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17 ways to earn lots of Marriott Bonvoy points

Sept. 30, 2022
20 min read
Rooftop pool at the JW Marriott Savannah Plant Riverside
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Editor’s note: This is a recurring post, regularly updated with new information.


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 September 2019. And in March 2022, Marriott switched to dynamic pricing which removed award categories altogether. Gone are the days of predictable award prices.

Most recently, the hotel chain revamped its cobranded credit card lineup. Now, the hotel group's top-tier credit card includes Platinum Elite status, 25 elite night credits and a free night award that was increased so it is now worth up to 85,000 points. Plus, the brand introduced two new mid-tier cards, one with American Express and one with Chase.

So, how does this affect the way you earn Marriott Bonvoy points? Let's look at the different ways you can earn Marriott Bonvoy points, from hotel stays to cobranded credit cards and beyond.

Earn Marriott Bonvoy points at Marriott hotels

Earn Marriott Bonvoy points when you stay at the Marriott Marquis in Chicago. 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. This lower earn rate applies to vacation rentals booked with Homes and Villas by Marriott International, too.

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You can also earn points when staying at Marriott Executive Apartments, but you’ll earn just 2.5 points per dollar spent and 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 if you meet two conditions. First, you must be occupying one of the rooms. Second, you must pay for all of the rooms together. However, you'll only earn elite nights on the room you occupy.

Elite status bonuses

You can boost your point earning on paid stays with 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 receive a welcome gift of 250 to 500 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.

The welcome gift for members with Platinum Elite status or higher is slightly better, with a minimum of 500 points or a $10 food and beverage ("F&B") credit per stay.

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 up to 4,000 points per stay. From Sept. 21 to Dec. 15, the loyalty program will provide a bonus of 2,000 reward points per stay, starting with your second stay. Plus, you can earn another 2,000 points for every brand you stay with if you have a cobranded credit card.

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. 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 six credit cards: three with American Express and three 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

JOHN GRIBBEN/THE POINTS GUY

Annual fee: $95.

The Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card offers 3 Free Night Awards (each night valued up to 50,000 points) after spending $3,000 on purchases in your first three months.

  • 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 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 an elevated offer of 30,000 bonus points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in your first three months from account opening. You’ll also 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

Annual fee: $650 (see rates and fees).

The newly refreshed Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card currently offers a welcome bonus of 150,000 Marriott Bonvoy bonus points after you use your new card to make $5,000 in eligible purchases within the first three months of card membership. You’ll also earn:

  • 6 points per dollar spent 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 receive one free night award every year after your account anniversary, valid for up to 85,000 points, and a $25 monthly dining credit.

The card comes with a Global Entry/TSA PreCheck credit (up to $100), Priority Pass lounge privileges and automatic Platinum Elite status. You’re also eligible for 25 elite night credits every year your card is open. Enrollment is required for select benefits.

Related: Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant card review

Marriott Bonvoy Bevy™ American Express® Card

Annual fee: $250 (see rates and fees).

The Marriott Bonvoy Bevy™ American Express Card has a welcome offer of 125,000 Marriott Bonvoy bonus points after you use your new card to make $4,000 in eligible purchases within the first three months of card membership. You’ll also earn:

  • 6 points per dollar spent at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy program.
  • 4 points per dollar spent at restaurants worldwide and U.S. supermarkets (on up to $15,000 in combined purchases at restaurants and U.S. supermarkets per calendar year).
  • 2 points per dollar spent on all other eligible purchases.

The card offers complimentary Gold Elite status to cardholders. You'll also receive 15 elite night credits every year. This benefit can be stacked with the nights you earn with a Marriott small-business card, allowing you to fast-track up to 30 elite nights per year.

Although the card doesn't come with an annual free night, the card does offer an annual free night award via spending. Cardholders who make at least $15,000 in eligible purchases during their cardmember year (not calendar year) can earn a free night award worth up to 50,000 points.

Related: Marriott Bonvoy Business card review

Marriott Bonvoy Business® American Express® Card

Annual fee: $125 (see rates and fees).

The Marriott Bonvoy Business® American Express® Card offers 75,000 bonus points after you use your new card to make $3,000 in purchases within the first three months of card membership. You’ll earn:

  • 6 points per dollar spent at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy program.
  • 4 points per dollar spent at 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 Gold 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.

