*Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. This site may be compensated through a credit card issuer partnership.
This article was last updated Nov 08, 2019. Terms and conditions may have changed. For the most accurate information, please consult the issuer website.
You don’t necessarily need a huge stash of credit card rewards points to earn free night stays in one of the world’s most sought after and beautiful locations. Judging by the number of Italian hotels that Marriott operates, Italy is one of Marriott’s premier European destinations, with hotels and resorts that suit nearly every taste and budget.
Marriott boasts 64 eligible properties throughout the country, ranging from Category 1 budget hotels that you can book with as little as 5,000 Marriott points a night to Category 8 luxury resorts that require at least 70,000 Marriott points to book a free night stay.
The value of your points will vary, depending on the destination you choose and level of hotel. However, even the largest Italian cities offer hotels with relatively good deals.
We took a look at some of the best Marriott hotels for rewards points holders in and around three of Italy’s premier cities: Venice, Milan and Rome. The prices and Marriott point values referred to in this article reflect offers that we saw on Marriott.com on Oct. 20, 2019 and Oct. 24, 2019.
Which credit cards earn Marriott points?
If you don’t yet have a card that earns Marriott points, it’s a good time to get one.
American Express and Chase offer a variety of Marriott cards with stellar sign-up and welcome offers. The super premium Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card, for example, offers the following welcome bonus: Earn 75,000 Bonus Marriott Bonvoy Points after you use your new Card to make $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months. That points stash should be enough to purchase up to five free nights in a Category 3 Italian hotel. Terms apply to American Express credit card offers. See americanexpress.com for more information.
Meanwhile, the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card — which charges a $95 annual fee — currently offers the following sign-up bonus: Earn 3 Free Nights after spending $3,000 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening + 10X total points per $1 spent on up to $2,500 in combined purchases at gas stations, restaurants, and grocery stores within 6 months from account opening with the Marriott Bonvoy BoundlessTM Credit Card!
With that many points in your Marriott account, you could book at least two free nights at a luxurious Category 6 Italian resort or fund a 10 to 20-day stay at a Category 1 hotel in a smaller town.
The Marriott Bonvoy Bold™ Credit Card, on the other hand, comes with a $0 annual fee and offers the following bonus: Earn 30,000 Bonus Points after spending $1,000 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening with the Marriott Bonvoy BoldTM Credit Card!
See how the Marriott Bonvoy cards compare side by side in the table below:
|Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card*||Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card||Marriott Bonvoy Bold™ Credit Card||Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card|
|Regular purchase APR||15.74% to 24.74% variable||15.99% - 22.99% variable||15.99% - 22.99% variable||15.74% - 24.74% variable|
|Rewards||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.||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.||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).||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.|
|Welcome offer||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 3 Free Nights after spending $3,000 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening + 10X total points per $1 spent on up to $2,500 in combined purchases at gas stations, restaurants, and grocery stores within 6 months from account opening with the Marriott Bonvoy BoundlessTM Credit Card!||Earn 30,000 Bonus Points after spending $1,000 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening with the Marriott Bonvoy BoldTM Credit Card!||Earn Earn 75,000 bonus Marriott Bonvoy points after you use your new Card to make $3,000 of 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.|
|Foreign transaction fee||None||$0||$0||None|
To see rates & fees for Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card please click here.
If you need more Marriott points to complete your stay, you can also transfer points from other credit card rewards programs. For example, you can transfer both Chase Ultimate Rewards® points and American Express Membership Rewards® points at a 1:1 ratio.
AC Hotel Venezia: Category 5 (30,000 to 40,000 Marriott points)
Via AC Hotel Venezia
You can stay at this centrally located hotel in Venice for as little as 30,000 Marriott points a night. An off-peak room generally costs 30,000 Marriott points, while a standard room costs 35,000 points. The most you’ll have to pay to stay at the stylishly designed AC Hotel Venezia is 40,000 Marriott points. You may also be able to get more value from your points staying here than at other Venice hotels. Depending on when you travel, your points could be worth as much as 0.9 to 1.1 cents a piece, which is on the high end for Marriott points. You shouldn’t have much trouble getting around from this hotel either: it’s located within minutes of a railway station, a bus terminal and a major hub for the vaporetto (waterbus).
