Marriott Bonvoy Cheat Sheet: Get the Most Out of Your Points
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Marriott unveiled its new Marriott Bonvoy™ hotel loyalty program in January 2019 with major changes. Bonvoy replaced Marriott Rewards®, The Ritz-Carlton Rewards®, and Starwood Preferred Guest®®. Changes in the merged program now give members access to more than 7,000 properties in 30 hotel brands located in 130 countries and territories.
There are now plenty of ways to earn and redeem points. Bonvoy has some great properties around the world and overall favorable redemptions. We’ll show you everything you need to know about earning and redeeming Marriott Bonvoy points.
What hotels can you book with Marriott points?
Marriott has 30 brands. They are categorized as:
- Luxury: Ritz-Carlton, St. Regis and JW Marriott
- Distinctive Luxury: Ritz-Carlton Reserve, The Luxury Collection, W Hotels and Edition
- Classic Premium: Marriott, Sheraton, Marriott Vacation Club and Delta Hotels
- Distinctive Premium: Le Meridien, Westin, Renaissance and Gaylord Hotels
- Classic Select: Courtyard, Four Points, SpringHill Suites, Protea Hotels and Fairfield Inn & Suites
- Distinctive Select: AC Hotels, Aloft Hotels and Moxy Hotels
- Classic Longer Stays: Marriott Executive Apartments, Residence Inn and TownPlace Suites
- Distinctive Longer Stays: Element and Homes & Villas by Marriott International
- Collections: Autograph Collection Hotels, Design Hotels and Tribute Portfolio
What credit cards earn Marriott points?
The unveiling of the Bonvoy brand brought an end to Marriott, Starwood and Ritz-Carlton branded credit cards. Marriott is still using American Express and Chase for its rebranded cards, below:
Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card: New cardmembers can earn 125,000 bonus Marriott Bonvoy points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases within the first 3 months. Plus, earn up to $200 in Statement Credits for eligible purchases at U.S. Restaurants within the first 6 months of Card Membership. Earn 6 Marriott Bonvoy points for each dollar of eligible purchases at participating Marriott Bonvoy Hotels. 3 points at U.S. restaurants and on flights booked directly with airlines. 2 points on all other eligible purchases. The annual fee is $450.
- Marriott Bonvoy Bold™ Credit Card: Limited Time Offer! Earn 50,000 Bonus Points after spending $1,000 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening. Earn up to 14X total points for every $1 spent at 7,000+ hotels participating in Marriott BonvoyTM and 2X points on other travel purchases (from airfare to taxis and trains). The card has a $0 annual fee.
- Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card: Limited Time Offer! Earn 100,000 Bonus Points after spending $3,000 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening with the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card! Earn up to 17X total points for every $1 spent at over 7,000 hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy™ and 2X points on all other purchases. The annual fee is $95.
- Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card: Earn 100,000 Marriott Bonvoy bonus points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in eligible purchases within the first 3 months of Card Membership. Plus, earn up to $150 back in statement credits on eligible purchases made on your new Card within the first 3 months of Card Membership. Offer ends 5/12/21. For ongoing rewards, earn 6x points at participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels. 4x points at U.S. restaurants, at U.S. gas stations, on wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and on U.S. purchases for shipping. 2x points on all other eligible purchases. The annual fee is $125.
Marriott Bonvoy is one of three Chase Ultimate Rewards® hotel transfer partners. Points earned on the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, the Chase Sapphire Reserve® and the Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card can be transferred to Marriott at a 1:1 ratio.
How many points does a free night cost?
Marriott Bonvoy has eight hotel categories:
For those looking to get the best redemption values, there’s the PointSaver chart:
A nice plus with Marriott Bonvoy is redeeming points for four nights and receiving a fifth night free.
Marriott does not have any blackout days for using points, but individual hotels are able to limit the number of rooms available for redemption on a limited number of days per year.
What are Points + Cash Awards?
If you find yourself short on points, you can also book Cash + Points stays. Participation for Cash + Points rates vary by hotels, but if you are staying at a hotel that participates, it can be a great way to save some points.
Good redemption deals
Marriott has a large number of hotels that make for good redemptions. A few of our favorites are:
- The Royal Hawaiian, a Luxury Collection Resort, Waikiki, Hawaii (Category 7, 60,000 points per night)
- The Avalon Hotel Bungalows Palm Springs, a Member of Design Hotels™ (Category 5, 35,000 points per night)
- Auberge du Vin, a Tribute Portfolio™ Hotel, Argentina (Category 4, 25,000 points)
One redemption where the Marriott program really shines is the Hotel + Air Package option. These packages generally require saving up for, as the least costly package is still around 200,000 points. This package comes with a seven-night hotel stay along with the airline loyalty program miles to get you there.
