Marriott Bonvoy is currently running a special promotion on buying points with the opportunity to earn a bonus of up to 35% on points purchases until September 8.
Purchasing points in addition to earning points on cash stays and credit card spending can be a good way to unlock luxury award travel, especially if you are already close to a redemption threshold. Of course, the argument for buying points is definitely stronger when a bonus or discount promotion like this one is on offer.
- What’s the deal?
- What are the pros and cons?
- How much is a Marriott Bonvoy point worth?
- Is it worth speculatively buying points?
- How many points do I need for a free award night?
- What hotel brands are part of Marriott Bonvoy?
- What other ways are there to earn Marriott Bonvoy points?
- Do Marriott Bonvoy points expire?
- How does this offer compare to previous promotions?
What’s the deal?
From August 10 through September 8, 2023, you can earn a bonus of up to 35% when you purchase Marriott Bonvoy points to help boost your balance. The bonus rate kicks in when you buy at least 2,000 points, but this is a tiered offer, so you need to buy at least 40,000 points to earn the maximum 35% bonus.
- 2,000 – 9,000 points – earn a 25% bonus
- 10,000 – 39,000 points – earn a 30% bonus
- 40,000 – 100,000 – earn a 35% bonus
Points can be purchased in blocks of 1,000. Each block of 1,000 points costs $12.50, meaning that without a bonus applied, the cost to purchase points is usually 1.25 cents per point.
It can take up to 72 hours for purchased miles to be posted to your account, so this is something to factor in if you intend to purchase miles for a specific redemption.
Maximum purchase amount
Marriott Bonvoy allows members to purchase a maximum of 100,000 points per calendar year. Any bonus points you earn when you purchase points, thankfully, do not count towards the annual purchase limit.
Unfortunately, any points that are gifted to you also count towards the 100,000 annual limit.
What are the pros and cons?
- Buy Marriott Bonvoy for as little as 0.92 cents each
- Lots of award opportunities and a huge array of hotel brands to choose from
- Get a fifth night free on award stays on standard rooms
- The cost to purchase points is still more than the average value per point
- Marriott Bonvoy’s dynamic award pricing model can make it difficult to determine if you are getting value for money
- Points could expire after 24 months of no qualifying account activity.
How much is a Marriott Bonvoy point worth?
Each Marriott Bonvoy Point is worth approximately 0.5 cents.
I value Marriott Bonvoy points at 0.7 cents each. However, it’s important to note that Marriott Bonvoy no longer follows a fixed award chart after switching to dynamic award pricing in 2022.
The switch to a revenue-based redemption program means that the cost in points for an award night can vary based on a number of factors, including:
- Local events
- Local hotel capacity
Dynamic award pricing means that the cost in points for an award stay is directly linked to the cash price for the same room.
In order to assess the value of your points for an award stay, you’ll want to compare the price in points against the cash price for the same room.
💡 To work out the value of your points for an award stay, simply divide the cost of the stay in cash by the cost of booking the same stay in points.
cash price ➗ cost in points = cents per point
The result is known as the ‘cents per point’ – a rate above the average represents good value for money, whereas a rate below the average could represent poor value for money.
Marriott Bonvoy does, however, have a points price cap on award night redemptions. The maximum number of points that can be charged for a standard room is 150,000 points, and this cap applies to almost Marriott Bonvoy properties.
There are a few exceptions to this rule, and the points price cap doesn’t apply to cash and points redemptions.
Is it worth speculatively buying points?
I generally advise only to buy points in order to boost your points balance to achieve a specific redemption, but this latest deal is an excellent opportunity to acquire points for a very reasonable price which could, in turn, unlock some pretty compelling award opportunities.
The case for speculatively buying points is definitely stronger when there’s an attractive bonus promotion such as this one, although you’ll want to be certain you are getting value for money when you book an award stay.
How many points do I need for a free award night?
It’s well-publicized that Marriott Bonvoy no longer has a fixed award chart after the program switched to a revenue-based system with dynamic award pricing in March 2022.
Under Marriott Bonvoy’s old system, it was easy to determine exactly how many points were required to stay at a specific property on a specific date, but that has been completely upended by dynamic award pricing.
