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Marriott Bonvoy is one of the world’s largest hotel loyalty programs, with mid-tier and luxury properties in many popular destinations. For this reason, it can be worth earning Marriott points as you can redeem them at a desirable hotel or resort. People ask, “Is Marriott Rewards a good deal?” We’re diving into the deep end to find out.
People Ask: Are Marriott Rewards A Good Deal?
Marriott Rewards can be a good deal for travelers who stay at Marriott properties often and can enjoy the perks that come with being part of the program. Like anything, if you very rarely use something, you shouldn’t invest in paying a fee for the services.
What is the Marriott Rewards Program?
The Marriott Rewards Program rebranded to Marriott Bonvoy in 2019 to reflect the merger of these three loyalty programs:
- Marriott Rewards
- Ritz-Carlton Rewards
- Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG)
There are over 8,000 properties across 130 countries through 30 brands. Guests earn Bonvoy points that can be redeemed for hotel nights and other travel rewards.
Some of the program’s iconic brands include:
- Marriott Hotels
- W Hotels
- Four Points by Sheraton
- Gaylord Hotels
- Autograph Collection Hotels
- Residence Inn
- The Ritz-Carlton
- St. Regis
How Much Are Marriott Points Worth?
Reward nights within the Marriott Bonvoy portfolio are usually the most valuable option when your points are worth from 0.7 to 1 cent each. However, it’s common for each point to be worth as little as 0.5 cents or up to 1.25 cents.
The average point value is comparable to most hotel programs. But, it is not as impressive as World of Hyatt, airline miles, or credit card points, which are almost always worth 1 cent or more.
Are the Marriott Rewards Credit Cards Worth It?
They can be worth it if you stay at Marriott properties regularly or want automatic Bonvoy Elite status. However, you should consider a product that offers an annual free night award, which can easily be worth more than the annual fee, and reduces the pressure of earning enough points from your spending and paid stays.
You may consider these cards first if you want to make Marriott Rewards a good deal that maximizes your money.
Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card
The Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card has a $95 annual fee and offers a free night award for each account anniversary (35,000 points or less).
You can also earn up to 17x points on Marriott purchases and will receive 15 Elite Night Credits which provides automatic Silver Elite status.
Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant American Express Card
Luxury travelers can soak in the sun with the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card. This product has a $650 annual fee but includes these benefits:
- Bonvoy Platinum Elite status
- 25 Elite Night credits per year
- 1 Free Night Award per year (85,000 points or under)
- $100 Marriott Bonvoy Property Credit on qualifying stays at The Ritz-Carlton or St. Regis
This is one of the best hotel credit cards.
Cardholders also receive a couple of air travel benefits. They include Priority Pass Select lounge access and Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee credit.
Each calendar year after spending $60,000 on eligible purchases, Card Members are eligible to select an Earned Choice Award benefit. You can only earn one Earned Choice Award per calendar year. See https://www.choice-benefit.marriott.com/brilliant for Award options.
New LTO! New Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card cardholders earn two 85K Free Night Awards after spending $6,000 in purchases on the Card in their first 6 months. Each award can be used for one night (redemption level at or under 85,000 Marriott Bonvoy points) at hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy. Card Members could enjoy a value of up to $1,200 when redeeming each reward. Certain hotels have resort fees. Offer ends 11/1/2023.
How Many Points To Stay at Marriott?
You will need from 5,000 to 120,000 Marriott points per award night. Unfortunately, Marriott stopped publishing a category-based award chart in 2022 and switched to variable pricing. As a result, you must get quotes for your desired travel dates at your preferred location.
Most mid-tier properties require from 17,000 to 30,000 points per night but can be pricier during peak periods. Hotel brands like Sheraton, Courtyard, Renaissance, Residence Inn, and TownePlace fall into this range.
Luxury properties usually start at 70,000 points and include brands such as The Ritz-Carlton and JW Marriott.
One way to make Marriott Rewards a good deal is to search for participating properties offering discounted rates through the PointSavers program. When comparing award night rates at your destination, you may see this discount at select properties during your travel dates. For example, you may only need 15,200 points instead of 19,000 points.
Stay for 5, Pay for 4
You can save a bundle when booking a stay of at least 5 consecutive nights with points as you get one night for free. This benefit is available to all Bonvoy members.
When Do Marriott Points Expire?
Marriott Bonvoy points expire after 24 months of inactivity when you don’t earn or redeem points. Further, Marriott deletes your loyalty account after five consecutive years of no activity.
Related: Do Travel Airline Miles Expire?
Can You Buy Marriott Points?
Bonvoy members can buy up to 100,000 points per year and usually pay $12.50 per 1,000 points. This cost values each purchased point at 1.25 cents, which isn’t a good deal as it’s higher than the average redemption value. Therefore, you should consider buying points sparingly, such as when filling a shortage or waiting for bonus promotions to stretch your purchase power.
How to Earn Marriott Points
Here are some of the best ways to earn points and make Marriott Bonvoy a good deal:
- Paid hotel stays
- Spend with a Marriott Bonvoy credit card
- Dine at participating restaurants
- Book cruises and rental cars through travel partners
- Transfer American Express Membership Rewards® or Chase Ultimate Rewards®
Best Ways to Redeem Marriott Points
Now that you know a little bit more about the Marriott Bonvoy program, it’s time for some fun stuff. Your best Marriott redemption options are for hotel nights or flights.
Reward Hotel Nights
Your Bonvoy points will usually be worth around 0.7 cents on hotel nights. You may decide to pay with points and cash or wait for PointSavers rates to preserve your balance.
Using Bonvoy Points for Award Flights
You can transfer Bonvoy points to airlines at a 3:1 ratio (3,000 Bonvoy points:1,000 airline miles), and you get 5,000 bonus airline miles when transferring 60,000 points at once, making the transfer ratio more lucrative.
Additionally, you receive 10% more United Airlines miles as this airline is a preferred transfer partner. As a result, you receive 1,300 miles per 3,000 Bonvoy points that you convert.
Sure, this ratio isn’t as good as the 1:1 ratio as Chase or American Express has, but it can be worth it if you prefer flights to nights.
So, Is Marriott Rewards A Good Deal?
Traveling with Marriott Bonvoy can be worth it as they have high-quality properties in many domestic and international destinations. This makes it easy to earn points and advance up the loyalty tiers. Using a co-branded credit card can help you unlock additional perks.
This loyalty program is also worth considering with the best travel credit cards as you can transfer your points or book nights through your credit card travel portal at a competitive value.
However, you may not go all-in on Marriott if you want to earn the most valuable travel points. Hotel points have notoriously mediocre redemption values, and Bonvoy points are rarely an exception.
Asking whether Marriott Rewards are worth it helps maximize your efforts if you’re serious about earning travel points. Unless you’re frequently staying at Marriott properties, airline miles and flexible credit points are usually the better offer. But this loyalty program typically has some of the best hotels, and your stay experience can be better than most competitors. This can be more valuable when comparing hotel options.