Considering that the Marriott Rewards Program recently won best hotel rewards program for the 9th year in a row at the 2016 Freddie Awards, we felt it was worth a Marriott Rewards Program review and dig a little deeper into the benefits about what makes this hotel loyalty program so special. The Freddie Awards are considered one of the most prestigious in the travel industry, and over 3 million frequent travelers and travel loyalty insiders cast votes in this years contest. That’s saying something about this rewards program.

 Marriott Rewards Overview

When you think about hotel chains, especially within the U.S., one of the first major brands that typically comes to mind is Marriott. If you’re new to hotel loyalty programs, it may surprise you that the Marriott brand extends beyond that sole designation. Their portfolio also encompasses several well-known properties.  They include Ritz Carlton Luxury Hotels, Residence Inn & Suites,  Renaissance Hotels, SpringHill SuitesCourtyard Marriott and others.

Essentially, the Marriott Rewards program offers members an opportunity to earn free hotel stays across affiliated hotel chains, in addition to room upgrades, flexible point earning and transfer options between a good number of airline & rental car companies. That’s just the tip of the iceberg. We go further into full benefit offerings later on in this article.

Marriott is International

This program is incredibly flexible given that there are over 4,200 properties world-wide which fall into the rewards program. These properties dot the globe and can be found in over 70 countries.

How to Earn Marriott Rewards Points

Aside from the flexibility in point earning and redemption across their large number of hotel properties, Marriott rewards points can be earned via various airline and car company partners. You also earn points on hotel stays, but they can be spent on airlines and rental cars as well. Lastly, there are a couple of credit card offers out there that provided expedited Marriott point accrual via hefty signup bonuses and categorical credit card spend.

Related: Apply for the Marriott Rewards Credit Card — Right now new card holders can earn 80,000 points after spending ,000 in their first 3 months of membership — scroll down and click “Show more results”

Also worth noting, transferable and flexible points earned through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal (available to loyalty members who have the Chase Sapphire Preferred credit card) can also transfer points directly to the Marriott Rewards program.

Ritz-Carlton Marriott Rewards Program | Marriott Reward Hotel Brands

The Ritz-Carlton Kapalua in Mauii, Hawaii, is just one example of a luxury hotel property and residence owned by Marriott. Image courtesy AMauiiLife.

Hotel Brands that fall under the Marriott Umbrella

Currently, there are 16 brands that are owned by Marriott, ranging from resort-style luxury hotel chains to your basic bed and breakfasts. Between the below hotel brands, Marriott owns over 4,200 properties world-wide.

  • Ritz-Carlton
  • Renaissance
  • Residence Inn’s
  • Courtyard Marriott
  • SpringHill Suites
  • BVLGARI Hotel & Resorts
  • EDITION®
  • JW Marriott®
  • Autograph Collection® Hotels
  • Marriott Hotels®
  • The Delta Hotel by Marriott
  • Marriott Executive Apartments®
  • Marriott Vacation Club
  • Gaylord Hotels®
  • AC Hotels by Marriott
  • Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott
  • TownePlace Suites by Marriott®
  • Protea Hotels®
  • Moxy Hotels

Marriott Airline Partners

You are able to accrue Marriott points with any of the following airline partners. Note that redemption rates depend on the partner (IE: JetBlue TrueBlue points are earned at a 1:1 ratio at certain Marriott properties, while United MileagePlus points are earned 2:1).

  • Aeroflot Bonus
  • Aeromexico ClubPremier
  • airberlin topbonus
  • Air Canada Aeroplan
  • Air China PhoenixMiles
  • Air France/KLM Flying Blue
  • Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan®
  • Alitalia MilleMiglia
  • American Airlines
  • ANA Mileage Club
  • Asia Miles™
  • Asiana Airlines Asiana Club
  • Avianca-TACA LifeMiles
  • Drawers
  • British Airways Executive Club
  • China Eastern Airlines Eastern Miles
  • China Southern Sky Pearl Club
  • Copa Airlines ConnectMiles
  • Delta SkyMiles®
  • Emirates Skywards®
  • Etihad Guest
  • Frontier Airlines EarlyReturns®
  • GOL/Varig®
  • Hawaiian Airlines HawaiianMiles®
  • Iberia Plus
  • Japan Airlines JAL Mileage Bank
  • JetBlue TrueBlue™
  • Drawers
  • Jet Airways JetPrivilege®
  • LAN Airlines LANPASS
  • Lufthansa Miles & More
  • Multiplus
  • Qantas Frequent Flyer
  • Qatar Privilege Club
  • Saudia Airlines
  • Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer®
  • South African Airways Voyager
  • Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards®
  • TAP Portugal Victoria
  • Turkish Airlines Miles&Smiles
  • United MileagePlus®
  • Virgin America Elevate
  • Virgin Atlantic® Flying Club

Rental Car, Dining, Retail & Other Partners

Hertz
Earn 500 Marriott Rewards points. Provide your Marriott rewards number when booking your car reservation. Customers can use code 154080 for special discounts and benefits.