JW Marriott Venice Resort and Spa: Category 6 (40,000 to 60,000 Marriott points)
Via Marriott hotels
The JW Marriott Venice Resort and Spa might not be the most convenient place to stay in Venice, but the resort’s beautiful waterfront locale and architectural details should help make up for the farther flung location. The resort is set on a private island in the Venetian Lagoon and is just a 20-minute water shuttle ride from St. Mark’s Square The hotel’s private water shuttle is also free for guests to use, making it easy to get an early start on sightseeing.
This hotel costs anywhere from 40,000 Marriott points per night for an off-peak room to 60,000 Marriott points for a peak room. A standard room will cost you 50,000 Marriott points.
Points values were decent at this hotel on all of the dates we checked, ranging from roughly 0.6 cents per Marriott point to 0.7 cents. So if you are looking for a secluded getaway in Venice, this hotel is worth checking out.
AC Hotel Vicenza: Category 1 (5,000 to 10,000 Marriott points)
Via AC Hotel Vicenza
If you’re willing to travel farther out to the picturesque town of Vicenza, you can snag one of the best Marriott hotel deals in Italy. Located roughly an hour west of Venice, the AC Hotel Vicenza is one of the only Category 1 hotels in Italy. Depending on when you travel, you could book an evening’s stay for anywhere from 5,000 Marriott points for an off-peak room to 10,000 Marriott points for a peak room. A standard room will cost you just 7,500 Marriott points. The hotel’s rooms are so affordable, in fact, that you could potentially book a three to six-night vacation just by using the sign-up bonus on the $0 annual fee Marriott Bonvoy Bold™ Credit Card. The point values are also well above average for Marriott points: On the dates we checked, point values ranged from 0.97 cents a piece to 1.4 cents a piece.
AC Hotel Milano: Category 4 (20,000 to 30,000 Marriott points)
Via AC Hotels
The AC Hotel Milano isn’t the most convenient option in the city, but in a city filled with pricier hotels, it’s a relatively good value. For as little as 20,000 Marriott points per night during the off-peak season, you can stay in a highly-rated hotel that’s just minutes walk from the closest bus, tram and metro stations, making getting around a breeze. A standard season room costs 25,000 points, while a peak season room costs 30,000 points.
Points values on the nights we researched ranged from around 0.5 cents to 0.9 cents per Marriott point. As with every Marriott hotel, be sure to double-check cash rates before deciding to book with points. Point values can vary dramatically, depending on the days you book.
Moxy Milan Malpensa Airport: Category 3 (15,000 to 20,000 Marriott Points)
Via Moxy Milan Malpensa Airport hotel
You won’t have to travel far to get straight from your plane to your bed when you stay at this traveler-friendly airport hotel. In fact, this hotel is located right at the airport in Terminal 2, so you won’t even need to catch a taxi or rent a car to get to it — making it ideal for late night flights or early departures. Note, though, that Terminal 2 primarily serves the British budget carrier easyJet, so if you’re flying on another carrier, you’ll need to catch a shuttle to get to it.
As a Category 3 hotel, the Moxy charges between 15,000 points per night for an off-season room to 20,000 points per night for a peak room. A standard room will cost you 17,500 points per night. Meanwhile, point values are fairly average, ranging around 0.7 cents a night for each of the dates we looked at.
AC Hotel Brescia: Category 1 (5,000 to 10,000 Marriott points)
Via AC Hotel Brescia
One of just two Category 1 hotels in all of Italy, the AC Hotel Brescia offers cardholders with smaller point budgets an affordable way to visit northern Italy.
Located about an hour and a half east of Milan and just a short drive from the Alps, the AC Hotel Brescia is more remote than many of Marriott’s more expensive hotels. But if you’re feeling adventurous or prefer somewhere with fewer crowds, you’ll be rewarded with more than enough historic architecture to satisfy culture buffs and some spectacular scenery, including up close lake views.
You’re also likely to get significantly more value from your points than if you stayed closer to Milan. As a Category 1 hotel, the AC Hotel Brescia offers rooms for as little as 5,000 to 7,500 points per night. The most you’ll have to pay for a peak season room is 10,000 points, allowing you to potentially book an entire vacation without paying a dime in cash. On the dates we checked, point values ranged from 1.2 cents a piece to a whopping 1.4 cents a piece — a fantastic value for Marriott.
