The 5 Best Ways to Rack Up Marriott Bonvoy Points

Elina GellerOctober 10, 2019

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Although Chase has just reduced the welcome offer on its Marriott Bonvoy Bold™ Credit Card, don’t despair — there are still plenty of ways to rack up Marriott Bonvoy points. In this post, we'll cover the five best ways to earn points with Marriott Bonvoy.

1. Apply for a Marriott credit card with a higher welcome bonus

Besides the Marriott Bonvoy Bold™ Credit Card, there are currently three other Marriott cards available (two from American Express and one from Chase). Although these cards come with an annual fee, they also offer higher welcome bonuses and more valuable perks. Here’s an overview of your options:

2. Transfer from AmEx: 30% bonus until Oct. 31

Marriott is a transfer partner of American Express Membership Rewards. Points transfer from AmEx to Marriott at a 1:1 ratio, in increments of 1,000, and transfers are usually immediate. Currently, AmEx is running a promotion that provides a 30% bonus on point transfers to Marriott. With the promotion, 1,000 Membership Reward points would equal 1,300 Marriott Bonvoy points.

If you need Membership Rewards points to transfer to take advantage of this offer, the following American Express credit cards earn Membership Reward points:

Personal cards

Business cards

An important factor to consider before taking advantage of this offer is your own personal valuation of Membership Reward points and Marriott Bonvoy points. Since Membership Reward points can be transferred to many different partners, they are extremely versatile and a speculative point transfer to Marriott may not be the best idea.

However, a transfer can make a lot of sense if you have a specific redemption in mind, need a points top up for an upcoming vacation, or just really love Marriott and plan on staying at a property in the foreseeable future.

3. Transfer from Chase Ultimate Rewards®

If you have a credit card from Chase that earns Ultimate Rewards® points, you can transfer those points to Marriott at a 1:1 ratio as well. Point transfers are instantaneous and must be done in increments of 1,000 points. Once you transfer points from Chase to Marriott, the transfer cannot be reversed.

Given that Ultimate Rewards® points are transferable to many different partners, they potentially hold a lot of value. Again, it’s up to you to determine how valuable those points are when compared to Marriott Bonvoy points. Similar to our advice above for AmEx Membership Rewards, consider speculative point transfers from Chase carefully using the same criteria.

The following Chase credit cards earn Ultimate Rewards® points:

Personal cards

Business card

Note that Chase also offers several cash-back credit cards that allow you to treat their cash-back rewards as Ultimate Rewards® points when paired with one of the above cards. You can effectively pool your points together and treat them all as Ultimate Rewards® points.

These cash-back cards are:

Personal cards

Business cards

4. Stay at Marriott Hotels

Earning Marriott points the traditional way, by staying at hotels, is another way to rack up Bonvoy points. You can earn 10 points per every $1 on qualifying spend at the following Marriott properties:

Stays at Residence Inn by Marriott, TownePlace Suites by Marriott and and Element hotels earn 5 points per every $1, while Marriott Executive Apartments and Execustay properties earn 2.5 points per $1.

With 10 points per every $1 earned at most Marriott hotels, earning points is fairly easy. Plus, if you have elite status with Marriott, your earn rate increases as well.

  • Silver Elites earn a 10% bonus on points.

  • Gold Elites earn a 25% bonus points.

  • Platinum Elites earn a 50% bonus points.

  • Titanium and Ambassador Elites earn 75% bonus points.

With Gold status and above, you can also choose bonus points as a welcome gift, though the number you’ll earn varies by brand.

5. Refer a friend

An often overlooked way to earn Marriott points is through refer-a-friend bonuses, which are offered by Chase, American Express and Marriott.

For example, Chase allows you to earn referral bonuses on several of its cards. As seen above, you could earn 20,000 per referral on the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card for a maximum of 100,000 points per year.

You could also earn 15,000 Ultimate Rewards® points per referral on the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, up to 75,000 points in total. The bonus on the Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card is a bit more lucrative, allowing you to pick up 20,000 Ultimate Rewards® points for each referral and a maximum of 100,000 points annually.

The three remaining cash-back cards offer referral bonuses as well — but remember these awards can be treated as Ultimate Rewards® points if you have the Chase Sapphire Reserve®, Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card or Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card.

American Express provides referral bonuses as well, though each bonus is customized to the specific cardholder. To see what your referral bonus is, log in to your American Express account.

If you have a friend who is looking to get one of the Chase cards listed above or an American Express Marriott card, why not send them your referral link and pick up some extra points?

The bottom line

Although the sign-up bonus on the Marriott Bonvoy Bold card has been reduced, there are still plenty of other ways to pick up Bonvoy points. Marriott points are some of the simplest to earn given the availability of several co-branded credit cards, transfer relationships with both Chase and AmEx, and the ease of earning points for Marriott hotel stays.

All information about the Business Green Rewards Card from American Express has been collected independently by NerdWallet. The Business Green Rewards Card from American Express is no longer available through NerdWallet.

How to Maximize Your Rewards

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