Replacing Marriott rewards in 2019, Marriot Bonvoy takes the reins in 2020. Being top in the categories of overall Best Hotel Rewards Program, Best Hotel Rewards Program for Families, and Best Hotel Rewards Program for Business Travelers is quite expected. The Marriott Bonvoy program is the largest hotel loyalty program in the world, with 7,000+ hotels in 131 countries and territories
Besides its sheer size, the Marriott Bonvoy is also known for multiple things. Their well-known rewards, cards, the simplicity of earning and redeeming points, and their elite tiers. It’s best for frequent travelers or if you fancy a change of environment often. It can be optimized to its full extent. Especially since Marriott Bonvoy points expire after 2 years of inactivity. Even though that’s the case, you can keep your points refreshed by continuing to earn and redeeming points no matter how many, just to stay active.
As with most successful programs, joining this program is totally free, so there’s nothing to lose by giving it a go! Of course, depending on what type of traveler you happen to be, you may benefit more or less than individuals who use it to their advantage.
Points and Redeemables:
Just by being a member, you receive instant perks, and you'll get the chance to earn points with each paid stay you complete with the brand. On most (paid) stays, members earn a base rate of 10 points for each dollar, and with a Marriott credit card are able to boost their rewards.
As mentioned previously, there are over 7000 hotels. There are cozier properties to more
sophisticated luxurious hotels available. These different options also equate to different point weights.
There are Luxury, Premium, Select, and Longer Stay Hotel options.
The most well-known hotels are The Ritz-Carlton, St. Regis, JW Marriott, W Hotels, EDITION, The Luxury Collection, Bvlgari, and Ritz-Carlton Reserve.
After your stay, it takes around ten business days for your points to post to your account after a stay is complete.
There are multiple ways to earn Marriott Bonvoy points, although staying at Marriott properties is the best way to earn them.
10,000 Marriott Bonvoy points are worth around $90, meaning Marriott's point value is currently $0.009.
Book directly with Marriott to earn points that accumulate to potentially being given a higher status. You don’t earn these benefits if you book with a third-party travel agency.
By using Chase and American Express cards, you receive welcome bonuses as they are co-branded credit cards.
The bonuses can be worth up to three free nights or more from the get-go. With the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant American Express Card, users receive a free night certificate. On their renewal month, this certificate is worth up to 50,000 points.
And as of March 2022, Marriott Bonvoy members will receive up to 15,000 points in addition to the free night certificates.
Although taxes and fees do not earn points, you can earn depending on how you pay, how much you pay, the status you already behold, and where you booked (which property).
You can receive 10 points per dollar at The Ritz-Carlton, St. Regis, EDITION, The Luxury Collection, W Hotels, JW Marriott, Marriott, Sheraton, Marriott Vacation Club, Delta Hotels, Le Meridien, Westin, Autograph Collection Hotels, Design Hotels, Renaissance Hotels, Tribute Portfolio, Gaylord Hotels, Courtyard by Marriott.
4 Points per dollar at Springhill Suites by Marriott, Protea Hotels, Fairfield by Marriott, AC Hotels by Marriott, Aloft, Moxy Hotels
And lastly 5 points per $1 Residence Inn by Marriott, Towneplace Suites by Marriott, Element, Homes & Villas by Marriott International
When you have Marriott Bonvoy's elite status, you also earn bonus points for paid stays with Marriott.
Although earning status is difficult, points are easy as there are many opportunities, and the possible rewards are aplenty.
5,000-100,000 Marriott Bonvoy points qualify for a free night. Free nights, rental cars, Marriott Bonvoy Moments, gift cards, and merchandise are some of their redemption options. You can earn award nights, and can even redeem your points by transferring them to airline programs!
Marriott Bonvoy recently switched out its award chart with dynamic pricing. Although many were disappointed, the ‘Stay for 5, Pay for 4’ is staying thankfully!