The card also comes with a 7% Marriott Bonvoy room rate discount off standard rates for reservations of standard guest rooms when you book directly.

Related: Marriott Bonvoy Business Amex review

Transfer points

ZACH GRIFF/THE POINTS GUY

You can transfer three different types of points to your Marriott Bonvoy account. Here’s a look at 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 0.84 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 value when you transfer. This is because TPG values United MileagePlus miles at 1.21 cents apiece. You’ll usually only want to transfer United miles to Marriott if you’re topping up for a specific redemption.

Note that you must hold United Airlines elite 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

Earn Marriott Bonvoy points when dining out at restaurants participating in its Eat Around Town program. 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 EDITION, The Ritz-Carlton Shops, The Luxury Collection Store, St. Regis Boutique, W Hotels, The Store, Curated by JW, Shop Marriott, Sheraton Store, Westin Store, Collect Renaissance, Gaylord Hotels The Store, Shop Courtyard, and Fairfield Store.

Earn points with travel partners

Earn Marriott Bonvoy points when you book other forms of travel, like cruises and rental cars. 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 U.S., 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. So, 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. 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).

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

Buy points

Buy Marriott Bonvoy points to top up for your next big redemption. TUPUNGATO/SHUTTERSTOCK

Need Marriott Bonvoy points quickly? You can buy them in a pinch. Marriott typically sells points at 1.25 cents apiece, 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.

Additional reporting by Ehsan Haque.

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.

For rates and fees of the Marriott Bonvoy Bevy Amex Card, click here

Featured image by Andrea Rotondo/The Points Guy
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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TPG featured card

Best premium travel card for value
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards

1 - 10X points
10xEarn 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
5xEarn 5x total points on flights through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
3xEarn 3x points on other travel and dining.
1xEarn 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases

Intro offer

80,000 bonus points
Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®

Annual Fee

$550

Recommended Credit

740-850
Excellent
Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

Why We Chose It

If you are looking to take your premium rewards to the highest level, this card is really a no brainer in our eyes. Chase's Ultimate Rewards make points easy to redeem, with a wide range of 10 airline and three hotel transfer partners and a friendly user interface. Despite the high annual fee, Chase is consistently adding new benefits to keep the card competitive in a fierce premium rewards field.

Pros

  • $300 annual travel credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year
  • Access to Chase Ultimate Rewards hotel and airline travel partners
  • Unlimited 3x points on the broad category of travel and dining
  • 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Broad definitions for travel and dining bonus categories

Cons

  • Steep $550 annual fee
  • May not make sense for people that don't travel frequently
  • You must spend the $300 travel credit before earning 3x points for travel and dining
  • No automatic hotel elite status
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year.
  • Earn 5x total points on flights and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3x points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,200 toward travel
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Access to 1,300+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select and up to $100 application fee credit every four years for Global Entry, NEXUS, or TSA PreCheck®
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more
Best premium travel card for value
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

10xEarn 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
5xEarn 5x total points on flights through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
3xEarn 3x points on other travel and dining.
1xEarn 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®

    80,000 bonus points
  • Annual Fee

    $550
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    740-850
    Excellent

Why We Chose It

If you are looking to take your premium rewards to the highest level, this card is really a no brainer in our eyes. Chase's Ultimate Rewards make points easy to redeem, with a wide range of 10 airline and three hotel transfer partners and a friendly user interface. Despite the high annual fee, Chase is consistently adding new benefits to keep the card competitive in a fierce premium rewards field.

Pros

  • $300 annual travel credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year
  • Access to Chase Ultimate Rewards hotel and airline travel partners
  • Unlimited 3x points on the broad category of travel and dining
  • 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Broad definitions for travel and dining bonus categories

Cons

  • Steep $550 annual fee
  • May not make sense for people that don't travel frequently
  • You must spend the $300 travel credit before earning 3x points for travel and dining
  • No automatic hotel elite status
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year.
  • Earn 5x total points on flights and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3x points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,200 toward travel
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Access to 1,300+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select and up to $100 application fee credit every four years for Global Entry, NEXUS, or TSA PreCheck®
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more