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WebFlyer Home > Programs > Ratings & Reviews

Ratings & Reviews

(Program Reviews - Side by Side Comparison - Website Reviews)


Marriott Hotels Rewards


7.88
(549 ratings)

8.14

This program was reviewed and rated by our editors in December 2012. Changes in the program past this date are possible, especially program partner information. We recommend you subscribe to the #1 source of frequent flyer information, Inside Flyer Magazine, to get the most current information possible.

Family Business

From its beginning as a root beer stand in Washington, D.C. in 1927, Marriott International, Inc. has continued as a family business with J.W. Marriott Jr. currently the Executive Chairman and Chairman of the Board.

The company currently includes over 3,600 properties in 73 countries and has a mix of luxury, moderate, extended stay and boutique brands. Marriott Rewards participating brands include JW Marriott, EDITION, Autograph Collection Hotels, Renaissance Hotels, AC Hotels by Marriott, Gaylord Hotels & Convention Centers, Marriott Hotels & Resorts, Courtyard by Marriott, SpringHill Suites by Marriott, Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott, Residence Inn by Marriott, TownePlace Suites by Marriott and Marriott Vacation Club. Members can also earn and redeem points at luxury hotel partner, The Ritz-Carlton. Honored Guest Awards launched in 1983 and evolved into Marriott Rewards in 1997. Marriott Rewards currently has 42 million members worldwide and has won the Freddie Award for the best program in the Americas for the past five consecutive years.


EARNING ABILITY:

8.14
Our
Rating:

8.50
Members earn 10 Marriott Rewards points or two miles per dollar spent on the total folio at Marriott Hotels & Resorts, JW Marriott Hotels & Resorts, Autograph Collection, Renaissance Hotels and Marriott Vacation Club; 10 points or two miles per dollar spent on room rate only at EDITION, Gaylord Hotels & Convention Centers and Ritz-Carlton locations; 10 points or one mile per dollar spent on room rate only at AC Hotels by Marriott, Fairfield Inn & Suites, SpringHill Suites and Courtyard. Members earn five points or one mile per dollar on room rates at Residence Inn participating locations and TownePlace Suites.

Members can also earn 2.5 points per dollar spent at Marriott ExecuStay, as well as one night toward Elite status for every three nights stayed, and 2.5 points or one mile per dollar spent on room rate only at Marriott Executive Apartments, also with one night toward Elite status for every three nights stayed.

Event planners can earn three points per dollar spent with a maximum 50,000 points, or one mile per dollar spent with a maximum of 15,000 points, for qualifying events or meetings. Members also earn 10 elite night credits for every meeting held. Marriott Rewards members can also earn points for shopping, credit card spend, travel services and other services.

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AWARD CHOICES:

8.05
Our
Rating:

8.50
Marriott has eight hotel award categories determined by location and hotel type. One night at a Category 1 hotel requires 7,500 points, Category 2 is 10,000 points, Category 3 is 15,000 points, Category 4 is 20,000 points, Category 5 is 25,000 points, Category 6 is 30,000 points, Category 7 is 35,000 points and Category 8 is 40,000 points. Members receive the fifth award night free--and the 10th night is also free.

PointSavers are discounted award nights that offer up to a 33 percent savings. Hotels participating in PointSavers are discounted by one category in the required number of points. Hotels offering PointSavers change frequently. Seasonal Awards offer a 25 percent discount on some of the program's most popular destinations during their off-seasons.

Awards at Ritz-Carlton hotels start at 30,000 points per night for a Tier 1 hotel and go up to 70,000 points for a Tier 5 hotel. PointSavers are available for 10,000 points less than the standard award and if you redeem for four award nights, you get the fifth night free. In Ireland, a night at Ashford Castle starts at 70,000 points and a night at Dromoland Castle starts at 75,000 points.

Upgrades to a larger room/suite or a room with a preferred view are available starting at 5,000 points per night when booking an award stay at Marriott Hotels and Resorts and Ritz-Carlton hotels. Most rooms require only one upgrade but two or more upgrades may be required. Members can also combine a cash upgrade with award nights, starting at $25 for an upgrade.

