Marriott Bonvoy Rewards Program: Everything You Need to Know

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With more than 30 brands in its portfolio encompassing over 7,000 properties, Marriott is the largest hotel brand in the world. From budget properties like the Fairfield Inn & Suites, to the ultra-posh St. Regis Hotels & Resorts, there is likely a brand that fits your travel needs. The Marriott Bonvoy rewards program allows all types of travelers to earn free nights and take advantage of elite status benefits at a wide array of properties around the world.

What is Marriott Bonvoy?

Marriott Bonvoy is a rewards program designed to give frequent guests rewards and benefits for their loyalty to Marriott. Marriott Bonvoy was introduced in early 2019, combining the old Marriott Rewards program along with the Starwood Preferred Guest reward program and The Ritz-Carlton Rewards to form the world's largest hotel loyalty program. And within the program are over 7,000 properties ranging from quaint to luxurious.

Marriott Bonvoy hotel brands

Luxury

Brand# of locations
The Ritz-Carlton106
St. Regis45
JW Marriott89
W Hotels58
EDITION10
The Luxury Collection118
Bvlgari6

Premium

Brand# of locations
Marriott575
Sheraton447
Delta Hotels79
Westin225
Le Meridien110
Renaissance Hotels175
Autograph Collection Hotels192
Tribute Portfolio40
Design Hotels318
Gaylord Hotels6

Select

Brand# of properties
Courtyard1,241
Four Points289
Springhill Suites456
Fairfield1,057
Protea Hotels80
AC Hotels159
Aloft Hotels176
Moxy Hotels62

Longer stays

Brand# of properties
Residence Inn850
TownePlace Suites418
Element Hotels51
Marriott Executive Apartments32
Homes & Villas by Marriott2,000+

At each of these brands, you can earn Marriott Bonvoy points for your stay. The points you earn can be redeemed for free nights at Marriott properties.

If you don’t stay in Marriott properties often, don’t be discouraged. There are several other ways to earn Marriott Bonvoy points other than hotel stays.

Pros and cons of the Marriott Bonvoy program

The Marriott Bonvoy rewards program is one of the better hotel loyalty programs because of its large portfolio of properties, vast opportunities to earn Marriott Bonvoy points and variety of redemption options for your points.

One of the notable features of the Marriott Bonvoy program is its fixed award chart. In contrast to other programs like Hilton Honors, with dynamic award charts, Marriott gives consumers a concise view into how many Marriott Bonvoy points are needed for each property and room option.

Also, Marriott does a great job of “guarding” its elite status levels. There are ways to earn Marriott Bonvoy status, but you can only climb a few tiers without needing to physically stay at its properties consistently. This is great for consumers who travel regularly for business or leisure. The less people who have elite status, the more valuable it is.

However, there are a few downsides to the Marriott Bonvoy loyalty program. While lower elite status can be reached automatically with a Marriott co-branded credit card, top elite status can only be reached with a large amount of stays. This can make Marriott a less desirable program for those who travel infrequently. And for those who enjoy staying in more luxurious properties, Marriott charges resort fees on award nights. Other large brands, such as Hilton and Hyatt, do not charge such fees on award stays. Resort fees can sometimes reach up to $100/night, so be wary of this before your next booking.

Despite the downsides, Marriott Bonvoy is still one of the best loyalty programs among competing programs. Here are a few numbers to summarize the Marriott portfolio and the Marriott Bonvoy rewards program.

Marriott by the numbers
Number of properties7,300+
Marriott Bonvoy points needed for a free night4,000-100,000
Number of redemption options7 (Free nights, rental cars, Marriott Bonvoy Moments, travel packages, gift cards, transfer to airline partners, merchandise)
Point value0.5 cents (10,000 Marriott Bonvoy points are worth around $50)
Pros
  • Large amount of hotel properties
  • Wide selection of types of hotels
  • Point values are relatively stable
  • Fixed award chart
  • Award nights start at only 4,000 points
  • Points are transferable to airline programs
  • Many ways to earn points, including Marriott credit cards
Cons
  • Points expire after 24 consecutive months of inactivity
  • Higher elite levels can only be earned by staying at Marriott properties
  • Two of the four Marriott credit cards are issued by Chase, which are subject to the 5/24 rule

How much are Marriott Bonvoy points worth?

