Today we continue our series on the types of credit card reward programs frequented by travelers. Here we’ll have a good look at Marriott Bonvoy.

In case you’re joining us for the first time, or missed a prior post in this series, please check out the index below:

Marriott is one of the largest hotel chains in the world. After its merger with SPG a few years ago, there are now 30 brands in all price points under the Marriott umbrella: 

  • AC Hotels
  • Aloft Hotels
  • Autograph Collection Hotels
  • Bulgari Resorts and Hotels
  • Courtyard by Marriott
  • Delta Hotels
  • Design Hotels
  • Edition Hotels
  • Element Hotels
  • Fairfield by Marriott
  • Four Points by Sheraton
  • Gaylord Hotels
  • JW Marriott
  • Le Méridien Hotels & Resorts
  • The Luxury Collection
  • Marriott
  • Marriott Executive Apartments
  • Marriott Vacation Club
  • Moxy Hotels
  • Protea Hotels
  • Renaissance Hotels
  • Residence Inn by Marriott
  • The Ritz-Carlton
  • Sheraton Hotels and Resorts
  • Springhill Suites by Marriott
  • St. Regis Hotels & Resorts
  • TownePlace Suites by Marriott
  • Tribute Portfolio
  • W Hotels Worldwide
  • Westin Hotels & Resorts

There are over 7,000 properties in more than 100 countries and territories, so you can travel almost anywhere in the world and find one of Marriott’s hotels.

Marriott Bonvoy Elite Status

Marriott Bonvoy members receive several benefits just for registering for Marriott’s loyalty program, including complimentary in-room internet, mobile check in and member rates. 

There are five elite status levels the members can achieve with the Marriott Rewards program: Silver, Gold, Platinum, Titanium and Ambassador. 

Silver status is achieved after spending 10 nights in one year in Marriott hotels. The benefits include 10% more points on stays and priority late checkout. 

Gold status can be achieved by spending 25 nights in one year. The benefits include 25% more points on stays, room upgrades and 2 p.m. checkout (based on availability). Gold elites also get an in-hotel welcome gift of extra points and enhanced room upgrades (based on availability).

Platinum Elite is achieved after staying 50 nights in one year. Platinum Elite members get a 50% points bonus earned on stays, 4 p.m. priority late checkout, an in-hotel welcome gift of extra points, a breakfast offering at participating hotels or a welcome amenity. 

Platinum Elite members also get an annual one-time Annual Choice Benefit among the following choices – five Suite Night Awards, give the gift of Silver Elite status, 40% off your favorite mattress, five elite night credits or a $100 charity donation. At the hotel, Platinum elites members get lounge access, as well as a guaranteed room type, along with enhanced room upgrades — including select suites — at check-in, if available.

Titanium Elite can be achieved after spending 75 eligible nights at Marriott properties. In addition to all of the Platinum Elite benefits, Platinum Premier Elite members also receive a second Choice Benefit selection upon qualification and a 48-hour room guarantee. Titanium Elite members get 75% bonus points on stays and complimentary United MileagePlus Premier Silver Status

Ambassador Elite can be earned if members stay 100 eligible nights and spend $20,000 in annual qualifying spend. You get  all the benefits of Titanium Elite status plus Ambassador Service (concierge services) and Your24, i.e. the ability to check into your room any time and stay there for the full 24 hours. 

Marriott Bonvoy Lifetime Status

Marriott Rewards members who earn elite status year after year can earn lifetime status with Marriott Bonvoy. There are three lifetime tiers, based on how many years of status one earns and lifetime nights stayed:

Lifetime Silver EliteLifetime Gold EliteLifetime Platinum Elite
Earn 250 lifetime nights and five years of elite statusEarn 400 lifetime nights and maintain seven years of Gold elite statusEarn 600 lifetime nights and 10 years of Platinum elite status

Marriott credit card holders  get 15 qualifying nights per year that count toward status requirements.  

United Airlines MileagePlus Gold, Platinum, and 1K members receive Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite. You’ll need to register for this benefit every ear. 

