Not a Marriott Rewards member? These perks might persuade you to join now

Banu Ibrahim
Updated 9th May 2018

Story highlights

  • The Marriott Rewards program has a lot of noteworthy perks
  • They include VIP access to events and complimentary room upgrades

Jet-setters know just how powerful rewards programs can be. With them, you can get everything from free flight upgrades to completely comped room stays. But many rewards programs offer more than just your traditional freebies.

Take the Marriott Rewards program, for example, which offers some pretty awesome perks for members. As of August, the Marriott program will combine with The Ritz-Carlton Rewards and the Starwood Preferred Guest program into a single program with more than 6,500 hotels across 29 brands worldwide.

Like other hotel rewards programs, this one operates on a tier level. There are four statuses: Rewards Member, Silver Elite (if you stay 10 nights or more), Gold Elite (50 nights or more) and Platinum Elite (more than 75 nights). The higher the tier, the better automatic perks you get when staying at a Marriott property. These can be arrival gifts, food and beverage amenities, guaranteed late checkout or complimentary room upgrades. Every member, however, has access to the lowest rates when booking direct, the choice of earning frequent flyer miles or Marriott Rewards points, complimentary Wi-Fi access and no blackout dates when booking.

Rewards members can earn points by staying at a Marriott hotel or booking from one of its travel partners, which range from cruise companies to car rentals. You can also earn points by buying tickets to various experiences around the globe, from concerts to sightseeing tours. That means you can cash in on events you were already planning to attend, like Lollapalooza or a Chicago Cubs game.

But the really stellar perks with the Marriott Rewards program are the many ways you can spend your points and the access you get. With the program, you can get VIP access to a number of local events, such as concerts and sporting events. Currently, you can use your points to bid for a private, interactive dinner with renowned chef Daniel Boulud, get suite-level seats for MLB games, take a photography master class, or get a VIP experience at Kleinfeld Bridal in New York. You can find a full list of Marriott's travel experiences here and its members-only VIP experiences here.

And once you've racked up your points, you can use them on more than just airfare and hotel stays. Marriott also lets members use their points to shop from major retailers like Nordstrom and to buy AMC movie tickets, Uber rides and meals at a number of chain restaurants. Members can also pay it forward with their points, donating to a variety of nonprofits, or to help communities that are affected by natural disasters.

With seemingly endless ways to spend your points, the Marriott Rewards program is a no-brainer for people who travel often for business or pleasure.