Instant Rewards, available any time between check-in or checkout, offer a way to redeem your points for anything that you charge to your room, including a room upgrade or an extra night's stay. Instant Rewards start at 2,500 points for a $5 credit and go up to 190,000 points for a $1,000 credit.

Members can redeem points for miles on partner airlines with international airlines offering 1,500 miles for 10,000 Marriott Rewards points, up to 35,000 miles for 125,000 points; and domestic airlines, including Alaska, Delta, Southwest, United and US Airways offering 2,000 miles/points for 10,000 Marriott Rewards points, up to 50,000 miles/points for 125,000 points. JetBlue and Virgin America points are available starting at 10,000 Marriott Rewards points for 1,000 TrueBlue or Elevate points, up to 25,000 TrueBlue or Elevate points for 125,000 Marriott Rewards points. Marriott Rewards members can redeem points for travel packages, which allow them to couple seven-night hotel awards with miles at a 1:1 ratio.

Hertz car rentals start at 20,000 points per day. Flights can be purchased with Marriott Rewards points. Members can also combine cash and points for flights and car rentals. Members can redeem points for dinner and spa treatments, Orient Express tickets and for cruises.

Meeting planners can offset the cost of a meeting starting at 50,000 points for a $250 Meeting Credit Certificate. Marriott GiftCards start at 14,000 points for a $50 gift card that can be used for Marriott stays and Marriott Cheques are available in other currencies such as 32,000 points for a 100 euro Marriott Gift Cheque that can be used for golf, dining and more.

Sports and leisure award options include golf instruction and rounds of golf. Points can be redeemed for online shopping at merchants such as Canon, Samsung, Tumi, Guess and many more. Marriott Rewards has recently started offering music, movies, audio books and ebook downloads for point redemptions. Members can also redeem points for sporting event and concert tickets. If you don't see what you want, Marriott Rewards will try to source it for you.

Points can also be donated to a great many nonprofit organizations including three featured causes: Children's Miracle Network, International and American Red Cross and Fisher House Foundation, which helps wounded servicemen and women. Point donations start at 12,000 points for a $50 donation.

Marriott Rewards introduced the Cash + Points award offer in 2012, which allows members to combine paid and redemption nights in the same reservation---no discounts are offered, but members do earn points on the paid portion of the reservation.

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PARTNERSHIPS:

7.75
Our
Rating:

8.50
Marriott Rewards partners with 35 frequent flyer programs with most offering two miles per dollar spent on all qualifying charges at qualifying hotels.

Members can earn 500 points per Hertz or Sixt car rental and three points per dollar spent with CruisesOnly. Members earn 10 points per dollar spent at SkyMall and between one and 17 points per dollar spent with over 350 online retailers at the Marriott Rewards ShopMyWay Mall. Members can earn 10 points per minute for making mobile calls through Travelling Connect and can purchase or refinance a house with Chase Home Mortgage to earn up to 75,000 points with a mortgage loan amount over $500,000. Other partners include FTD.com, EnergyPlus and Ctrip. And with the Marriott Rewards Refer a Friend program, members can earn up to 50,000 points when referring new members. You can convert Diners Club Club Rewards points into Marriott Rewards points: 1,250 Club Rewards points equals 1,500 Marriott Rewards points.

Marriott Rewards offers three credit cards for U.S. residents. Cardmembers who use the Marriott Rewards Visa Signature Card or Marriott Rewards Visa Business Card will earn three points per dollar spent at participating Marriott Rewards locations and one point per dollar spent on all other purchases. Cardholders will earn a 30,000-point bonus after you spend $1,000 in your first three months and a 10-night credit towards elite status every year (enough for first-level elite status), plus two free nights at a Category 1 to 4 hotel upon approval, among other benefits. The annual fee for both cards (waived the first year) is $45.

The Marriott Rewards Premier Visa has a higher annual fee at $85 (waived the first year) and has additional benefits. All three cards offer one elite-qualifying night for every $3,000 spent on the card with no limit on the number of elite nights you can earn. Marriott Rewards also offers credit cards in Canada and the U.K.

