I have been giving both programs some honest review lately and to be honest I am scratching my head a bit. It really appears that the Chase Ultimate Reward program is the better program. Am I missing something?
It all depends on your goal - if you want to earn free hotel nights, Marriott Rewards comes out in front. If you want to earn "travel" points to be used on non-hotel, then Chase provides better flexibility. Best advice IMO is to go with Marriott - better conversion value overall.