Cruises Only
Marriott points can be accrued when booking a cruise through Cruises Only. The service frequently has discounts on bookings.

NRG Home
Earn 10,000 bonus points and 2 points for every $1 spent on your utility supply bill (available in select states).

NRG Home Solar
Switch to clean solar energy, earn up to 30,000 points. Available to first-time customers in select states.

Shop My Way
Marriott points can be earned online through the Shop My Way shopping portal, which includes many major brands and retailers you’re probably familiar with.

Diners Club
Diners Club® Club Rewards points may be converted into Marriott Rewards points.

Identity Points
Convert Identity Points at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas in to Marriott Rewards points.

Travelling Connect
Earn up to 10 Marriott Rewards points per minute of call time abroad with participating networks in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, America and Asia.

Avios
Receive up to 2 Avios per $1 spent, redeemable for flights on carriers like British Airways, Eurostar journeys and more. Avios points are also somewhat flexible, in that booking through British Airways’ website allows for Avios reward bookings across OneWorld partner airlines as well, and with fewer fees.

Ctrip
Members of Marriott Rewards and Ctrip can earn Ctrip points at any of 4,200+ Marriott hotels worldwide or redeem for Ctrip points.

 Marriott Rewards Program Member Benefits

Let’s get down to the nitty-gritty of what makes this rewards program so great.

Firstly, long-time loyalty travelers and industry insiders have recently ranked Marriott as offering the best customer service, best redemption options and flexibility. Members also get a number of discounts and access to a fair share of hotel amenities.

Marriott Status Levels

Marriott rewards members can earn different status tiers based on the number of paid-for hotel stays you accrue during a given calendar year, although it’s rumored that reward stays will soon count towards elite status. The only exception to this is when you first signup for the Marriott Rewards Program — which nets you “Basic Member” status.

  • Basic Member
  • Silver Elite
  • Gold Elite
  • Platinum Elite

Points Sharing, Cash & Points, Points Advance, and Redemption Stay Credits

Note that any Marriott points accrued in any fashion will expire after 24 months of innactivity in your account. Separately, as we mentioned above, there are a number of exclusive benefits related to using your points.

Recently introduced benefits surrounding the earning and spending of Marriott points offer improved flexibility and transfer options between friends and family in addition to booking methods.

Point sharing gives Marriott and Ritz-Carlton reward members the ability to both receive and send points to friends and family. It costs $10 for Basic and Silver members and is offered for free to Gold and Elite members.

Cash + Point bookings allow members to pay for any stay, even those as brief as one night with a combination of points and or cash. The amount of each is completely up to you.

Points advance allows members to essentially book a stay without having enough points to book the stay in full. With this member benefit, you can continue to earn points towards that particular stay. Note that by the time the date of your reward booking arrives, you need to have enough points at that point to complete it, or supplement the remainder with cash. This is a good option if you can map out ahead of time a method to earn the points needed.

Redemption Stay Credits finally give Marriott Reward members the opportunity to earn Elite Status on reward bookings.

Marriott Propeties | EDITION Hotels, New York City

The elegant cocktail lounge at the Marriott-owned New York City EDITION Hotel. It was rated one of the sexiest new cocktail lounges in 2015 by NewYork.com.

Marriott Rewards Benefits

The benefits rewards members have access to depend on your member status, so we’ll break these down by status level. Note that Marriott Silver, Gold & Platinum Elite benefits are in addition to the Basic Member Benefits noted below.

Basic Member Benefits

Attainable by enrolling in the Marriott Rewards Program.