How to Earn Marriott Bonvoy Points

There are several ways to earn Marriott Bonvoy points, including stays, promotions, hosting events and sharing points.

Earn Marriott Bonvoy Points on Stays

Marriott Bonvoy points can be earned on hotel stays and on eligible hotel purchases, including dining, beverages, rounds of golf, spa services and more. 

You’ll earn 10 points/$1 spent on eligible hotel charges, except at Element, Residence Inn and TownePlace Suites hotels, where you’ll earn five points per $1.

You’ll earn 2.5 points/$1 at Marriott Executive Apartments and ExecuStay. These are earning-only hotels, as you can’t redeem points for free nights at these properties.  

Remember that you’ll also earn additional bonus points based on the elite status—a 10%, 25%, 50% or 75% bonus for Silver, Gold, Platinum, or Titanium members, respectively.

Promotions

Every quarter Marriott typically releases a new promotion that usually includes bonus points that reward frequent stays. Watch your email, check the promotions tab under your account and make sure to register when the new promotion comes out, even if you don’t have any planned stays. You never know when you might need a hotel stay in a hurry, and you don’t want to miss a chance to earn extra points.

Hosting Events and Meetings

Don’t miss a chance to earn Bonvoy points if you are hosting an event or a meeting. Event hosts can earn up to 60,000 points per event on eligible room, food, beverages and audio/visual charges. (2 points per $1). Titanium Elite members can earn up to 105,000 points per event.

You’ll also earn 1 elite night credit for every 20 room nights you book — up to 20 elite night credits per event.

Share Points

Family members can transfer points to each other for free.

Cards to Help You Earn Marriott Bonvoy Points

Marriott’s credit card partners are Chase and American Express. Each issuer has a set of personal and business credit cards. Each of the cards comes with 15 elite nights credits and customers are eligible to receive a maximum of 30 elite night credits per year if they hold both a business and a personal credit card. 

American Express Marriott Credit Cards

The Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant American Express Credit Card comes with 75,000 Marriott Bonvoy points after you spend $3,000 in the first three months. The card earns 6X points at participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels, 4X at U.S. restaurants and U.S. gas stations and 2X on all other purchases. The card’s hefty $450 annual fee is partially offset by the card’s many benefits. 

The card comes with complimentary Gold Elite Status. You can earn Marriott Bonvoy Platinum Elite status after making $75,000 in eligible purchases on the card in a calendar year. 

Another benefit of the card is the yearly $300 Marriott Bonvoy statement credit that can be used on eligible purchases at participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels. 

The Bonvoy Brilliant card also comes with an annual free night award after your cardmember anniversary, good for a free night up to 50,000 points per night. 

Finally, this card comes with a $100 Global Entry/$85 TSA PreCheck credit.

Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card

Marriott Bonvoy Business American Express Credit Card comes with a 75,000 Marriott Bonvoy welcome bonus after you spend $3,000 in the first three months. 

The card earns 6X points at participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels, 4X at U.S. restaurants and U.S. gas stations, on wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and on U.S. purchases for shipping. The card earns 2X on all other purchases. 

You’ll also get one free night each year on your account anniversary (35,000 points per night or less). Plus, you can earn an additional free night award after you spend $60,000 on your card in a calendar year. 

The card comes with a complimentary Silver Elite status and you can earn Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite Status after you make $35,000 in eligible purchases on your card in a calendar year.The card has a $125 annual fee. 

Chase Marriott Credit Cards

Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card

Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card has a generous 100,000 points welcome bonus after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first three months. The card earns 6X Bonvoy points per $1 spent at over 7,000 hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy and 2X points for every $1 spent on all other purchases.

You’ll also get one free night each year on your account anniversary (35,000 points per night or less). 

You will automatically receive Silver Elite Status each account anniversary year.

The card has a $95 annual fee.

Marriott Bonvoy Bold Credit Card comes with a 50,000 bonus points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.

The card earns 3X at participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels, 2X on other travel purchases (from airfare to taxis and trains) and 1X on everything else.

