Best Ways to Use Marriott Bonvoy Points

You can redeem your Marriott Bonvoy points in a variety of ways including hotel stays, transfers to airline mileage programs, gift cards, and special VIP events.

In this post, we will cover everything you need to know about using Marriott Bonvoy points.

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    Redeeming Marriott Points for Hotel Stays

    Marriott Bonvoy divides their 7,000+ hotel properties into eight categories for using your points.

    The higher the category, the higher the points cost.

    You can see which hotels are in what category searching a location using Marriott’s hotel redemption tool

    Marriott also assigns certain dates Off-Peak, Standard, and Peak rates for each hotel. 

    These dates roughly translate to low, medium, and high demand times for the hotel, and can change at any time.

    For example, a hotel could be Off-Peak for a date and then a week later, it could be changed to a Peak date. If you already made a booking at the Off-Peak rate, it will stay at that rate.

    Marriott Award Chart
    Category Off Peak Standard Peak
    1 5,000 7,500 10,000
    2 10,000 12,500 15,000
    3 15,000 17,500 20,000
    4 20,000 25,000 30,000
    5 30,000 35,000 40,000
    6 40,000 50,000 60,000
    7 50,000 60,000 70,000
    8 70,000 85,000 100,000

    You can use your Marriott points at any of their hotel brands. 

    The full list is below:

    • AC Hotels
    • Aloft Hotels
    • Autograph Collection Hotels
    • Bulgari
    • Courtyard Hotels
    • Delta Hotels
    • Design Hotels
    • Edition
    • Element
    • Fairfield Inn & Suites
    • Four Points
    • Gaylord Hotels
    • Homes & Villas by Marriott International
    • JW Marriott
    • Le Meridien
    • Marriott
    • Marriott Executive Apartments
    • Marriott Vacation Club
    • Moxy Hotels
    • Protea Hotels
    • Renaissance Hotels
    • Residence Inn
    • Ritz-Carlton
    • Ritz-Carlton Reserve
    • Sheraton
    • St. Regis
    • SpringHill Suites
    • The Luxury Collection
    • Tribute Portfolio
    • TownPlace Suites
    • W Hotels
    • Westin

    To book a hotel stay using your points:

    1. Visit Marriott.com.
    2. Enter the location, dates, rooms.
    3. Check the “Use Points / Certificates” box.
    4. Click the “Find Hotels” box.
    5. Select your desired hotel.
    Use Marriott Bonvoy Points

    Marriott Fifth Night Free

    You can get the fifth night free when you redeem your Marriott points.

    If the nightly points rate varies, Marriott will apply the free night to the lowest points level of your stay.

    Marriott Fifth Night Free

    It also works for every fifth night (i.e. 10, 15, 20 nights), which can be a great way to save points on longer stays.

    Marriott fifth night free 10 nights

    Marriott’s fifth night free also works with free night certificates you get from Marriott credit cards:

    Marriott Fifth Night Free Hotel Certificate

    You can also use a combination of points and cash for part of the stay as long as you redeem points for five of the nights. 

    In the six night stay below, I am redeeming points for five nights and cash for one night.

    But if I tried to redeem cash for two nights and points for four nights, the fifth night free would not work.

    Marriott Fifth Night Free Points and Cash

    To unlock this points and cash option, click “Customize Payment” on the room choice screen.

    Marriott Fifth Night Free Customize Payment

    Cash and Points

    You can use a combination of Cash + Points to book a hotel night.

    The Cash and Points award chart is below.

    Cash + Points
    Category Off Peak Standard Peak
    1 $55 + 1,500 $55 + 3,500 $55 + 4,500
    2 $65 + 4,000 $65 + 6,000 $65 + 7,000
    3 $80 + 6,000 $80 + 8,500 $80 + 9,500
    4 $105 + 8,000 $105 + 12,000 $105 + 15,000
    5 $140 + 13,500 $140 + 17,000 $140 + 21,000
    6 $190 + 19,000 $190 + 25,000 $190 + 30,000
    7 $250 + 25,000 $250 + 30,000 $250 + 40,000
    8 $440 + 27,500 $440 + 42,500 $440 + 57,500

    Marriott’s Cash + Points is a good deal when the cash rate is very high.

