The Guide to Marriott Bonvoy

Here's what you need to know about elite status, earning points and redeeming points within the Bonvoy program.
Lee Huffman
Sally French
Sam Kemmis
By Sam Kemmis,  Sally French and  Lee Huffman 
Edited by Meghan Coyle

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The Marriott Bonvoy program is one of the largest hotel rewards programs in the world, encompassing 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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How much Marriott Bonvoy points are worth

Based on our most recent analysis, NerdWallet values Marriott Bonvoy points at 0.8 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.

Bonvoy points were previously known as Marriott Rewards points, and they have dropped in value since we started tracking them in 2019. And while there's no way to tell whether they will go up or down in the future, you shouldn't necessarily count on them maintaining their value over time.

Marriott Bonvoy vs. competitors: How it stacks in 2023

Marriott is the largest hotel program in the world by most metrics, so if you travel regularly, it’s likely you’ll find yourself staying in a Marriott at some point. And the good news is that Marriott is consistently a solid pick. Relative to other hotel loyalty programs, Marriott Bonvoy ranks just about exactly in the middle.

In NerdWallet’s annual rankings of best hotel loyalty programs, Marriott placed fourth place among six total hotel brands analyzed. It’s not the best program, and it’s not the worst program, either.

And while it is never the best in any single category, it also never ranks as the worst. It’s big, it’s reliable, and sometimes, when you’re planning a trip, that consistency is key.

Out of six hotel brands analyzed, here's a closer look at how Marriott competed across categories:

Earning Marriott Bonvoy points

Many Marriott Bonvoy members wonder, how do Marriott points work? Let's start with how to earn points so you can redeem them for free hotel nights and more. 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 Bonvoy rewards 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 up to 14 points per dollar spent at participating Bonvoy properties and carries a $0 annual fee. It also offers this welcome bonus: Earn 30,000 Bonus Points after spending $1,000 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening with the Marriott Bonvoy Bold® Credit Card.

  • The Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card earns up to 17 points per dollar spent at participating Bonvoy properties and carries a $95 annual fee. It comes with this welcome bonus: Earn 3 Free Night Awards (each night valued up to 50,000 points) after spending $3,000 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening with the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card.

  • The Marriott Bonvoy Bountiful™ Card earns up to 18.5 Bonvoy points per dollar spent at participating hotels. It comes with this welcome bonus: Earn 85,000 Bonus Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases in your first 3 months from your account opening.

  • The Marriott Bonvoy Bevy™ American Express® Card earns up to 6 points per dollar spent at participating Bonvoy properties (in addition to the points you'll earn being an elite member) and carries a $250 annual fee. The current welcome offer is: Earn 125,000 Marriott Bonvoy bonus points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases within the first 6 months of Card Membership. Terms Apply.

  • The Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card earns 6 points per dollar on eligible spending at participating Bonvoy properties and carries a $650 annual fee. This is the current welcome offer: Earn two 85K Free Night Awards after you spend $6,000 in purchases on the Card in your first 6 months. Each award can be used for one night (redemption level at or under 85,000 Marriott Bonvoy points) at hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy. Card Members could enjoy a value of up to $1,200 when redeeming each reward. Certain hotels have resort fees. Offer ends 11/1/2023. Terms Apply.

Business credit cards that earn Marriott Bonvoy points

Marriott offers a single small-business card, the Marriott Bonvoy Business® American Express® Card, which currently features this welcome offer:

Earn 125,000 Bonus Marriott Bonvoy Points after you use your new Card to make $8,000 in purchases within the first 6 months of Card Membership. Offer Ends 11/1/23. 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 Gold Elite status.

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

Eat Around Town

When you dine and pay using your linked debit or credit card, you earn bonus Marriott Bonvoy points for every dollar you spend. These points are in addition to any rewards earned from your cards. To participate, you don't have to have a Marriott credit card. You can link any debit or credit card to earn Bonvoy points through Eat Around Town.

Currently, you’ll earn an additional 6,000 points in your first 60 days when you join and make your first eligible purchase.

Book meetings at Marriott

Whether you’re planning meetings for your company or a private event, like a wedding or birthday, you can earn Bonvoy points at Marriott properties. Most Bonvoy members can earn up to 60,000 points per event on eligible room, food, beverages and audio/visual charges. Titanium and Ambassador members earn up to 105,000. You’ll receive two Bonvoy points for every dollar you spend.

Refer friends to join Marriott Bonvoy

When you invite friends to join the Marriott Bonvoy loyalty program, you'll each earn 2,000 bonus points per stay for their first five stays. That's a potential of 10,000 points for each of you. Marriott allows members to refer up to five friends to earn bonus points through this referral program.

Use Marriott Card to book a cruise

You'll earn 3x Bonvoy points when you book a cruise through Cruise with Points. Additionally, Chase Marriott Bonvoy card members receive an extra 2x points when they book through the Cruise with Points program.

Rent cars through Hertz

Through March 31, 2023, Bonvoy members earn 2,000 points when they rent a card for two or more days. Plus, you'll receive special savings on Hertz rentals through exclusive discounts available to Marriott travelers.

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 isn't 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

Although Marriott Bonvoy points can be used in a number of ways, here's how to use Marriott Bonvoy points for maximum value. As stated above, the primary use of Marriott Bonvoy points is for hotel stays.

As of April 2022, Marriott uses dynamic awards pricing based on fluctuating demand.

