How to Earn and Use Travel Rewards by Golfing

Some hotel loyalty programs offer perks or rewards for golfers.
Ramsey Qubein
By Ramsey Qubein 
Edited by Jeanette Margle

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Golf seems custom made for social distancing, which is sure to make it even more popular this summer. Road trips have gained favor in recent years, too, meaning many travelers could be hitting the road to vacation at top golf resorts with award-winning courses.

If golfing is in your summer plans, you might be surprised to learn that it can also be a great way to earn and redeem points. Here’s how.

Golfing resort and hotel programs

I Prefer Loyalty Program

The Preferred Golf Collection is a curated group of Preferred Hotels & Resorts properties that have special golf packages that include a complimentary round of golf for every two consecutive nights.

Members of the I Prefer loyalty program can earn and redeem points at these hotels. There are dozens of properties that participate in the program, including Grand Velas Los Cabos and Grand Velas Riviera Maya in Mexico.

Many hotels in the U.S. are part of the collection, too, including The Sanctuary at Kiawah Island Golf Resort and Innisbrook, A Salamander Golf & Spa Resort.

There’s also the option to book the Preferred Golf Play More Offer, which comes with an option to get a $75 resort credit in place of a round of golf. This could be ideal for those who travel with golfing friends but prefer to enjoy spa or dining instead.

Choice Hotels

A new program by Choice Hotels is Golf by Choice, which is a great way to rack up Choice Privileges points while hitting the links. Earn points buying golfing gear and apparel at participating golf shops or playing a round at affiliated courses. Members can also redeem points for golfing merchandise.

Elite members in Choice Privileges earn bonus points for every dollar they spend on golf activities and merchandise. Gold members earn 10% more while top-tier Diamond members earn a 20% bonus.

You can earn up to 1,500 points per round of golf. You don’t necessarily have to be staying at a Choice Hotels property to take advantage of this program. Just book your tee time through the Golf by Choice site.

You can even earn Choice Privileges points for downloading training apps like GolfLogix’s free GPS app and enrolling in Tathata’s golf training course.

Marriott Bonvoy

Marriott Golf Links is a program for Marriott Bonvoy members that awards points to players who like to travel. Members can earn 10 points per dollar spent playing golf or buying golf merchandise at Marriott Golf Clubs. Bonvoy points, best known as being redeemable for hotel stays, can instead be cashed in for gift cards for things like golf lessons and spa services at a Marriott golf resort.

Where are Marriott Golf Clubs? They are all over the world, including the JW Marriott Camelback Golf Club in Paradise Valley, Arizona; the Sheraton Fiji Resort; and the Sheraton Colonia Golf and Spa Resort.

Marriott also offers several golf resort packages, which include room rate, rounds of golf and breakfast at various properties. Of course, Marriott Bonvoy co-branded credit card holders would earn bonus points for spending at Marriott properties. These include cards like the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card and the Marriott Bonvoy Bold® Credit Card.


Accor’s All Live Limitless program gives members the chance to redeem points for golf merchandise. This is a great way to use points when your travel plans are on hold. Accor’s program has been expanding to offer more experiential rewards for members that are not always tied to hotel stays.


Some loyalty programs have creative redemption opportunities, often available via online auction, where members can use their points for once-in-a-lifetime experiences. Among these, Hilton Honors previously offered special packages to the Masters tournament, letting members use their points to bid on the experience.

Keep an eye on programs like FIND Experiences from World of Hyatt and Marriott Bonvoy Moments to see if any golf-related activities pop up from time to time. Since these offers are available for specific events and curated experiences, they are available for short windows of time. So keep checking back to see what sporting activities are available with points.

Golf credit cards

The Chase Luxury Hotels and Resorts program is similar to the American Express Fine Hotels and Resorts program except that it comes with specific perks for golfers at some hotels. Several Chase credit cards come with membership to this program including the Chase Sapphire Reserve®, the United℠ Explorer Card and the United Club℠ Infinite Card.

This program may not always have the cheapest room rates, but it comes with perks that may outweigh the difference. These include free breakfast for two, space-available room upgrades and a property-specific amenity. At many golf resorts, that could include a free round of golf, so check your credit cards to see if any can unlock this benefit.

Chase Sapphire is also the official credit card of the PGA championship, and cardholders have special access to ticket packages. They are also invited to a Chase Sapphire Lounge at the event, with refreshments and premium viewing areas.

Airline perks

Even if you don’t have a credit card with special perks, some airlines might offer worthy options of their own. For example, Swiss International Air Lines’ Golf Traveller program sells annual memberships with savings that could more than cover the cost if you travel often for golf. Members do not have to pay to check golf clubs on Swiss flights (or on flight partners like Lufthansa and Austrian Airlines), and they receive discounts with car rental and golf product partners.

If you purchase a multi-year membership, Lufthansa throws in some bonus Miles and More miles as well.

How to maximize your rewards

You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are some of the best travel credit cards of 2024:

Travel Cards from Our Partners
Chase Sapphire Preferred Credit Card

on Chase's website

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
NerdWallet Rating
Rewards rate


5x on travel purchased through Chase Travel℠, 3x on dining, select streaming services and online groceries, 2x on all other travel purchases, 1x on all other purchases.


Intro offer


Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 when you redeem through Chase Travel℠.

Chase Freedom Unlimited Credit Card

on Chase's website

Chase Freedom Unlimited®
NerdWallet Rating
Rewards rate


Enjoy 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Travel℠, 3% cash back on drugstore purchases and dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery service, and unlimited 1.5% cash back on all other purchases.


Intro offer

Up to $300

Earn an additional 1.5% cash back on everything you buy (on up to $20,000 spent in the first year) - worth up to $300 cash back!

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

on Capital One's website

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
NerdWallet Rating
Rewards rate


Earn unlimited 2X miles on every purchase, every day. Earn 5X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of trip options.


Intro offer


Enjoy a one-time bonus of 75,000 miles once you spend $4,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel.

See more travel cards
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