    But it is a bad deal when the cash rate is very low.

    For example, you could book a King Studio at Residence Inn Chicago Downtown for $155 per night after taxes, which is fairly cheap for that hotel.

    Marriott Bonvoy Points + Cash Example 5

    However, the Points and Cash rate is $223.06 + 25,000 points for the same room. 

    So you would be paying an extra $68 plus 25,000 points by using Marriott’s Points and Cash option rather than booking the hotel with cash.

    That is a really awful deal, which is why I like Hilton’s Points and Money option, which always offers a good deal.

    Marriott Bonvoy Points + Cash Example 4

    But Marriott’s Points and Cash rate can be a good deal when cash rates are very high.

    For example, the Residence Inn Chicago (above) has higher cash rates during the summer, which regularly exceed $300+ per night.

    Marriott Bonvoy Points + Cash Example

    Here, your points would get you about 0.74 cents per point in value using the Cash + Points option.

    • Math: $446.12 – $223.06 = $223.06/ 30,000 = 0.74. 
    Marriott Bonvoy Points + Cash Example 2

    The other disadvantage of Marriott’s Cash + Points award is that you don’t earn points on the cash portion of the award, which is 10 points per dollar at most hotels for Members and higher for Marriott elite members.

    But you will receive one elite night credit for each hotel night booked.

    PointSavers

    You can save up to 20% on certain hotels with Marriott’s PointSavers promotion.

    You are still subject to Off-Peak, Standard, and Peak rates, but I frequently find that the PointSavers frequently occur during Off-Peak times.

    PointSavers
    Category Off Peak Standard Peak
    1 4,000 6,000 8,500
    2 8,000 11,000 13,000
    3 12,000 16,000 18,000
    4 17,500 22,500 27,500
    5 27,500 32,500 37,500
    6 35,000 45,000 55,000
    7 45,000 55,000 65,000
    8 65,000 80,000 90,000

    You can find the official list of PointSavers hotels on Marriott’s website and scroling down to the participating hotels list.

    Marriott PointSavers Participating Hotels

    But that is not a complete list. 

    I find most PointSavers hotels by doing a regular hotel search for my dates and seeing if any hotels show the lower rate.

    Marriott PointsSavers

    Points Advance

    Marriott’s Points Advance allows you to book hotel reservations with points even if  you don’t currently have enough points in your account.

    This is a really unique feature for any points program.

    You will still need the required number of points within 14 days of check-in, or Marriott will cancel your reservation.

    You are also only locking in the room, not the points rate (Off-Peak, Standard, or Peak).

    If your points advance reservation is at the Off-Peak rate and your dates switches to the Peak rate before you have locked in your rate with the required points, you have to pay the peak rate.

    Alternatively, if you reserved at the Peak rate and it drops to the Off-Peak rate, you only have to pay the Off-Peak rate.

    Marriott Bonvoy Points Advance

    There are a few other requirements you should know about:

    • You can only have up to three (3) Points Advance reservations at the same time.
    • Your arrival date must be more than 30+ days away.
    • You cannot make an Points Advance reservation if you already have enough Marriott points for the stay.
    • Points Advance does not work with Marriott’s Flights and Nights travel package or “Homes & Villas.”

    Marriott Airline Transfer Partners

    Another option to use your Marriott points is to transfer to airline points programs.

    Marriott has the most transfer partners of any transferrable points program, which allows you to transfer to many unique programs.

    The transfer rate is three (3) Marriott points to one (1) airline mile for most programs.

    There is also a transfer bonus of 5,000 airline miles when you transfer 60,000 Marriott points.

    You should always try to transfer in increments of 60,000 Marriott points to take advantage of the bonus.

    If you do, the effective transfer rate is 2.4 Marriott points to 1 airline mile instead of 3 to 1.

    Below are all of Marriott’s airline transfer partners and the typical time required to transfer points to those programs.

