You can now earn Marriott points for shopping online (but I probably won’t)

Marriott Rewards has announced Marriott Rewards MORE, which resembles a shopping portal, though it’s actually a browser toolbar, and for that reason I probably won’t be using it. There is an app, too — but there’s some bad news with that also. On the bright side, Marriott is offering 1,000 bonus points for signing up and using this new program to make a first purchase of $25 or more. More on what it is and where and how it works (and why I don’t see myself using it much) below.

The Deal

  • Earn 1,000 bonus points when you complete your first purchase of $25 or more through Marriott Rewards MORE
  • Direct link to this program

Quick Thoughts

My initial reaction was that this sounded decent enough — I’ve long earned the majority of my points through shopping portals and as such I’m always happy to add another portal to the pile. Payouts aren’t amazing, but it’s nice to see a flat payout that’s valid across Amazon.com.

To my knowledge, JetBlue is the only other portal offering a payout across the board on Amazon purchases. While I’d say that 3x JetBlue points is certainly more “valuable” than 1x Marriott Rewards, beauty is in the eye of the beholder as they say. According to Doctor of Credit, some users are actually seeing 2x at Amazon — which still isn’t worth as much as 3x JetBlue points, but it’s closer to earning 1x Starpoints across the board at Amazon, which might sway my Amazon purchases this way if I had that rate.

Additionally, as you can see in the image above, Marriott card holders earn a 25% bonus. Great!

However, I was immediately soured when I found that you have to install a browser toolbar in order to shop from a desktop/laptop.

That was almost instantly a dealbreaker for me. The reason for that is that toolbars like this have the potential to “steal” your click from another portal. That is to say that you might click through Ebates to earn 15% cash back on Store Y only to have the Marriott toolbar steal the click and have you earn 3 Marriott points per dollar instead. I thought that would be it for me — I’m not interested in installing something that might interfere with my intended portal rewards.

However, I then saw that there is also an app. That was much more promising as I knew that wouldn’t interfere with my normal portal shopping. The app is available for iOS (iPhone) and Android. Sorry, Windows Phone: as usual, you’re left out in the cold on this one. Here are the download links:

I downloaded the Android app and it prompted me to choose my country and log in (just like the website).

Once I signed in, I could see the list of stores again.

And clicking on one of them simply brings me to that retailer’s website within the app itself. That’s perfect as far as I’m concerned — no need to mess with my other clicks from my phone web browser or interfere with other apps. I thought this looked like a clean solution that would still allow me to use the Marriott portal when I want to without losing out on any other rewards that I want. And that’s true, really.

But…..

But, oddly, not all of the same stores are available across the different platforms….and it’s not just a few. For example, these are the retailers I see listed on Marriott’s website:

According to Doctor of Credit, that’s not the entire list — there are a lot more stores that show up in the toolbar but are absent from that list of “all retailers” above. Curiously, not all of the stores in the picture above are available in the app — and while some of those in the toolbar are available in the app, many aren’t. For example, Best Buy doesn’t show up in the app. At 1 point per $2 spent, I don’t think I’d use Best Buy anyway — but the fact is that the store isn’t an option at all in the Android app. And that is far from the only one….

Doctor of Credit reports this to be the list of retailers available via the toolbar. I’ve noted which ones don’t show up in the app.

  • Elle (not in the Android app)
  • Amazon
  • Ann Taylor
  • Anthropologie
  • Apple
  • Best Buy (not in the Android app)
  • Barnes & Noble
  • Converse (not in the Android app)
  • FTD (not in the Android app)
  • Gap (not available in the Android app)
  • Joma Shop
  • Land’s End (not available in the Android app)
  • Liftopia (not available in the Android app)
  • Loft
  • Macy’s (not available in the Android app)
  • Mr. Porter (not available in the Android app)
  • Net-A-Porter
  • Nike (not available in the Android app)
  • Nordstrom (not available in the Android app)
  • The Outnet (not available in the Android app)
  • Petco
  • QVC
  • Ralph Lauren
  • Saks Fifth Avenue (not available in the Android app)
  • Sephora
  • Shop Marriott
  • Sunglass Hut
  • Walgreens (not available in the Android app)
  • Wayfair

For those counting at home, the Android app has 14 of the 29 stores available in the toolbar. Ugh.

