Cash, credit card and/or Marriott gift cards will all earn you points (amount of points vary depending on brand, 5 or 10, and some properties don't award points for dollars spent on things like parking and food (check with property), and no points for taxes). You will also earn night credit towards elite status. When staying on points or certs, you do not earn nights or points. Hope this helps. Welcome to the Marriott family. We're always interested fellow traveler reports, so keep us posted.
Thanks again pluto77 I was able to check in just fine using the marriott gift card and the points have already posted to my for one of my 2 recent stays!
Great news, MG'14. Check to be sure that they post the nights credits (towards elite status purposes) too. Just checking, but you do know that if you take out the Marriott Visa Signature card (Chase Bank), that you will automatically get 15 nights elite status credit each year, right? (Only 10 is required for silver status.) These nights also count towards lifetime elite status. The annual fee is $85, but you also get a free night cat. 1-5 certificate each year, (so it pays for itself; I am using mine for one night this weekend in San Francisco (So. SF Oyster Point Residence Inn), where the room rate is $329/night and another one next year in - Wales!) You will also get a one time bonus of 50,000 points, and when you use the card for Marriott spends, you'll get an additional 5 pts/dollar. So with the 10 pts/dollar that you get for each Marriott spend, plus 20% bonus points for silver status, plus 5 pts/dollar for running the expense through the Visa card, you'll earn 17 pts/dollar for Marriott spends. The points don't expire and over time it can add up to a nice hotel stay.