    Marriott Hotels Marriott Bonvoy Points Transfer Partners
    Marriott points transfer at a rate of 3 Marriott points to 1 airline mile with a transfer bonus of 5,000 airline miles when you transfer 60,000 Marriott points.
    Airline Points Program Transfer Time
    Aegan Airlines Aegean Airlines 3 days
    Aer Lingus Aer Lingus 3 days
    Aeroflot Aeroflot 20 days
    AEROMEXICO LOGO AeroMexico 4 days
    Air Canada Air Canada Aeroplan 4 days
    Air China Air China 5 days
    Air France Air France/KLM Flying Blue 3 days
    Air New Zealand Air New Zealand [200 to 1 Ratio] 24 hours
    Alaska Airlines Alaska Airlines 4 days
    Alitalia logo Alitalia 7 days
    ANA ANA 4 days
    American Airlines American Airlines 48 hours
    Asiana Airlines Asiana Airlines 4 days
    Avianca Avianca Lifemiles 24 to 48 hours
    British Airways British Airways 3 days
    Cathay Pacific Cathay Pacific Asia Miles 5 days
    China Eastern China Eastern Airlines Unknown
    China Southern China Southern Airlines 7 days
    Copa Copa Airlines 3 days
    Delta Air Lines Delta SkyMiles 24 hours
    Emirates logo Emirates 3 days
    Etihad Etihad 3 days
    Frontier Frontier Airlines 6 weeks
    GOL GOL 8 days
    Hainan Airlines Hainan Airlines 24 hours
    Hawaiian Airlines logo Hawaiian Airlines 24 hours
    Iberia logo Iberia 24 hours
    Japan Airlines Japan Airlines 48 hours
    JetBlue jetBlue [6 to 1 Ratio] 24 hours
    Korean Air Korean Air 48 hours
    LATAM Airlines LATAM Airlines 48 hours
    Lufthansa Lufthansa Miles & More 3 days
    Qantas Logo Qantas 48 hours
    Qatar Airways logo Qatar Airways 3 days
    Saudia Airlines Saudi Arabian Airlines 5 days
    Singapore Airlines Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer 48 hours
    South African Airways South African Airways 3 days
    Southwest Airlines Southwest Airlines 24 hours
    TAP Portugal TAP Air Portugal 48 hours
    Thai Airways logo Thai Airways 4 days
    Turkish Airlines logo Turkish Airlines 3 days
    United Airlines logo United [3 to 1.1 Ratio] 7 days
    Virgin Atlantic logo Virgin Atlantic 24 to 48 hours
    Virgin Australia logo Virgin Australia 24 to 48 hours

    The best programs to transfer Marriott Bonvoy points to are:

    Flights and Nights Travel Package

    Another option to use your Bonvoy points is with the Marriott Flights and Nights Travel Package.

    For example, you could redeem 390,000 Marriott Bonvoy points for seven nights at a Category 5 hotel plus 100,000 airline miles at the airline mileage programs listed above, except JetBlue and Air New Zealand.

    The package also has to be seven consecutive nights at the same hotel. 

    You cannot stay four nights at one hotel and three nights at a different hotel. 

    The required number of points depends on the category and whether you want 50,000 or 100,000 airline miles: 

    Category 7 Nights + 50k Miles 7 Nights + 100k Miles
    1-4 255,000 330,000
    5 315,000 390,000
    6 435,000 510,000
    7 495,000 570,000
    8 675,000 750,000

    There is also a 10% airline mile bonus when transferring to United Airlines.

    The required Marriott points would stay the same, but you would receive either 55,000 or 110,000 United Airlines miles.

    Marriott and United

    These travel packages used to be an amazing deal, but Marriott increased the pricing in 2018.

    For example, a Category 6 + 100,000 airline mile package previously was only 280,000 points, but now is almost double at 510,000 points.

    The travel packages are a good deal if you book a hotel during Peak pricing, but they are a bad deal during Off-Peak times.

    For example, you could save 90,000 Marriott points by booking a Category 6 at Peak Pricing:

    • 7 Nights: 360,000 Marriott points (60,000 * 6 (5th Night Free).
    • 100,000 Airline Miles: 240,000 Marriott points. 
    • Total: 600,000 points.
    • Package Cost: 510,000 points.
    • Savings: 90,000 points.