 Earn a free night stay after four consecutive paid-for night stays
 PointSaver access
 Better room rates with Marriott’s new Member Rates (must book directly on Marriott.com
 Free Wi-Fi
  Mobile Check-in
 Found a better rate elsewhere? Marriott will match it and give you 25% off

Note that by default enrolling in the Marriott Rewards Loyalty Program gives you access to both earning and spending Marriott Rewards points. It’s also worth mentioning that loyalty members can purchase a PriorityPass Lounge membership with Marriott Points at the following redemption rates:

  • Priority Pass – Standard Membership – 20,000 points
  • Priority Pass – Standard Plus Membership – 55,000 points
  • Priority Pass – Prestige Membership – 85,000 points

Silver Elite Benefits

Attainable after spending 10 qualifying (paid-for) nights at Marriott properties.

 10% gift-shop discount at participating Marriott properties
 Marriott will pay for a nearby stay and compensate you if they cannot fulfill your reservation for any reason
 Priority late check-out until 4pm
 Earn a 20% bonus on paid-stays
 10% discount on regular rate bookings on Friday’s and Saturday’s at participating Courtyard Marriott and SpringHill Suites

Gold Elite Benefits

Attainable after spending 50 qualifying (paid-for) nights at Marriott properties.

 10% gift-shop discount at participating Marriott properties
 Marriott will pay for a nearby stay and compensate you if they cannot fulfill your reservation for any reason
 Priority late check-out until 4pm
 Earn a 25% point bonus on paid-stays
 10% discount on regular rate bookings on Friday’s and Saturday’s at participating Courtyard & SpringHill Suites
 Complimentary enhanced internet / WiFi access at participating properties
 Complimentary continental breakfast / lounge access at participating Marriott properties
 Free local phone calls
 Free local faxing
 Discounted long-distance phone calls
 Hertz #1 Gold Rental Car membership, complimentary first year
  Complimentary Room Upgrades subject to availability

Platinum Elite Benefits

Attainable after spending 75 qualifying (paid-for) nights at Marriott properties.

 10% gift-shop discount at participating Marriott properties
 Marriott will pay for a nearby stay and compensate you if they cannot fulfill your reservation for any reason
 Priority late check-out until 4pm
 Earn a 50% point bonus on paid-stays
 10% discount on regular rate bookings on Friday’s and Saturday’s at participating Courtyard & SpringHill Suites
 Complimentary enhanced internet / WiFi access at participating properties
 Complimentary continental breakfast / lounge access at participating Marriott properties
 Free local phone calls
 Free local faxing
 Discounted long-distance phone calls
  Complimentary Room Upgrades subject to availability
 Hertz #1 Gold Rental Car membership, complimentary first year
  Dedicated Platinum Elite reservation phone-line access
 Exclusive Platinum Elite guest service phone-line access
 Guaranteed room-type and bed-type fulfillment
 Exclusive Platinum Elite savings & offers
 48 hour guaranteed room availability at participating properties for paid stays
 Complimentary United MileagePlus® Premier Silver Status – includes free checked bag on United flights, seat upgrades and access to Economy Plus seating when available
 Guaranteed arrival gift — participating Marriott properties will give you a gift in the form of amenities or bonus points

 Join the Marriott Rewards Program

If you’re looking to join the Marriott Rewards Program, just signup online — it’s free.

 Apply for the Marriott Rewards Credit Card – Exceptional Bonus Signup Offer Currently Available

Marriott Rewards Credit Card Application | Marriott Rewards Premier Credit Card 80000 ReviewApplying for the Marriott Credit Card offers new cardholders a quick way to earn over 80,000 points which puts you well on your way to a few free nights. Note that in order to receive the full 80,000 points, you’ll need to spend $3,000 in the first 90 days of opening your account. This is one of the highest signup bonuses for this particular credit card that we have ever seen.

Other cool benefits of the credit card include earning 7,500 bonus points when you add an authorized user to the account and they make a purchase within 3 months. Separately, the card gives a free night stay (at category 1-5 hotels), every calendar year after your account anniversary. Marriott Credit Card holders will earn 5 points per dollar spent at all Marriott properties. In addition, get 2 points per dollar spent on directly-purchased airfare, car rentals and restaurants. Earn 1 point on all other purchases.

Being a Marriott Rewards Premier Credit Card holder also fast-tracks you toward elite status. You’ll automatically receive 15 elite credits which gives you automatic Silver Elite status. If you’re already a rewards member with elite qualifying stays, you may get Gold or Platinum Elite even faster. Lastly, card holders will earn an elite credit every time they spend $3,000. Note, Marriott Rewards Premier Credit Card comes with an $85 annual fee, not waived for the first year.

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