What to Know About Marriott Rewards

This post is designed for someone interested in starting to use points for travel. For more in-depth and technical posts on hotel programs, look for upcoming posts!

With over 4,000 hotels in the U.S. alone, Marriott hotels can be found all over the country as well as abroad.  From well-known, limited service brands like Fairfield Inn and Courtyard by Marriott to the upper upscale brands like Ritz-Carlton and JW Marriott, Marriott Hotels has all of the bases covered.  With their official purchase of Starwood Hotels in 2016, Marriott now has 30 total brands, which is such a large number that it’s difficult to learn all of the brands and what they offer.

If you are interested in joining Marriott Rewards, just say so in the comments and leave your email and I will send you a referral.  You can also email me at teacherstravelingonpoints@gmail.com.

Rewards Member:

This status doesn’t require any nights to earn, as you can get this status just by signing up for a Marriott Rewards account. If you are planning on staying at a Marriott, PLEASE sign up for an account in order to earn points! There’s no reason not to sign up!

The only real perk of this status is that you can earn points for stays, but that means you could get a free night in the future!

Silver Elite:

This status is earned by completing 15 nights in a calendar year.   You get a 20% bonus on points for any paid stay, and that means you can accrue points faster.  You are unlikely to receive perks like room upgrades or late checkout with this status, but you might get lucky.  You can automatically earn Silver Elite status with the Marriott Rewards Credit Card, which is discussed later in this post.

Gold Elite:

This status is earned by completing 50 nights in a calendar year. Although that sounds like a ton of nights, you get a leg up from Marriott Rewards allowing rollover nights from year to year.  You can find more information about rollover nights here.

I consider Gold Elite status as one of the top two mid-tier status levels among hotel loyalty programs.  Some of the perks that really stand out are:

-25% point bonus on money spent at Marriotts

-Complimentary enhanced internet

-Complimentary room upgrade (based on availability)

-Late checkout until 4 PM (based on availability)

LOUNGE ACCESS/BREAKFAST FOR TWO (at participating brands)

Platinum Elite:

This status requires 75 nights in a calendar year, so for a beginner to the points hobby, this is going to be a status that is very difficult to obtain.  You do get a 50% point bonus and a welcome amenity when checking in on top of the perks received by Gold Elite.

This is why we all get into collecting points!

Marriott Rewards are based on hotel categories. To make it simple to understand, a category 1 hotel costs 5,000 points per night (there aren’t a ton of these to be found in the USA). A category 5 hotel costs 25,000 points per night, while a category 9 hotel costs 45,000 points per night.  This points are FIXED (a 25,000 point per night hotel is still 25,000 even if the rooms go from selling for $100 to $300), which can be a huge advantage over other hotel programs if you are traveling during a peak season.

After redeeming four nights in a row on points, you get the 5th night free.  That means you could stay at a category 8 hotel (40,000 points per night) for 5 nights and it only cost you 160,000 points instead of the 200,000 it should cost.  This is such a huge way to save points and maximize redemptions.  I am listing below some hotels where we have stayed and their categories just to give you an idea.

Courtyard Bowling Green Convention Center

Category 3-15,000 points per night

SpringHill Suites Memphis Downtown

Category 5-25,000 points per night

Marriott Marquis Washington, DC

Category 7-35,000 points per night

Playa Largo Resort and Spa

Category 8-40,000 points per night

The Marriott Rewards Premier Credit Card through Chase is the card I recommend to anyone getting started in the hobby of collecting points for free stays.  There are several awesome perks to this card, such as:

-A free stay at category 1-5 hotels each year after the cardmember anniversary

-Automatic silver status every year you have the card

-5x points on Marriott stays

-2x points on airlines, car rentals, and restaurants.

-1x point everywhere else

The sign up bonus for the card is gigantic at 80,000 Marriott Rewards Points after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months of getting the card. The spend in the first three months is pretty standard for credit cards, but the 80,000 Marriott Rewards points can really take you places you didn’t think you could afford! And to be truthful, we can’t afford almost all of the places we stay, but the redemption of points takes us to those aspirational places!

The card does come with an $85 annual fee, but this fee more than pays for itself when you get a free night stay every year. We never redeem this free night stay for anything less than $200 per night, so we are essentially paying $85 for a $200 room, plus getting all of the other perks of the card.

If you are leery of credit cards and have more questions you’d like answered, comment below with questions, or send me an email at teacherstravelingonpoints@gmail.com.

If you are interested in getting this credit card and have enjoyed reading this post, we would appreciate you applying for the card through our link below.

Marriott Credit Card

Marriott is a great place to start off collecting points because of the number of properties, the number of different brands of hotels, because of the great elite statuses, and because of the credit card that offers such a great sign up bonus. Getting this card as your first hotel rewards card is most certainly a win-win!

Please comment below and share on facebook and twitter!