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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.
» Learn more: Things to know before joining Marriott Bonvoy
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.
» Learn more: Which Marriott Bonvoy credit card should I choose?
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.
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.
» Learn more: Your complete guide to earning Marriott Bonvoy points
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.
» Learn more: Five ways to redeem your Marriott Bonvoy 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.
» Learn more: Advanced Tips for Optimizing Marriott Bonvoy 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.
» Learn more: How to get the most value from Marriott Bonvoy points
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.
» Learn more: What is the value of Marriott Bonvoy points?
Marriott Bonvoy elite status
The Marriott Bonvoy program includes a whopping five elite status levels: Silver, Gold, Platinum, Titanium and Ambassador.
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:
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