Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. This site may be compensated through a credit card issuer partnership.
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?
- Pros and cons of the Marriott Bonvoy program
- How much are Marriott Bonvoy points worth?
- How to earn Marriott Bonvoy points worth?
- How to redeem Marriott Bonvoy points
- Marriott Bonvoy elite status
- Benefits of Marriott Bonvoy status
- Fast tracks to Marriott Bonvoy status
- Is Marriott Bonvoy worth it?
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
|Brand||# of locations|
|The Luxury Collection||118|
|Brand||# of locations|
|Autograph Collection Hotels||192|
|Brand||# of properties|
|Brand||# of properties|
|Marriott Executive Apartments||32|
|Homes & Villas by Marriott||2,000+|
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 properties||7,300+|
|Marriott Bonvoy points needed for a free night||4,000-100,000|
|Number of redemption options||7 (Free nights, rental cars, Marriott Bonvoy Moments, travel packages, gift cards, transfer to airline partners, merchandise)|
|Point value||0.5 cents (10,000 Marriott Bonvoy points are worth around $50)|
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 $1||5 points per $1|
When you have Marriott Bonvoy elite status, your points earned per stay increases:
|Status level||Additional points earned:|
|Silver Elite||10% points bonus|
|Gold Elite||25% points bonus|
|Platinum Elite||50% points bonus|
|Titanium Elite||75% points bonus|
|Ambassador Elite||75% 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 50,000 and 100,000 points for new cardholders:
|Credit card||Welcome bonus||Earning rate||Annual fee|
|Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card||Earn 75,000 Bonus Points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.||Earn 6X points for every $1 spent at over 7,000 hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy™ and 2X points on all other purchases.||$95|
|Marriott Bonvoy Bold™ Credit Card||Earn 30,000 Bonus Points after spending $1,000 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.||Earn 3X points for every $1 spent at 7,000+ hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy™ and 2X points on other travel purchases (from airfare to taxis and trains).||$0|
|Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card||Earn Earn 75,000 bonus Marriott Bonvoy points after you use your new Card to make $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months.||Earn 6 Marriott Bonvoy points for each dollar of eligible purchases at participating Marriott Bonvoy Hotels. 3 points at U.S. restaurants and on flights booked directly with airlines. 2 points on all other eligible purchases.||$450|
|Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card||Earn 75,000 bonus Marriott Bonvoy points after you use your new Card to make $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months.||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.||$125 (|
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 level||Earning rate|
|Marriott Bonvoy members||4 points per $1 spent|
|Marriott Bonvoy members with established elite status from credit cards and/or hotel nights||6 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 American Express® Gold Card, please click here.
For rates and fees of 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.
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 category||Off peak||Standard||Peak|
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.
Let’s take a look at a few examples of Marriott bookings. First, a modest booking at the 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.
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.
- 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 level||Requirements to earn|
|Silver Elite||10+ hotel nights per year|
|Gold Elite||25+ hotel nights per year|
|Platinum Elite||50+ hotel nights per year|
|Titanium Elite||75+ hotel nights per year|
|Ambassador Elite||100+ 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
- Member benefits plus...
- Ultimate reservation guarantee
- 10% bonus points on top of base points
- Late checkout (no time specified)
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)
|Card||Marriott Bonvoy elite status||Annual fee|
|Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card||Automatic Silver elite status with a path to Gold elite status
You can earn Gold by spending $35,000 on purchases each account year
|Marriott Bonvoy Bold™ Credit Card||Automatic Silver elite status||$0|
|Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card||Automatic 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® Card||Automatic Silver elite status||$125|
|The Platinum Card® from American Express||Automatic Gold elite status||$550|
For rates and fees of Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card, please click here.
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|
|New York City||107||17,500-85,000|
The information related to American Express® Green Card, Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card, Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card, Chase Freedom Flex℠, 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.