Marriott Bonvoy points aren’t worth a ton. They are generally valued around half a cent per point. While this value is low compared with some rewards programs, it's a very standard price for hotel rewards — Hilton Honors and IHG Rewards points are valued similarly.

The reason for the low value is that hotel rewards are much easier to earn. With an abundance of hotel credit cards and opportunities to earn hotel points, this drives down the value of each point.

But when you use Marriott Bonvoy points strategically, you can increase their value.

How do you know if using Marriott Bonvoy points is worth it?

Marriott Bonvoy points are generally valued around 0.5 cents per point — if a hotel stay is worth around 0.5 cents per point, then it’s likely worth it to use them. To calculate the value of Marriott Bonvoy points, use this simple equation: Cash price (including taxes and fees) / Number of points needed for hotel stay = Points value for that specific reservation

How to earn Marriott Bonvoy points

There are multiple ways to earn Marriott Bonvoy points. While staying at Marriott properties is the best option to earn points, there are other options for those who may travel less frequently.

Marriott Bonvoy stays

When you pay for a stay at a Marriott property, you will earn Marriott Bonvoy points. The amount of points you earn is based on how much you pay, method of paying, your elite status and the property in which you stay.

10 points per $15 points per $1
  • The Ritz-Carlton
  • St. Regis
  • EDITION
  • The Luxury Collection
  • W Hotels
  • JW Marriott
  • Marriott
  • Sheraton
  • Marriott Vacation Club
  • Delta Hotels
  • Le Meridien
  • Westin
  • Autograph Collection Hotels
  • Design Hotels
  • Renaissance Hotels
  • Tribute Portfolio
  • Gaylord Hotels
  • Courtyard by Marriott
  • Four Points
  • Springhill Suites by Marriott
  • Protea Hotels
  • Fairfield by Marriott
  • AC Hotels by Marriott
  • Aloft
  • Moxy Hotels
  • Residence Inn by Marriott
  • Towneplace Suites by Marriott
  • Element

When you have Marriott Bonvoy elite status, your points earned per stay increases:

Status levelAdditional points earned:
Silver Elite10% points bonus
Gold Elite25% points bonus
Platinum Elite50% points bonus
Titanium Elite75% points bonus
Ambassador Elite75% points bonus

Keep in mind that you must book directly with Marriott to earn points and for your status to be recognized. If you book with a third-party travel agency, you will not be able to use the benefits.

When calculating your potential base-point earnings, be sure to disregard taxes and fees, which do not earn points. But if you pay for your room with a Marriott credit card, you will earn credit card points on the entire purchase.

Marriott Bonvoy credit cards

Marriott Bonvoy has a unique portfolio of credit cards, split evenly between two different issuers: Chase and American Express. These co-branded credit cards are excellent for earning Marriott Bonvoy points on your everyday purchases. On top of the base points you earn through your Marriott Bonvoy account for your hotel stays, you will earn additional points by using one of these cards to pay for your stay.

