Sign up for the new credit card and get 80,000 points. (I’ll get 20,000 if you use my link.) 🙂 https://t.co/clpVkadt3B It’s well worth it. It does cost an annual fee of $85, but the 80k points will get you 2-3 nights. I think the one night per year covers the $85 annual fee. 🙂
I started using Marriott early on only because I had stayed at Courtyards multiple times for work. I’ve started to take a liking to Marriott and their bonus system. With the Marriott card, you can get 5 points per dollar spent at Marriotts, which is awesome! You get free rooms pretty quickly that way and also get lounge access pretty quickly as well.
If you’re not a member and happen to just be staying at a Marriott, I would say to sign up! The points do expire (I think after 18 months), but you can keep them pretty easily just by continuing to accrue. There are a few ways to accrue them without staying at Marriotts. One of the ways is to sign up for the credit card. Better yet, use my link above! 🙂 Another way is to shop to keep them! https://marriott.rewards.com There, just click through the site and buy anything and they’ll credit you Marriott points. That way, you’re accruing as you spend money. Something I wish I had done during the holiday season. I could’ve had at least one additional point for every dollar I spent! I’ll write another posting on maximizing your shopping points sometime soon.
One last point is to try to stay loyal to one particular brand i.e. if you’re flying United, only fly United. If you’re flying American, only fly American – it’s much easier to accrue points that way and be able to use them. If you’re staying at Marriotts and collecting Marriott points, you won’t get anything by staying at a Hilton. You will get some credit for staying at an SPG though! I’ve already linked my 2 accounts, but haven’t transferred any points yet.
Hope this helps! Please let me know if you have any other/better ideas!