Monday, August 15, 2011

Points vs. Miles--Marriott Rewards Comparison

The Marriott Rewards loyalty program offers members the option to earn points or miles for their stays.  For those who want to earn airline miles, the question can be raised of which option is best.

For those choosing to earn points, they will earn 10 points for each dollar spent at Marriott properties that do not include Residence Inn or TownePlace Suites.  Stays at Residence Inn or TownePlace Suites earn 5 points per dollar.  For those who earn Silver Elite status, a 20% bonus is added onto these point totals. 

Those choosing to earn miles earn 2 miles per dollar spent at the full service hotels like J. W. Marriott and Marriott.  For the lower level hotels, patrons earn a single airline mile per dollar.  These mileage earnings are not uniform by airline, but are a general rule.  Points can also be used to buy miles, but the cost is between 2.5 and 5 points per mile--less than would be earned if choosing the mileage option.

For those who want to earn miles at Marriott properties, the best option would be to use a credit card that earns miles on purchases while using the points option with Marriott.  The Delta Skymiles card, for instance, earns users 1 mile per dollar for non-Delta purchases.  In this way, guests can earn the same (or at least close to the same) level of frequent flier miles that they would have earned by choosing the mileage option, while still earning points for future stays. 

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