17 ways to earn lots of Marriott Bonvoy points

Mar 6, 2022

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Marriott’s loyalty program has gone through many changes over the years. In 2018, we saw Marriott complete its Starwood acquisition and integrate Starwood Preferred Guest into its existing loyalty program. Then, in 2019, the hotel group rebranded its loyalty program as Marriott Bonvoy. Like clockwork, it launched its long-awaited Category 8 pricing in March of that year and implemented peak and off-peak pricing on award nights in Sept. 2019.

The rebrand brought more than just a new name, though. The hotel chain also revamped its cobranded credit card lineup and elite status tiers, giving Marriott loyalists new ways to boost their account balances. Unfortunately, a massive shift in award categories means that your points may not go as far as they used to go. And Marriott’s upcoming move to dynamic pricing on March 29, 2022, further compounds this.

So, how does this affect the way you earn Marriott Bonvoy points? That’s a good question, and we’ll answer it in this article. We’ll run through all of the different ways you can earn Marriott Bonvoy points, from hotel stays to cobranded credit cards and beyond. Let’s get started.

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Earn Marriott Bonvoy points at Marriott hotels

Marriott Marquis in Downtown Chicago
Earn Marriott Bonvoy points when you stay at the new Marriott Marquis in Chicago. (Photo by Felix Mizioznikov/Shutterstock)

You can earn Marriott Bonvoy points when staying at Marriott properties worldwide. Marriott’s properties span 30 unique brands and over 100 countries.

Like most hotel programs, you earn points based on how much you spend, your status tier and the type of Marriott hotel you’re staying at.

Most Marriott hotels earn 10 points per dollar spent on stays. Unfortunately, long-term stay hotels — including Element, TownPlace Suites and Residence Inn — only award 5 points per dollar spent.

You can also earn points when staying at Marriott Executive Apartments, but you’ll earn just 2.5 points per dollar spent and you’ll only get one elite night credit for every three nights you stay.

Related: Your complete guide to Marriott hotel brands

More than one room on a reservation

With Marriott, you can earn points on more than one hotel room. Specifically, you can earn points on up to three hotel rooms as long as you meet two conditions. First, you must be occupying one of the rooms. Second, you must pay for all of the rooms together.

Elite status bonuses

You can boost your point earning on paid stays when you have Marriott Bonvoy elite status. The higher the status, the higher the bonus earning. Here’s an overview of the rate you can expect to earn at most Marriott hotels based on your elite status tier:

  • General member: 10 points per dollar spent.
  • Silver Elite: 11 points per dollar spent.
  • Gold Elite: 12.5 points per dollar spent.
  • Platinum Elite: 15 points per dollar spent.
  • Titanium Elite and Ambassador Elite: 17.5 points per dollar spent.

Members with Gold Elite status or higher receive a welcome amenity of 250 to 1,000 points at check-in at most brands. The number of points varies by property, with Courtyard, Fairfield Inn and SpringHill Suites properties providing just 250 points as a welcome gift.

Plus, you usually earn points on your entire hotel bill. This means that if you order room service or get a drink at the bar and charge it to your room, those purchases will earn points too. Make sure to charge on-site expenses to your room to earn even more points.

Related: Booking direct: How much value does Marriott status provide?

Earn bonus points with promotions

Keeping track of the latest hotel promotions is difficult — especially if you’re juggling elite status at Marriott and other hotel brands like Hyatt or Hilton. However, promotions can be the best way to quickly boost your account balances and unlock some outstanding awards.

Right now, Marriott is running a promotion where you can earn 1,000 points per night plus double stay credits (nights that count toward earning elite status). This promotion runs from Feb. 8 to May 4, 2022, and you can earn the points and stay credits every night during this period — but only on paid stays. Staying two weeks at Marriott properties during this promotion would net you an extra 14,000 points on top of the regular earnings discussed above.

Image shows promotion progress status bar for Marriott promotion February-May 2022
(Screenshot from marriott.com)

You can see your eligible promotions by heading to Marriott’s promotion page and signing in to your account. You should see all public and targeted offers on this page. Enroll in promotions by clicking the “Register” button located to the right of the promotion’s name.