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.

Note that this transfer bonus doesn't apply to American, Delta, Avianca or Korean Air.

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 0.8 cent each. While you don't earn Marriott points when you use points to book hotel rooms, you still receive all of your elite-level benefits.

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 don't 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.

Marriott Bonvoy elite status

The Marriott Bonvoy program includes a whopping five elite status levels: Silver, Gold, Platinum, Titanium and Ambassador.

Silver Elite

Gold Elite

Platinum Elite

Titanium Elite

Ambassador Elite

Points earning bonus






Late checkout

When available (time unspecified).

2 p.m. (when available).

4 p.m. (guaranteed).

4 p.m. (guaranteed).

4 p.m. (guaranteed).

Room upgrades


When available, no suites.

When available, including suites.

When available, including suites.

When available, including suites.

Check-in gift



Points, breakfast, or welcome amenity.

Points, breakfast, or welcome amenity.

Points, breakfast, or welcome amenity.

Lounge access






Annual choice benefit



At 50 stays.

At 50 stays and 75 stays.

At 50 stays and 75 stays.

Ambassador service + Your24






Lifetime elite status

It is possible to earn lifetime elite status for Silver, Gold and Platinum members. Lifetime status is based on the number of years you’ve earned that status and the total number of nights earned.

  • Silver. Five years of Silver elite status and 250 lifetime nights.

  • Gold. Seven years of Gold elite status and 400 lifetime nights.

  • Platinum. Ten years of Platinum elite status and 600 lifetime nights.

While you can easily achieve the number of elite status years by having the related Marriott credit card, earning lifetime status still requires a large number of elite night credits.

Elite night credits

Members receive elite night credits based on eligible paid and award reservations. When you book an eligible rate, you’ll receive one elite night credit for each night you stay. Marriott Bonvoy members earn elite night credits on cash rates, points reservations and when you book points and cash stays.

Marriott occasionally offers promotions where members can earn additional elite night credits. Register for the promotions for free through the Marriott app or website, then book an eligible stay at participating properties.

When you have a Marriott credit card, you also receive elite night credits each year. The number of elite night credits varies based on the type of Marriott credit card you have. These elite night credits stack with the credits you earn from your eligible stays.

How to maximize Marriott Bonvoy membership

If you want to get the most out of your Marriott Bonvoy membership, use these strategies to maximize your elite status, earning power and rewards.

Best Rate Guarantee

Like most hotels, Marriott encourages travelers to book directly with the hotel. Marriott believes it will always have the lowest prices through its website, mobile app and customer service, and it backs that up with a best-rate guarantee.

If you can find a lower rate within 24 hours of booking your initial reservation, Marriott will match the lower rate and give you an additional 25% discount on the room (20% for Design Hotels) or 5,000 Bonvoy points.

Use credit cards to earn elite status

Many Bonvoy members have trouble earning enough elite night credits each year to earn elite status based on how often they travel. One way around these requirements is the automatic elite status that Marriott credit cards offer. Additionally, some Marriott cards allow cardholders to earn upgraded elite status based on annual spending.

  • Marriott Bonvoy Bold® Credit Card. Automatic Silver elite status and 15 elite night credits.

  • Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card. Automatic Silver elite status and 15 elite night credits. Upgrade to Gold elite status after spending $35,000 within a calendar year. Additionally, earn one additional elite night credit for every $5,000 you spend each calendar year.

  • Marriott Bonvoy Bountiful™ Card. Automatic Gold elite status and 15 elite night credits.

  • Marriott Bonvoy Bevy™ American Express® Card. Automatic Gold elite status and 15 elite night credits.

  • Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card. Automatic Platinum elite status and 25 elite night credits.

  • Marriott Bonvoy Business® American Express® Card. Automatic Gold elite status and 15 elite night credits.

Terms apply.

If you have multiple personal Marriott credit cards, the elite night credits don't stack on top of each other. However, if you have a Marriott business credit card, those nights stack on top of personal cards. For example, if you have the Boundless card and the Business card, you’ll receive 30 elite night credits every year.

Fifth night free on award reservations

For every five consecutive nights booked at the same hotel using your Marriott Bonvoy points, you'll receive the fifth night free. This benefit can be used multiple times on longer stays. For example, you'll get two free nights on a 10-night award stay. The free night is the lowest point-value night during your stay.

Members can use this benefit an unlimited number of times. However, it doesn't apply to Cash + Points awards, Suite Night Awards or free night certificates. Best of all, all Bonvoy members are eligible for this benefit, even if they don't have elite status.

The bottom line

The Marriott Bonvoy loyalty program offers exceptional value for travelers who prefer staying at any of the over 30 brands in the Marriott portfolio.

Its loyalty program used to be called Marriott Rewards, and it has continued to evolve to deliver value to its members. Multiple levels of elite status can be earned through a combination of hotel stays, Marriott credit cards and other activities. 

While the best redemption option is generally a hotel stay, Marriott offers several redemption choices, including the ability to transfer points to numerous airlines. Be sure to sign up for this free hotel loyalty program to start earning points on your next hotel stay.

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 months 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.
To view rates and fees of the Marriott Bonvoy Bevy™ American Express® Card, please visit this page.
To view rates and fees of the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card, see this page.

Information related to the Marriott Bonvoy Bountiful™ Card has been collected by NerdWallet and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card.

How to maximize your rewards

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