These cards also offer generous welcome bonuses, ranging between 30,000 and 75,000 points for new cardholders:

Credit cardWelcome bonusEarning rateAnnual fee
Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit CardEarn 100,000 Bonus Points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.6 points per $1 on Marriott purchases, 2 points per $1 on other travel purchases, and 2 points per dollar on everything else$95
Marriott Bonvoy Bold™ Credit CardEarn 30,000 Bonus Points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.3 points per $1 on Marriott purchases, 2 points per $1 on other travel purchases and 1 point per dollar on everything else$0
Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® CardEarn 75,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 on eligible purchases within the first three months of account opening.6 points per $1 on Marriott purchases, 3 points per $1 on restaurants and flights booked directly with airlines and 2 points per dollar on everything else$450
Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® CardEarn 75,000 bonus Marriott Bonvoy points after you use your new Card to make $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months.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.$125 ( )

Marriott promotions

Marriott runs promotions from time to time to encourage customers to book hotel nights. These promotions usually involve awarding bonus Marriott Bonvoy points. At the time of publishing, Marriott is offering 2,000 bonus points on each stay with no bonus point limit, starting on your second stay.

Marriott promotions are emailed regularly to Bonvoy members, so be sure to have your email notifications turned on in your Bonvoy profile.

Eat Around Town by Marriott Bonvoy

The Eat Around Town program by Marriott Bonvoy is a free program where you can earn additional Marriott Bonvoy points when you link your Marriott Bonvoy account to any credit card that you use for dining. Once you link your preferred card, visit any of the 11,000+ participating restaurants. You will earn the following rewards:

Membership levelEarning rate
Marriott Bonvoy members4 points per $1 spent
Marriott Bonvoy members with established elite status from credit cards and/or hotel nights6 points per $1 spent

Buy Marriott points

You can also buy Marriott points to add to your balance. However, this strategy is only recommended if you are short a few thousand points for an award stay, as purchasing points can be expensive.

If you need to purchase points, try to wait until a promotional period. These occur occasionally, and can help you get a better value.

Transferring bank points to Marriott points

Chase and American Express both earn rewards that can be transferred to Marriott Bonvoy. Keep in mind that Chase Ultimate Rewards and American Express Membership Rewards are two of the most valuable point currencies, and it usually isn’t the best value to transfer these points to Marriott. However, point transfer is a valid option if you need to cap off your balance for an award stay.

The following Chase credit cards earn Ultimate Rewards points:

And the following American Express cards earn Membership Rewards points:

For rates and fees of the American Express® Green Card, please click here.

For rates and fees of the The Platinum Card® from American Express, please click here.

For rates and fees of the American Express® Gold Card, please click here.

For rates and fees of the The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express, please click here.

How to redeem Marriott points

Once you earn heaps of Marriott Bonvoy points, you can begin strategizing how to redeem them. And Marriott makes it easy for Marriott Bonvoy members to redeem their points.

Free nights

Marriott points are simple to redeem because Marriott has a fixed award chart that allows you to see exactly how many points you will need for a free night. Loyalty programs like Hilton Honors have dynamic pricing, which isn’t great for members as award prices can swing drastically based on demand. With Marriott, it’s very clear how much a room will cost.

The chart shows the various categories of hotels, along with their pricing. As you can see, a free night with Marriott will cost between 5,000 and 100,000 points, depending on the category of the hotel and whether the date is off-peak, standard or peak.

Marriott award chart

Hotel categoryOff peakStandardPeak
15,0007,50010,000
210,00012,50015,000
315,00017,50020,000
420,00025,00030,000
530,00035,00040,000
640,00050,00060,000
750,00060,00070,000
870,00085,000100,000

For your points and miles strategy, it is best to estimate what your preferred hotel will be at peak pricing for your stay. This will ensure you have enough points, regardless of the demand.

It’s important to keep in mind how much your Marriott points are worth when booking an award night. The chart below is a guideline on when to use Marriott points, and when to pay cash. While there is no fixed dollar amount on the left side, the theme is: The higher the cost of the room, the more it makes sense to use your points. Saving money is most important, even if you have to sacrifice a bit of point value.

Marriot Points vs Cash Chart

Let’s take a look at a few examples of Marriott bookings. First, a modest booking at the Aloft Miami - Brickell.

