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.
Marriott has changed a great deal in the past five years. With the acquisition of Starwood Hotels & Resorts in 2016 and its launch of the Marriott Bonvoy loyalty program in 2019, Marriott has become the world's largest hotel chain. It's no wonder that Marriott Bonvoy is a popular loyalty program for travelers, as you're bound to find a hotel virtually anywhere you go.
Each year, Marriott reevaluates its properties and adjusts their placement on the award category chart. Most notably, the program went through severe devaluations, with many hotels increasing in prices on the award category chart in 2020. This resulted in an unfavorable downturn in the value of Marriott Bonvoy points.
With the 2021 announcement of award category changes — and the pandemic ravaging the travel industry — we estimate that Marriott Bonvoy points are worth 0.77 cents each. In this guide, we'll go over how you can get the most out of your rewards.
How much are Marriott points worth?
We estimate that Marriott Bonvoy are worth 0.77 cents each, although we've found the value can range as low as 0.34 cents per point and as high as 1.84 cents per point. Our analysis is based on Marriott's award chart, which divides its hotels into eight categories and clearly delineates the number of points needed for each category, by off-peak, standard and peak dates:
Marriott hotel categories
We sampled one domestic and one international hotel from each hotel category (1-8) and broke the prices down by off-peak, standard and peak rates to gather the average value of Marriott Bonvoy points.
Marriott points value
Point value (in cents)
|8||The Chatwal, a Luxury Collection Hotel, New York City||$583||Off-peak||63,000 points||0.93|
|The St. Regis Hong Kong||$438||Off-peak||63,000 points||0.70|
|7||The W Aspen||$244||Off-peak||45,000 points||0.54|
|JW Marriott Cannes||$331||Off-peak||45,000 points||0.74|
Based on this sample, it's a good idea to use your points instead of cash for peak dates as you'll likely gain the most value out of your rewards. But, booking on peak dates requires more points, so you'll have to determine if this redemption is worth it for you.
It's worth noting that there's a huge variation in value across categories, destinations and dates, making it hard to predict whether you'll get a good value by using your Marriott points. Therefore, it's always a good idea to check the cash price before shelling out your hard-earned points.
For example, an off-peak night at the Courtyard Jackson Ridgeland Hotel grants you a whopping 1.84 cents per point, which is over double our estimated average value. Meanwhile, a standard night at La Ville Hotel & Suites in Dubai only warrants 0.34 cents per point — in this case, it's wiser to pay cash for this stay.
Where can you get the most value with your Marriott points?
Based on the chart above, we wanted to note some sweet spots in the Marriott Bonvoy program (hotel room categories that offer more value than average) to help you maximize your rewards.
Category 1 and 2 hotels
Although not the most glamorous of stays, you can find some stellar deals booking on off-peak dates at Category 1 and 2 hotels. If you're the type of traveler who wants to spend more on activities while you're at the destination, you can luck out with some bargain hotels in Marriott's portfolio. Our research shows that it shouldn't be too difficult to land more than 1 cent of value for your Marriott Bonvoy points on these two categories.
Category 1 properties start at just 4,500 points per night — worth just $34 according to our points valuation. You can score some stays that may cost upward of $100 per night.
Category 7 hotels
For luxury travelers, you can save up your Marriott Bonvoy points to land an amazing deal for Category 7 properties on peak dates — which can cost upward of $919 at hotels such as the JW Marriott Cannes in France. Instead, you can save your cash and stay for just 70,000 points per night, worth about $532 according to our points valuation.
Marriott Bonvoy guides
How does Marriott Bonvoy compare to other hotel loyalty programs?
While Marriott Bonvoy points tend to offer below-average value, this is common across many hotel rewards currencies. The table below summarizes the pros and cons of each major hotel program, along with its respective points value. No hotel program is perfect, so you'll want to base your loyalty on your travel habits.
Marriott 5th night free on award bookings
A huge advantage that Marriott offers is the ability to earn a fifth free night automatically when redeeming your points for four nights at almost all properties. There are only a few exceptions, such as at certain all-inclusive resorts. If you tend to book longer vacations, this can be a helpful perk that will instantly bump up the value of your points.
Hilton Honors is the only other program to offer this benefit, so points-savvy users might gravitate toward these hotels.
Marriott Bonvoy category changes in 2021
Marriott's category changes this year affect 201 hotels and will take place on March 3, 2021. Compared to 2020, these adjustments are generally positive — with 150 hotels moving down a category and 51 hotels moving up a category. These changes only affect a small percentage of Marriott's 8,000+ hotels, so this shouldn't have too much impact on our 2021 points valuation.
Here are some examples of properties moving down that are worth noting:
|Curacao Marriott Beach Resort||6||5|
|Four Points by Sheraton Boston Newton||5||4|
|SpringHill Suites Spokane Airport||4||3|
Here are some properties that will increase in price in March. If you're looking to book any of these hotels, you have a few weeks to lock in the lower price before the higher category takes into effect.
|Las Alcobas, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Mexico City||6||7|
|Aloft Ocean City||5||6|
|Courtyard Cocoa Beach Cape Canaveral||4||5|
For a complete list of these category changes, visit Marriott's website for more information.
Our picks for the best Marriott credit cards
Credit cards that earn Marriott Bonvoy points
Marriott offers three personal cards and one business card through Chase and American Express. If you're looking to earn a large bank of Marriott Bonvoy points, consider applying for any of the following credit cards.
|Marriott Bonvoy Bold® Credit Card||$0||For a Limited Time Only! Earn 60,000 Bonus Points after spending $2,000 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.||Earn up to 14X total 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).|
|Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card||$95||For a Limited Time Only! Earn 125,000 Bonus Points and 1 Free Night Award (Free Night Award has a redemption value up to 50,000 points) after spending $5,000 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening with the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card!||Earn up to 17X total points for every $1 spent at over 7,000 hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy® and 2X points on all other purchases.|
|Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card||$450 See rates and fees||Limited Time Offer: 150,000 Marriott Bonvoy bonus points and a bonus Free Night Award after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in eligible purchases within the first 3 months of Card Membership. Resort fees may apply. Terms apply. Offer expires 11/3/2021.||Earn 6 Marriott Bonvoy points for each dollar of eligible purchases at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy™ program. 3 points at U.S. restaurants and on flights booked directly with airlines. 2 points on all other eligible purchases.|
|Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card||$125||Limited Time Offer: Earn 125,000 Marriott Bonvoy bonus points & 2 bonus Free Night Awards after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in eligible purchases within the first 3 months. Each bonus Free Night Award has a redemption level up to 50K points. Certain hotels have resort fees. Offer ends 11/3/2021.||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.|
While many people discount Marriott Bonvoy as a loyalty program with poor rewards value, our updated valuation shows that this isn't necessarily true. While there are plenty of redemption options that offer a meager 0.5 cents per value (or less), there are also many sweet spots on the chart. Marriott Bonvoy offers award travel opportunities from the budget-conscious traveler to those looking for ultimate luxury. We recommend applying for a Marriott Bonvoy card not only to earn a ton of points, but to earn extra hotel benefits that can elevate your experience.
For rates and fees of Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card, please click here.
The information related to Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card has been independently collected by ValuePenguin and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of these card prior to publication. Terms apply to American Express credit card offers. See americanexpress.com for more information.