Marriott Rewards guide: The best ways to earn and use Marriott points

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With the merger between Marriott, Starwood and Ritz-Carlton hotels complete, Marriott is officially the world’s largest hotel company, and, with this move, Marriott Rewards may have cemented its place as the ultimate hotel rewards program.  

What is Marriott Rewards?

Marriott Rewards is the loyalty program of the Marriott corporation, whose portfolio of hotels includes Marriott hotels, as well as Starwood and Ritz-Carlton brand hotels, which were previously under the fold of the Starwood Preferred Guest and Ritz-Carlton loyalty programs. With Marriott Rewards, you can earn points on many types of purchases, including hotel stays and spending through one of its co-branded credit cards, and redeem those points for rewards, such as free hotel nights.

Marriott acquired the Ritz-Carlton and Starwood brands in 2016 and a revamp to the Marriot Rewards program has been in the works since then. The updated program was officially launched in August 2018, and it’s pretty impressive: not only can you seamlessly redeem points at 5,700 properties worldwide across a huge portfolio of brands, but the new program incorporates many of the best features of the Marriott and Starwood Preferred Guest programs, including the ability to transfer points to more than 40 frequent flyer programs at a good ratio. 

Read on to see why Marriott Rewards may be your best bet for flexible, versatile hotel points.

Marriott Rewards program overview

 
Type of currency Hotel points
Average point value 0.8 cent
Credit cards

Marriott Rewards Premier Plus Credit Card, Marriott Rewards Premier Plus Business credit card, Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American ExpressStarwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express, Starwood Preferred Guest® American Express Luxury Card

Redemption options Hotel nights, room upgrades, Cash + Points, travel packages, hotel statement credits, cruises, car rentals, experiences, merchandise, charity
Minimum required to redeem 7,500 points for a rewards night (5,000 points for off-peak rewards starting in 2019)
Do rewards expire? Yes – if your account is inactive for more than 24 months.
Blackout dates/travel restrictions None. If a standard room is available, you can book it.
Hotel brands Ritz-Carlton, St. Regis, Edition, The Luxury Collection, Bulgari, W Hotels, JW Marriott, Marriott, Sheraton, Marriott Vacation Club, Delta Hotels, Le Méridien, Westin, Autograph Collection Hotels, Design Hotels, Renaissance Hotels, Tribute Portfolio, Gaylord Hotels, Courtyard by Marriott, Four Points, Springhill Suites, Protea Hotels, Fairfield, AC Hotels, Aloft, Moxy, Marriott Executive Apartments, Residence Inn, TownePlace Suites, Element
Hotel coverage Excellent. 5,700+ properties in 110+ countries.
Transfer options
  • Transfer points to more than 40 airline partners at a 3:1 ratio
  • Transfer up to 50,000 points per year into another member’s account
Best for
  • Fans of Marriott, SPG and Ritz-Carlton hotels
  • United MileagePlus members
  • Worldwide travelers who prefer staying with chain hotels and want a large hotel network
  • Midlevel to luxury travelers
  • Travelers looking for a very flexible hotel rewards program
  • Travelers who want other options for redeeming points besides hotel stays
  • Travel hackers looking to maximize points by transferring them to other programs

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Updated: 10-17-2018