5 Best Uses of Marriott’s 35,000-Point Free Night Award For Hotel Nights

Marriott hotels in Nashville, Brisbane, Amesterdam, Beijing and elsewhere are great redemption opportunities.
Nov 17, 2021

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One of the most notable perks of carrying the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card or the Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card is the annual free night award, which is worth 35,000 points. The free night award provides a lot of flexibility for award travel. You could use it to cover a one-off stay or combine it with another free night certificate to book a multi-night vacation. Terms apply.

In this article, we uncover five solid uses of the free night certificate.

What is Marriott’s 35,000 free night award worth?

A free night award of 35,000 points lets travelers book a night at a Category 1 through 5 Marriott property at either the standard rate (up to 35,000 points) or at the off-peak rate (up to 30,000 points). Cardholders can also use the free night as a peak rate at a Category 1 through 4 hotel.

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The Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card (annual fee: $95) and the Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card (annual fee: $125) both come with a 35,000 point free night award. The Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card also offers the opportunity to earn another 35,000 free night certificate after spending $60,000 a year. Terms apply.

Marriott points are worth 0.7 cent each, valuing the 35,000 point free night award at $245. If you have any use for the 35,000 point free night award, the value of the free night award more than outweighs the annual fee on both cards.

Notably, the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card, comes with a free night award worth 50,000 points, so if you’re a holder of that card, there are also plenty of ways to maximize its 50,000 point free night award. Terms apply.

It’s easy to use the 35,000 point free night award at Marriott

Marriott is a massive hotel chain, with over 7,600 properties in 131 countries among 30 different brands ranging from mid-range to luxury. About 90% of all Marriott properties fall into Category 1 through 5, so there are plenty of opportunities to take advantage of the annual free night award.

As we mentioned above, one great perk of the Marriott Bonvoy program is that for every four award nights booked, the fifth night is free. The free fifth night allows you to truly extend the value of your points, as you can see here. And if you tack on your free night award to this award, you can turn your vacation into a six-night stay.

The trick to finding off-peak rates at Marriott properties

To find off-peak rates for a specific property, go to the hotel’s webpage. Rather than inputting your exact travel dates, choose “flexible dates” and select a month so you can see a calendar of daily rates.

The trick to finding off-peak rates is to be flexible and travel during shoulder season.

For example, above is the nightly rate for a room on points in March 2022 at the St. Regis Beijing, which is a category 5 property. The off-peak rate is 30,000 points, which could be booked with your 35,000 point free night award.

The best Marriott 35,000-point hotels

Below are some examples of hotels you can book with your Marriott free night award for 35,000 points:

1. TownePlace Suites Nashville Midtown (Category 5)

The TownePlace Suites Nashville Midtown is a new extended-stay hotel and conveniently located in Midtown. All rooms are suites, and the hotel has a gym and outdoor terrace. As common with Marriott’s extended stay properties, the hotel offers complimentary breakfast.

A scan of the calendar through September 2022 shows decent availability at the 35,000 point per night rate during the fall and winter, and sporadic availability during the spring and summer months. If you’re planning on visiting Nashville during the summer, staying at the hotel during a weekday increases your chances of scoring a room at the 35,000 point rate.

2. Sir Albert, Amsterdam, a Member of Design Hotels™ (Category 5)

The Sir Albert, Amsterdam is located between Amsterdam’s museum district and the trendy De Pijp neighborhood. The hotel is housed in a 19th-century diamond factory, has uniquely designed rooms and even offers a rooftop terrace with city views.

A glance at the calendar through September 2022 shows good availability (except December holidays) through mid-April 2022 at the nightly 35,000 point rate. Amsterdam is known to be pretty expensive, so if you’re able to visit Amsterdam during shoulder season, you’d get a chance to experience this well-located Category 5 hotel.

