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Rundown of Marriott Rewards for Canadians

Marriott Rewards is one of the few hotel chains remaining that is paired up with a co-branded Canadian credit card. As a result, you can earn Marriott Rewards points without needing to stay at Marriott hotels. If you sign up for the Chase Marriott Rewards Premier Visa, you can either earn 30,000 or 50,000 sign up bonus points, depending on which link you use. The question that I am often asked is what can I do with those points?

Just a quick reminder, that Delta Hotels are now fully integrated with Marriott Rewards, so they are even more options to earn Marriott Reward points in Canada.

In today’s post, I am going to highlight a few key factors to consider with Marriott Rewards.

Elite Statuses – Member Benefits

Below are some key elite status benefits to keep in mind, which I will be referring to throughout the post.

Note that the stay requirements are in brackets. What’s great about Marriott’s reward program is that reward redemption stays will still count towards accumulate credits towards status. So you don’t have to pay your way up to elite status!

Basic Member (sign up for free)

  • Free Wi-fi
  • Mobile check-in
  • 5th redemption night free

Silver Elite (stay 10 nights or more)

  • Earn 20% bonus on points for stays
  • Priority Late Checkout
  • Weekend discount

Gold Elite (stay 50 nights or more)

  • Earn 25% bonus on points for stays
  • Lounge access and breakfast for 2
  • Complimentary room upgrade (towards unsold rooms)
  • Guaranteed late check out
  • Guaranteed room type

Platinum Elite (stay 75 nights or more)

  • Earn 50% bonus on points for stays
  • 48-Hour Guaranteed Availability
  • Platinum Arrival Gift
  • RewardsPlus: Complimentary MileagePlus Premier Silver status

Member Rates – Best Rate Guarantee

Launched in April 2016, Marriott Reward members now qualify for exclusive rates, which is up to 5% off the best available rate. Not earth-shattering, but still nice to see them reward their members in some way.

Keep in mind that Marriott’s best rate guarantee policy allows a guest to find a lower rate within 24 hours of their booking. If a match is found, Marriott matches and provides an additional 25% discount on the stay.

Free Hotel Stay

One of the best ways to redeem your points is through the PointSavers Reward option. You can redeem for a free hotel night at a discounted rate. So 30,000 points can get you 3 nights (PointSavers Reward) at a Category 3 hotel, which is pretty decent for a credit card that waives its first year annual fee.

Hotel Category

Hotel Reward

PointSavers Reward

1

7,500 6,000

2

10,000 7,500

3

15,000 10,000

4

20,000 15,000

5

25,000 20,000

6

30,000 25,000

7

35,000 30,000

8

40,000 35,000

9

45,000 40,000

In addition to redeeming your points for a free hotel night, there are many other options that consider. Several of them were launched in the past 12 months.

Experiences by Marriott Packages

Another way to redeem your points is with an option that is similar to Moments with SPG, Marriott members can redeem their points for experiences such as concert tickets, shark tagging expeditions, private dinners by award winning chefs, etc.

Points Sharing

If you cannot use your points in time, you want consider transferring to a friend or family member who can put the points to good use. This is an option introduced back in October 2015, Marriott account members can transfer points to friends and family. The minimum transfer amount is 1,000 and the maximum amount is 50,000 points. Platinum and Gold members can transfer without a fee, but Silver and Basic members are charged a $10 flat fee per transaction.

This is a great way to pool your points into one account, so that you have more points to redeem for a reward. Unfortunately, let’s say you are the Platinum member who can transfer without a fee, you may not want to transfer to a member who is only Basic, because when you redeem the points, you will not be able to take advantage of the elite status benefits.

Points Advance

Members can book redemption stays (14 days away from the stay) without sufficient points. All this feature really means is that you have 14 days to refill your points account to cover the points required for the full stay.

This is especially useful if you already have the credit card, but your statement closes within the next few days, but you did not want to lose out on the reward redemption. So you can redeem your hotel stays first, and once your credit card points kick in, you will be able to pay off the balance. Otherwise, you can also have someone transfer some points to you or else you will need to purchase the points after the 14 days expires.

Cash + Points

On February 18, 2016, Marriott Rewards revamped its Cash + Points program, which looks like this:

HOTEL CATEGORY

POINTS REQUIRED PER NIGHT

CASH + POINTS PER NIGHT

    CASH  POINTS

1

7,500 OR $45 3,000

2

10,000 OR $50 5,000

3

15,000 OR $55 8,000

4

20,000 OR $60 11,000

5

25,000 OR $65 14,000

6

30,000 OR $75 17,500

7

35,000 OR $90 21,000

8

40,000 OR $145 24,500

9

45,000 OR $220 28,000

Conclusion

I am very glad to see Marriott making some changes to be more competitive. Some of us, including myself is very worried about a possible merger with Starwood Preferred Guest. Regardless of all these changes, SPG points are still more favourable to have than Marriott. I value 1 SPG point at 2.4 cents per point, versus only 0.8 cents per point with Marriott. It us still unclear as to whether this merger will go through anyway, but if it does, I really hope that figure out a fair way to integrate each respective rewards program. I hope it is not too much to ask.

Otherwise, I am really happy to see that Chase Canada is continuing to remain in operation. There are so few co-branded hotel credit cards left in Canada, which makes this one even more valuable. If Chase Canada goes under, which feels like it is heading in that direction, I really hope that someone manages to take over their portfolio and retain the strong benefits. However, my wish is that Chase figures out a way to expand its business instead, and get a stronger foothold in the Canadian market, instead of selling its portfolio like what it did with its Sears based credit cards.

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Pointshogger aims to provide analysis and updates on earning loyalty reward points and maximizing the value of your points. We hope to inspire our readers to experience the joy of travel and make the most out of what they've already got!

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