Aloft Miami Brickell

This room costs $140 after taxes and fees, or 25,000 Marriott Bonvoy points. This equates to approximately 0.56 cents per point — a decent value. In this instance, the room is worth booking with points. Let’s take a look at a more luxurious night at the W Hotel in South Beach, Fla.

W South Beach

This option is an even better value than the previous one. After taxes and fees, this room will cost $715. By spending 70,000 Marriott Bonvoy points per night, you will earn a value of 1 cent per point — which is double our estimated value. If you plan on using Marriott Bonvoy points in the future, be very strategic about how you use them. By doing this, you can stretch the value of your points.

Marriott 5th night free

When you use Marriott Bonvoy points for a four-night stay, you will automatically get the fifth night free at any Marriott Bonvoy participating location. This is an effective way to earn more travel for the same amount of points. And this promotion works for stays that are multiple of four. An eight-night stay will earn you two free nights, 12 nights will earn you three free nights and so on.

With this in mind, avoid using points for stays of three nights or fewer. Consider paying cash instead to save your points for a five-night stay.

Alternative redemptions for Marriott Bonvoy points

If you have a large stash of Marriott Bonvoy points and no opportunities to redeem them, there are other ways to use them.

Bonvoy Points
  • Purchase merchandise, such as electronics, garden supplies, Apple products and more.
  • Bid for experience in the Marriott Bonvoy Moments platform.
  • Donate your points to a list of nonprofit organizations.
  • Use a mix of points + cash for hotel stays. (We suggest you only use this option if the cash rates fluctuate greatly between nights. For example, if a Thursday night costs $200 and a Friday night costs $500, you could use cash to pay for the first night and points to pay for the second.)

In general, avoid these options if you can, since the redemption value is poor.

Marriott elite status

Elite status is a great way to earn extra benefits while staying at Marriott properties, such as upgraded rooms, points bonuses, late checkout, in-hotel welcome gift and more.

Hotel elite status is usually earned through staying at qualifying hotel properties within a calendar year.

Marriott status levels

Status levelRequirements to earn
Member statusNone
Silver Elite10+ hotel nights per year
Gold Elite25+ hotel nights per year
Platinum Elite50+ hotel nights per year
Titanium Elite75+ hotel nights per year
Ambassador Elite100+ hotel nights per year + $20,000 annual qualifying spend

If you earn status by staying at Marriott properties, it is valid until the end of the following calendar year.

Benefits of Marriott elite status

Here are the different levels of the IHG Rewards program, and what each status tier will earn you.

Marriott Bonvoy Member

  • Complimentary Wi-Fi
  • Marriott Bonvoy member rates for rooms
  • Mobile check-in

Marriott Bonvoy Silver Elite

Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite

  • Silver benefits plus...
  • 25% bonus earnings on top of base points
  • Late checkout (up to 2 p.m.)
  • In-hotel welcome gift (designated to be additional Marriott Bonvoy points)
  • Room upgrades

Marriott Bonvoy Platinum Elite

  • Gold benefits plus ...
  • 50% bonus earnings on top of base points
  • Dedicated elite support
  • Late checkout (up to 4 p.m.)
  • In-hotel welcome gift (Marriott Bonvoy points, breakfast offering or welcome amenity)
  • Room upgrades (including select suites)
  • Lounge access
  • Guaranteed room type
  • Annual choice benefit (5 suite night awards or gift options — this is awarded with 50 qualifying nights)

Marriott Bonvoy Titanium Elite

  • Platinum benefits plus ...
  • 75% bonus earnings on top of base points
  • Annual choice benefit (5 suite night awards or gift options — this is awarded with 75 qualifying nights)
  • 48-hour room guarantee

Marriott Bonvoy Ambassador Elite

  • Titanium benefits plus ...
  • Ambassador service
  • Your24 (flexibility to choose the 24 hours of your stay)

Fast tracks to Marriott elite status

Marriott status is a valuable benefit to have for all travelers. However, it can be difficult to earn without regular travel.

