Marriott Bonvoy Program: The Complete Guide

Here's what you need to know about elite status, earning points and redeeming points within the Bonvoy program.

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The Marriott Bonvoy program is one of the largest hotel rewards programs in the world, encompassesing 30 brands across price points, from budget-friendly properties to luxurious getaways around the world.

Navigating this program can seem daunting. Yet despite its size, the Bonvoy program is relatively simple. From earning points to achieving elite status, Marriott has streamlined most elements of the program. Here we detail them one by one.

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Marriott Bonvoy elite status

There are five elite levels guests can reach with the Marriott Bonvoy program: Silver, Gold, Platinum, Titanium and Ambassador.

  • Silver Elite status: Silver Elite status is reached after 10 qualifying nights. Benefits include a 10% points bonus from stays, priority late checkout and a dedicated elite reservations line.

  • Gold Elite status: In the Marriott Bonvoy Program, the Gold level is earned after staying 25 nights in a year. Benefits include a 25% points bonus from stays, 2 p.m. priority late checkout based on availability, in-hotel welcome gift of extra points and enhanced room upgrade based on availability.

  • Platinum Elite status: Platinum Elite status is earned after staying 50 nights in one year. Platinum Elite members receive a 50% points bonus from stays, 4 p.m. priority late checkout, and 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 Choice Benefit upon qualification. At the hotel, elites at this level 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 status: Platinum Elite members can reach Titanium Elite after staying 75 nights in a single year. In addition to all of the Platinum Elite benefits, Titanium members also receive a second Choice Benefit selection upon qualification and a 48-hour room guarantee.

  • Ambassador Elite status: For the most loyal customers, who spend at least 100 nights at Marriott properties a year and over $14,000 in qualifying spend at hotels, Marriott offers Ambassador Elite status. In addition to all the benefits of Titanium Elite, members also receive Ambassador Service and Your24 concierge services before and during stays with Marriott Rewards.

Marriott Bonvoy lifetime status

In addition to yearly acknowledgment, guests who earn loyalty year after year can earn lifetime status with Marriott Bonvoy. Three lifetime tiers are available, based on how many years of status one earns and lifetime nights stayed.

Lifetime Silver Elite status: 250 lifetime nights and five years of any elite status

  • Points never expire.

  • All Silver Elite benefits for life.

Lifetime Gold Elite status: 400 lifetime nights and seven years of Gold Elite status or higher

  • Points never expire.

  • All Gold Elite benefits for life.

Lifetime Platinum Elite status: 600 lifetime nights and 10 years of Platinum Elite status

  • Points never expire.

  • All Platinum Elite benefits for life.

Elite status updates for 2021

Note: Marriott has made several temporary changes to its elite status program for 2021.

Members who held elite status in 2020 will earn a boost in 2021 in the form of Elite Night Credits (ENCs).

  • 2020 Ambassador Elites get 50 ENCs for 2021.

  • 2020 Titanium Elites get 38 ENCs for 2021.

  • 2020 Platinum Elites get 25 ENCs for 2021.

  • 2020 Gold Elites get 13 ENCs for 2021.

  • 2020 Silver Elites get 5 ENCs for 2021.

Marriott has also lowered the spending requirement for Ambassador status from $20,000 to $14,000 until 2022, then the spend requirement will return to $20,000.

Earning Marriott Bonvoy points

There are many ways to earn Marriott Bonvoy points, ranging from hotel stays to one-off promotions.

Stay at Marriott hotels

For the most part, you’ll earn 10 base points per dollar spent at Marriott properties. So if you spend $100, you’ll earn 1,000 points. However, some budget brands (such as Residence Inn and Towneplace Suites) offer lower base earning rates.

Bonvoy elite status holders earn additional points on top of this base rate:

  • Silver members earn 10% more.

  • Gold members earn 25% more.

  • Platinum members earn 50% more.

  • Titanium and Ambassador members earn 75% more.

Use a Marriott credit card

Personal credit cards that earn Marriott Bonvoy points

There are several credit cards that earn Marriott Bonvoy points:

  • The Marriott Bonvoy Bold™ Credit Card earns 3 points per dollar spent at participating Bonvoy properties and carries a $0 annual fee. It also offers this welcome bonus: Limited Time Offer! Earn 50,000 Bonus Points after spending $1,000 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.

  • The Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card earns 6 points per dollar spent at participating Bonvoy properties and carries a $95 annual fee. It comes with this welcome bonus: Limited Time Offer! Earn 100,000 Bonus Points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.

  • The Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card earns 6 points per dollar on eligible spending at participating Bonvoy properties and carries a $450 annual fee. This is the current welcome offer: Earn 125,000 bonus Marriott Bonvoy points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases within the first 3 months. Plus, earn up to $200 in Statement Credits for eligible purchases at U.S. Restaurants within the first 6 months of Card Membership. Offer Expires 5/12/2021. Terms Apply.

Business credit cards that earn Marriott Bonvoy points

Marriott offers a single small-business card, the Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card.

This card currently offers this welcome bonus: Earn 100,000 Marriott Bonvoy bonus points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in eligible purchases within the first 3 months of Card Membership. Plus, earn up to $150 back in statement credits on eligible purchases made on your new Card within the first 3 months of Card Membership. Offer ends 5/12/21. Terms Apply.

The Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card also offers:

  • 6x points at participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels.

  • 4x points at U.S. restaurants, at U.S. gas stations, on wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and on U.S. purchases for shipping.

  • 2x points on all other eligible purchases.

  • 1 Free Night Award every year after your Card account anniversary.

  • Complimentary Marriott Bonvoy Silver Elite status.

