Thankfully, the Marriott Bonvoy program is here to take a bite out of those costs. With over 7,000 properties located around the world, there’s bound to be a Marriott hotel near where you are visiting.
Let’s see what the Marriott Bonvoy program has to offer, and what makes it a top travel rewards program.
Marriott Bonvoy at a glance
|Value of a Marriott Bonvoy point:||High: $0.095 for travel packages
Low: $0.0027 for gift cards
|Ways to redeem Marriott Bonvoy points:||* Hotels – 0.94 cents per point (CPP)
* Travel packages – 0.95 CPP
* Transfer to Airline Partners – 0.55 CPP
* Flights – 0.40 CPP
* Car rentals – 0.39 CPP
* Brand-name merchandise ‒ 0.32 CPP
* Gift cards ‒ 0.27 CPP
* Marriott Bonvoy Moments
|How to earn Marriott Bonvoy points:||* Purchases at Marriott properties
* 3 credit cards
|Who these rewards are good for:||* World travellers|
|Frequently Asked Questions:||* Level of flexibility? Medium
* Blackout dates? No
* Do rewards expire? No
* Rewards cover taxes and fees? Yes
* Can these rewards be transferred? Yes
* Is there a way to earn rewards faster? Yes
* Will I lose my miles if I cancel an award stay? No
* Contact Marriott customer service
Calculating the value of a Marriott Bonvoy point
Overall, Marriott Bonvoy points offer a great value for travellers.
And while your most likely to use your points for free night stays, there’s plenty of ways they can be used.
Redeeming for hotel stays: 0.94 CPP
If you’re collecting Marriott Bonvoy Points, you’re probably looking at getting some free stays.
Plus, using your points for a hotel stay is the easiest way to use your points.
Why? There’s 3 main reasons:
- no blackout dates (provided the hotel has availability),
- points cover the taxes and fees, and
- you can use combinations of points and cash.
As an added bonus, if you book a 5-night rewards stay, the 5th night is free ‒ giving you a 20% boost in your point value.
Plus, you can cancel an award night, and get your points back as long as it follows the cancellation rules.
How many points do you need to book a hotel?
Well, it depends.
Each hotel is assigned a category, and require a varying amount of points for one free night:
As you can see, there’s 3 levels of pricing – peak, off peak and standard pricing.
What constitutes peak and off peak pricing?
It all depends on an individual hotel’s availability. When the hotel is less busy, you’ll need fewer points for a stay. When it’s busy, you’ll need more points.
So what’s a point worth when redeeming for hotels?
We surveyed a total of 18 hotels around the Continental U.S. We booked 3 night stays, for stays 3 weeks in advance. Our numbers can be viewed here.
We came to an average value of 0.94 cents per point. Most of the hotels used standard pricing for all of their nights.or some peak pricing on certain nights was in effect.
If you want the absolute best deal, look around on various dates and try to stick to standard or off peak pricing (although we didn’t come across any off peak prices).
It’s definitely worth it to look around if you want to get the best value for your points.
There’s also the option to use cash and points if you don’t have enough points for the entire redemption. Here’s the redemption chart:
We didn’t survey point values for points and cash stays, but it’s an option if you want a stay reduced in price.
Travel packages – 0.95 CPP
Your Marriott Bonvoy points can also be used to book travel packages at a pretty good average value. These packages can’t be booked online – you’ll need to call Marriott to reserve.
If you reserve a 7-night stay, you’re also given a set number of airline miles as part of the package. This is to cover the airfare to get to your destination.
Please note: Unlike regular hotel reservations, cancellations are not permitted.
These travel packages require quite a few points, so it might take quite a bit of saving for the average person to be able to redeem.
Here’s what you’ll need to redeem for a travel package. There are 2 levels of airline miles you can receive:
|Hotel Category||7 nights & 50,000 airline miles||7 nights & 100,000 airline miles|
|1 – 4||255,000 Marriott Bonvoy points||330,000 Marriott Bonvoy points|
Is this worth it?
Although not for everyone, it’s actually a great use of your points.
For the category 5 hotel and 50,000 airline miles deal, you’d normally need 120,000 Marriott Bonvoy points to get 50,000 airline miles (at a 3:1 ratio, including the transfer bonus) and 210,000 points to redeem for a category 5 hotel.
This is a savings of 15,000 points.
With our average hotel value of 0.94 cents and a typical airline value of 1.5 cents, we get an average value of 0.95 cents. Here’s an example for the category 5 booking from above:
(50,000 x 0.015 + 245,000 x 0.0094)/315,000 = $0.097
If you can get the flights using the airline miles, this can be a great way to save some Marriott Bonvoy points and get good value for your miles.
Bonus: If United is your transfer partner, you’ll get 10% extra miles.
Transfer to airline partners: 0.55 CPP
It might come as a surprise, but your Marriott Bonvoy points can be transferred to many different airline partners.
There are more than 40 airline partners available to transfer, and most of them are at a 3:1 ratio. Of these 40, 7 of them are U.S. airlines.
