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Marriott’s Eat About Town dining program has just announced a new promotion in which it’s offering all Bonvoy members 8 points per dollar at participating restaurants all around the United States. New joiners to the program have the opportunity to earn a bonus of 1,000 points on their first dine and as you don’t have to use a Marriott Bonvoy credit card to participate, there’s scope to earn a significant number of points with this promotion.
- To be eligible, you must be enrolled in the Marriott Bonvoy program and Eat Around Town program.
- Effective 10/1/20, for a limited time up to 10/31/20, all registered Marriott Bonvoy members will receive 8 Marriott Bonvoy Points for each eligible USD$1 spent.
- Effective 11/1/20 the earning rates return to their normal levels.
- All checks must be paid for with a credit or debit card registered with the Eat Around Town program at the time of the visit.
- Eligible charges include food, drink, tax, and tip as charged to the registered card.
- Not valid on orders placed through third-party online ordering or delivery sites.
- Takeout and/or delivery may not be available at all restaurants.
- Please note that some restaurants offer rewards under this offer only on certain days of the week or up to a maximum spending amount per month.
- For the latest rewards calendar, visit eataroundtown.marriott.com.
See the promotion website for the full terms and conditions.
How “Eat About Town” Works
Eat About Town is based upon the same Rewards Network model as the dining programs offered by the likes of United and American and, because of this, the program comes with a limitation that I’ll discuss in a moment.
- Register for Eat About Town via this link using your Marriott Bonvoy credentials
- Add one or more of your credit card numbers to your new Eat About Town account
- Outside of this promotion, Marriott Bonvoy Elites (Silver and higher) will earn 6 Bonvoy Points per dollar on spending at participating eateries when they pay with a credit card registered to the Eat About Town program (non-elites will earn 4 points/dollar).
- Participating eateries can be found on the Eat About Town website (you can search by location).
A number of other loyalty programs also use the Rewards Network for their dining programs and you cannot have one credit card registered to more than one Rewards Network dining program.
What this means is that if you have credit cards already associated with, for example, United’s or American’s dining programs, you’ll have to use a different card (or cards) with your Eat About Town account. You can also unlink one or more credit cards from other Rewards Network dining programs and link them to Eat About Town if that’s what you’d prefer to do.
Bonus Points For New Members
For a limited time, new joiners to Marriott’s Eat Around Town program can earn 1,000 Marriott Bonvoy bonus points (in addition to the points they’ll earn for every dollar spent at participating restaurants, bars, and clubs) by fulfilling 3 simple criteria:
- Spend $30 or more at any participating restaurant in your first 30 days.
- Pay with a linked credit or debit card.
- Earn 1,000 bonus points after completing an online review.
I value Marriott Bonvoy points at 0.6 cents each so the earnings on offer in October represent a return of 4.8%…but that’s not where things end. Because the Eat Around Town program allows users to register any US-issued credit card, any earnings from the Eat Around Town program can be supplemented by earning from credit cards that reward dining expenditure.
Cards like the American Express Gold Card (4 points/dollar on dining worldwide), the Amex Green Card (3 points/dollar on dining worldwide), Chase Sapphire Reserve Card (3 points/dollar on dining worldwide), and the Citi Prestige Card (5 points/dollar on dining worldwide) all earn currencies that I value at 1.5 cents/point and therefore offer returns of between 4.5% and 7.5% on all dining expenditure.
When you add together the returns from the current Eat Around Town promotion and the credit cards mentioned above, a diner can earn an effective rebate of between 9.3% and 12.3% throughout October…and that’s fantastic!
If it’s cash back that you prefer, the new (and excellent) Chase Freedom Flex credit card (3% cash back on dining) and the newly refreshed Chase Freedom Unlimited (3% cash back on dining) are both great options to go with and will push up your effective rebate to 7.8% once the Bonvoy Points are accounted for.
When the earning rates for the Eat About Town program drop back to their normal levels in November, other programs will probably become more lucrative once again. For October 2020, however, Marriott’s Eat About Town promotion looks like a winner to me.
Throughout the month of October, Marriott Bonvoy members have the opportunity to earn 8 points/dollar at eateries participating in Marriott’s Eat About Town program. When you consider that these Bonvoy earnings can be stacked with the earnings from credit cards that offer bonuses for dining expenditure, this looks like a promotion that’s well worth considering.