If you’re going to dine out or order food online, you might as well earn lots of points and miles. Using one of the best credit cards for dining is a good start, along with joining restaurant loyalty programs. But, you can earn even more points by signing up for a dining rewards program like Marriott’s Eat Around Town. This program allows you to earn Marriott Bonvoy points when you dine at select restaurants, clubs and bars.
Marriott is sweetening the deal for a limited time by offering up to 6,000 bonus points for new members and 1,000 bonus points after every 10 dines of $30 or more.
If you’re looking to earn extra Marriott points, these stackable offers are worth looking into. Here’s what you need to know about Marriott’s Eat Around Town.
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How to join Marriott’s Eat Around Town dining rewards program
Marriott’s Eat Around Town dining rewards program is free to join. Simply go to Marriott’s Eat Around Town website and click “Join Now.” You’ll need to sign-in to your Marriott Bonvoy account to proceed. Once you sign in, your email address and zip code will be prefilled into a form. You need to check the terms and conditions box and click “Join Eat Around Town” to move to the next step.
Finally, you must link at least one credit or debit card to your account. Ideally, it should be a card that earns bonus points on dining. Simply use this card when dining with participating restaurants, bars and clubs to earn extra Marriott Bonvoy points. If you use a debit card, you’ll need to request that it be processed as credit to earn points through the program.
Related: Etiquette that will get you better service when dining out
How to earn points with Marriott’s Eat Around Town dining rewards program
You’ll earn points with Marriott’s Eat Around Town dining rewards program when you use an enrolled card at eligible restaurants, bars and clubs. You’ll also earn points when you place a qualifying online order through the Eat Around Town website. Simply use the Marriot Eat Around Town website to search for eligible locations near you.
Your earn rate is based on whether you have elite status in the Marriott Bonvoy program.
- 4 points per dollar spent (a 3.2% return based on TPG’s valuations) for non-elite Marriott Bonvoy members
- 6 points per dollar spent (for a 4.8% return) for Marriott Bonvoy elite members
- 6 points per dollar spent for cobranded Marriott credit cardholders
Marriott is also offering 1,000 bonus points after every 10 dines. You must spend at least $30 per order to qualify.
Unfortunately, points earned through the Eat Around Town program don’t count towards Bonvoy elite tier qualification. You should allow 6-8 weeks after dining for points to appear in your Marriott Bonvoy account. So while this is an easy way to earn Marriott points without thinking about it, it isn’t a quick way to top off your Marriott Bonvoy account for an upcoming redemption.
Finally, your Eat Around Town account will expire if you don’t earn rewards for 36 consecutive months.
How to earn the new member bonus
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Currently, you can snag a new member bonus of 6,000 Marriott Bonvoy points by ordering food three times at participating restaurants and leaving a review within the first 60 days of signing up:
- 1,000 points after their first $30 order and review
- 2,000 points after the second
- 3,000 points after their third
Considering the previous new member bonus was 1,000 Bonvoy points after $30 spent in 30 days, this is a huge improvement. In fact, it’s enough for an off-peak Category 1 award night, which requires 5,000 points. More importantly, earning 6,000 points on $90 worth of dining is equivalent to 66 points per $1 spent.
To earn the Marriott Eat Around Town new member bonus, you must do the following:
- Enroll online and link at least one valid credit or debit card to your account
- Spend a combined $90 at a participating restaurant and leaving a review within 60 days of joining the program
- Pay with a credit or debit card linked to your Eat Around Town account
- Opt in to receive emails from the Eat Around Town program
- Complete an online review of the restaurant, bar or club within 30 days of your visit
Related: Maximizing redemptions with the Marriott Bonvoy program
Which cards to use with Marriott Eat Around Town
You can enroll almost any credit or debit card in Marriott’s Eat Around Town program. However, you’ll want to enroll one or more of the best credit cards for dining to maximize your earnings. Here are some cards to consider:
- Citi Prestige® Card – 5x Citi ThankYou points at restaurants for an 8.5% return based on TPG’s valuations
- American Express® Gold Card – 4x Amex Membership Rewards points at restaurants worldwide for an 8% return
- American Express® Green Card – 3x Amex Membership Rewards points at restaurants for a 6% return
- Chase Sapphire Reserve – 3x Ultimate Rewards points on dining for a 6% return
Return percentages are based on TPG valuations. The information for the Citi Prestige and Amex Green Card has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.
Earn even more Marriott Bonvoy points
But, if you’re looking to earn lots of Marriott Bonvoy points, you may want to enroll a Marriott Bonvoy credit card. If you do so, you’ll earn Marriott Bonvoy points from your credit card as well as from the Eat Around Town program.
Specifically, you may want to consider the following Marriott credit cards:
- Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card: 4x Marriott Bonvoy points at U.S. restaurants for a 3.2% return based on TPG’s valuations.
- Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card: 3x Marriott Bonvoy points at U.S. restaurants for a 2.4% return based on TPG’s valuations.
- Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card: 2x Marriott Bonvoy points per $1 on purchases for a 1.6% return based on TPG’s valuations.
Of course, the rates listed above are what you’d earn just from spending on the credit card. You’d also earn an additional 4x or 6x from the Eat Around Town program based on your Marriott Bonvoy status.
Related: Can I earn miles with a dining portal and credit card at the same time?
Is Marriott’s Eat Around Town dining rewards program worth it?
Even if you live in an area with few participating restaurants, it’s usually worth enrolling in a dining rewards program. After all, it doesn’t take long to enroll and you may periodically pick up some bonus points.
Just keep in mind that you can only enroll each card in one Rewards Network-operated dining rewards program. So, the more important question is whether Marriott’s Eat Around Town dining rewards program is the best program for you.
After all, many other loyalty programs have their own dining rewards programs. For example, Hilton Honors, IHG Rewards Club, American Airlines AAdvantage, Southwest Rapid Rewards, United MileagePlus and JetBlue TrueBlue all have dining rewards programs. And, some of these programs may provide you with a larger return on your spending.
However, Marriott’s Eat Around Town program differs from most other dining regards programs in one important way. Specifically, most programs base your earning rate on how many times you dine with the program and whether you opt-in to receive emails.
On the other hand, Marriott’s Eat Around Town bases your earning rate on your elite status level with Marriott Bonvoy. So, if you have elite status with Marriott Bonvoy, Marriott’s Eat Around Town program may be the best option for you. After all, you’ll earn 6x points for an effective 4.8% return.
Otherwise, I’d suggest comparing the dining rewards programs’ earning rates for your favorite loyalty programs. Then, enroll your cards in the one that provides the most value to you.
You can already earn plenty of rewards when dining out with the best credit cards for dining. But, to maximize your earnings, you should also enroll your credit cards in a dining rewards program. Once you enroll your cards, there’s nothing else you need to do to earn bonus points on eligible dining charges.
Since you can only enroll each card in one Rewards Network dining rewards program, it’s important to determine which dining rewards program is best for you. Marriott’s Eat Around Town program is particularly appealing to Marriott elites and members who don’t eat at participating restaurants frequently.
Featured image by rblfmr/Shutterstock.
SPONSORED: With states reopening, enjoying a meal from a restaurant no longer just means curbside pickup.
And when you do spend on dining, you should use a credit card that will maximize your rewards and potentially even score special discounts. Thanks to temporary card bonuses and changes due to coronavirus, you may even be able to score a meal at your favorite restaurant for free.
These are the best credit cards for dining out, taking out, and ordering in to maximize every meal purchase.
Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.
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