Marriott Bonvoy points can be redeemed at over 7,000 hotels worldwide, making them some of the most versatile hotel loyalty points out there. But before you start using Bonvoy points, you have to earn them. Here we explain eight ways to earn Bonvoy points, highlighting opportunities and pitfalls with each:
NerdWallet values Marriott points at 0.7 cent each. This is a baseline value, drawn from real-world data, not a maximized value. In other words, you should aim for award redemptions that offer 0.7 cent or more in value from your Marriott points.
Keep this in mind when considering whether these points-earning methods are worth your time (and dollars).
» Learn more: Marriott Bonvoy program: The complete guide
Stay at Marriott hotels
They are “loyalty” points, after all, and most travelers earn Bonvoy points by staying at Marriott hotels.
Important: Not all bookings earn points. Generally, only bookings made directly through Marriott are eligible to earn points. Bookings made through a third party (like Hotels.com, Orbitz or a tour company) do not earn Marriott points or qualify toward elite status.
» Learn more: Travel loyalty program reviews
Base earning rate
At most Marriott properties, you’ll earn 10 points per $1 spent. This includes the cost of the room as well as any additional charges, such as food and in-room purchases.
However, you only earn 5 points per $1 spent at the following brands:
And only 2.5 points per dollar spent at these brands:
Marriott Executive Apartments.
Elite point bonus
On top of the base rate, Bonvoy elite members earn extra points based on their tier status.
For example, if a Platinum member spends $100 at a Westin hotel, they’ll earn 1,000 base points ($100 x 10) and 500 bonus points (1,000 x 50%) for a total of 1,500 points.
Since we value Bonvoy points at 0.7 cent each, those 1,500 points are worth $10.50. Platinum members therefore receive roughly 10% of their spending back in the form of points — not too shabby.
Use Bonvoy credit cards
Marriott offers three branded consumer credit cards, all of which can be used to earn Bonvoy points:
Each Marriott credit card offers different category bonuses, with spending at Marriott hotels offering the largest bonus. Here’s how those bonuses break down:
Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card
The bonus points earned for spending at participating Marriott properties are stacked on top of base points and elite status bonuses. For example, a Bonvoy Platinum member using their Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card on a $100 Westin booking will earn 1,000 base points (100 x 10), 500 elite bonus points (1,000 x 50%) and 600 credit card bonus points (100 x 6) for a total of 2,100 Bonvoy points.
These cards also offer one-time welcome bonuses that are earned after hitting a minimum spending requirement.
Marriott Bonvoy Bold™ Credit Card: Earn 30,000 Bonus Points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card: Earn 3 Free Nights (each night valued up to 50,000 points) 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 Boundless™ Credit Card.
Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card:75000
» Learn more: Benefits of Marriott Bonvoy credit cards
Transfer points from American Express Membership Rewards
Marriott is a transfer partner of American Express Membership Rewards, which means you can transfer AmEx points to Marriott Bonvoy at a 1:1 ratio. Note that Bonvoy points cannot be transferred back to Membership Rewards, so make sure you have everything lined up before hitting “confirm.”
Given that NerdWallet values Bonvoy points at 0.7 cent and Membership Rewards points are worth 1 cent each when used to book travel through AmEx Travel, this transfer partnership might not be worth it unless you have a specific Marriott redemption in mind.
Transfer points from Chase Ultimate Rewards®
Like the AmEx partnership described above, Chase Ultimate Rewards® can be transferred into Marriott Bonvoy points at a 1:1 ratio. So 1,000 Chase points turn into 1,000 Bonvoy points (but can’t be transferred back).
Since NerdWallet values Bonvoy points at 0.7 cent each and Chase points are worth at least 1 cent apiece when booking travel directly, this partnership likely only makes sense if you’re shooting for a specific Marriott redemption or are looking to clear out your Chase account.
Marriott offers activities such as dining, tours and sporting events near its hotels. Booking these experiences with cash and applying your Bonvoy membership number can earn points, though the amount varies by each experience. For example, a bus tour of Washington, D.C., costs $49 and earns 245 Bonvoy points:
Confusingly, Marriott also offers “Bonvoy Moments,” which are experiences that can be purchased with Bonvoy points through a bidding system. Only the experiences that cost cash earn points.
Fly with Emirates (elites only)
Marriott has created a special partnership with Emirates Airlines that shares elite status benefits between the two programs. That is, Bonvoy elite members receive some elite benefits on Emirates and vice versa.
Among these benefits are points earning bonuses for Bonvoy elite members when flying on Emirates. Specifically, Bonvoy Gold, Platinum, Titanium and Ambassador members earn 3 Bonvoy points per $1 spent on Emirates flights.
These points are earned on top of the normal miles earned with Emirates. So if you’re a Bonvoy Gold or higher member taking an Emirates flight, there’s no reason not to take advantage of these extra points.
Offers, promotions and other partnerships
We’re not done yet. Marriott offers several promotions and offers that let you earn extra Bonvoy points.
Eat Around Town dining program
By enrolling in Marriott’s dining rewards program and linking a credit card, you’ll earn extra Bonvoy points whenever you dine at one of 11,000+ participating restaurants and use the card. Limited-time offers pop up at certain restaurants from time to time, but the easiest thing to do is to simply connect the card you use for dining and forget about it.
Marriott and Hertz’s partnership offers up to 2,000 Bonvoy points per car rental. However, you have to book the rental through Marriott’s site, which makes it harder to compare rates. Unless you’re really desperate for some extra Bonvoy points, it may be worth skipping this one.
Planning a wedding? You probably have more important things on your mind than earning points, but Marriott offers an interesting program that lets you earn up to 60,000 Bonvoy points for events held at their properties.
Refer a friend
This might be the easiest way to earn a few Bonvoy points. Just refer friends who do not have a Bonvoy account, and you’ll receive points when they book their first stays.
You can refer up to five friends each year.
You get 2,000 points per stay made by a referral (at a maximum of five stays for each of your referrals).
That’s a maximum of 50,000 points.
There’s also something in it for your friends: They’ll get an extra 2,000 points for each of their first five stays.
If you’re short a few Bonvoy points for a specific redemption, you might consider purchasing them directly. However, doing so is almost never a good deal, even when Marriott offers exciting-sounding bonuses on purchased points.
When in doubt, do the math. If the cost of purchasing points exceeds 0.7 cent each, you’re probably getting hosed.
To view rates and fees of the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card, see this page.
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:
Flexibility, point transfers and a large bonus: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
No annual fee: Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card
Flat-rate travel rewards: Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
Bonus travel rewards and high-end perks: Chase Sapphire Reserve®
Luxury perks: The Platinum Card® from American Express
Business travelers: Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card