Recently Sky Mall significantly raised the amount of Marriott Rewards Points required to purchase Marriott Gift Cards. The $100 Marriott Gift Card went from 24K to 30K while the $200 Marriott Gift Card went from 42K to 60K. In the past I would redeem points for Marriott Gift Cards to use on leisure stays so that I could still get the elite night credits towards renewing my status. After the increase in point’s requirement for gift cards I decided to do a little research and see if there were alternate ways of earning Marriott Gift Cards.
I found two credit card rewards programs and one debit rewards program that offered Marriott Gift Cards. Here is a little information about each program.
American Express Membership Rewards- Earn 1 point per dollar spent. There are several American Express Cards that offer the Membership Rewards program including one with no annual fee (Amex Blue Card). The Amex rewards program offers various Marriott Gift Cards ($50, 100, $250, & $500) which can either be mailed to you or sent electronically (e-card). See Chart below for Point structure. http://membershiprewards.com
Bank of America Power Rewards Visa- Earn 1 point per dollar spent. Points can be redeemed for either a $100 Marriott Gift Card or a $250 Marriott Gift Card. Cards would be mailed as there is no E-Card option. Five Thousand less points required for the $250 Marriott Gift Card in comparison to the Amex program. Card has no annual fee. See Chart Below. https://www.bankofamerica.com/credit-cards/products/power-rewards-credit-card.go
Perk Street Debit Rewards- Earn 1% back (perks) on all purchases using the Debit MasterCard linked to a Perk Street Internet Checking Account. Perk Street is an online bank and has no physical locations. Some people use the Debit Rewards account as a full replacement for their checking account while others use the account just for the Rewards which can be used as cash back or for gift cards including Electronic Marriott Gift Cards (E-Cards). http://www.perkstreet.com
Rewards Program $100 Gift Card $250 Gift Card $500 Gift Card
American Express 12K Points ($12,000) 30K Points ($30,000) 60K Points ($60,000)
Bank of America 12K Points ($12,000) 25K Points ($25,000) 50K Points ($50,000)
Perk Street 100 Perks ($10,000) 200 Perks ($20,000) 500 Perks ($50,000)
Marriott Sky Mall 30K Points N/A 130K Points
After conducting the research I found even though the Marriott SkyMall Point structure is high for gift card redemption it is still the most economical way to earn the reward. Even a Non-Elite Marriott Rewards Member would earn 10 points per dollar spent at Marriott. After spending $3,000 at Marriott they would have enough points for $100 Gift Card Redemption while the other programs would require $10K-$12K in spending to reach the $100 Reward level. Elite Members with the Marriott Rewards Visa Card would spend significantly less than that to earn the Rewards as they earn an additional 25-50% bonus points during their stay and 5 points per dollar on Marriott purchases with the Visa card.
The alternative Rewards programs I researched are still good ways to earn rewards for everyday spending. I’m still hoping that eventually Marriott will announce a new Elite Rewards offer for redeeming fewer points for Marriott Gift Cards.