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From acquiring Starwood Preferred Guest to overhauling the award chart for free nights, the Marriott Bonvoy program has changed in recent years.
If you've collected points with this hotel loyalty program, whether through work travel or through credit card spending, you might be wondering how to redeem them. The most obvious way is for free hotel nights, but there are other options for how to use Marriott points.
Use Marriott points for free nights
As a Marriott Bonvoy member, you can redeem your Marriott points for free nights at 30 different brands, including but not limited to:
Autograph Collection Hotels.
Marriott’s more than 7,000 properties are split into eight award categories, each requiring a certain number of Bonvoy points per night. The higher the hotel category, the more points you need for an award night.
Each category offers off-peak, peak and standard rates so you can easily find the hotel that best fits your point spending needs. From 5,000 to 100,000 points per night, you can find the rate that's right for you.
For example, say you’re going to Paris and want to redeem Marriott points for free nights.
Go to marriott.com, log in to your Bonvoy account, enter Paris in the search box, your preferred dates of travel, the number of rooms and the number of guests per room. Check the Use Points/Certificates box and click the Find Hotels button.
The search tool will bring up all the hotels available in your selected area. Each lists a hotel category, so you can expect how many points you have to redeem per night, and the total number of points required for the length of your stay.
Once you pick your preferred property, select View Rates. On the next page, you’ll find the rooms available with points.
If you want to pay for some of your nights with points and for some with cash, click on Customize Payments and select your cash-and-points combination. This is useful if you have enough points for just one or two nights and want to stay longer, so you can mix your payments on a single booking.
On the next page, confirm the reservation details and book your stay.
» Learn more: Marriott Bonvoy Program: The complete guide
Use Marriott points for award flights
Marriott points aren’t only good for hotel nights. You can transfer them to more than 40 partner airlines and take it to the skies.
You can transfer as few as 3,000 points and as many as 240,000 points per day, and the names on your Marriott account and your frequent flyer account must match for most partners.
Points transfer at a 3:1 ratio to most airline programs, and you get an additional 5,000 miles for every 60,000 Marriott points you transfer. In this case, transferring 60,00 points will net you 20,000 airline miles with an additional 5,000-point bonus, for 25,000 points total. A 240,000-point transfer will net 100,000 miles in your airline account.
To convert your Bonvoy points to airline miles, start here, log in to your Marriott account and click on Transfer Points.
Fill out the transfer form with the frequent flyer program where you’d like the points to go, your frequent flyer number and the number of points you want to convert. Click Continue and confirm your transfer.
Use Marriott points for gift cards
This may not be the most efficient way to redeem your Marriott points, but it is possible to redeem them for merchant gift cards. The reason it’s not a great use of your Bonvoy points is their value drops dramatically with this redemption method.
For example, Amazon is offering a $25 gift card in exchange for 10,000 Bonvoy points, a $50 gift card for 17,500 points, and a $100 gift card for 30,000 points.
In this case, your points are worth just 0.25 to 0.33 cents apiece. When you redeem them for a hotel stay, they’re worth about 0.7 cent per point, according to NerdWallet’s latest valuation. Redeeming points for gift cards may be convenient but point value will be lost along the way.
Use Marriott points for merchandise
This is also not a great way of redeeming your Marriott points, but it’s possible to use them to buy products from about 200 merchants, including Apple, Dyson, GoPro, HP and Nintendo.
Let’s use this GoPro HERO9 Black camera as an example.
If you were to buy it using your Marriott points, it’d run you 112,500 points. GoPro is selling the same camera on its website for $349.98. If you exchange your points for this product, they’re worth just 0.3 cent per point — less than half of their average value.
You’re better off redeeming your Bonvoy points for either hotel rooms or airline miles.
How to pool Marriott points
If you’re short on points for a stay, Marriott allows point pooling among Bonvoy members. Point transfers don’t cost anything, but they are limited.
As a Marriott Bonvoy member, you can transfer up to 100,000 Marriott points per calendar year to another program member, and you can only receive up to 500,000 Marriott points per calendar year from other Bonvoy members.
Keep in mind that both your account and another program member’s must be open for at least 30 days with qualifying activity or 90 days without qualifying activity before you can transfer Marriott points to each other.
To initiate a point transfer to someone else’s account, contact a Marriott representative.
» Learn more: The best ways to rack up Marriott Bonvoy points
If you’re wondering how to redeem Marriott points for the most value
To maximize your Marriott points’ value, stick to traditional redemption methods, such as free nights at a hotel or converting them to airlines whose miles are difficult to earn otherwise.
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 2022, 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