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Marriott Bonvoy guide

Find out if you should join Marriott Bonvoy, and the best ways to earn and redeem Marriott points

Summary

Our Marriott Bonvoy rewards guide gives a complete overview of the Marriott Bonvoy program, including what Marriott points are worth and how to earn and redeem points for the most value.

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After a merger between Marriott, Starwood and Ritz-Carlton hotels, Marriott is now the world’s largest hotel company, and, with this move, its loyalty program, Marriott Bonvoy, may have cemented its place as the ultimate hotel rewards program.

With over 8,000 hotel properties in destinations such as Dubai, Costa Rica, Ho Chi Minh City, Seoul and Barcelona, Marriott Bonvoy is a strong hotel loyalty program for consumers who love to travel, whether they prefer to soak up the sun on a stunning beach or sip coffee at a sidewalk cafe in the old world.

Marriott Bonvoy program basics

Marriott Bonvoy is the loyalty program of Marriott International, whose portfolio of hotels includes Marriott hotels, as well as Starwood and Ritz-Carlton brand hotels, which were previously under the fold of the Starwood Preferred Guest and Ritz-Carlton loyalty programs. With Marriott Bonvoy, you can earn points on many types of purchases, including hotel stays and spending through one of its co-branded credit cards, and redeem those points for multiple options, such as free hotel nights.

Not only can you seamlessly redeem points at over 8,000 participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels worldwide across a huge portfolio of brands, but also the program allows you to transfer points to 38 frequent flyer programs at a good ratio.

Read on to see why Marriott Bonvoy may be your best bet for flexible, versatile hotel points.

Type of currencyHotel points
Average point value (according to Bankrate)0.7 cents
Credit cardsMarriott Bonvoy Bold® Credit Card, Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card, Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card, Marriott Bonvoy Business® American Express® Card, Marriott Bonvoy Bevy™ American Express® Card and Marriott Bonvoy Bountiful™ Card from Chase
Redemption optionsHotel nights, room upgrades, Cash + Points, travel packages, statement credit, cruises, car rentals, experiences, merchandise, charitable donations
Minimum required to redeemN/A
Do rewards expire?Yes, if your account is inactive for more than 24 months
Blackout dates/travel restrictionsLimited Blackout Dates policy (if a standard room is available, you can book it)
Hotel coverage8,000+ properties in 139 countries
Transfer options
  • Transfer points to 38 airline partners
  • Transfer up to 100,000 points per year
Best for
  • Fans of Marriott, SPG and Ritz-Carlton hotels
  • United MileagePlus members
  • Worldwide travelers who prefer staying with chain hotels and want a large hotel network
  • Midlevel to luxury travelers
  • Travelers looking for a very flexible hotel rewards program

Who is Marriott Bonvoy best for?

Thanks to its versatility, in both earning and redeeming points, the Marriott Bonvoy rewards program suits nearly every type of traveler. Globetrotters who vacation more often than not will appreciate how many locations the Marriott hotel chain has in nearly every corner of the world.

Its host of 30 hotel brands also offer a wide spectrum of properties and cater to any budget. If you mostly drive to visit family in the next town, the chain has several more modest options for you. Or perhaps you’re traveling for business and need a place to stay long term — Marriott has brands for that too.

Unlike some other hotel rewards programs that prioritize redeeming points for free night stays, Marriott Bonvoy lets you redeem for all sorts of things. It even lets you transfer your hotel points to frequent flyer programs, like United MileagePlus, a rare option for a hotel rewards program.

How to earn Marriott points

If your goal is planning a lengthy vacation with rewards or scoring free nights as you skip around the globe, make sure you are aware of all the different ways you can rack up points with this program. These are the top ways to earn Marriott points over time.

Secure the welcome bonus on a Marriott credit card

Marriott Rewards has a selection of co-branded rewards cards from Chase and American Express that allow you to earn bonus points. Keep in mind that, on the American Express side of the equation, you can still only earn the introductory bonuses on each of their credit cards once per lifetime.