Related: Your complete guide to all current hotel promotions

Host an event at a Marriott hotel

Marriott’s events program lets you earn extra points on meetings, weddings and other special events you host at Marriott properties. You’ll earn 2 points per dollar spent on room, food, drink and other charges. But, elite bonuses also apply here, so you can expect to earn as follows based on your status:

  • General member: 2 points per dollar (with a maximum of 60,000 points per event).
  • Silver Elite: 2.2 points per dollar (with a maximum of 66,000 points per event).
  • Gold Elite: 2.5 points per dollar (with a maximum of 75,000 points per event).
  • Platinum Elite: 3 points per dollar (with a maximum of 90,000 points per event).
  • Titanium Elite: 3.5 points per dollar (with a maximum of 105,000 points per event).
  • Ambassador Elite: 3.5 points per dollar (with a maximum of 105,000 points per event).

You’ll also earn one credit for every 20 room nights you book when you host an event. So, if you host a large event, you could fast-track your way to Marriott elite status.

Earn with credit cards

Marriott offers four credit cards: two with American Express and two with Chase. Each of these cards has different benefits and welcome bonuses. Here’s a quick breakdown of each Marriott credit card. Use the information here to find which is best for your wallet.

Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card

Marriott Bonvoy Boundless card
(Photo by John Gribben/The Points Guy)

Annual fee: $95 annual fee

The Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card earns 5 Free Nights (each night valued up to 50,000 points) after you spend $5,000 in the first three months from account opening.

  • 6 points per dollar spent at participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels.
  • 3 points per dollar spent on the first $6,000 spent in combined purchases each year on gas stations, grocery stores and dining.
  • 2 points per dollar spent on all other eligible purchases.

You’ll also enjoy a free night award (up to 35,000 points) every year after your account anniversary. This more than covers the card’s annual fee for most of us.

In addition, the card offers complimentary Silver Elite status as long as your card is open and in good standing. You can upgrade to Gold status when you spend $35,000 or more on the card each account year. Plus, every year your card is open, you’ll enjoy 15 elite night credits to help you reach the next elite status tier. You can also earn one credit toward elite status for every $5,000 you spend on your card.

Related: Marriott Bonvoy Boundless card review

Marriott Bonvoy Bold Credit Card

Annual fee: $0

The Marriott Bonvoy Bold Credit Card offers earns 60,000 bonus points after spending $2,000 on purchases in your first three months from account opening.

You’ll earn:

  • 3 points per dollar spent at participating Marriott hotels.
  • 2 points per dollar spent on travel purchases.
  • 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.

Plus, you’ll earn 15 Elite Night Credits each year the card is open, automatically qualifying you for Silver elite status.

Related: Marriott Bonvoy Bold card review

Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card

Marriott Marquis in Downtown Chicago
(Photo by Eden Batki/The Points Guy)

Annual fee: $450 (see rates and fees)

The Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card currently offers a welcome bonus of 75,000 Marriott Bonvoy bonus points after you use your new card to make $3,000 in eligible purchases within the first three months of card membership.

You’ll earn:

  • 6 points on eligible purchases at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy program.
  • 3 points per dollar spent at U.S. restaurants (including take out and delivery) and on flights booked directly with airlines.
  • 2 points per dollar spent on all other eligible purchases.

You’ll also receive one free night award every year after your account anniversary, valid for up to 50,000 points, and a $300 annual statement credit toward eligible stays at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy program.

The card also comes with a Global Entry/TSA PreCheck credit (up to $100), Priority Pass lounge privileges and automatic Gold Elite status (with an upgrade to Platinum Elite after spending $75,000 in any calendar year of cardmembership). You’re also eligible for 15 elite night credits every year your card is open. Enrollment is required for select benefits.

Related: Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant card review

Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card

Annual fee: $125 (see rates and fees)

The Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card currently offers a 75,000 bonus points after you use your new card to make $3,000 in purchases within the first three months of cards membership.

You’ll earn:

  • 6 points for each dollar of eligible purchases at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy program.
  • 4 points per dollar spent at U.S. restaurants, at U.S. gas stations, on wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and on U.S. purchases for shipping.
  • 2 points per dollar spent on all other eligible purchases.

The card also comes with a free award night every card renewal month, valid for up to 35,000 points at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy program.

