Points by Sheraton.
In an effort to put some perspective on these brands and their market focus, Marriott has segmented them into five broad categories of “Luxury”, “Premium”, “Select”, “Collections” and “Longer Stay” and then further sub-segmented each by “Classic” and “Distinctive” properties:
- Classic Luxury
- Distinctive Luxury
- Classic Premium
- Distinctive Premium
- Classic Select
- Distinctive Select
- Classic Longer Stays
- Distinctive Longer Stays
Marriott Rewards Program Levels: Elite Status & Benefits
The elite status offerings have grown with the new program. Marriott now offers six levels of Elite Status plus three levels of lifetime elite status.
The Marriott Rewards Elite levels are as follows:
- Silver Elite
- Gold Elite
- Platinum Elite
- Platinum Premier Elite
- Platinum Premier Elite with Ambassador Service
Below is a chart that summarized the benefits of each elite status level.
The Marriott Rewards Lifetime Elite Levels are as follows:
- Lifetime Silver Elite (250 lifetime nights + 5 years Elite status)
- Lifetime Gold Elite (400 lifetime nights + 7 years Gold Elite status or higher)
- Lifetime Platinum Elite (600 lifetime nights + 10 years Platinum Elite)
- Lifetime Platinum Premier Elite (Grandfathered status)
(The Lifetime Platinum Premier Elite Status is a grandfathered status, is only achievable until December 31, 2018 and will not be continued thereafter. Members will receive notice of this Lifetime achievement in January 2019. It is based on your combined Marriott and SPG status prior to 12/31/2018. The requirement is 750 Qualifying Nights + 10 Years as Platinum Elite)
How to Earn Marriott Rewards Points
The obvious method for earning Marriott Rewards points is by staying at their properties. However, what isn’t so obvious is that not all properties treat the points earning process the same. For example, you will earn 10 points per dollar on all qualifying charges at most Marriott properties. However, there are some exceptions that you need to be aware of.
The exceptions to this rule are:
- Element, Residence Inn, and TownePlace Suites earn 5 points per dollar on qualifying charges
- Marriott Executive Apartments and ExecuStay earn 2.5 points per dollar on qualifying charges
Anyone trying to earn Marriott Reward points through stays should avoid these properties as it will take at least twice as long to earn as many points as you would at other Marriott properties.
Important note about booking through Online Travel Agents (OTA’s): Rooms booked through third party online retailers, such as Expedia.com, Orbitz.com, Travelocity.com, Hotels.com, Booking.com, Priceline.com, etc. are not eligible for Miles or Elite night credit. Wholesale packages and series tours are not eligible for Miles or Elite night credit regardless of booking source.
If you want to earn points and elite night credits always book direct on Marriott.com. If you are looking to say on your paid stay, check out our Marriott Deals page for the latest offers and promotions.
Earning bonus points with Marriott Promotions
Like all major hotel loyalty programs, Marriott frequently publishes promotions to allow members to earn more bonus points for their stays. You will want to make sure you sign up for every Marriott promotion so you don’t miss out on an opportunity to earn bonus points. We provide an updated list of them on our Marriott Promotion and Coupon Page.
Credit Cards that earn Marriott Rewards Points
There are two ways to earn Marriott points from credit cards – co-branded loyalty cards and cards with transfer options.
Marriott Co-Branded Credit Cards are available as both a personal and business cards and allow you to earn Marriott points on every purchase you make. With the Marriott / Starwood Merger, SPG cards are now an option to earn Marriott points as well!
- Marriott Rewards Premier Plus Credit Card
- Marriott Rewards Premier BUSINESS Card
- Ritz Carlton Rewards Visa
- Starwood Preferred Guest American Express
- Starwood Preferred Guest BUSINESS American Express
Transfer points through Chase. Chase Ultimate Rewards Points can also be transferred to Marriott Rewards at a rate of 1:1. The following cards earn Chase Ultimate Rewards Points:
- Chase Sapphire Preferred Credit Card
- Chase Sapphire Reserve Card
- Chase Freedom Unlimited Credit Card
- Chase Freedom Credit Card
- Chase Ink Plus Business Credit Card
Transfer points through Diners Club. Diners Club “Club Rewards” can also be transferred to Marriott Points at a ratio of 1,500 Club Rewards Points: 1,250 Marriott Points. The following cards earn Diners Club “Club Rewards”:
Earn Points w/ Marriott Rewards Program Partners
There are a handful of partners that work with Marriott allowing you to earn Marriott points off of purchases with them. They include:
- Hertz – Earn 500 Marriott Rewards points. Use code 154080 when booking your rental
- Cruises Only – Earn thousands of Marriott Rewards Points when you book a cruise through Cruises Only
- Shop my Way Portal – Earn Marriott points on your purchases when you shop through the Marriott Rewards Shopping Portal
- Cosmopolitan Identity Points – Convert Identity Points at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas in to Marriott Rewards points.
