12 ways to earn Marriott points

By signing up for co-branded credit cards and referring friends to Marriott Rewards, you can rack up points in no time

Earning Marriott points


The content on this page is accurate as of the posting date. Please review our list of best credit cards, or use our CardMatch tool to find cards matched to your needs.

The Marriott Rewards program had a lot to gain when it merged with the Starwood Preferred Guest program earlier this year, including more than 6,500 hotels in destinations such as the Maldives, Bora Bora, Europe and the Caribbean. These options make Marriott Rewards a strong hotel loyalty program for consumers who love to travel, whether they prefer to soak up the sun on a stunning beach or sip coffee at a sidewalk café in the old world.

If your goal is planning a lengthy vacation with rewards or scoring free nights as you skip around the globe, make sure you are aware of all the different ways you can rack up points with this program. Read on to learn the top 12 ways to earn more Marriott points over time.

1. Sign up for a Starwood Preferred Guest credit card

While the Starwood Preferred Guest program merged with Marriott Rewards, you can still sign up for and receive SPG credit cards from American Express. Keep in mind that, on the American Express side of the equation, you can still only earn the introductory bonuses on each of their credit cards once per lifetime.

Starwood Preferred Guest introductory bonuses

  Introductory bonus Estimated value
Starwood Preferred Guest® from American Express Luxury Card
100,000 points if you spend $5,000 in first 3 months* (Terms apply)
Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express
75,000 points if you spend $3,000 in first 3 months* (Terms apply)
Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express
75,000 points if you spend $3,000 in first 3 months * (Terms apply)

*You may not be eligible for an introductory offer on these cards if you currently own or have recently earned the introductory bonus on another Marriott card. Check the terms and conditions on the issuer’s site for details.

2. Sign up for a Marriott Rewards credit card

Marriott Rewards also has its own selection of co-branded rewards cards you for which you can sign up and earn bonus points. Like the Starwood Preferred Guest cards, however, you can only earn the sign-up bonus if you meet their requirements.

Marriott sign-up bonuses

  Sign-up bonus Estimated value
Marriott Rewards Premier Plus Business Card
75,000 points if you spend $3,000 in first 3 months*

*You may not be eligible for an introductory offer on this card if you currently own or have recently earned the introductory bonus on another Marriott card. Check the terms and conditions on the issuer’s site for details.

3. Get your spouse involved

If your spouse or partner is inclined, he or she can also sign up for co-branded credit cards to earn additional sign-up bonuses. This is even true if you live at the same address.

If you are saving up for a big redemption, it’s especially important to get your partner in the game. You can quickly accumulate points by doubling up on sign-up bonuses.

4. Spend money on co-branded credit cards

Using co-branded Marriott and Starwood credit cards for every purchase, including Marriott purchases, is another great way to rack up Marriott points over time. Doing so will net you two points per dollar on regular purchases and up to six points per dollar on hotel purchases with the brand, and that’s on top of the 10 points per dollar you earn on hotel stays.

5. Add authorized users

Consider adding authorized users to your co-branded Marriott and Starwood Preferred Guest credit cards. If your authorized users use their cards for regular purchases, monthly bills, travel or even groceries, you will earn more points for free stays over time.

6. Stay at Marriott Rewards properties

You can also earn a ton of points just by staying at Marriott, Ritz Carlton and Starwood properties. The base rate for stays is 10 points per dollar, and you can earn even more points if you pay for your stay with a co-branded Marriott or Starwood Preferred credit card.

7. Earn elite status

You can boost your earning rate substantially by achieving elite status with Marriott Rewards. Silver Elite members earn a 10 percent bonus on their base points, Gold Elite members earn a 25 percent bonus, Platinum Elites members earn a 50 percent bonus and Platinum Premier Elite members earn a 75 percent bonus.

Also, remember that you can achieve status just by picking up certain credit cards. For example, you can earn Silver Elite status automatically if you sign up for the Marriott Rewards Premier Plus credit card.