The card offers complimentary Silver Elite status as long as your card is open and in good standing. You’ll also enjoy 15 elite night credits every year your card is open. These are in addition to the 15 nights earned with a personal card.

Related: Marriott Bonvoy Business card review

Transfer points

A United Airlines plane.
(Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)

You can transfer three different types of points to your Marriott Bonvoy account. Here’s a look at all your options.

Transfer points from Chase or American Express

Marriott Bonvoy is a partner of both American Express Membership Rewards and Chase Ultimate Rewards. Both of these programs allow you to transfer points at a 1:1 ratio, meaning that 1,000 Ultimate Rewards or Membership Rewards points equal 1,000 Marriott Bonvoy points.

However, we don’t necessarily recommend making this transfer. TPG values both Ultimate Rewards and Membership Rewards points at 2 cents per point, while Marriott points are worth 0.8 cents per point. This means you’ll lose over half the value of your points in this transfer.

Transfer points from United MileagePlus

You can also transfer United MileagePlus miles to Marriott Bonvoy at a 1:1 ratio. United and Marriott have long had a partnership dubbed RewardsPlus. This partnership provides reciprocal elite status benefits for United and Marriott elites. Unfortunately, you can only transfer up to 50,000 United miles to Marriott Bonvoy each year.

There’s no fee to make this transfer, but we don’t recommend it as you’ll lose 0.31 cents per point in value. This is because TPG values United MileagePlus miles at 1.11 cents apiece. You’ll usually only want to transfer United miles to Marriott if you’re topping up for a specific redemption. You must hold United Airlines status (Silver or above) to make this conversion.

Transfer points between accounts

One perk of the Marriott Bonvoy program is being able to transfer points between accounts for free. Each year, you can transfer up to 100,000 Marriott Bonvoy points from a single account. Likewise, you can receive up to 500,000 points per year on a single account. Each account must be at least 30 days old (with activity) or 90 days (without activity) to participate in transfers.

You can initiate a transfer by calling Marriott Bonvoy. This is helpful for families who want to combine multiple account balances for a single redemption. Likewise, a friend with expiring points may opt to transfer points to you if they don’t have an immediate use for them.

Related: Your ultimate guide to family points pooling

Earn points by shopping and dining

Marriott doesn’t have a shopping portal, but it does offer a couple of other ways to earn points on everyday purchases. Here’s a look at your (limited) options.

Marriott dining rewards

Japengo Restaurant.
Japengo Restaurant. (Photo by Clint Henderson/The Points Guy)

Marriott has the Eat Around Town dining rewards program. This program offers Marriott elites 6 Marriott points per dollar spent and non-elites 4 points per dollar spent at participating restaurants. You’ll earn these points in addition to whatever rewards you’d otherwise earn from your credit card. Just remember to link your credit card to the program and dine at participating restaurants.

Want to earn even more points? Link a card that earns bonus points on dining. One of the best starter cards is the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, which earns 3 points per dollar spent on dining. If you use this card to purchase a $100 meal at a participating restaurant, you’ll earn 600 Marriott Bonvoy points as an elite member and 300 Chase Ultimate Rewards points.

Related: Can I earn miles from two dining programs at the same time?

Buy a mattress

If you need a new mattress, consider buying one from your favorite Marriott hotel. Bonvoy members earn 10,000 Marriott points (worth $80, according to our valuations) when buying a mattress on any of Marriott International’s online retail websites: Shop EDITIONThe Ritz-Carlton ShopsThe Luxury Collection StoreSt. Regis BoutiqueW Hotels, The StoreCurated by JWShop MarriottSheraton StoreWestin StoreCollect RenaissanceGaylord Hotels The StoreShop Courtyard, and Fairfield Store.

Earn points with travel partners

Hertz rental cars in a parking garage.
Earn Marriott Bonvoy points when you book other forms of travel, like cruises and rental cars. (Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)

You can earn Marriott Bonvoy points when booking other types of travel, too. Here’s a look at how to earn points when booking rental cars, vacation activities and cruises.

