Online shopping portals can be a great way to earn reward points on everyday spending, and an easy way to keep points balances from expiring! Unfortunately for Canadians, many programs such as Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan and United MileagePlus only ship to the United States, which can be inconvenient and not worth the effort.
Marriott recently launched their online shopping portal, Marriott Rewards MORE, which is available to shoppers in Canada, The United Kingdom, and The United States. Marriott Rewards is one of my favourite programs in Canada, and can easily be transferred to Starwood Preferred Guest for even more flexibility!
Unlike other programs, such as the Aeroplan eStore, where you only need to be logged in to start shopping, Marriott requires a browser extension, which can be added in just a few seconds.
Once the extension is installed, you can simply navigate to the Marriott Rewards MORE homepage and select your retailer. You’ll be prompted to login using your Marriott credentials, and then redirected to your retailer of choice.
Earning Points On Eligible Purchases
The list of retailers varies by region, and the available options in Canada are limited, though I expect that to grow moving forward. Unfortunately it looks like Amazon is no longer available, which was a standout retailer when the portal launched a few days ago. The list of retailers and current earning rates are as follows:
Many of these retailers are also available through the Aeroplan eStore, so I would check the earning rates on both portals before making a purchase. The eStore routinely has promotions with some notable retailers (Apple), where you can earn 5x the points, plus any additional miles for having Aeroplan status.
Currently Marriott Rewards MORE is offering 1,000 Reward Points for your first purchase, and Marriott Visa holders receive an additional 25% on every purchase when the card is used to pay for the purchase. Whether you plan to continuously use the portal or not, everyone should take advantage of the first purchase promotion for the bonus points!
Until the earning rates increase, or the list of retailers grow, I can’t see myself choosing the Marriott portal over the Aeroplan eStore since I value those miles significantly higher than Marriott. However, if you have a specific redemption in mind, this can be a great way to earn some extra Marriott or SPG points towards your travel goals – which can otherwise be difficult for Canadians to earn outside of hotel stays and limited credit card opportunities.
Redeeming Points For Eligible Purchases
Unlike the Aeroplan eStore, Marriott also allows you to redeem your Marriott Reward points towards the purchase price of your order. While I appreciate the flexibility Marriott is offering with this, any travel hacker will know these redemptions represent a terrible use of points, with 3 Marriott Reward points being worth $0.01 towards your purchase, or roughly a third of a cent a piece. Ouch!
The only way I could ever see myself using points for a redemption like this is if I had a few hundred leftover points and had no intention of ever using them. Anyone using travel reward points regularly for merchandise should seriously consider a good all-around cash-back card that will most definitely give a better return on everyday spending.
I’m excited to see another online shopping portal offering rewards in Canada, especially since Marriott and SPG are two of my favourite reward programs for Canadians. Unfortunately, the portal is still new, and the list of retailers is a bit underwhelming. I would personally like to see some better earning rates in the future, along some promotions like the Aeroplan eStore offers. As it stands right now, I’m not likely to use the portal for much of my online shopping, but will definitely be taking full advantage of the 1,000 Marriott Reward points on my first purchase!
Do you plan to use the Marriott Rewards MORE shopping portal?