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Marriott Bonvoy Cheat Sheet: Get the Most Out of Your Points

Marriott Bonvoy Cheat Sheet: Get the Most Out of Your Points

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This article was last updated May 30, 2019. Terms and conditions may have changed. For the most accurate information, please consult the issuer website.

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.

In this article

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 Earn 75,000 Bonus Marriott Bonvoy Points after you use your new Card to make $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months. Earn 6X Marriott Bonvoy points on eligible purchases at participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels, 3X Marriott Bonvoy points at U.S. restaurants and on flights booked directly with airlines, and 2X on all other eligible purchases. The annual fee is $450.
  • Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card: New cardmembers earn 75,000 Bonus Marriott Bonvoy points after you use your new Card to make $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months. Earn 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 card has a $125 annual fee.
  • Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card: Limited Time Offer! Earn 100,000 Bonus Points after spending $5,000 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening with the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card! Earn 6X points for every $1 spent at over 7,000 participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels and 2X points everywhere else. The annual fee is $95.

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.

  • 60,000 bonus points

  • 2X points on travel and dining

  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs

Highlights
  • Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel

See additional details for Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

More Info

  • Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.

  • 3X points on travel immediately after earning your $300 travel credit. 3X points on dining at restaurants & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases.

  • $300 Annual Travel Credit, Airport Lounge Access, and Flexible Redemption Options

Highlights
  • Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Named "Best Premium Travel Credit Card" for 2018 by MONEY® Magazine
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year
  • 3X points on travel immediately after earning your $300 travel credit. 3X points on dining at restaurants & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases. $0 foreign transaction fees.
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $750 toward travel
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Access to 1,000+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select
  • Up to $100 application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®

See additional details for Chase Sapphire Reserve®

More Info

  • Earn 80,000 bonus points

  • Earn 3 points per $1 in select business categories

  • Points are worth 25% more when you redeem for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards

Highlights
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Earn 3 points per $1 on the first $150,000 spent on travel and select business categories each account anniversary year
  • Earn 1 point per $1 on all other purchases–with no limit to the amount you can earn
  • Points are worth 25% more when you redeem for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards
  • Redeem points for travel, cash back, gift cards and more – your points don't expire as long as your account is open
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Employee cards at no additional cost
  • $95 Annual Fee

See additional details for Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card

More Info

The information related to the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card and the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card has been collected by CompareCards and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication. 

How many points does a free night cost?

Marriott Bonvoy has eight hotel categories:

Read Best Marriott Bonvoy Category 4 Hotels for Using Points

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:

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.

Read The Best Marriott Bonvoy Hotels in Hawaii for Your Points

*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)
  • Merchandise
  • 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.


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