Earn Marriott Rewards Points with Emirates Airlines
Starwood had originally established a partnership with both Emirates and Delta to share some elite status benefits and allow you to earn frequent flier miles with your hotel stays and hotel points with your flights. The merger of SPG and Marriott eliminated the Delta partnership, but the Emirates partnership remains intact.
Earn with Emirates when you stay with Marriott Rewards, The Ritz-Carlton Rewards and SPG.
- Emirates Skywards Silver, Gold and Platinum members earn 1 mile per US dollar (on top of points) spent on all eligible on all eligible stays at Marriott, The Ritz-Carlton or SPG hotels and resorts worldwide.1
- Emirates Skywards Gold and Platinum members enjoy additional benefits at Marriott Rewards, The Ritz-Carlton Rewards and SPG hotels, including 4pm late checkout,2 access to the Elite check-in and complimentary in-room Internet access.
Earn Marriott Points & Miles with Marriott Rewarding Events
Marriott Rewarding Events provides the ability to earn Points or Miles to members who book and hold qualifying group meetings and events at Marriott properties with the exception of Design Hotels, Residence Inn, Marriott Executive Apartments and TownePlace Suites.
A Member will earn two Points for every one U.S. dollar ($1.00) spent on Qualifying Event charges, up to a maximum of 60,000 Points for base members per Qualifying Event.
Elite Members may earn more than the 60,000 Point maximum as follows:
- Silver Elite, 10% bonus, up to 66,000 Points per Qualifying Event
- Gold Elite, 25% bonus, up to 75,000 Points per Qualifying Event
- Platinum Elite, 50% bonus, up to 90,000 Points per Qualifying Event
- Platinum Premier Elite, 75% bonus, up to 105,000 Points per Qualifying Event.
You can also choose to earn airline miles instead of Marriott points for the meetings. In this case, members earn one frequent flier mile for every one U.S. dollar ($1.00) spent on Qualifying Event charges, up to a maximum of 20,000 Miles per Event, regardless of Elite level.
Pro Tip: You also earn Elite Night Credits for Rewarding Events:
This is a big benefit that is often overlooked and can quickly put you on a fast track to elite status. Members who hold Qualifying Events at Participating Properties also receive ten Elite Night Credits for their first Qualifying Event, and then earn one Elite Night Credit for every twenty rooms booked and actualized, up to a maximum of twenty Elite Night Credits per contract.
When booking a conference room always book through the hotel’s local sales office and ask them to make sure you get credit for Rewarding Events. This is one of the easiest ways to rack up a bunch of credits toward elite status.
Earn Airline Miles w/ the Marriott Rewards Program
If you prefer to earn Airline Frequent Flyer miles over Marriott points, there is a way to do that as well through the Marriott Rewards Program. Marriott has partnered with over 40 airlines to allow you to earn Frequent Flyer Miles when you stay at Marriott Properties.
To change your earning preference from points to miles you will have to go to your Marriott Rewards “My Account” page. Go to the “profile” tab, and then scroll down to the “Earn Preferences” section, where you are given the option to choose either miles or points. If you select Miles, you will then have to add your preferred airline and frequent flyer number.
How to Redeem Marriott Points:
Redeem Marriott Points for Hotel Nights
Marriott Properties are grouped into categories to determine how many points are needed for a free night at any giving property. The amount of points per property is listed in the table below. If you are staying for a longer time, it is always good to take advantage 5th night free option (you get a free 5th night when you book 4 nights with your points).
** Stay for 5, pay for 4. Receive a complimentary night when you redeem for five nights.
In case you are wondering what type of hotels are in each category, below are links to all hotels in each category:
Marriott Category 8 Hotels
Transfer Marriott Points to Airline Frequent Flier Programs
Marriott also allows you to transfer you points to Airline Frequent Flyer Miles. Due to their relationship with United, the best transfer option is with United Airlines where you get a 10% mileage bonus when you transfer your hotel points to United MileagePlus. Here are some highlights of the airline transfer option:
- Transfer points to more than 40 airlines, including United, Delta, Emirates, Lufthansa, China Eastern and more. The transfer ratio will be 3 points for one mile.