Although points aren't difficult to attain, strategizing their use is best for more optimum rewards, such as waiting for promotions. Bonvoy members are sent out promotional emails, and they offer promotional periods as well.
For specific hotels, you can participate in a promotion called Marriott Pointsavers, to help manage. The eligible hotels alternate, so it’s a lot more suited for flexible travelers who can change when and where they go.
If you’re in a clutch, you can also purchase points to add to your balance. It’s quite expensive, so it’s best to use when you need to bridge a gap for a needed reward. To save even more, wait until the promotional periods that they hold on occasion.
You can always pay with both points and cash as well.
There is a well-known free program called “The Eat Around Town” program. When you dine at any of the 11,000+ participating restaurants and pay with a card linked to your Marriott Bonvoy account you can earn many rewards! Marriott Bonvoy members earn 4 points per 1 dollar spent, and elite members earn 6 points per 1 dollar spent.
When you use Marriott Bonvoy points for a four-night stay, you will automatically get the fifth night free at any Marriott Bonvoy participating location, not only 4 but works for multiples of 4. If you opt for an eight-night stay, they’ll give you an extra two free nights, and so forth.
Don’t let your points go to waste! If you can’t travel anytime soon, and you know your points will be goners by the time you possibly can, Marriott has some opportunities for you to still put them to use. Although they aren’t totally worthwhile, they’re good for a last resort redemption.
You can redeem your points for gift cards, and use them to purchase not only merchandise but electronics such as apple products if your stash is pretty hefty. You can use the point to bid in the Marriott Bonvoy Moments platform for experience, or just donate your points to eligible non-profit organizations that the Marriott lists. As mentioned previously, you can transfer your points to airline miles, but this again should be used if you must, as for every 3 Marriott Bonvoy points you transfer, you’d only receive one airline mile.
The elite status of the Marriott is quite exclusive, with a low count of people who are in the special tier, the higher the value the tiers hold. It’s not difficult to earn status, but a certain level needs certain requirements that the majority may not be able to do, such as physically staying at the resort or whichever property chosen.
A way to speed up the process is by using the proper travel credit card when signing up, as even that has its own set of benefits if done correctly. Some cards allow you to automatically be eligible for a silver or gold status. Having status means you can receive upgraded rooms, a welcome gift when going in said room, and an even later checkout if desired. You can also receive point bonuses, with more opportunities to rack them up.
The tiers are: Marriott Bonvoy Member, Marriott Bonvoy Silver Elite, Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite, Marriott Bonvoy Platinum Elite, Marriott Bonvoy Titanium Elite, and Marriott Bonvoy Ambassador Elite are the elite statuses one could attain.
Although you don’t need any requirements to be a regular member status, the rest do have qualifications. To be a silver Elite member, you would need to be at a qualifying hotel for at least 10 nights a year. Gold elite requires at least 25 nights, Platinum elite doubles that to 50 nights, titanium asks for 75 minimum, and the highest the Ambassador Elite not only asks for at 100 night stays a year but also a 20 thousand annual qualifying spend.
With these tiers, you also get additional points. Being a Silver Elite you earn an additional 10% point bonus, Gold Elite members receive 25%, Platinum Elite members collect 50%, and both Titanium and Ambassador get a whopping 75% increase.
Marriott considers their hefty exclusive status requirements to be too difficult for others who may have a smaller budget and introduced Marriott Bonvoy Escapes. It’s a discount program that has individuals save on their paid stays at certain locations. These discounted rates are only available Wednesday through Thursday, but are great for those who don’t fly much.
Without being a member, you can save 20% on your stays. Being a member does benefit you even here though, as members save 25% as well as have their paid night added onto their accumulated amounts to potentially reach an elite status.
The Marriott Bonvoy loyalty program is a variety-packed, experience driven loyalty program that caters to levels of different types of vacationers, business travelers, or people with a bit more time on their hands. It’s a deep yet rewarding program that’s been rightfully crowned.