Guide to Marriott Rewards

With over 7,000 properties in 30 different countries, your chances of finding a Marriott property while traveling are great. As the world’s second-largest hotel chain, Marriott’s portfolio features brands like Westin, Courtyard and The Ritz-Carlton – all options to fit your budgetary travel needs. Its flexibility makes the Marriot rewards program essential for those who frequent hotels. Here’s everything you need to know about how to earn and redeem Marriot rewards.

Best credit cards to use for Marriott rewards

Marriott Bonvoy Boundless

  • APR: Standard variable rate of 17.49%-24.49%
  • Annual Fee: $95
  • Rewards Rate: Earn 6x points for every dollar you spend at participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels and 2x points per dollar on all other purchases.
  • Intro offer: For a limited time, earn 100,000 bonus points when you spend $5,000 on purchases within the first three months of opening your account.

The Marriott Bonvoy Boundless credit card is an excellent value for people who want to earn Marriott Bonvoy points quickly. Every year after your cardmember anniversary, you’ll receive a free night worth up to 35,000 rewards points – a benefit that more than compensates for the card’s $95 annual fee.

Marriott Bonvoy Bold

  • APR: Standard variable rate of 17.49%-24.49% 
  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Rewards Rate: Earn 3x points per dollar spent at participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels and 2x points per dollar on other travel purchases. All other purchases earn 1x point per dollar.
  • Intro offer: Earn 50,000 Marriott Bonvoy points when you spend at least $2,000 on purchases within the first three months of opening your account.

The Marriott Bonvoy Bold is the best way to earn Marriott rewards without paying an annual fee. On top of your rewards, you’ll earn 15 elite night credits every year you are a cardmember, automatically qualifying you for Silver Elite status

Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express®

  • APR: Standard variable rate of 17.24%-26.24%
  • Annual Fee: $450
  • Rewards Rate: Earn six Bonvoy points for every dollar you spend at participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels, three points for every dollar you spend at U.S. restaurants and on plane tickets when you book directly with an airline and two points on every other purchase with no limit. 
  • Intro Offer: Earn 75,000 bonus points when you spend $3,000 in the first three months after opening your account. 

The Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® card is best for earning luxury perks with Marriott hotels. The $450 annual fee is partially offset by a $300 statement credit each year to use for purchases at Marriott hotels, a free night after your cardmember anniversary every year worth up to 50,000 Marriott Bonvoy points and complimentary Gold Elite status to make all of your Marriott stays more enjoyable.

Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express®

  • APR: Standard variable rate of 17.24%-26.24%
  • Annual Fee: $125
  • Rewards Rates: Earn six Membership Rewards points for every dollar you spend at participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels, four points for every dollar spent at U.S. gas stations, restaurants and shipping and wireless phone service and two points per dollar on all other purchases.
  • Intro Offer: Earn 75,000 bonus Membership Rewards points when you spend $3,000 in the first three months after opening your account.

If you run your own business, whether full time or as a side hustle, the Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® is the card for you. With the same great rewards as the Marriott Bonvoy personal cards, you can earn free hotel nights while keeping your business expenses separate from your personal spending.

How to redeem your Marriot rewards points

You have several redemption options, including free nights at hotels, flights and rental car reservations, Marriott Moments, exclusive travel packages and gift cards. You can also share your points with a friend or donate points to support disaster relief efforts around the world. To use your Marriott rewards points, log in to your Marriott Bonvoy account and navigate to the Use Points/Certificates page. From here, you’ll be able to choose from all of Marriott’s redemption options.

Free nights at participating hotels

Marriot rewards points have the best value when you use them for free nights at Marriott hotels. The hotel chain follows a tiered rewards system with off-peak, standard and peak redemption rates, which range from 5,000 points for off-peak dates on a category 1 hotel to 100,000 points for a peak date at a category 8 property. You can also use points and cash to book hotel nights and stretch your points even further.

Flights and rental car reservations

Marriott allows you to search for flights through multiple airlines and reserve rental cars with your Bonvoy points. While the redemption rate isn’t great — 0.3 to 0.4 cents per point — the option is available if you have a surplus of Marriott rewards points and no airline miles to use.

Marriott Bonvoy Moments

Use your points to purchase tickets to events and experiences around the world. Music festivals, sporting events and exclusive dinner packages are all available for purchase. You’re also able to place bids for hard-to-find tickets like the NCAA Final Four and dinner at Michelin-starred restaurant, The French Laundry in Napa Valley, California.

Travel packages

If you’re planning a vacation for seven nights or more, you can use your Marriott Bonvoy points to book a hotel and airfare package. With the RewardsPlus program, Marriott Bonvoy teams up with United MileagePlus to offer a 10% discount on your airfare when you book a travel package through your Marriott rewards account.

Gift cards

Marriott partners with several popular retailers including Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Sephora to let you purchase gift cards with your Marriot rewards points. Redemption values aren’t great, though, making your points worth only 0.2 to 0.33 cents per point.

Share your points

If you have extra points that you feel fine parting with, giving your points to a friend can make a great gift. You can send up to 100,000 points each year to another Marriott Bonvoy member with a minimum transfer of 1,000 points. You’ll need to call Marriott Bonvoy’s member services to set up the transfer.

Donate your points

Supporting disaster relief around the world is a helpful way to use your Marriot rewards points. You’ll have the option to donate to World Central Kitchen, The Marriott International Disaster Relief Fund, The American Red Cross and the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. Donations can be made in $10 increments at a value of 0.4 cents per point, making a 25,000 point donation worth $100.

In a nutshell

Anytime you travel, a hotel within the Marriott portfolio is most likely nearby. If you choose a Marriott Bonvoy rewards credit card that matches your spending and travel habits, you’ll earn rewards fast. While Marriott offers several ways to redeem points, using them wisely ensures you get the most value.

Trevor Wallis

Contributing Writer

Trevor Wallis is a St. Louis-based personal finance writer who teaches people how to achieve freedom through good money practices. He’s written for The Simple Dollar, Bankrate, NextAdvisor, Rewards Credit Cards and Online Loans. When he isn’t writing, he’s roasting specialty coffee and planning new ways to use credit card rewards to explore the world with his wife and newborn son.