Earn points on Hertz rental cars

You can earn up to 2,000 Marriott Bonvoy points on your Hertz car rentals. Simply book rentals through Marriott’s Hertz portal. You’ll earn 500 points on one-day rentals and 2,000 points on rentals of two days or more. You can earn Marriott Bonvoy points on rentals in the United States, Canada, Europe, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Australia and New Zealand.

However, when you do this, you won’t earn Hertz Gold Rewards points on your rental. I often get over 2 cents per point in value from my Hertz points, so I usually skip the Marriott portal and book rental cars directly. Do the math and see which works best for your travel needs.

Related: How to never pay full price for a rental car

Book cruises through the Marriott portal

Booking a cruise through Marriott’s CruisesOnly can net you a huge number of bonus Marriott Bonvoy points, depending on the cost. You’ll earn 3 points per dollar spent on cruises booked through CruisesOnly, up to 30,000 points per cruise.

Related: 5 unexpected places that sell cruises

Book vacation activities

You can also earn points when purchasing qualifying vacation activities through Marriott Bonvoy Tours & Activities. The site offers a wide variety of tours, transfers and events in the U.S. and around the world.

The number of points you’ll earn depends on how much you spend and the experience you book. For instance, you can book a Chicago food tour for $62.99 per person and earn 314 Marriott Bonvoy in the process. Likewise, an Icelandic glacier tour runs a whopping $1,919.98 per head and earns 9,599 points per person.

Be sure to comparison shop to ensure the tour or activity isn’t available for a lower price elsewhere.

Ride or order food with Uber

You can earn Marriott points from rides with Uber and food orders with Uber Eats. You’ll earn 3 points per dollar spent on Uber Premium rides (includes Uber XL, Uber Black, Uber SUV and Uber Comfort). You’ll earn 6 points per dollar spent when you order Uber Eats delivery while staying at a Marriott Bonvoy hotel (minimum $25 order). Plus you’ll earn 2 points per dollar spent when you order Uber Eats at home or on the road (minimum $25 order).

There’s even a promotion for those who have never linked their Marriott and Uber accounts before. Right now, you can earn 1,000 bonus Marriott Bonvoy points after you link your account to Uber and take your first ride or make your first food order.

Related: Food delivery promo codes and offers to help you save money on your next meal

Buy points

Marriott Chicago Magnificent Mile
Buy Marriott Bonvoy points to top up for your next big redemption. (Photo by Tupungato/Shutterstock)

Need Marriott Bonvoy points quickly? You can buy them in a pinch. Marriott typically sells points at 1.25 cents per piece, which is higher than TPG’s 0.8 cent valuation. You can purchase up to 50,000 points per calendar year, although the hotel group frequently raises this limit during points sales.

We don’t recommend buying points speculatively, but it can make sense if you’re topping up your account for a specific high-end award night. Likewise, it makes sense to buy points if you can buy the points required for a particular stay at a lower cost than paying for the hotel in cash.

Related: You can currently buy points and miles with a bonus — but should you?

Bottom line

There are many different ways you can beef up your Marriott Bonvoy points balance. If you’re looking for a quick boost, consider applying for a Marriott credit card and spending enough to earn the welcome bonus. This will easily pad your Marriott Bonvoy account with tens of thousands of points — more than enough for a night or two away.

Likewise, enroll in all your applicable promotions and sign up for the Marriott dining program. Combined with a Marriott credit card, you’ll be well on your way to a free night in no time.

Featured photo of the JW Marriott Savannah Plant Riverside District by Andrea Rotondo/The Points Guy.

For rates and fees of the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Amex Card, click here.
For rates and fees of the Marriott Bonvoy Business Amex Card, click here.

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card

Earn 90,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer ends 8/3/2022.

With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 90,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer ends 8/3/2022.
  • Earn up to 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) with Status Boost® per year. After you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can earn 10,000 MQMs up to two times per year, getting you closer to Medallion® Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion® Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
  • Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
  • Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide including takeout and delivery in the U.S., and at U.S. supermarkets.
  • Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $80 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
  • Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
  • Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck® after you apply through any Authorized Enrollment Provider. If approved for Global Entry, at no additional charge, you will receive access to TSA PreCheck.
  • Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $250 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Regular APR
17.24%-26.24% Variable
Annual Fee
$250
Balance Transfer Fee
N/A
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.