As an added bonus, for every 60,000 points you transfer, Marriott Bonvoy Rewards will give you an extra 5,000 airline miles. For programs that transfer at a 3:1 ratio, your 60,000 points will turn into 25,000 airline miles.
If you maximize this bonus, here’s what a Marriott Bonvoy point is worth with some typical mile values for the various U.S. airlines.
|Airline||Mile Value||Number of airline miles received||Value of airline miles||Marriott Bonvoy Rewards Point Value|
|Alaska Airlines||1.8 cents||25,000||$450||0.75 cents|
|American Airlines||1.4 cents||25,000||$350||0.58 cents|
|Delta Airlines||1.2 cents||25,000||$300||0.5 cents|
|Hawaiian Airlines||1.2 cents||25,000||$300||0.5 cents|
|JetBlue||1.3 cents||12,500 (transfer ratio is 6:1)||$162.50||0.27 cents|
|Southwest Airlines||1.5 cents||25,000||$375||0.63 cents|
|United Airlines||1.4 cents||27,500 (transfers to United get a 10% bonus)||$385||0.64 cents|
The United option is particularly interesting.
On top of the 25% bonus points Marriott gives you, you’ll also get another 10% bonus miles on top of that.
Book flights: 0.40 CPP
Marriott Bonvoy members also have the option to book flights with any airline. Your points can cover taxes and fees, and you’ll be able to use a combination of points and cash for payment.
We surveyed several domestic flights, to Canada and international destinations. Our flights gave us an average value of 0.4 cents per point.
What’s nice is the point values didn’t fluctuate too much. The flights we surveyed had a value of either 0.39 or 0.4 cents.
While there isn’t as much value here compared to hotel stays and airline transfers, this can be a good way to use your points, since you can book any flight on any airline with no blackout dates. Your points cover taxes and fees as well, which is a major bonus.
Use for car rentals: 0.39 CPP
Similar to booking flights, Marriott Bonvoy points can cover all taxes and fees when you’re booking a car rental.
We test booked compact cars for a 1-day rental at several major U.S. airports.
Car rentals provided the poorest value for your points – an average of only 0.39 cents, with a small point range of 0.37-0.39 cents.
Redeem for brand-name merchandise: 0.32 CPP
Marriott Bonvoy also provides a large catalogue of merchandise to browse.
Like many programs that offer merchandise, there isn’t much value in using your points here. In fact, we came to an average value of 0.32 cents.
|Item Name||Points Required||Price (13% tax included)||Point Value (cents)|
|Apple 15″ MacBook Pro 2.3GHz 512GB||755,000||$2,638.90||0.35|
|Apple TV HD 32GB||42,500||$163.90||0.39|
|Microsoft Xbox Wireless Controller||20,000||$53.90||0.27|
|Cuisinart 1.0 cu. ft. 1000W Stainless Microwave||55,000||$228.80||0.42|
|Hamilton Beach 3 Qt. Slow Cooker||10,000||$22.00||0.22|
|JBL Charge 4 Waterproof Wireless Bluetooth Speaker||82,500||$143.00||0.17|
|Fitbit Charge 3||42,500||$154.00||0.36|
|Cuisinart 4-Cup Rice Cooker||17,500||$53.90||0.31|
|Citizen Men’s Eco Watch||145,000||$165.00||0.11|
|Bissell AirRam Cordless Vacuum||72,500||$438.90||0.61|
*Prices as found at Amazon, with 10% sales tax added.
Redeem for gift cards: 0.27 CPP
Marriott Bonvoy offers a wide assortment of gift cards available for redemption with amounts ranging from $10 to $100.
For the most part, gift cards have a set amount of points required for different dollar amounts:
|Gift Card Amount||Points Required||Point Value|
The average point value is 0.27 cents, but it’s possible to get up to 0.33 cents.
Ideally, if you want to maximize the value for your points, you should redeem for gift cards that are worth $100.
Redeem for Marriott Bonvoy Moments
The last thing you can use your points for are exclusive Marriott Moments experiences. Here’s the link to see what’s available.
There’s a wide variety of experiences you can redeem for, including tickets to sporting events, exclusive dining experiences, and concerts.
And because many of these options are once-in-a-lifetime events, it’s not really possible to put a price tag on them.
For example, with 75,000 points, you can get 2 lower bowl tickets, a pre-game sideline pass and a parking pass to a Baltimore Ravens game versus the New England Patriots.
It’s really up to you what you’d value these experiences at, but for the right person, these could be more than worth it.
How to earn Marriott Bonvoy points
The easiest way to earn Marriott Bonvoy points is by staying at one of their properties.
You’ll earn points on hotel stays, on-site dining, and even movie or game rentals.
How many points you earn depends on where you stay:
- 5 points per $1 USD spent at Residence Inn, TownPlace Suites and Element properties, and
- 10 points per $1 USD spent at all other locations.
