Marriott Rewards Review: Meet the New Bonvoy Loyalty Program
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|Points Needed for a Free Night:||Min: 4,000
|Average Point Value:||1 point = 1.12 cents (toward Bonvoy reservations)
1,000 points = $11.20 (toward Bonvoy reservations)
|Transfer Partners:||40+, including:
Delta SkyMiles, Southwest Rapid Rewards and United MileagePlus
|Marriott Bonvoy Hotel Brands:||29, including:
Marriott Rewards Review Summary: Marriott Bonvoy is the 5th best hotel rewards program, according to WalletHub’s latest report comparing the major hotel loyalty programs. Some of the Marriott Bonvoy rewards program’s biggest strengths include points worth an average of 1.12 cents apiece when redeemed for free nights, lots of redemption options and few earning limitations.
The program’s scale is another major advantage. Marriott Bonvoy includes more than 1 million rooms across more than 7,000 properties in well over 100 countries and territories. It also features nearly 30 different hotel brands, including Courtyard, Fairfield Inn and Suites, Sheraton, The Ritz-Carlton and Westin – just to name a handful. That gives hotel-goers of all budget levels a suitable place to stay.
Marriott Bonvoy Scorecard: Best Hotel Rewards Ranks by Category
#1 for Geographic Coverage
#6 for Rewards Value Per $1 Spent
#7 for Earning Policies
#9 for Redemption Policies
#5 for Eligibility & Transparency
Despite Marriott’s global geographic footprint and overall popularity, many people still wonder what Marriott Bonvoy is. That is because Marriott’s rewards program has not always gone by the name Bonvoy. Marriott Bonvoy was created in 2019, following the merger between Marriott and Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG). Before then, Marriott’s rewards program was simply called Marriott Rewards.
Below, you can learn everything you really need to know about Marriott Bonvoy, from the program’s status levels and benefits to its redemption options and point values. You can also see how Marriott Bonvoy compares to popular competitors.
How to Earn Marriott Points
Marriott Rewards members earn points on certain purchases made through the chain. As you’ll see below, exactly which types of transactions accrue points and the number of points you’ll receive per dollar spent depend on the particular Marriott-owned brand you’re shacking up with.
- 10 Marriott Points per $1: Stays at most Marriott properties
- 5 Marriott Points per $1: Stays at Element, Residence Inn and TownePlace Suites hotels
- 4-6 Marriott Points per $1: Dining at Marriott Eat Around Town restaurants (basic members earn 4 points per $1; Elite members and Marriott credit card users earn 6 points per $1)
- 3 Marriott Points per $1: Cruises booked through Cruise with Points
- 2.5 Marriott Points per $1: Stays at Marriott Executive Apartments and Execustay
- 2 Marriott Points per $1: Special event hosting
- Up to 2,000 Marriott Points: Car rentals through Hertz
In addition, Marriott will often post special deals on its websites, whereby members have the opportunity to earn significantly more points for stays at certain Marriott locations or book certain rooms for significantly fewer points. This can be a great way to save money, but the timing has to be right and there’s certainly no guarantee of that.
How Much Are Marriott Points Worth?
Marriott points are worth 1.12 cents each when redeemed for Marriott Bonvoy reservations, according to WalletHub’s research. But Marriott point values vary based on how and when you redeem them.
For example, 1,000 Marriott Bonvoy points are worth roughly $11.9 in weekday reservations but just $10.5 when redeemed for a weekend night.
Marriott Point Values When Redeeming for Free Nights:
- Average Value of 1 Marriott Point: 1.12 cents
- Average Weekend Value: 1.19 cents
- Average Weekday Value: 1.05 cents
Marriott Bonvoy Levels & Benefits
The Marriott rewards program is free to join, and most people will join as a basic member. Basic Marriott Bonvoy membership benefits include complimentary in-room Wi-Fi, special “Member rates” on reservations, and mobile check-in. The more nights you spend at Marriott hotels and resorts, and the more money you spend with a Marriott credit card, the higher your “Elite Status” level will go. The higher your Marriott Elite Status level is, the more benefits you will receive at Marriott properties and the more you will save when you stay there.
Below, you can see exactly what you’ll need to do to achieve and maintain each Marriott Bonvoy status level, along with the perks that come with it.
|Bonvoy Levels||Nights Needed per Year||Points Bonus||Other Notable Perks|
|Member||None||None||Complimentary in-room Wi-Fi
Member rates on reservations
|Silver Elite||10||10%||Member benefits
|Gold Elite||25||25%||Silver Elite benefits
2pm late checkout
In-hotel gift of extra points
|Platinum Elite||50||50%||Gold Elite benefits
4pm late checkout
In-hotel gift of points, breakfast, etc.
