Credit Cards Destinations Marathons

Lotteries Open For Two Great Marathons – And A Great Credit Card To Start For Free Travel

Chicago Marathon
Written by Charlie

Last week, the lottery period opened for both the Chicago Marathon and the Marine Corps Marathon, two big, great marathons that take place in the fall each year. With the tens of thousands of interested runners, both marathons rely on a lottery system to fairly allow for the selections to be made.

Chicago Marathon

Chicago Marathon

The beautiful city of Chicago / courtesy Shutterstock

This year’s Chicago Marathon will take place on Sunday, October 11. Here are the details:

  • Lottery entry open through April 21
  • Registration cost: $185 for those residing in the US / $210 for those residing outside the US
  • Notification to selected runners will occur on April 28
  • Runners will have one week from the time of notification to pay their registration to secure their starting spot
  • Lottery registration link

There are other ways to get in beside the lottery. If you have finished at least 5 Chicago Marathons in the past 10 years, you are guaranteed entry. You can also guarantee an entry with a qualifying time – for men, it is under 3:15 for the marathon, for women it is under 3:45. The qualifying marathon must have been run after January 1, 2013.

Another avenue which is very popular (and helpful) in the big city marathons is the charity entry. You can sign-up with selected charities and you will receive an entry – but you must raise the minimum amount to run! The race-defined minimum is $1,500, but the charity can establish a much higher fundraising amount if they choose.

For more information on these methods and tour avenues, click here.

Marine Corps Marathon

Marine Corps Marathon

Beautiful Washington DC

This year’s Marine Corps Marathon will take place on Sunday, October 25. Here are the details:

  • Lottery entry open through March 23
  • Registration cost: $125
  • Notification to selected runners will occur by March 25
  • Runners only pay if entry accepted – but you must enter all of your payment information as you register
  • Lottery registration link

There is another race where finishers are guaranteed a starting spot in the Marine Corps Marathon – it is the 17.75Km race (signifying the birthday of the Marine Corps). Since so many want to run the Marine Corps Marathon, the 17.75K race fills fast. In fact, it filled this year in only 7 minutes!

For more information on the system, click here.

A Great Credit Card To Get Started

Hyatt Credit Card Application Link


There is a great credit card that you can apply for now to get started for either race (or anywhere else!). This credit card has a small amount of spending required to get the bonus (only $1,000 in 3 months) and no annual fee the first year ($75 per year thereafter).

The bonus on this card is 2 free nights at any Hyatt – which works really well in either Washington, DC or Chicago! The 2 nights is perfect for any runner attending these races. Chicago has 23 Hyatt hotels in the Chicago area, including the top brand of the Park Hyatt hotel. For Washington, DC, there are 24 Hyatt hotels in the Washington DC/Baltimore area, including another top Park Hyatt hotel.

Getting this credit card will get you setup for either marathon – or anyplace else you choose to stay! This credit card is fantastic and comes with Platinum (mid-tier status) as well as an anniversary night each year. This particular offer also comes with a $50 statement credit to get you started.


The Marine Corps Marathon and Chicago Marathon are both very popular marathons. Lotteries are now open for both and, unlike New York, there is no entry fee for just entering the lottery.

Of course, once you sign-up, you will want to have the travel arranged. Applying for the Hyatt credit card now puts you in a position to stay in any one of the fabulous Hyatt hotels in either city.

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About the author


Charlie has been an avid traveler and runner for many years. He has run in marathons around the world for less than it would cost to travel to the next town - all as a result of collecting and using miles and points. Over the years, he has flown hundreds of thousands of miles and collected millions of miles and points.
Now he uses this experience and knowledge to help others through Running with Miles.