The Marriott Rewards program is an excellent service for frequent travelers, and the Marriott Rewards Credit Card (issued by Chase Bank) is a valuable tool toward maximizing travel benefits. I became a member of the Marriott Rewards program when I was traveling a huge amount, and I have enjoyed the membership ever since. Shortly after joining I applied for the Marriott Rewards Credit Card and have found it to be an excellent way to quickly earn points toward free travel.
Marriott is one of the three largest hotel chains in the world. (The others being Hilton Hotels and Starwood Hotels). According to their website, they have more than 3,600 hotels worldwide, and 17 different brands, ranging from the more basic Fairfield Inn and going all the way up to the famed Ritz-Carlton brand, with every level in between. As a member of the reward program, you can earn points for stays at any of these brands. And these points can be redeemed at any of the 17 brands.
I find the program to be generous even at its base level. The points earned vary based on the level of the hotel. However, in a recent stay, my wife and I earned 10 points for each dollar we spent at a JW Marriott. At that rate, you can build up points extremely quickly. While we were staying on previously earned points, we did charge several things to the room. Simply by doing that we earned 1,820 points at the base rate.
Because I am also a holder of the Marriott Rewards Card, I have Elite Status. Simply as a perk of holding the card, my membership never drops below a Silver Elite Status. This means that I earn an additional 20 percent over and above the basic points earned for a stay. So that added another 364 points. Then, because I paid that balance on my Marriott card, I earned another three points per dollar spent (or 546 points). Plus they were offering a bonus and I earned another 1600 points for a bonus I had no idea was going on.
So you can see how belonging to the Rewards program and holding the Marriott Card can make a big difference in your point totals and toward earning free travel. Remember, my stay was free (at a 4-star property) from previous points, and I only charged $182 in incidentals to my room. Due to my membership status and my Marriott Card, that $182 earned me 4,330 points. Free rooms begin at as little as 7,500 points. So you see how it can make a difference.
On top of this benefit, you earn one point for every dollar you spend on the card. If you use the Marriott Card for your everyday purchases, you could build points very rapidly.
There are three different cards: Marriott Rewards Premium Card, Marriott Rewards Credit Card, and the Marriott Rewards Business Card. I have the Marriott Rewards Credit Card, and that is the one I’ve always used with them. As of today, the Chase website says that you can earn 30,000 points after $1,000 in purchases during the first three months. The first year’s annual fee of $45 is waived. You will automatically be a Silver Elite Member (which I love because I earn extra points and skip the long lines). You will earn a free night every year on your anniversary, and (like I did) you will earn three points for every dollar you spend at a Marriott property.
I have always enjoyed staying with Marriott. All of the properties I have visited have been lovely, and the staff truly go out of their way to make your stays special. The Rewards program is great, and the credit card makes it that much easier to rack up the points and earn free travel.
I would definitely recommend the program for anyone looking to earn free hotel stays, and who doesn’t like free travel?
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