Room upgrades, with suites
|Titanium Elite||75||75%||Platinum Elite benefits
48-hour reservation guarantee
|Ambassador Elite||100 + $20K in eligible purchases||75%||Titanium Elite benefits
Members must satisfy a given status level’s qualifying requirements between Jan 1 and Dec. 31 to reach or maintain that status level and enjoy the corresponding benefits.
Very frequent Marriott guests can even earn a particular status level for a lifetime, however, without having to continue qualifying year after year. The requirements are pretty tough, though.
Requirements for Marriott Lifetime Rewards Levels:
- Lifetime Silver Elite: 250 nights and Elite status for 5 years
- Lifetime Gold Elite: 400 nights and Gold Elite status or higher for 7 years
- Lifetime Platinum Elite: 600 nights and Platinum Elite status for 10 years
Marriott Bonvoy Credit Cards
Applying for a Marriott credit card is worth considering if you have good credit or better and spend several nights at hotels each year. There isn’t just one Marriott credit card, though. You can get a sense of what each brings to the table below.
Marriott Bonvoy Credit Card Offers Compared:
|Marriott Credit Card||Annual Fee||Initial Bonus|
|Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card||$95||75,000 points|
|Marriott Bonvoy Bold™ Credit Card||$0||30,000 points|
|Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card||$125||75,000 points|
|Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card||$450||75,000 points|
For more information, check out our complete review of the latest Marriott credit card offers.
8 Tips for Marriott Bonvoy Members
- The best way to redeem Marriott Bonvoy points is for weekday hotel reservations. Points are worth 1.19 cents apiece that way.
- Pool or transfer points if it makes sense. Marriott allows members to pool their points together for easier redemption. This is especially helpful for family members with individual Marriott Bonvoy memberships who often travel together.
- Avoid buying Bonvoy points, if possible. Marriott points cost more to purchase than they are worth when redeemed, on average. However, it could be worth buying a small number if it puts you over the top for a free night.
- Take advantage of status perks. The assorted small perks with which members are rewarded for their financial loyalty can be a big selling point for hotel rewards programs, but they are often forgotten by users as time goes by.
- Consider applying for a Marriott credit card. The best Marriott credit cards could save the average person more than $2,000 over the first two years of use, according to WalletHub’s calculations.
- Try the Island Approach with your credit cards. The Marriott Card offers competitive earnings on hotel reservations (within the Marriott family). On pretty much everything else, you’ll actually reap below-average value. That’s why you should put an everyday rewards card into your wallet as well. Doing so rounds out your rewards arsenal, making it so you get your money’s worth on every transaction.
- Make sure to read Marriott reviews & Bonvoy FAQs. Learning from experts and fellow travelers will help you pick up some helpful tips as well as avoid tricks and pitfalls.
- Compare your hotel options if you’re not wedded to Marriott. Marriott is not the only worldwide hotel chain with a rewarding loyalty program. You can see how Marriott Bonvoy compares to a couple of popular alternatives below. You can also check out WalletHub’s rankings of the Best Hotel Rewards Programs to learn more.
Marriott Bonvoy vs Hilton Honors & More
|Category||Marriott Bonvoy||Hilton Honors||World of Hyatt|
|Average Point Value||1.12 cents||0.59 cent||2.34 cents|
|U.S. Properties||5,106 (in North America)||4,613||27|
|Number of International Properties||1,800||312||14|
|Countries/Territories with a Property||130||113||58|
|Point Expiration||After 24 months of activity||After 15 months of activity||After 24 months of activity|
|Credit Card to Consider||Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card||Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card||The World Of Hyatt Credit Card|
Marriott Bonvoy Review Methodology
WalletHub calculated Marriott point values by comparing room rates in 10 popular travel destinations – 5 domestic and 5 international – to the number of points needed to book a rewards night. We did this for all Marriott-owned hotel locations within 15 miles of the city center in each destination, applying the process to weekend and weekday dates in each destination’s high and shoulder tourist seasons.
We also applied a similar process to each of the Marriott rewards program’s other redemption options, comparing the number of points needed for redemption to the dollar value of the reward purchased with the points. Where point values fluctuate based on redemption item or timing, we pulled the data for numerous options and calculated a representative average.
Overall program rankings are based on the same methodology as WalletHub’s annual study on the Best Hotel Rewards Programs.
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