    But you lose 30,000 points if you use a Category 6 travel package during Off Peak times:

    • 7 Nights: 240,000 Marriott points (40,000 * 6 (5th Night Free).
    • 100,000 Airline Miles: 240,000 Marriott points. 
    • Total: 480,000 points.
    • Package Cost: 510,000 points.
    • Negative Savings: 30,000 points.

    If you decide to do the Marriott Flights and Nights package, I highly recommend you go for the 100,000 mile package.

    There is a difference of 75,000 Marriott Bonvoy points between the 50,000 and 100,000 airline miles packages.

    By choosing the 100,000 mile package, you are effectively transferring Marriott points to airline points at a great ratio of 1.5 points to 1 mile. [75,000 points / 50,000 miles = 1.5].

    Homes and Villas

    You can also redeem Marriot Bonvoy points with the Homes & Villas program, which is similar to Airbnb and VRBO.

    Your Marriot points are worth a fixed value of 0.6 cents per point when using your points for home stays. 

    You can also earn 5 Marriott points per dollar spent and one elite night credit per night on paid stay. 

    Marriott Hotels and Villas

    The booking process is a slightly complicated.

    You must have the required number of points in your account to book a home, and you cannot use a combination of Points and Cash. 

    Marriott’s booking team will then take up to 48 hours to confirm your booking.

    Each property has different cancellation policies, but most offer free cancellation up to 30 days prior to arrival.

    The Home & Villas are not operated or managed by Marriott, but are typically run by other professional property management companies.

    Homes & Villas can be a good option to use your points for unique locations that don’t have a Marriott property or when you need extra space for a family or friend vacation. 

    Homes and Villas
    Photo: Marriott

    Marriott Bonvoy Moments

    Marriott Bonvoy Moments allows you to book rare and unique experiences with your points such as a cooking lesson with a celebrity chef or throwing out the first pitch of Game 7 of the World Series.

    There are five types of Marriott Bonvoy Moments:

    Some Marriott Moments are packages, which have a fixed price to redeem.

    But some Moments are only available as an auction like eBay. 

    The Moments program is currently paused due to COVID-19, but it is likely to resume in the future.

    Marriott's Air and Car Program

    You can book a flight or rental car with Marriott’s Air and Car Program and redeem points at around 0.4 cents per point.

    Marriott Air and Car

    Cruises with Marriott Points

    You can redeem Marriott points for certificates toward a cruise, but you only receive 0.4 cents per point in value when using your points.

    Marriott Points Cruise Certificate
    63,000 $250
    125,000 $500
    250,000 $1,000
    625,000 $2,500
    1,250,000 $5,000

    You will still earn 3 Marriott Bonvoy points per dollar on the cash portion of the cruise when using your points.

    To book a cruise with points:

    1. Visit Marriott’s Cruise With Points website.
    2. Search for your preferred cruise.
    3. Call 800-596-0452 Monday-Friday from 8 am to 8 pm EST to make a reservation with your Marriott points.
    Marriott Bonvoy Cruises
    Photo: Royal Caribbean

    Shop for Merchandise

    You can redeem your Marriott points for merchandise such as electronics, kitchen items, sports equipment, and fashion items. 

    However, the points cost is generally way too high to justify the item.

    For example, the Apple AirPods Pro retail for $199. If you were to redeem 85,000 points, you would only receive 0.23 cents per point in value.

    Marriott Merchandise Redeem Points

    Gift Cards

    You can redeem Marriott points for gift cards.

    Most gift cards are priced at the following levels:

    • $25 for 10,000 points (0.25 cents per point)
    • $50 for 17,500 points (0.29 cents per point)
    • $100 for 30,000 points (0.33 cents per point)

    Donate Marriot Points

    Another option is to donate your Marriott points to one of the many charities that Marriott has a partnership with.

    You can donate between $10 (2,500 points) and $500 (125,000 points), which is at 0.4 cents per point.

    Marriott Donate Points
    The Verdict

    The best ways to redeem Marriott Bonvoy points is using them for hotel stays or transferring the points with a bonus to airline mileage programs.