CardIntroductory bonusEstimated value
Marriott Bonvoy Bold Credit Card30,000 points if you spend $1,000 in the first 3 months$210
Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card3 Free Night Awards (each night valued up to 50,000 points) if you spend $3,000 in first 3 months$1,050
Marriott Bonvoy Business American Express Card75,000 points if you spend $3,000 in first 3 months

Terms apply

$525
Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant American Express CardLTO: 150,000 points if you spend $5,000 in first 3 months

Terms apply

$1,050
Marriott Bonvoy Bevy American Express Card125,000 points if you spend $4,000 in first 3 months

Terms apply

$875
Marriott Bonvoy Bountiful Card from Chase125,000 points if you spend $4,000 in first 3 months$875

You may not be eligible for an introductory offer on these cards if you currently own or have recently earned the introductory bonus on another Marriott card. Check the terms and conditions on the issuer’s site for details.

Spend money on co-branded credit cards

Using co-branded Marriott credit cards for every purchase, especially Marriott purchases, is another great way to rack up Marriott points over time. Doing so will net you 2 points per dollar on regular purchases. On hotel purchases with the brand, you’ll get up to 6 points per dollar, and that’s on top of the 10 points per dollar you’d earn on hotel stays, given to all Marriott Bonvoy members.

Get your partner involved

If your spouse or partner is inclined, they can also sign up for co-branded credit cards to earn additional sign-up bonuses on their cards. This is even true if you live at the same address.

If you are saving up for a big redemption, it’s especially important to get your partner in the game. You can quickly accumulate points by doubling up on sign-up bonuses, then you can always consolidate points to one account later on.

Stay at Marriott Rewards properties

This is somewhat of a no brainer, but it’s worth mentioning that you can always earn a ton of points just by staying at any Marriott property, such as St. Regis, the Ritz-Carlton, Courtyard by Marriott and Residence Inn by Marriott. Depending on which Marriott hotel you stay at, the base rate for stays fluctuates, but most earn 10 points per dollar. Whereas at the chain’s longer stay brands, like Element Hotels, you’ll earn 5 points per dollar or 2.5 points per dollar, in the case of Marriott Executive Apartments.

You can earn even more points on top of those rates if you pay for your stay with a co-branded Marriott card. And points earned at hotels are not limited to only bookings. Other eligible hotel purchases like dining, beverages, spa treatments and more will help you rack up points.

Earn elite status

You can boost your earning rate substantially by achieving elite status with Marriott Bonvoy. Silver Elite members earn a 10 percent bonus on top of their base points, Gold Elite members earn a 25 percent bonus, Platinum Elite members earn a 50 percent bonus and Titanium Elite numbers earn a 75 percent bonus.

Also, remember that you can achieve status just by picking up certain credit cards. For example, you can earn Silver Elite status automatically if you sign up for the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless.

How to redeem Marriott Bonvoy points

One of the best features of the Marriott Bonvoy program is the flexibility of its points. Not only do you have the option of redeeming points for a free night at any hotel within the world’s largest hotel network, but, unlike most competing hotel loyalty programs, you can transfer points to frequent flyer programs without losing most of the value of your points.

With so many ways to redeem your rewards, how do you decide which option is the best? Our analysis shows that you’re best off using your points for free nights with Marriott, though a few other options — such as Marriott Moments and point transfers — can be valuable if you’re careful to run the numbers first.

Standard rooms

If you want to get the most bang for your buck with Marriott points, standard hotel nights are the way to go. The value of a free room night with Marriott is high (we estimate around 0.8 cents per point).

However, in March 2022, Marriott announced they would change the way they valued its points for certain hotel award categories in favor of dynamic pricing. In other words, it’s more difficult these days to know how many nights your pile of points is worth and if you’re getting a good deal for them, since there are no more award categories.

Nevertheless, since Marriott Bonvoy is a hotel rewards program, it’s safe to say that a good use of your hotel points is to use them on hotel stays. Plus, if you redeem your points for five nights in a row, Marriott will give you the fifth night for free.