One common fast track to Marriott elite status is signing up for a Marriott credit card. You can automatically qualify for Silver or Gold status, depending on the card.

Open a Marriott credit card (or other related card)

CardMarriott Bonvoy elite statusAnnual fee
Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit CardAutomatic Silver elite status with a path to Gold elite status

You can earn Gold by spending $35,000 on purchases each account year

$95
Marriott Bonvoy Bold™ Credit CardAutomatic Silver elite status$0
Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® CardAutomatic Gold elite status with a path to Platinum elite status

You can earn Platinum by spending $75,000 on purchases in a calendar year

$450
Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® CardAutomatic Silver elite status$125
The Platinum Card® from American ExpressAutomatic Gold elite status$550

For rates and fees of the The Platinum Card® from American Express, please click here.

Marriott status-match

Many hotel programs run status-match programs to lure customers from other brands. Marriott does not offer an official program; however, some consumers have been offered “status challenges.” While a status match is an automatic matching of status level, a status challenge offers consumers the opportunity to earn a status level faster than the usual route.

Consumers have reported they have been offered the following challenges:

  • Gold Elite challenge — stay 8 paid nights
  • Platinum Elite challenge — stay 16 paid nights

From reports online, you are given the remainder of the current month, plus three additional months to complete the challenge. To see if you can enroll in a challenge, give Marriott Bonvoy a call at 800-627-7468. Be sure to document your call, as some have noted difficulties in getting the challenge posted to their account.

Is Marriott Bonvoy worth it?

Yes, Marriott Bonvoy is worth enrolling in. Even if you rarely stay in Marriott properties, you can accumulate points to use for free hotel nights. With a large variety and number of Marriott properties available, you have many opportunities for using points and elite status benefits. If you accumulate a significant amount of Marriott Bonvoy points, be sure to not hoard them. Redeeming travel points as often as you can is a great strategy because rewards points are frequently devalued. And when points are devalued, they immediately become less useful to accomplish your travel goals.

The point of earning Marriott Bonvoy points is to use them to save money on travel, so be sure to use them for exactly that. The best part is you don’t need millions of points to get started. Here are a few major U.S. cities and the amount of points you need to stay for one free night:

Destination# of hotel properties (within 15 miles)Points needed for one night
Los Angeles6117,500-60,000
Chicago4317,500-60,000
Las Vegas2915,000-85,000
Seattle4515,000-50,000
New York City10717,500-85,000
Miami6617,500-70,000
Dallas628,500-60,000
Denver7512,500-60,000
Charlotte5712,500-60,000
Atlanta7812,500-60,000

The information related to the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card, Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card, Chase Freedom®, Chase Freedom Unlimited®, Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card, Ink Business Unlimited℠ Credit Card, Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card, Blue from American Express®, The Amex EveryDay® Credit Card from American Express and The Business Platinum® Card from American Express has been independently collected by ValuePenguin and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication. Terms apply to American Express credit card offers. See americanexpress.com for more information.

Brett Holzhauer

Brett Holzhauer is ValuePenguin’s travel rewards expert, focusing on credit card rewards maximization, consumer travel trends, and personal finance news. He has earned and burned over 5 million points and miles throughout his travels, saving him roughly $75,000 in travel expenses.

These responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which ValuePenguin receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). ValuePenguin does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

How We Calculate Rewards: ValuePenguin calculates the value of rewards by estimating the dollar value of any points, miles or bonuses earned using the card less any associated annual fees. These estimates here are ValuePenguin's alone, not those of the card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer.

Example of how we calculate the rewards rates: When redeemed for travel through Ultimate Rewards, Chase Sapphire Preferred points are worth $0.0125 each. The card awards 2 points on travel and dining and 1 point on everything else. Therefore, we say the card has a 2.5% rewards rate on dining and travel (2 x $0.0125) and a 1.25% rewards rate on everything else (1 x $0.0125).