8. Sign up for Chase Ultimate Rewards credit cards

Chase Ultimate Rewards has a handful of premier travel credit cards that let you earn points that transfer to Marriott Rewards and other hotel and airline partners at a 1:1 ratio. Getting one of these credit cards is an easy way to earn more Marriott points over time, although you’re not obligated to transfer your points if you don’t want to.

  Sign-up bonus Estimated transfer value
Chase Sapphire Preferred
50,000 points if you spend $4,000 in first 3 months
Chase Sapphire Reserve
50,000 points if you spend $4,000 in first 3 months $400
Ink Business Preferred Credit Card
80,000 points if you spend $5,000 in first 3 months

9. Shop with the MORE shopping portal

Marriott Rewards offers its own shopping portal to help members earn extra points when they shop online. This portal lets you earn points with various online retailers on all your fashion, family essentials and technology purchases, among other shopping categories.

Popular retailers, such as Best Buy, Barnes & Noble, Macy’s, Nike and Saks Fifth Avenue, participate. For the time being, you can even earn an extra 1,000 bonus points after your first $25 purchase.

10. Book meetings and events

Marriott Rewards lets you earn additional points when you book meetings at a participating hotel. You can earn up to 60,000 points per each qualifying event or up to 105,000 points per qualifying event if you’re a Platinum Premier Elite member.

You can also opt to earn miles with select airline partners when you book a meeting or event.

11. Book a cruise with CruisesOnly

CruisesOnly powers a cruise booking engine that lets you earn Marriott points for each dollar you spend on their cruises. Promotions change all the time, but you can frequently earn up to 60,000 Marriott points when you book a balcony or suite and spend $10,000 or more. Make sure to check with CruisesOnly to see the current promotions.

12. Refer friends

You can earn up to 50,000 points for referring friends to the Marriott Rewards program, provided they book paid stays with Marriott after they sign up. You’ll earn 2,000 points for each stay your referred friend makes, up to 10,000 points per referral.

Your friend will also earn 2,000 points per stay on up to five stays, for a total of 10,000 points (in addition to their base point earnings). So it’s a win-win for everyone.

Final thoughts

If you are angling for free hotel stays this year, don’t forget about the many ways you can rack up Marriott Rewards points in a hurry. With credit card sign-up bonuses, referrals, paid stays and some savvy planning, you can rack up enough points for a dream vacation in no time.

A great introduction to Marriott Rewards

Marriott Rewards® Premier Plus Credit Card

Marriott Rewards Premier Plus card

Why should you get it?

With 2 free night certificates for spending $3,000 in the first 3 months, 6 points per dollar on Marriott hotel purchases, 2 points per dollar on other purchases and a free night certificate on your card anniversary, you can easily score a few free hotel nights with the card in the first year.

More things to know: 


  • 2 free night awards if you spend $3,000 in first 3 months
  • 6 points per dollar at Marriott hotels
  • 2 points per dollar on other purchases
  • Free award night each year on your account anniversary (worth up to 35,000 points)
  • Automatic Silver Elite status



See Related: What are Marriott points worth?Which Marriott credit card is the best for you?Best ways to redeem Marriott points, Marriott elite benefits, Transferring Marriott points

Join the discussion
We encourage an active and insightful conversation among our users. Please help us keep our community civil and respectful. For your safety, do not disclose confidential or personal information such as bank account numbers or social security numbers. Anything you post may be disclosed, published, transmitted or reused.

If you are commenting using a Facebook account, your profile information may be displayed with your comment depending on your privacy settings. By leaving the 'Post to Facebook' box selected, your comment will be published to your Facebook profile in addition to the space below.

The editorial content on CreditCards.com is not sponsored by any bank or credit card issuer. The journalists in the editorial department are separate from the company's business operations. The comments posted below are not provided, reviewed or approved by any company mentioned in our editorial content. Additionally, any companies mentioned in the content do not assume responsibility to ensure that all posts and/or questions are answered.

Weekly newsletter
Get the latest news, advice, articles and tips delivered to your inbox. It's FREE.

Updated: 12-18-2018