3. The St. Regis Beijing (Category 5)

The St. Regis Beijing, located in Beijing’s business district, is another surprising Category 5 property. The hotel opened in 1997 and features amenities like butler service and afternoon tea. Also included is a spa with natural hot springs,  which is nice if you want to unwind after a busy day. A quick scan of the calendar shows plenty of availability at the off-peak rate (30,000 points per night) as well as at the standard rate (35,000 points) in December through February.

A quick scan of the calendar shows plenty of availability at the off-peak rate (30,000 points per night) as well as at the standard rate (35,000 points) through September 2022, with the exception of February and April.

If you’re traveling through Asia and find yourself in Beijing, staying at this property on your free night award would be a great way to pamper yourself.

4. Residence Inn San Diego Downtown/Gaslamp Quarter (Category 5)

Thinking of heading to San Diego? The Residence Inn San Diego Downtown/Gaslamp Quarter is centrally located in the trendy Gaslamp Quarter district. Notable features include a free buffet breakfast and a rooftop pool.

Other than in late-June and July, the hotel has decent availability through September 2022 at the standard rate (35,000 points), plus scattered availability at the off-peak rate (30,000 points).

If you’re looking for a fun weekend getaway in San Diego, this property would be a good one for the free night award.

If you’ve already got plenty of Marriott points and want to turn this visit into a six-night vacation, you would only need 120,000 Bonvoy points (four paid award nights plus the fifth night free) and the annual free night award. At the standard rate, the same stay would cost 140,000 Bonvoy points.

5. W Brisbane (Category 5)

If you’re headed to Australia and visiting Brisbane, you could use your free night certificate at the W Brisbane. The W is arguably Marriott’s trendiest hotel chain. It's modern, luxurious and includes a gym and spa.

This property also features 29 suites, which Marriott says is the largest suite inventory in Brisbane. So what does this mean for you? If you’re hoping for a suite upgrade, it could be worthwhile to ask at the desk, given the high number available.

A glance at the calendar through September 2022 shows a lot of availability in January through mid-May and again in August at the 35,000-point rate. During the other months, availability is sporadic, and most often doesn’t include weekends. You can also find availability at the 30,000 per night rate, although less frequently.

If you’re in Brisbane for a quick one-night trip, using your free night award (and potentially getting a suite upgrade) could be a really nice experience.

If you want to spend Marriott’s 35,000-point free night award

The 35,000 point free night award, which is provided every account anniversary, is a great perk of the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card and Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card. With over 90 percent of Marriott’s properties falling into Category 5 or below, there are plenty of ways to pamper yourself with a free award night. Terms apply.

Frequently asked questions

It's easy to use your Marriott free night certificate. Simply log into your Marriott Rewards account and conduct a search for your desired destination. On the reservation page, select "Use Rewards points" to see options for redeeming your Bonvoy free night at locations that span Categories 1-5. Near the end of booking you will be prompted to attach your free night certificate. Book as usual from there and enjoy your free hotel stay.

It is not possible to use your Marriott certificate in the app, as e‑certificates cannot currently be redeemed in the mobile app. Instead, navigate to the Marriott homepage and reserve your free night through the website’s normal lodging booking system.

Marriott has extended the free night awards twice during the pandemic. As it stands, any free night certificates with expiration dates from 2020 until Jan. 2, 2022, will be automatically extended through Jan. 3, 2022. We recommend checking the Marriott website for the latest information regarding free night certificate extensions.

Points (which you then use to get free nights) are earned at Marriott based on money spent, not nights stayed. Basic member-level Marriott customers earn 10 points per $1 spent on hotel stays. The cheapest free night is a PointSaver Category 1, which costs 4,000 points per night. In order to earn the required 4,000 points you would need to spend $400 at a Marriott. Customers with a Marriott credit card and/or Marriott elite status will be able to earn points for free nights at a faster rate.

Yes, Marriott offers free nights for customers. You can earn an automatic fifth night free for four consecutive nights booked at a hotel on points. Free nights are also offered as perks for Marriott credit card customers. Plus, you can redeem points you earn for free nights. A free night ranges anywhere from 4,000 to 100,000 points per night.

How to maximize your rewards

You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2021, including those best for:

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