You will automatically receive Silver Elite Status each account anniversary year.

The card has no annual fee. 

Points Expiration

Keep in mind that Marriott Bonvoy points expire after 24 months of inactivity.

Certain account activity such as gifting, transferring, and social media promotions do not count for extending your expiration date. 

You can extend the life of your points by using one of Marriott’s co-branded credit cards. Another easy way to extend points is to enroll in Marriott’s Eat Around Town dining program. You’ll have to join the free program, enroll a credit card (doesn’t have to be a Marriott co-branded card) and use that card to pay at one of the participating restaurants. 

In addition to extending the life of your points, you’ll also earn Marriott points for the amount spent at a restaurant. 

How to Redeem Marriott Points

There are a couple of ways to use Marriott Bonvoy points. One way to use the points is to redeem them for hotel stays. There are no blackout dates, but the hotel must have room availability. If you use the points when the room prices are really high, such as during holidays or special events, you’ll get the best value for points. 

The number of points needed is determined by the location and the brand. Recently Marriott introduced standard, peak or off-peak rates. 

There are eight categories, and the price in points can be as low as 5,000 points during off-peak time for at category 1 hotel to 100,000 points during peak times at a category 8 hotel.  

Sometimes when you are searching for award availability, you might come across PointSavers hotels, which can be booked with a 20% discount.

When you book five nights with points, you’ll get the fifth night free. This is one of the best perks of the Marriott Bonvoy program and allows us to stretch the points even further.

Airline Partners

One of the best ways to use Marriott Bonvoy points is to transfer them to airline partners. Marriott has 40 airline transfer partners, which means you can get anywhere in the world when you transfer Bonvoy points to one of the partner airlines.

FREQUENT FLYER PROGRAMSPOINTS : MILES
AEGEAN Miles+Bonus3:1
Aer Lingus AerClub3:1
Aeroflot Bonus3:1
Aeromexico ClubPremier3:1
Air Canada Aeroplan3:1
Air France-KLM Flying Blue3:1
Air New Zealand Airpoints200:1
Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan™3:1
Alitalia MilleMiglia3:1
American Airlines AAdvantage®3:1
ANA Mileage Club3:1
Asiana Airlines Asiana Club3:1
Avianca LifeMiles3:1
British Airways Executive Club3:1
Cathay Pacific Asia Miles3:1
Copa Airlines ConnectMiles3:1
Delta SkyMiles®3:1
Emirates Skywards®3:1
Etihad Guest3:1
FRONTIER Miles3:1
Hainan Airlines Fortune Wings Club3:1
Hawaiian Airlines HawaiianMiles®3:1
Iberia Plus3:1
InterMiles3:1
Japan Airlines JAL Mileage Bank3:1
JetBlue TrueBlue6:1
Korean Air SKYPASS3:1
LATAM Airlines LATAM Pass3:1
Multiplus Fidelidade3:1
Qantas Frequent Flyer3:1
Qatar Airways Privilege Club3:1
SAA Voyager3:1
Saudia Alfursan3:1
Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer®3:1
Southwest Rapid Rewards®3:1
TAP Air Portugal Miles&Go3:1
Thai Airways Royal Orchid Plus3:1
Turkish Airlines Miles&Smiles3:1
United MileagePlus®3:1.1
Virgin Atlantic Flying Club3:1
Virgin Australia Velocity Frequent Flyer3:1
Vueling Club3:1

With a couple of exceptions, the points transfer 3:1. When you transfer the points to a frequent-flyer program, you’ll get 5,000 bonus miles for every 60,000 points you transfer to airline miles. 

Bonvoy points transferred to the United MileagePlus program get a 10% mileage boost. 

Transfer to airline partners usually takes a couple of days, so keep that in mind if flight award availability is limited. 

Final Thoughts

Marriott is one of the largest hotel companies in the world, and there is no shortage of properties where you can redeem Marriott Bonvoy points for free hotel stays. And thanks to Marriott’s 40 plus airline partners, Bonvoy points can take you anywhere in the word. 

Travel well,

Anna  

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