With dynamic award pricing, the cost of an award night varies based on a number of factors, such as:
- Local hotel capacity
- And local events
This sometimes means that you’ll end up getting better value for money than from a fixed award chart, but invariably, the house always wins, and dynamic pricing means there are fewer opportunities to find great value redemptions.
Marriott Bonvoy’s ‘Stay for 5, Pay for 4’ Benefit
Marriott Bonvoy’s ‘Stay for 5, Pay for 4’ benefit is a great way to squeeze additional value out of your points. In simple terms, when you book an award stay of five consecutive nights at a Marriott Bonvoy group hotel, the 5th night is free.
There are, however, a few important considerations to bear in mind:
- This promotion only applies to standard rooms and can’t be used for premium rooms or suites.
- Marriott Bonvoy doesn’t offer the 5th-night free promo on cash & points redemptions.
It’s also worth noting that while Marriott Bonvoy calls this promotion ‘5th night free’, that’s not technically true. If the cost in points varies from night to night, the free night will actually be applied to the cheapest night.
What hotel brands are part of Marriott Bonvoy?
Marriott Bonvoy now encompasses more than 30 hotel brands which are officially broken down into three main categories: Luxury, Premium, and Select, as well as its Longer Stays and Collections categories.
The Ritz-Carlton is the flagship luxury brand of Marriot Bonvoy, while St. Regis hotels follow close behind. Marriott Bonvoy’s Select brand hotels, however, make up the bulk of the groups’ hotels, including the likes of Courtyard by Marriott, Moxy Hotels and Aloft Hotels.
Marriott Bonvoy also offers some alternative options which are particularly good for vacations, including Marriott Executive Apartments and Homes & Villas by Marriott.
- The Ritz-Carlton
- St. Regis
- JW Marriott
- W Hotels
- The Luxury Collection
- Edition Hotels
- Marriott Hotels
- Marriott Vacation Club
- Le MERIDIEN
- Autograph Collection
- Renaissance Hotels
- Gaylord Hotels
- Courtyard by Marriott
- Four Points
- City Express
- Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott
- SpringHill Suites by Marriott
- Protea Hotels by Marriott
- Aloft Hotels
- AC Hotels by Marriott
- Moxy Hotels
- Marriott Executive Apartments
- Residence Inn
- TownePlace Suites
- Homes & Villas by Marriott International
- Autograph Collections Hotels
- Design Hotels
- Tribute Portfolio
What other ways are there to earn Marriott Bonvoy points?
Do Marriott Bonvoy points expire?
The good news is that Marriott Bonvoy points don’t expire as long as there is ‘qualifying’ activity in your account at least once every 24 months.
What does Marriott Bonvoy class as ‘qualifying activity’? Common examples include:
- Either a cash or points stay at a Marriott Bonvoy hotel
- Earning points through a cobranded credit card
- Earning points with one of Marriott’s travel reward partners
How does this offer compare to previous promotions?
Marriott Bonvoy doesn’t offer as many deals on buying points as other major hotel groups, and generally, we see a promotion run every few months. When there is an offer, Marriott Bonvoy normally offers a much lower bonus or discount amount than other hotel loyalty programs.
This latest promotion is in line with other recent Marriott Bonvoy points purchase deals. Here are some of the most recent Marriott Bonvoy points promotions…
Bonus of up to 50%
Bonus of up to 40%
Discount of up to 25%
Marriott Bonvoy is offering a promotion where you can earn a bonus of up to 35% when you purchase points. The promotion is valid from August 10 through September 8, 2023, and you can get points for as low as 0.92 cents each, which is a great deal compared to the usual price of 1.25 cents per point.
This is a pretty decent opportunity to stock up on points and redeem them for free nights at Marriott hotels.
Mateusz Maszczynski honed his skills as an international flight attendant at the most prominent airline in the Middle East and has been flying throughout the COVID-19 pandemic for a well-known European airline. Matt is passionate about the aviation industry and has become an expert in passenger experience and human-centric stories. Always keeping an ear close to the ground, Matt's industry insights, analysis and news coverage is frequently relied upon by some of the biggest names in journalism.