Palazzo Naiadi, The Dedica Anthology, Autograph Collection: Category 7 (50,000 to 70,000 Marriott points)
Via Palazzo Naiadi, The Dedica Anthology, Autograph Collection
Located in the heart of Italy’s capital city, this five-star luxury hotel boasts dazzling city views, neoclassical architecture and classically designed interiors that have been styled after “a late 19th century palace.”
It’s a Category 7 hotel, so you’ll need a lot of Marriott points to book a room, even in the off season. An off-peak room, for example, will cost you at least 50,000 Marriott points, while a standard room will cost you 60,000 Marriott points. If you travel during peak tourist season, you may have to pay as much as 70,000 Marriott points.
But if you’ve got the points to spare, you can get a pretty good value from your spending — especially if you’re the type of traveler who values a central, walk-able location and a stylish, historic interior. On the dates we checked, point values ranged from 0.6 cents per Marriott point to 0.8 cents.
Rome Marriott Grand Hotel Flora: Category 6 (40,000 to 60,000 Marriott points)
via Marriott hotels
The Rome Marriott Grand Hotel Flora is set in a gorgeous neoclassical-style building on the bustling Via Vittorio Veneto. Just a few minutes walk from the nearest bus station and a short walk from the Villa Borghese Gardens, the Trevi Fountain and other cultural destinations, it makes a great base for exploring Roma.
Since it’s a Category 6 hotel, it’ll take a fair number of points to book a room. But you get what you pay for if you’re looking for a convenient starting point for exploring much of Rome on foot. Point prices range from 40,000 Marriott points per night for an off-peak room to 60,000 Marriott points for a peak season room. Booking a standard room will cost you 50,000 Marriott points.
On the dates we checked, point values generally hovered around 0.7 cents per point. While this is a decent value for your Marriott points, you may be able to get more value staying in a less in-demand locale.
Courtyard Rome Central Park: Category 4 (20,000 to 30,000 Marriott points)
via Marriott hotels
Located on the northwestern edge of the city, the Courtyard Rome Central Park hotel is about 20 to 30 minutes by car from the heart of downtown Rome. However, there’s plenty of public transportation within just a few minutes walk of the hotel. It’s also relatively close to the Vatican and is an especially good starting point if you plan to occasionally venture out of the city and visit more remote locations.
Rooms start at 20,000 Marriott points for an off-peak room, and the standard rate is 25,000 points. If you’re traveling during peak season, you may have to spend up to 30,000 Marriott points.
During the months we looked at, point values ranged from 0.6 cents a piece to 0.9 cents a piece, which is pretty good for a hotel in Rome.
Sheraton Parco de’ Medici Rome Hotel: Category 3 (15,000 to 20,000 Marriott points)
Via Sheraton Parco de’ Medici Rome Hotel
If you’re willing to trade a central location for a peaceful and somewhat bucolic setting, the Sheraton Parco de’ Medici Rome Hotel is worth considering. Located on the southwestern edge of the city, about 30 to 40 minutes by car from the center of Rome, this Category 3 hotel is surrounded by parkland and just minutes from a 27-hole golf course; it also offers easy access to the motorway. Getting to central Rome with public transportation will be tricky, though, so you may want to avoid this location if you don’t plan to rent a car.
Room prices typically range from 15,000 Marriott points for an off season room to 20,000 Marriott points for a peak season room; you can get a standard room for 17,500 Marriott points. However, when we looked at various dates, we were presented with discounted PointSaver options, giving our points even more value. For example, an off season room was offered for 12,000 points, while a peak season room was offered for 18,000 points. As a result, point values ran as high as 1 cent a piece on some dates we looked at, making a stay at the Sheraton a good value.
Italy has plenty of good choices for Marriott cardholders looking to save money on accommodations. In some locations, you may have to venture to a smaller town or farther out of the city to get the best value on an Italian hotel room. Still, even the pickiest travelers who’d rather stay as close as possible to the action should be able to find a relatively good deal.
The information related to the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card has been independently collected by CompareCards 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.