Eat Your Way to a Free Night’s Stay: Marriott’s All-New Dining Rewards Program

Quell your hunger and earn a free night’s stay.
Last updated Dec 23, 2020 | By Matt Miczulski
Friends eating at a restaurant

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Hungry for more points? Marriott Bonvoy wants to take the edge off your appetite with its new dining rewards program, Eat Around Town by Marriott Bonvoy.

With over 11,000 participating restaurants throughout the country, Marriott loyalists now have a new way to earn points that can be redeemed for stays at over 7,000 properties around the world and other perks. This program is only open to U.S. residents.

How does Marriott’s dining program work?

“Sharing an amazing meal with family, friends or colleagues will now be more rewarding as members can earn a significant number of points to enjoy the benefits of Marriott Bonvoy, even when they are not staying with us,” said David Flueck, a senior vice president at Marriott, in a press release.

The Eat Around Town program works similarly to other popular dining rewards optionsOnce you enroll and create a dining profile, link the debit or credit cards of your choice. When you dine at any of the 11,000 participating restaurants and pay with your linked card, your Marriott Bonvoy points will automatically be credited to your account.

As a way to kick off the new program, Marriott Bonvoy members will earn 8 points per dollar spent at eligible restaurants from now through November 11, 2019. After that, members will earn 4 points per dollar spent, whereas Marriott Bonvoy Elite members will earn 6 points per dollar spent.

New members are also eligible for a 1,000-point bonus after signing up for Eat Around Town. To qualify, you must spend $30 at an eligible restaurant in the first month and pay with a linked card. Then, complete an online review to have the 1,000 points deposited into your account. This offer expires on January 15, 2020.

How to maximize your point-earning potential

An easy way to earn as many points as possible with this program is to link multiple credit or debit cards to your account. That way, you’ll be sure to earn Marriott Bonvoy points no matter which card you use to pay.

Marriott Bonvoy members can also stack rewards and earn even more by charging their Eat Around Town dining costs to any of Marriott Bonvoy’s credit cards from Chase or American Express.

For instance, you could link your Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card, which earns 17X points at hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy (when coupled with your complimentary Marriott Bonvoy membership and Silver Elite status) and 2X points per $1 spent on all other eligible purchases, making it one of the best hotel credit cards from Marriott. With the extra points you earn from the credit card, you can earn a total of 10X points per dollar spent at eligible restaurants until November 11, 2019.

After that, you should continue to earn 8X points per dollar spent at participating restaurants, since Marriott Bonvoy Boundless cardholders are automatically given Marriott Silver Elite status.

Alternatively, you can link a general rewards card such as the Capital One Savor Cash Rewards Credit Card, which gives you 8% tickets purchased through Vivid Seats (through January 2023). You’ll not only earn Marriott Bonvoy points through the dining program, but also cash back each time you dine.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average household spent $3,459 on dining out in 2018, which breaks down to about $288 each month. If you spent the same using Marriott’s dining program and paid with the Capital One Savor card, you would earn at least 13,836 Marriott Bonvoy points and $138 in cash back. Include Marriott’s 1,000-point bonus and the Capital One Savor’s early spend bonus, and you could earn even more.

That amount of rewards could be surprisingly lucrative, especially when you consider how much Marriott points are worth. While a free night through Marriott Bonvoy will depend on the property and dates you travel, award stays start at just 5,000 points.

Bottom line

Marriott Bonvoy is a valuable travel rewards program that allows you to earn and redeem points at more than 7,000 hotels under the Marriott brand. Membership is free and you can achieve tiered levels that each come with different perks and rewards, such as late checkouts, room upgrades, bonus points, and access to premium lounges or clubs. Compare offers on the cards you link to the program so that you find the best travel credit card to enhance your rewards. 

And with the addition of this new dining program, earning points will hopefully become a whole lot easier.

A Great Card for Travel Rewards Beginners

Intro Offer

125,000 bonus points (plus 1 bonus Free Night Award)

Annual Fee

$95

Rewards Rate

up to 17X points

Benefits and Drawbacks

Benefits

  • Earn 125,000 bonus points (plus 1 bonus Free Night Award) after qualifying purchases
  • Up to 17X points at hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy
  • One free night each year
  • No foreign transaction fee

Drawbacks

  • Has annual fee
  • No introductory APR
Card Details
  • Earn 125,000 bonus points (plus 1 bonus Free Night Award) after spending $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months
  • 17X points at hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy (when coupled with your complimentary Marriott Bonvoy membership and Silver Elite status) and 2X points per $1 spent on all other eligible purchases

Author Details

Matt Miczulski Matt Miczulski is a personal finance writer specializing in financial news, budget travel, banking, and debt. His interest in personal finance took off after eliminating $30,000 in debt in just over a year, and his goal is to help others learn how to get ahead with better money management strategies. A lover of history, Matt hopes to use his passion for storytelling to shine a new light on how people think about money. His work has also been featured on MoneyDoneRight and Recruiter.com.