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.

Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us. This may influence which products we write about and where and how the product appears on a page. However, this does not influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own. Here is a list of our partners and here's how we make money.

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.

The best travel rewards in '22
Use our Best-Of Awards list to get the year’s best travel rewards for hotels and airlines

In this review

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 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 you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.

  • 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 Nights (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 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 75,000 Marriott Bonvoy bonus points after you use your new Card to make $3,000 in purchases on the Card within the first 3 months. 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 75,000 bonus Marriott Bonvoy points after you use your new Card to make $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months. 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.

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. 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.

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 0.7 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 Marriott Bonvoy points are worth

Based on our most recent analysis, NerdWallet values Marriott Bonvoy points at 0.7 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 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 should not necessarily count on them maintaining their value over time.

Marriott Bonvoy elite status

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

table detailing Marriott Bonvoy elite status levels and perks
Frequently asked questions
What is Marriott Bonvoy?

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.

How do I use Marriott Bonvoy points?

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.

Is Marriott Bonvoy free?

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

Is Marriott Bonvoy the same as Marriott Rewards?

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.

Is Hilton part of Marriott?

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.

Which brands belong to Marriott Bonvoy?

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.

How many hotels participate in the Marriott Bonvoy Program?

There are over 7,000 participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels.

Do Marriott Bonvoy points expire?

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.

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:

Get more smart money moves – straight to your inbox
Sign up and we’ll send you Nerdy articles about the money topics that matter most to you along with other ways to help you get more from your money.