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ELITE-LEVEL PROGRAM:

7.71
Our
Rating:

7.50
Marriott Rewards has a three-tiered elite program. Members who stay 10 qualifying nights in a calendar year will receive Silver status. Silver members receive 20 percent bonus points on hotel stays, priority late checkout, weekend discounts at participating Courtyard and SpringHill Suites in the U.S. and Canada, exclusive reservation and guest services telephone line, exclusive elite-only offers and awards and guaranteed reservations. If Marriott is unable to honor an elite member's reservation, they will pay for lodging at a nearby hotel and compensate the member $100 or $200 (depending on the hotel) for the inconvenience.

Members who stay 50 nights are Gold members and receive 25 percent bonus points on stays, guaranteed room type, room upgrades including suites, guaranteed lounge access/free breakfast at participating hotels, free local phone and fax service, free Internet access and exclusive offers including Gold customized awards. Platinum members are those who stay 75 nights in a calendar year and receive 50 percent bonus points, an exclusive reservation line, guaranteed Platinum arrival gift and 48-hour guaranteed availability, in addition to the previously mentioned elite benefits.

With Elite Rollover Nights, members can carry over any nights in excess of the requalification requirement into the next year.

Marriott also offers lifetime elite status: Lifetime Silver is earned with 300 nights and 1.2 million points; Gold at 500 nights and 1.6 million points and Platinum at 750 nights and 2 million points.

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RULES AND CONDITIONS:

7.63
Our
Rating:

8.00
Points may be purchased and received as a gift in increments of 1,000 points for $12.50 up to a combined maximum of 50,000 points per year. Members can transfer points from their account to their legal spouse or domestic partner's Marriott Rewards account at no cost but only when needed for a specific award, rounded to the nearest 1,000 points.

Awards are transferable to anyone but you must call the service center to redeem points for a reservation under someone else's name. Points do not expire and although Marriott Rewards reserves the right to discontinue accounts, the accounts are not discontinued because of inactivity. Marriott Rewards does not have blackout dates for award stays but hotels may limit the number of standard rooms available for redemption on a limited number of days.

Marriott Rewards members can sign up for eFolio so that hotel bills will be automatically emailed after each Marriott stay--something that comes in handy in the event of missing credit for a hotel stay. Missing credit must be claimed within one year of the stay.

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SERVICE SUPPORT:

7.88
Our
Rating:

8.00
Members in the U.S. and Canada can call customer service between 8:15am and 9:00pm ET, Monday through Friday. There is also a toll-free number you can call to receive automated account information. Other ways to contact the service center include email, fax and through the postal service and there are customer service offices throughout the world. Our email was answered within hours on the same day with a complete and correct answer to our question.

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ONLINE SERVICES:

8.02
Our
Rating:

8.00
Members can complete a missing stay request, change their earning preference, cancel or change upcoming reservations, update their profile and make award reservations, redeem for several types of awards and donate and purchase points online. Most activities can be accomplished online, although transferring points to another member requires a call to the service center. Marriott Rewards Insiders is an active online community where members can share advice, photos and read blogs.

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PLUS FEATURES:
Marriott has built loyal customers through recurring offers like MegaBonus that allow members to ramp up their point balance. Members can save up to 33 percent with PointSavers; and when you redeem five nights, the fifth night is free. Credit cardholders receive 15 nights credit toward elite, automatically getting them to Silver status and Premier cardholders earn a generous five points per dollar spent at Marriott hotels plus up to a full week stay in a Category 1 hotel, six free nights in a Category 2 hotel. Travel Packages are a favorite award choice.

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MINUS FEATURES:
Most of the complaints from frequent guests are related to the elite-level program. The thresholds are high compared to other programs, breakfast benefits for elite members only apply during the week and are not available at resorts, there's no late checkout guarantee (it's by request only on day of departure) and once again does not apply to resorts. There's also no free health club access guaranteed. Gold and Platinum members receive free Internet access but Silver and non-elite members do not.

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INFORMATION:
Phone: (800) 450-4442

Marriott Guest Services
310 Bearcat Drive
Salt Lake City, UT 84115

  Earning Ability Award Choices Partnerships Elite-Level Rules & Conditions Service Support Online Services Overall Rating
Our
Rating:
8.50 8.50 8.50 7.50 8.00 8.00 8.00 8.14
Member
Rating:
8.14 8.05 7.75 7.71 7.63 7.88 8.02 7.88

(549 ratings)

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