It carries an annual fee of $125. Terms apply.

How to get more Marriott Bonvoy points

Buy Marriott points

Marriott Bonvoy points can also be purchased in increments of 1,000 for $12.50. This means that points cost 1.25 cents each, which may or may not be worth it, depending on your trip. However, purchasing points is almost never a good idea unless you have a specific redemption in mind.

Transfer credit card points

Marriott is a transfer partner for Chase Ultimate Rewards® and American Express Membership Rewards, which means these points can be turned into Marriott points. Generally, this is not the best use of these otherwise valuable credit card points, but if you have a specific high-value Bonvoy redemption planned, it could be worth it. Terms apply.

Other promotions

In addition to earning Marriott Bonvoy points from staying at participating Marriott properties, individuals can also earn points by spending through select partners, like Hertz, or using the Eat Around Town dining portal.

Using Marriott Bonvoy points

Marriott Bonvoy points can be used in a number of ways. As stated above, the primary use of Marriott Bonvoy points is for hotel stays. Marriott has eight hotel categories, ranging from 5,000 to 100,000 points per night.

It’s also important to note that Marriott Bonvoy points will expire if you don’t have qualifying activity from the past 24 months. Qualifying activity includes making a purchase on a Marriott credit card, earning points by staying at a hotel, earning points through a Marriott Bonvoy partner, redeeming points or purchasing points.

Airline transfer partners

Marriott Bonvoy points may also be transferred to more than 40 airline partners, at the rate of 3 Marriott Bonvoy program points for 1 airline frequent flyer mile. In addition, for every 60,000 points transferred to a frequent flyer program, Marriott Bonvoy will add a 5,000-mile bonus, providing members with a total of 25,000 miles in the airline program of their choice

Marriott Bonvoy may also be used for airfare or car rentals, Priority Pass membership, TSA Precheck membership or shopping, or donated to charity. However, all of these may represent a poor use of points, as they often end up undervalued compared with using points for hotel stays or upgrades, or transferring to frequent flyer miles.

Good Marriott Bonvoy redemption options

When redeeming Marriott Bonvoy points for free hotel stays, we estimate the average value at 0.9 cent each.

To get a better value from your points, check out the PointSavers program. PointSaver awards cost around 30% fewer points than standard awards.

You can also get more value out of your points if you redeem them for a stay of five consecutive nights. You’ll get the fifth night free, so if you’re redeeming for a hotel stay that costs 10,000 points per night, five nights will cost 40,000 points instead of 50,000 points.

Bad Marriott Bonvoy redemption options

Some redemption options do not give you good value for your points. While each individual redemption may vary, we suggest you skip these rewards:

  • Air + Car: Estimated value at less than 0.4 cent each.

  • CruisesOnly: Estimated value around 0.4 cent each.

  • Gift cards: Estimated value between 0.2 and 0.4 cent each.

  • Merchandise: Estimated value at less than 0.3 cent each, compared with Amazon prices.

How much Marriot Bonvoy points are worth

Based on our most recent analysis, NerdWallet values Marriott Bonvoy points at 0.9 cent apiece. To determine the value of reward points, we compared cash prices and reward redemptions for hotel stays across several destinations and dates. We divided the cost in cash by the cost in points to determine a “cent per point” value for each stay, then averaged this value across several searches. Read more about how we arrived at these figures.

This is therefore a baseline value for Bonvoy points, based on real-world data collected from hundreds of hotel stays, not a maximized value. In other words, you should aim for award bookings that offer 0.9 cent or more in value from your Bonvoy points.

To determine the value of your points for specific bookings, divide the cash value (minus any fees associated with the reward booking) by the number of points required. So if a hotel room would cost either $100, or 15,000 points + $10 in resort fees, the math would be as follows:

($100 – $10) / 15,000 = 0.006, or 0.6 cent per point.

Frequently asked questions

Marriott Bonvoy is the Marriott hotel company’s loyalty program, allowing you to earn and redeem points for stays at Bonvoy brands including The Ritz-Carlton, St. Regis, JW Marriott, Sheraton, Westin and Renaissance Hotels.

It’s free to join the Marriott Bonvoy loyalty program, and all members can book hotels at discounted rates, enjoy free Wi-Fi and earn points toward free nights. Once you rise in Marriott Bonvoy status, you’ll get additional Marriott Bonvoy benefits such as late checkout, free breakfast, lounge access and more.

Marriott Bonvoy points can be used to purchase gift cards or for online shopping, and they can be transferred to airline partner programs to book flights. But more often than not, the best way to use Marriott Bonvoy points is to book rooms at Marriott hotels. When purchasing a room from Marriott’s website, check the box stating “Use Points / Certificates” to search award rates and book your stay.

Yes, it’s free to join the Marriott Bonvoy program, though you must provide your email address to join.

Sort of, yes. Thanks to a huge hotel merger, the Marriott Rewards, SPG and Ritz-Carlton Rewards programs joined forces; in 2019, they combined to become the Marriott Bonvoy program.

No, Hilton is its own company, formally called Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc. With a portfolio of 18 brands comprising more than 6,300 properties worldwide, Hilton hotels include Waldorf Astoria, Doubletree, Embassy Suites and Hilton Garden Inn. Marriott is a separate company, formally known as Marriott International. Among its approximately 30 brands are The Ritz-Carlton, St. Regis and SpringHill Suites.

The brands participating in the Marriott Rewards program are:

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 participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels.

Yes, Marriott points expire after 24 hours of inactivity. "Activity" includes both earning and spending points, so you can reset this expiration date either way.

To view rates and fees of the Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card, see this page.

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