*Image Source: Marriott.com
What is the cancellation policy?
The cancellation policy of award nights depends on the hotel. Some hotels will only require 24-hour advance notice, while others may be more strict. It’s best to check the policy of the hotel you choose to book with points.
Can you turn Marriott points into airline miles?
Marriott points can be converted into miles on more than 40 airline partners at a 3:1 ratio. Receive 5,000 bonus points every time you transfer 60,000 points into miles. If you belong to United Airlines’ MileagePlus® loyalty program, you’ll receive a 10% mileage bonus when transferring your hotel points into miles.
How do you earn points?
Earn 10 points per $1 spent on eligible hotel purchases, including dining, beverages, rounds of golf, spa services and more at all brands except at Element®, Residence Inn® and TownePlace Suites® hotels, where you’ll earn 5 points per eligible $1.
Earn points on Marriott’s 40-plus airline partners, Hertz car rentals, cruises and travel experiences around the world.
Other ways to redeem points
Aside from hotel stays and upgrades, Marriott Bonvoy members have many ways to redeem their points:
- Airline flights
- Car rentals
- Vacation packages
- Share points with other members
- Marriott Moments (culinary, sports, entertainment and lifestyle events)
- Gift cards
- Donate to charity
What stays qualify for earning points?
Almost all rates booked through Marriott.com will receive stay and points credit. If you book through a third party site such as hotels.com, Orbitz, or Expedia, then you won’t receive points or stay credit for that stay.
Can you buy, share or transfer points?
Marriott does allow you to share up to 100,000 points a year with another Bonvoy member. You must call Marriott at 801-468-4000 to do the transfer, since it can’t be done online.
You can also buy Marriott points online for $12.50 per 1,000 points, up to a maximum 50,000 points a year. This isn’t a good deal unless you’re topping off an award that will save you a lot more money than what you’re paying to purchase the points.
How can you earn elite status?
Marriott Bonvoy has five levels of elite status: silver, gold, platinum, titanium and ambassador.
The easiest way to earn elite Bonvoy status is by having a Marriott credit card. The Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card comes with gold status, while the Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card and the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card come with silver.
Silver status comes after staying at least 10 nights per calendar year. Members receive the following:
- 10% points bonus
- Priority late checkout
- Elite reservation line
- Free Wi-Fi
- Exclusive member rates
- No blackout dates
Gold status is earned by staying 25 nights or more in a calendar year. In addition to the silver benefits listed above, gold members receive:
- 25% points bonus
- A free room upgrade
- 2:00 p.m. late check-out
- Welcome gift of points
- Free enhanced in-room internet access
Platinum status is earned by staying 50 or more nights or during a calendar year. In addition to silver and gold benefits, Platinum members receive:
- 50% points bonus
- Room upgrades, including select suites
- A welcome gift at check-in
- Lounge access
- 4 p.m. check-out
Platinum also comes with United Airlines MileagePlus Silver status, which includes free access to Economy Plus® at check-in for you and a companion when available, free Premier® upgrade confirmation as early as day of departure, when available, one free checked bag and priority airport services.
Titanium status is achieved after stays of 75 nights in a calendar year (including redemption nights). In addition to silver, gold and platinum benefits, titanium members receive:
- 75% points bonus
- A titanium elite welcome gift at check-in
- United Airlines MileagePlus Silver status
Ambassador status is achieved after staying 100 eligible nights and spending $20,000 a year. it comes with all the benefits of titanium status, plus access to Marriott’s coveted ambassador service, which comes with an ambassador to personally assist you when staying at Marriott hotels and brands. You have the flexibility to choose the 24 hours of your stay. So when your flight arrives really early or extra late, you can check in at 8 a.m. and check out at 8 a.m. — or stay from midnight to midnight.
Do Marriott points expire?
Marriott points expire if there is no account activity in a 24-month period. Staying at a hotel on a paid rate, redeeming points for a hotel stay or something else, using your Marriott-branded credit card, earning points with a program partner or purchasing points all will extend the expiration. Points never expire with Lifetime Elite Status.
The bottom line
Thanks to a portfolio of more than 7,000 properties across 30 brands, Marriott Bonvoy members have plenty of options when it comes time to redeem points for hotel rooms and upgrades.
If you stay regularly at Marriott brand hotels or carry one of the company’s three credit cards, you’ll have no problem earning points. Points can also be redeemed for everything from airfare to once-in-a-lifetime experiences. If you want to get the best value for your points, do your homework when it comes time to book rooms.
The information related to the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card and Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card has been independently collected by LendingTree and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication. Terms apply to American Express credit card offers. See americanexpress.com for more information.