Best Ways to Use Marriott Bonvoy Points for Maximum Value

Marriott Bonvoy Elite Program Logo


One of the best things about the Marriott points program is that you can transfer points to airlines in addition to redeem points for hotels. Marriott has more combined airline transfer partners than American Express and Chase.


Hotel Stays at Marriott

You can see hotels by category by search Marriott entire award list of hotels. Just enter the city or hotel name. 

You can also see hotels by category on Marriott’s website if you select “Filters” on the first page. You can also sort by brand or category and then select the state or country you want to stay in. The category of the hotel will then be shown to the right of the number of reviews of the hotel.  

Fifth Night Free

If you book four nights using points, you can get the fifth night for free. For example, five nights at a Category 4 hotel would typically cost 125,000 points, but using your fifth night free, you would save 25,000 points and only use 100,000 points (25,000 * 4)

No Blackout Dates Policy

As long as a property has a “standard room” available for booking, it should also be available for using points. However, Marriott states that hotels “may limit the number of standard rooms available for redemption on a limited number of days.” There’s been a lot of cases of the ultra-premium resorts playing games with their room inventory to create black out dates.

Points Advance

If you don’t have enough points right now for a hotel stay, you can still book an award today as long as you will have points within 14 days of check-in

PointSavers

Marriott also offers up to a 33% discount at some hotels throughout the year via their PointSavers program (you can find the hotels and dates by scrolling down to “Participaing Hotel with Avaliable Dates”)


Cash and Points

Note: Off-peak and peak pricing begins on March 2019. 

Category Points Only Cash + Points Cent Per Point
1 (Off-Peak)5,000$50 + 2,5002.0
1 (Peak)10,000$60 + 4,5001.09
2 (Off-Peak)10,000$60 + 5,0001.20
2 (Peak)15,000$70 + 6,5000.82
3 (Off-Peak)15.000$70 + 7,5000.93
3 (Peak)20,000$90 + 9,0000.82
4 (Off-Peak)20,000$90 + 10,0000.90
4 (Peak)30,000$120 + 13,5000.73
5 (Off-Peak)30,000$120 + 16,0000.86
5 (Peak)40,000$165 + 19,0000.79
6 (Off-Peak)40,000$165 + 22,0000.92
6 (Peak)60,000$225 + 27,5000.69
7 (Off-Peak)50,000$225 + 27,5001.0
7 (Peak)70,000$325 + 35,0000.93
8 (Off-Peak)70,000$325 + 35,0000.93
8 (Peak)100,000$635 + 50,0001.27


Airline Transfers

You can transfer points at a ratio of 3 Marriott Points to 1 Airline point, with a 5,000 airline points bonus if you transfer in increments of 60,000 Marriott points. (e.g., 60,000 Marriott points become 25,000 airline points, whereas if you only transfer 59,000 Marriott points, you would only get 19,667 airline points)

3 to 1 Airline Partners: Aegean, Aeroflot, Aeromexico, Aeroplan, Air China, Air France/Flying Blue, Alaska, Alitalia, All-Nippon Airways, American Airlines, Asiana, Avianca (Lifemiles), British Airways, Cathay Pacific (Asia Miles), China Eastern, China Southern, COPA, Delta, Emirates, Etihad, Frontier, GOL, Hainan, Hawaiian, Iberia, Japan Airlines, Jet Airways, Korean, LATAM, Lufthansa (Miles and More), Qantas, Qatar, Saudia Airlines, Singapore, South African, Southwest, TAP Portugal, Thai, Turkish, United, Virgin Atlantic, and Virgin Australia.

Different Ratios

  • United (3 to 1.1)
  • JetBlue (6 to 1)
  • Air New Zealand (200 to 1)

Recommendation: Alaska, Japan Airlines, and ANA are great all-around points programs. Other good programs with a few sweet spots are: Asiana, Avianca LifeMiles, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Etihad, Korean, Singapore, United, and Virgin Atlantic


Hotel + Air Package 

Marriott offers a special “Hotel + Air Package” in which you redeem a certain number of points based on the category of hotel you want for a 7-night stay plus either 50,000 or 100,000 airline miles (or 10% bonus with United). The certificate must be used at the same property for 7 consecutive nights. You can upgrade your certificate later by paying the difference in points. Additionally, you can use the certificate with anyone’s name (e.g. if you want to gift it to a family member or friend).

You need to call 800-321-7396 to book. The hotel certificate will expire after one year, but if you ask Marriott nicely, they will usually extend it for an additional year. You do not have to choose the hotel at the time of booking. 

Recommendation: This package used to be an amazing way to use your points, but the package was devalued in August 2018. However, it’s still a good deal if you can stay at one hotel for 7 nights and are traveling during a peak time (e.g., 7 nights during a peak time at a category 7 would cost 490,000 points. Whereas, you can get the package including 100,000 airline miles for just 80,000 more Marriott points, which would normally cost 240,000 Marriott points if you did only an airline transfer. 

Extra Bonus: Occasionally airline programs will offer a bonus for transferring points from a hotel program, which can stack with the Flights and Nights Package. (e.g., in March 2018, British Airways offered a 35% bonus, which turned the 120,000 airline points you would normally get into 162,000 airline points)

 

United Airlines- You can also redeem a Hotel + Air package for United Airlines and receive a 10% bonus (55,000 United points for package one and 110,000 miles for package 2)


Other Ways to Use Marriott Points

Moments: You can spend points on unique experiences such as concerts, sporting events, dining events, and tours. You can find some amazing deals by tracking some of the auctions, which many times have few bidders.