As noted above, I still prefer the app to the toolbar, but not seeing all of the stores is a bummer.

A solution I don’t like

There is a solution to the problem — I could just install the toolbar in a browser dedicated to Marriott shopping and not use that browser for any other portal shopping. Or I could install the toolbar and uninstall it every time I want to shop through Marriott. Neither of those solutions sound good to me. I don’t like slowing down my browser (or computer) with unnecessary toolbars nor do I want to have to remember which browser to use for Marriott shopping specifically.

Of course, you might feel entirely different. And perhaps I’m wrong about the toolbar, but I don’t see any payouts that are so valuable as to risk it.

Bottom line

Marriott’s new shopping portal-type effort here will certainly be welcomed by some. Indeed, I generally welcome more portal options and generally love the idea of the chance to earn extra Marriott Rewards — especially at Amazon. While the value isn’t amazing, I don’t fly JetBlue often and would probably rather earn Marriott Rewards there. And I may well use the app for my Amazon purchases — but I’ll use the app knowing that I’m missing many of the stores available on the website. Maybe that will change over time. Ideally, I’d love to see the list of stores match in all three places (or see a more traditional website-based portal from Marriott). I doubt we’ll see the traditional-style portal, but I hope that we’ll see more overlap in the available stores across platforms.

About Nick Reyes

Nick Reyes is a (fairly) regular guy with an animalistic passion for maximizing the value of miles and money to travel the world in comfort and style. There is little in life that he loves more than finding a fantastic deal and helping you shop smarter & harder to achieve your travel dreams.

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Comments

  1. Not just that, but a) it doesn’t remember you so you have to login, and verify via phone/email every time, b) they can’t do math so you earn 24 points on a $25 purchase, c) at least with Amazon you have to pay differently than usual, clicking through, changing the number of points to use to 0, etc then finally clicking Buy like usual, d) the portal may say “Up to 2X” for Amazon but you will only earn 1X, e) the supposed 25% bonus for paying with a Marriott Credit Card (or perhaps just for being a cardholder, its a little unclear) doesn’t work. Etc.

  2. Just made my first purchase. Happy to discover I earned a bonus 50% points for being plantium with MR (something that none of the bloggers mentioned!) also got the MR cc bonus even tho I didn’t use the card. And I can stack this with drop points for even more rewards. Going to be my go to portal as MR points are actually valuable to me. (Also unlike all the bloggers!)

  3. 3x here as plat from spg plat, kind of a pain but worked and confirmed. 3x Marriott is 1 spg per Amazon $, I like it. Of course, only for now

    • Was just having this conversation on Twitter. Apparently, numbers are jumping left and right with no known pattern. When I posted this, I had 2x Amazon. Just now, I pulled up the app and I’ve got 4x Amazon. Marriott Gold from SPG Gold. So payouts are fluctuating even in same account same device within a few hours.

  4. I can’t see how to stack these 2 discounts.

    When I go through the toolbar, the area where I’d put in ITUNES for that discount is missing.

  5. Oh never mind. I see that the toolbar initially covers up the discount code area.
    But when you go pay through the toolbar, and after specifying use of points
    versus credit card, the discount code area is uncovered.
    Claimed it would give me 1,128 bonus points.
    Thanks!

  6. I’m also excited about the idea of earning Marriott points, but deeply distrustful of Marriott’s IT. Their website hasn’t worked for me for *weeks* and I can’t even log in into the toolbar because it..goes through their site. *Sigh* Their site only works for me on incognito mode, would that mess with whatever in the toolbar lets you earn points?

  7. What a GODDAMNED Nightmare to use this stupid thing! Used the toolbar on Chrome and took almost 30 minutes of screwing around to buy a $25 gift card. Did it for the extra 1,000 points but forget this junk! Never again when I can JetBlue through a single link and make my order.

    But as for Marriott? I bought an AIRBNB gift card for my own use. Poop on them, I’ll just transfer points to SPG.

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