Just note that no matter where you travel, how many points you earn is always based on your spending in US Dollars. If the hotel your staying at has a different currency, they’ll convert your eligible spend into US Dollars, then award your points.
Added bonus: You can earn up to 3,000 points per qualifying rental at Hertz Rentals.
Marriott Bonvoy credit cards
The best way to earn Marriott Bonvoy points? You guessed it – by using a credit card.
American Express and Chase issue Marriott branded cards.
You can also transfer points to Marriott Bonvoy from American Express Membership Rewards credit cards, too.
For this article, we’ll stick with Marriott Bonvoy branded cards.
|Welcome Bonus||Earn Rate||Annual fee||Apply Now|
|Marriott Bonvoy Bold credit card from Chase||50,000 points (terms)||* 3 points per $1 at Marriott properties
* 2 points per $1 on travel
* 1 point per $1 on all other purchases
|Marriott Bonvoy Boundless credit card from Chase||75,000 points (terms)||* 6 points per $1 at Marriott properties
* 2 points per $1 all purchases
|Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant American Express||75,000 points (terms)||* 6 points per $1 at Marriott properties
* 3 points per $1 at US restaurants and airline tickets
* 2 points per $1 all purchases
A no fee Marriott Bonvoy credit card
To collect Marriott Bonvoy points for no annual fee, the
You can earn a welcome bonus of 50,000 points when you spend $2,000 in the first 3 months.
And you’ll earn Marriott Bonvoy points at these rates:
- 3 points per $1 at Marriott properties,
- 2 points per $1 on all travel purchases, and
- 1 point per $1 on all other purchases.
This card also gives you 15 Elite Night Credits every year, giving you automatic Silver Elite status.
A premium Marriott Bonvoy credit card
For more Marriott Bonvoy points and perks, the
First off, the welcome bonus is increased to 75,000 points after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months.
The earn rates are also increased as well:
- 6 points per $1 spent at Marriott properties, and
- 2 points per $1 spent on all other purchases.
But where this card really stand out are the Marriott Bonvoy benefits:
- Annual free night stay worth up to 35,000 points,
- 15 Elite Night Credits and Silver Elite status, and
- Upgrade to Gold Elite status after spending $35,000 in one year.
The annual free night stay more than covers the $95 annual fee. It’a a great perk, and rewards you just for keeping the card in your wallet.
A luxury Marriott Bonvoy credit card
For the most Marriott Bonvoy perks, the
The welcome bonus is 75,000 points after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months, same as the
It does have increased earn rates:
- 6 points per $1 at Marriott properties,
- 3 points per $1 at U.S. restaurants and flights booked directly with airlines, and
- 2 points per $1 on all other purchases.
Not much of a difference compared to the
- Annual free night stay worth up to 50,000 points,
- Annual $300 Marriott Bonvoy statement credit,
- Automatic Gold Elite status, and
- Platinum Elite status after spending $75,000 per year.
The $300 Marriott statement credit can be used towards any charge made to your room, including dining and spa treatments. The increased annual free night stay of up to 50,000 points also opens up more hotels to use your free night with as well.
Marriott Bonvoy questions and answers
Here are some common questions and answers about the Marriott Bonvoy Rewards program:
How flexible are these rewards?
These awards are somewhat flexible because you can use them for multiple travel options, merchandise, and gift cards. But no cash redemption options exist.
Are there blackout dates?
No, Marriott Bonvoy has no blackout dates. As long as there’s availability, you’ll be able to book with your Marriott Bonvoy points.
However, Marriott Vacation Club, Marriott Grand Residence Club and Vistana Signature Experiences resorts don’t participate in no blackout dates.
Do these rewards expire?
No, provided you make a transaction on your account at least once every two years.
Can you use points to cover taxes and fees?
Yes, points can be used to cover taxes and fees.
Can these rewards be transferred?
Yes, your points can be transferred to more than 40 airline partners.
Is there a way to earn rewards faster?
Yes, by earning points at Marriott properties, Hertz rentals, and using Marriott Bonvoy credit cards.
Do you lose your points if you cancel a booking?
If you book an award night stay, you won’t lose your points, provided you cancel in the time frame given (usually around 48 hours prior to check in).
Car rentals can be cancelled, but are subject to a $35 cancellation fee.
Airline flights booked through Marriott Bonvoy are non refundable. Changes can be made for a $50 fee, plus any applicable airline charges and extra Marriott points or cash.
Marriott Bonvoy phone number
To contact Marriott customer service, they can be reached at 1-800-535-4028, or emailed through this link.
The bottom line
The Marriott Bonvoy Rewards program is for so much more than just earning and redeeming free hotel stays.
With transfer options to more than 40 airline partners, the ability to book flights and cars using only points, and other options for redemptions…this program is definitely worth your while.
And with two great credit cards to earn with, plus some great perks that go with them, Marriott makes it easy for you to get involved.
What are your thoughts on the Marriott Bonvoy program?
Let us know in the comments below.