- Transfer as few as 3,000 points and up to 240,000 points per day — and any amount in between.
- As a bonus, Marriott will add 15,000 points for every 60,000 points you transfer to airline miles, for a total of 25,000 miles in the airline program of your choice.
Use the Marriott Rewards Search Tool for Flights and Car Rentals
If you want to skip the step of transferring you Marriott points to an airline frequent flyer program you can use the Marriott Rewards Air + Car Search tool. With this option you redeem Marriott Rewards Points directly for your airline ticket or rental car. Tickets are available for more airlines than those currently listed as Marriott Rewards airline transfer partners.
The benefit of this tool is that it allows you to skip the transfer step, expand your flight options to include more airlines, and eliminates blackout dates and other restrictions found with airline mile redemption programs.
However, this is not a good use of your points from a value standpoint. Based on some flight examples we ran, Marriott provides a value of about .4 cents per Marriott point when using this tool. This is less than half the value we put on a Marriott point (see our post of the value of a hotel point).
Redeem Marriott Points for Cruise Discounts
You can Redeem Marriott Rewards Points for Cruise Certificates with CruisesOnly. Redeem enough to pay for 100% of your cruise or redeem enough for a partial discount and earn points on the additional “out-of-pocket” cost. Similar to booking flights with your points, the value of each Marriott point in this case is about .4 cents per point. Not a great use of your points
- 63,000 Points $250 Off
- 125,000 Points $500 Off
- 250,000 Points $1,000 Off
- 625,000 Points $2,500 Off
- 1,250,000 Points $5,000 Off
Marriott Hotel + Air Vacation Packages
Prior to the merger of SPG and Marriott Rewards, the Marriott Hotel & Air Packages were a great use of Marriott Rewards Points, however, since the new program changes have been announced, these are no longer the deal they used to be.
However, if you will be spending 7 nights (using points) at a Marriott property, then this option could still be a good option.
For example, if you book a 7 night stay at a category 7 property, like the JW Marriott Guanacaste in Costa Rica, the travel package will cost you 570,000 Marriott rewards points and will include 110,000 frequent flyer miles to be transferred to Delta, American, Hawaiian or any of the other airlines referenced in Hotel + Air Package.
To put this in perspective, seven nights at a Category 7 property will cost you 360,000 Marriott Rewards Points. Transferring points to receive 110,000 airline miles will cost you 330,000 Marriott Rewards Points. In this case you are essentially getting a 25,000 frequent flier mile bonus by booking the package with 570,000 points.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Do Marriott Rewards Points Expire?
Marriott Rewards Points do not expire, however your account will be closed if you have no activity in a 24-month period. Here is the statement from Marriott Rewards Terms and Conditions:
“A Membership Account may be closed at the Company’s discretion if no Points or Miles are accrued during a 24-month period. All Points in the Membership Account will be forfeited at that time.”
Is the SPG Pro Program still in effect?
No. The SPG Pro program ended in August 2018. However, members are still able to earn Points for meetings and events through the new Rewarding Events structure. Make sure to include your Membership Number in the contract and throughout your engagement with the hotel to receive Points.
What is Your24?
Your24™ is a feature only available to the Platinum Preferred Elite Members with Ambassador Service (100 nights and U.S. $20,000 in qualifying spend every calendar year). The feature gives you the flexibility to choose your check-in time. For example, check in at 9 a.m. on the day of arrival and check out at 9 p.m. on the day of departure. Please contact your ambassador to make your request(s).
What is “Make a Green Choice”?
Make a Green Choice lets you earn Points for the days you pass on housekeeping services. When you do, Marriott will credit your Membership Account with 500 bonus Points per day at participating Renaissance and Marriott hotels or with 250 bonus Points per day at participating Courtyard, Fairfield by Marriott and SpringHill Suites hotels in the U.S. and Canada. You can forgo housekeeping any day for up to three consecutive days at a time and up to 5,000 bonus Points per continuous stay. To participate, provide your Membership Number at check-in and advise what days during your stay you want to Make a Green Choice.