There is a Limited Blackout Dates policy, which means you should be able to book a room with your points as long as the hotel has a standard room available. Unfortunately, some properties can restrict their inventory by limiting the number of rooms in the standard room category. However, you should be able to find reward availability at most properties, as long as you look far enough in advance.

Upgraded rooms

If you’re looking for more than a standard room, Marriott also gives you the option to redeem your points for an upgraded room, such as a suite or a room with an oceanfront view. However, you must be able to cover the entire price of the room in points to be eligible for an upgrade.

The availability of upgrades varies by the property, and many locations don’t offer them at all. Also, unfortunately, upgraded rooms aren’t covered under the free fifth night benefit. Nevertheless, the value of upgrades with Marriott is good — we found them to be worth around 0.7 cents per point on average.

Cash + Points

Marriott also allows you to use a combination of cash and points to pay for nights at some locations, giving you the flexibility to redeem a lower number of points. Unfortunately, you must choose from a set amount of points and cash (so, unlike some hotel programs, you can’t choose the exact number of points you want to redeem), and the value of points when redeemed this way fluctuates wildly. While you can find great values using Cash + Points, you will also find terrible values, so be prepared to do some math.

Point transfers

Marriott allows you to transfer points to its 38 airline partners at mostly a 3:1 ratio, with a 5,000-point bonus for every 60,000 points you transfer. While you’ll usually lose some value on the transfer, this is a good option in case you need to top up your balance in an airline loyalty program account, or in case you don’t want to use your points on Marriott hotel stays. Plus, if you know your way around an airline award chart, you may be able to get an even better value than 0.7 cents per point.

Marriott Bonvoy Moments

With the Marriott Bonvoy Moments program, you can use your points to bid on experiences, such as private dinners with celebrity chefs, backstage tours and VIP seats at sporting events. While the value of these Moments depends on your final bid and also how much you value the novelty of, for instance, watching the LA Clippers from the Marriott Bonvoy Luxury Suite, the list is worth a look. Many of the items on the list are unique experiences you won’t find anywhere else.

Elite membership tiers

As mentioned above, Marriott Bonvoy does have elite statuses that you can qualify for if you stay a minimum number of nights per year. Below are the different elite membership tiers and some of their perks:

  • Silver Elite: A status automatically granted to Marriott Bonvoy Bold and Boundless cardholders, this status is serviceable, giving you a 10 percent bonus on points earned on hotel purchases and priority late checkout.
  • Gold Elite: This status, requiring you to stay 25 nights per year, gives a 25 percent boost on points, a chance to upgrade your room upon arrival and late checkout at 2 p.m.
  • Platinum Elite: This elite status comes complimentary to Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant cardholders, saving them from having to book 50 nights a year at a Marriott property. This tier gives you a 50 percent bonus, a chance to upgrade (even to Select Suites) when you arrive on your first night and a welcome gift of your choice (points, breakfast, etc.). You’ll also be granted an annual bonus of 50 qualifying nights, to give you a head start on obtaining an elite status for the following year.
  • Titanium Elite: The most exclusive tier gives all the same perks that Platinum does, but it boosts the points you earn on hotel purchases to a whopping 75 percent. The annual bonus is bumped up to 75 qualifying nights as well.

How much are Marriott Bonvoy points worth?

According to Bankrate’s 2022 point valuations, Marriott Bonvoy points are worth an average of 0.7 cents. Among other rewards programs it’s not the most valuable currency, but if you play your cards right during redemption, they’re still worth earning.

Marriott points do fluctuate based on what you redeem them for. Check out their estimated values below:

Marriott redemption optionsPoint value (cents)
Standard rooms0.8
Upgraded rooms0.7
Cash + Points0.6
Point transfersVaries by the airline you use
Travel packagesVaries by the airline you use
Instant redemption0.2
Cruises0.4
Car rentals0.4
Marriott MomentsVaries
Merchandise0.4
Donation0.3

How do Marriott points compare to other programs?

