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Marriott Rewards Review Summary
Marriott Bonvoy is the 5th best hotel rewards program, according to WalletHub research. Some of the Marriott Bonvoy rewards program’s biggest strengths include points worth an average of 1 cent apiece, lots of redemption options and few earning limitations.
Marriott Bonvoy Scorecard
#7 for Earning Policies
#6 for Rewards Value
#7 for Redemption Policies
#1 for Geographical Coverage
#6 for Other Features
|Points Needed for a Free Night:||Min: 4,500 |
|Average Point Value:||1 point = 1 cent |
1,000 points = $10
|Transfer Partners:||42, including: |
American Airlines AAdvantage®, Delta SkyMiles®, United MileagePlus® and more
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.
Marriott Rewards Earning Policies
Category Rating: 3/15
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.
Marriott Rewards Value
Category Rating: 14/25
Marriott points are worth 1 cent each on average, according to WalletHub’s research. The average Marriott point value is exactly the same for both weekday and weekend reservations.
Marriott Rewards Redemption Policies
Category Rating: 18/25
|Redemption Method||More Info|
|Marriott Hotel Reservation||Bonvoy hotel reservations are the best way to redeem Marriott points. |
Free rooms are available for as few as 4,500 points.
|Pay for flights on major airlines.|
Bonvoy Car Rental
|Pay for rental cars from major agencies.|
|Get deals on cruises via Cruise with Points.|
Marriott Bonvoy Moments
|Obtain special experiences related to travel, dining and live events such as concerts and sporting events.|
|Shop for merchandize and gift cards from popular brands online.|
Priority Pass Membership
|Pay for membership in the Priority Pass Select network of 1,300+ airport lounges worldwide.|
TSA PreCheck Application
|Use points in place of the $85 TSA PreCheck application fee.|
Frequent Flyer Program Transfer
|Transfer points to 42 popular airline rewards programs, usually at a ratio of 3 Marriott points per 1 airline mile.|
|Cash in points toward a donation to the World Central Kitchen for disaster relief.|
|Purchase points as a gift, at a rate of $12.50 per 1,000 points.|
Marriott Bonvoy's Other Features
Category Rating: 11/20
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 |
Enhanced room upgrade
Enhanced in-room internet
Welcome gift of points (250 or 500, varies by brand)
|Platinum Elite||50||50%||Gold Elite benefits |
Welcome gift choice (points, breakfast or amenity)
Annual gift choice for Members with 50 qualified nights
|Titanium Elite||75||75%||Platinum Elite benefits |
Additional annual choice
Benefit for Members with 75 qualified nights
Complimentary United MileagePlus Premier Silver Status
|Ambassador Elite||100 + $14K in eligible purchases||75%||Titanium Elite benefits |
Your24 - flexibility to choose check-in and checkout time
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. Your Marriott Bonvoy status lasts through the end of the current calendar year.
Marriott will also match your status is another hotel chain’s loyalty program for free if you provide proof of that status. You must then stay the required number of nights normally required for the upgraded status within 90 days in order to maintain it.
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 Geographical Coverage
Category Rating: 14/15
Marriott Bonvoy' scale is a major advantage. The program includes more than 1.3 million rooms across around 8,000 properties in well over 120 countries and territories. It also features more than 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 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 Marriott tays. Points are worth 1 cent 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 card could save the average person roughly $3,000 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 get a lower 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 vs. World of Hyatt
|Category||Marriott Bonvoy||Hilton Honors||World of Hyatt|
|Average Point Value||1 cent||0.59 cents||2 cents|
|Countries/Territories with a Property||131||118||67|
|Point Expiration||After 24 months of inactivity||After 15 months of inactivity||After 24 months of inactivity|
|Credit Card to Consider||Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card||Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card||World of Hyatt Credit Card|
Marriott Bonvoy Review Methodology
Overall program rankings are based on the same methodology as WalletHub’s annual study on the Best Hotel Rewards Programs. Editor’s ratings reflect the sum of each rewards program’s scores across the study’s 5 major categories – earning policies, redemption policies, rewards value, geographical coverage and other features – adjusted to a 5-point scale and to create a representative distribution of ratings.
WalletHub calculated Marriott Bonvoy 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.