With over 8,000 Marriott properties around the world, you have plenty of choices for redeeming a Marriott free night award — but only a fraction stand out as the top picks for Marriott Bonvoy member redemptions. The in-the-know Bonvoy members who flock to these properties reveal a lot of great choices for your next free night award.
Here’s a quick review of the credit cards offering a free night award, followed by a look at some of the most popular Marriott Bonvoy properties where you can use it.
Credit cards that offer a free night award
You can book dozens of Marriott Bonvoy’s most popular hotels using a free night award earned through a Marriott credit card.
There are four Marriott co-branded cards available to new cardholders, and of these, three offer a free night award every year:
Further, Marriott Titanium Elite members can choose a free night award worth up to 40,000 points as their Annual Choice Benefit. Finally, you may be able to earn a free night award through a promotion.
» Learn more: The best ways to rack up Marriott Bonvoy points
Marriott's top hotels — revealed
Marriott recently gave us a peek at their lists of the most-redeemed hotels worldwide for five specific regions: the U.S., the Caribbean and Latin America, Europe, the Middle East and Africa, and Asia and the Pacific. Taking the top spot on the list of global favorites: the New York Marriott Marquis, right in the heart of Times Square in New York City.
In the U.S., Bonvoy members love New York City; Orlando, Florida; Hawaii; and other beach destinations. For trips overseas, Dubai, United Arab Emirates; London; and Paris are some of the most popular cities.
Half of the top 20 most-redeemed hotels worldwide are Category 7 or 8 properties, requiring between 50,000 and 100,000 points per night. Other than off-peak Category 7 nights, your certificates won't be good most of the year at those hotels. Here's a look at some of the more popular ones where you can actually use your free night certificates.
Marriott hotel award nights available for 35,000 points or less
Due to Marriott’s peak vs. off-peak pricing, 35,000-point free night awards can be redeemed for nights at:
Category 1 through 4 properties on all dates.
Category 5 properties on standard and off-peak dates.
Of the 55 hotels highlighted in the most-redeemed hotel lists, 20 hotels can be redeemed with a 35,000-point free night award. But you probably don’t want to use a free night award on a Category 2 or 3 property. Instead, consider the most-popular Category 4 and 5 Marriott hotels.
Popular Category 4 hotels
There are just four Category 4 hotels that topped the charts:
Courtyard Taipei (Taiwan): No. 2 most redeemed in Asia.
Marriott Mena House, Cairo: No. 8 most redeemed in the Middle East and Africa.
Renaissance Beijing Wangfujing Hotel: No. 9 in Asia.
Courtyard Taipei Downtown (Taiwan): No. 10 in Asia.
Interestingly, two Courtyard hotels in Taipei made this short list. And for good reason: Both are practical hotels for a visit to the capital of Taiwan.
The Marriott Mena House in Cairo remains a popular selection despite being a relatively expensive Category 4 hotel, because of its incredible view of the Egyptian pyramids (which the hotel boasts are within walking distance).
Most-redeemed Category 5 hotels
You can redeem a 35,000-point free night award at Category 5 hotels as long as you avoid peak dates. Nine Category 5 hotels made the most-redeemed hotel lists:
Orlando World Center Marriott (Florida): No. 15 most redeemed in the world.
Gaylord Palms Resort & Convention Center (Kissimmee, Florida): No. 17 in the world.
Sheraton Grand Hotel, Dubai (UAE): No. 3 in the Middle East and Africa.
Courtyard by Marriott Paris Gare de Lyon: No. 4 in Europe.
Sheraton Lisboa Hotel & Spa (Lisbon, Portugal): No. 7 in Europe.
Courtyard by Marriott Isla Verde Beach Resort (Puerto Rico): No. 7 in the Caribbean and Latin America.
Marriott Cancun Resort (Mexico): No. 8 in the Caribbean and Latin America.
MOXY Paris Bastille France: No. 10 in Europe.
The Westin Cape Town (South Africa): No. 10 in the Middle East and Africa.
With two Orlando hotels, the Marriott Cancun, two Paris hotels and the Westin in Cape Town, your free night certificate is good at some of the most in-demand Bonvoy hotels across the globe.
Of these, the Westin Cape Town caught our eye. Located in the heart of Cape Town, right next to the conference center, this elegant hotel overlooks the V&A Waterfront and Table Mountain.