In comparison to other hotel rewards programs, Marriott Bonvoy performs fairly well. Its biggest competitor is likely World of Hyatt — which eclipses Marriott points as Hyatt points are worth 2.1 cents each — but Marriott has the advantage of offering thousands of more properties and allowing you to transfer points to a greater selection of airline partners.

The competition between Marriott Bonvoy and Hilton Honors is also neck-and-neck. When redeeming Hilton Honors points, they’ll be worth an average of 0.6 cents, and the chain’s hotel locations are nearly as extensive at Marriott’s. However, when transferring to airline partners, the ratio is poorer (10:1) compared to Marriott Bonvoy’s typical transfer ratio (3:1). Choosing between the two comes down to which hotel chain has captured your loyalty.

Marriott Bonvoy transfer partners

Marriott Bonvoy offers a long list of airline partners to which you can transfer your Marriott points. The transfer rate of 3:1 for most partners is also not bad. It’s a good redemption option if you’re already a member of a frequent flyer program, and you want to earn miles through different avenues.

Another incentive is that Marriott will give you 5,000 additional miles for every 60,000 points you transfer. Plus, because of their preferred partnership, if you’re a United MileagePlus member, you’ll be pleased to hear that 10 percent bonus when you transfer your Marriott points to MileagePlus miles.

Below is a table of some of the most popular airline partners. Visit Marriott Bonvoy’s website to see the full list of all 38 partners.

Airline partnerTransfer ratioValue per mile (cents, according to Bankrate)
Aeromexico ClubPremier3:10.6
Air Canada Aeroplan3:11.2
Air France-KLM Flying Blue3:11.3
Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan3:11.1
American Airlines AAdvantage3:11
Avianca LifeMiles3:10.8
British Airways Executive Club3:10.7
Cathay Pacific Asia Miles3:13
Delta SkyMiles3:11.3
FRONTIER Miles3:11.3
Iberia Plus3:11
Qantas Frequent Flyer3:10.4
Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer3:12.2
Southwest Rapid Rewards3:11.5
United MileagePlus3:1.11.1

Top credit cards that earn Marriott Bonvoy points

There are six co-branded Marriott Bonvoy credit cards, issued by American Express and Chase. Depending on your personal budget, both on travel and annual fees, there’s a Marriott Bonvoy card for you.

Let’s examine the rewards structures of the top Marriott cards that’ll earn you a pile of Marriott Bonvoy points quicker than you think.

  • Marriott Bonvoy Bold: This no-annual-fee travel card earns 3X points on Marriott Bonvoy purchases, 2X points on other travel purchases and 1X point on all other purchases.
  • Marriott Bonvoy Boundless: Marriott’s mid-tier entry gives you an impressive 6X points on Marriott Bonvoy hotels, 3X points on grocery stores, gas stations and dining (up to $6,000 in spending per year) and 2X points on all other purchases. It does charge a $95 annual fee, standard among other travel cards.
  • Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant: Available to you at a premium price of $650 per year, the Brilliant card provides a high rewards rate of 6X points on Marriott Bonvoy hotels, 3X points at restaurants worldwide and on directly booked flights with airlines and 2X points on all other eligible purchases.

Frequently asked questions

Do Marriott points expire?

Your points will expire if there’s no activity on your Marriott Bonvoy account for 24 consecutive months.

Can I share points with friends and family members?

Marriott lets you transfer points between Marriott Bonvoy accounts, for no fee. You can transfer between 1,000 and 1000,000 points per year to any other Bonvoy member.

Can you buy Marriott points?

If you need just a few hundred points to completely cover your next hotel stay, you can purchase Marriott Bonvoy points, in increments of 1,000.

Editorial Disclaimer

The editorial content on this page is based solely on the objective assessment of our writers and is not driven by advertising dollars. It has not been provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. However, we may receive compensation when you click on links to products from our partners.

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