» Learn more: Your guide to the Marriott Bonvoy award chart
Marriott hotel award nights available for 50,000 points or less
Thanks to Marriott Bonvoy’s tiered pricing, 50,000-point free night awards can be redeemed for rewards nights at:
Category 1 through 5 properties on all dates.
Category 6 properties on standard and off-peak dates.
Category 7 properties on off-peak dates.
This means that you can use a 50,000-point free night award at a majority of the most-redeemed Marriott hotels. Here are the Category 6 and 7 hotels that you can book using a 50,000-point free night award.
Popular Category 6 hotels
A nice selection of Category 6 hotels are featured on the most-redeemed hotel lists, including eight of the top 20 most-redeemed hotels in the world:
Sheraton New York Times Square Hotel: No. 6 in the world and No. 5 in the U.S.
Walt Disney World Swan (Orlando, Florida): No. 7 in the world and No. 6 in the U.S.
Sheraton Grand Seattle: No. 9 in the world and No. 7 in the U.S.
Waikiki Beach Marriott Resort & Spa (Honolulu): No. 12 in the world and No. 9 in the U.S.
Renaissance Aruba Resort & Casino: No. 13 in the world and No. 3 in the Caribbean and Latin America.
Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center (Nashville, Tennessee): No. 16 in the world.
The Westin Denver International Airport: No. 18 in the world.
Sheraton Sand Key Resort (Clearwater, Florida): No. 19 in the world.
Domestic travelers rejoice. Almost all of these highly sought-after properties are located in the U.S., so you won’t need to dust off your passport to visit them. Destinations on this list include beach resorts from Hawaii to Clearwater, Florida, city getaways in New York and Seattle, and even the Swan resort, located just minutes from Walt Disney World parks.
Around the world, Bonvoy Category 6 favorites also include:
JW Marriott Marquis Hotel Dubai (UAE): No. 1 in the Middle East and Africa.
Renaissance Amsterdam Hotel: No. 2 in Europe.
San Juan Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino (Puerto Rico): No. 5 in the Caribbean and Latin America.
JW Marriott Cancun Resort & Spa (Mexico): No. 6 in the Caribbean and Latin America.
Grosvenor House, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Dubai (UAE): No. 7 in the Middle East and Africa.
La Concha Renaissance San Juan Resort (Puerto Rico): No. 9 in the Caribbean and Latin America.
JW Marriott Los Cabos Beach Resort & Spa (Mexico): No. 10 in the Caribbean and Latin America.
This list is mainly a collection of ultra-luxury Dubai, UAE, hotels and Caribbean beach getaways. The Renaissance Amsterdam Hotel may surprise as the second most-redeemed hotel in Europe, but it’s understandable when you see the hotel’s central location and sleekly appointed rooms.
Most-redeemed Category 7 hotels
Marriott’s Category 7 properties range between 50,000 and 70,000 points per night; you will need to find an off-peak date to redeem a 50,000-point free night award.
New York Marriott Marquis: No. 1 in the world and the U.S.
Wailea Beach Resort Marriott, Maui (Hawaii): No. 2 in the world and the U.S.
Aruba Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino: No. 3 in the world and No. 1 in the Caribbean and Latin America.
JW Marriott Marco Island Beach Resort (Florida): No. 5 in the world and No. 4 in the U.S.
The Westin Tokyo: No. 8 in the world and No. 1 in Asia.
JW Marriott Essex House New York: No. 11 in the world and No. 8 in the U.S.
The Westin Excelsior, Rome: No. 5 in Europe.
Amsterdam Marriott Hotel: No. 6 in Europe.
JW Marriott Grosvenor House London: No. 8 in Europe.
There’s a reason that these are still some of the most-redeemed hotels despite costing between 50,000 and 70,000 Bonvoy points per night: Their location, amenities and service regularly outshine other hotels.
With almost 2,000 rooms and at the center of Times Square, it’s no surprise that the New York Marriott Marquis has enough availability to land atop the list of most-redeemed hotels in the world.
If you want to use your Marriott free night award
Marriott’s list of the most-redeemed hotels in the world revealed Marriott Bonvoy members’ most-beloved properties. And the great news for Marriott cardholders is that you can book 20 of the 55 most-redeemed hotels with a 35,000-point free night award.
If your dates are flexible, you can book 44 of the 55 most-redeemed hotels using a 50,000-point free night award.
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 2021, 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