Marriott Bonvoy™ Loyalty Program Review

Marriott Bonvoy™ Loyalty Program Review

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Marriott Summary Table

Branded and Partnered Credit Cards

There are several credit cards that can help you earn Marriott points that can be redeemed for some amazing hotel stays.

Marriott Credit Cards

With the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Card and the Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card you can earn Marriott Bonvoy points directly.

Hot Tip: Check out the benefits and perks of the Marriott Bonvoy Credit Cards!

Chase Ultimate Rewards Credit Cards

If you earn Chase Ultimate Rewards points, you can transfer them to Marriott. However, even with a 1:1 transfer ratio, this is rarely a good use of Ultimate Rewards because of how many Marriott points award stays cost.

Hotel Overview

Marriott has over 6,000 properties in more than 100 countries and territories. Across 30 brands, Marriott rivals IHG for worldwide coverage among hotel chains.

Familiar brands such as Marriott, Courtyard by Marriott, and Renaissance have recently been joined by AC Hotels in Europe, Protea Hotels in Africa, and Delta Hotels in Canada.

Joining Marriott Bonvoy

Register online for a free Marriott Bonvoy account.

How to Sign in to Your Marriott Bonvoy Account

Sign in on the marriott.com homepage. You’ll need to enter your email or Marriott Bonvoy number and password.

Viewing Your Account Activity

Your Marriott Bonvoy Account Overview page shows recent points activity, elite status progress, and special offers.

The Activity page shows detailed points activity; make sure to scroll down and see if you have any available free night certificates.

Promotion Central shows available promotions and your progress toward them.

Setting Points Earning Preferences

You can choose to earn points or airline miles for your Marriott stays. Marriott promotions are also based on your earning preference.

Choose points or miles on your Profile page. While there, select your stay preferences such as pillows and room accessibility.

Points Expiration

Marriott Bonvoy points expire after 24 months of inactivity.

Certain account activity such as gifting, transferring, and social media promotions do not count for extending your expiration date. See full terms for what constitutes qualifying activity.

Marriott Bonvoy Program

Marriott Bonvoy Elite Status

Marriott Bonvoy members get several benefits just for registering with the program, including complimentary in-room internet when booking directly with Marriott:

Marriott Bonvoy Silver Elite:

  • All member benefits, plus
  • 10% point bonus

Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite:

  • All Silver benefits, plus
  • 25% points bonus
  • Welcome gift at check-in
  • Room upgrades (subject to availability)
  • Complimentary in-room internet, even when not booking directly with Marriott
  • Priority 2 p.m. late checkout

Marriott Bonvoy Platinum Elite:

  • All Silver benefits, plus
  • 50% points bonus
  • Guaranteed room type
  • Room upgrades (subject to availability)
  • Guaranteed 4 p.m. late checkout (subject to availability at resort and convention hotels)
  • Complimentary in-room internet, even when not booking directly with Marriott
  • Guaranteed lounge access and continental breakfast for two at many brands
  • Annual Choice Benefit – 5 Suite Night Updates or gift

Marriott Bonvoy Titanium Elite:

  • All Platinum benefits, plus
  • 75% point bonus
  • Additional Annual Choice Benefits – 5 Suite Night Updates or gift
  • United Airlines MileagePlus Silver status, via RewardsPlus

Marriott Bonvoy Ambassador Elite (100 Nights + $20,000 spend):

  • All Platinum Premier benefits, plus
  • Ambassador Service
  • Your24TM (check in to your room at any time and have it for 24 hours)

Value of Marriott Bonvoy Elite Status

Marriott is widely considered to offer fewer benefits than competitors at comparable status levels. With Marriott elite qualification requirements among the hardest to achieve, this is a program used by many out of necessity for the many properties rather than preference.

Marriott Silver Elite is effectively non-status, with minimal benefits. It comes complimentary with the Marriott Bonvoy credit cards.

With the new program, Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite loses the key lounge access and breakfast benefits, making it difficult to justify chasing this status level through hotel stays or co-brand credit card spend.

Marriott Platinum Elite gives lounge access and breakfast and a newly expanded range of brands. Some brands only provide a discount voucher rather than a full breakfast.

The new Marriott Titanium Elite and Ambassador Elite brings in popular benefits of the old Starwood Preferred Guest program in an effort to prevent those customers from defecting to competitors.

Earning Marriott Bonvoy Elite Status

Marriott Bonvoy elite status takes a lot of work! You’ll need a large number of stays to earn status. Less frequent travelers may do better seeking status in other hotel programs.

Elite status is earned by qualifying nights:

  • Silver Elite: 10 nights
  • Gold Elite: 20 nights
  • Platinum Elite: 50 nights
  • Titantium Elite: 75 nights
  • Ambassador Elite: (100 Nights and $20,000 spend)

Marriott credit cardholders are gifted 15 qualifying nights per year. This is now limited to 15 nights per Marriott account, regardless of how many of the credit cards a Marriott members holds.

Marriott Bonvoy Lifetime Status

Marriott offers a lifetime status program:

Lifetime Silver Elite
Lifetime Gold EliteLifetime Platinum Elite
250 nights and 5 years elite status
400 nights and 7 years Gold Elite status
600 nights and 10 years Platinum Elite status

Marriott-United RewardsPlus

Marriott and United have partnered with RewardsPlus.

Marriott Bonvoy Titanium members receive United MileagePlus Silver.

United MileagePlus Gold, Platinum, and 1K receive Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite.

You need to register annually at RewardsPlus to get your new status.

How to Earn Marriott Bonvoy Points

Earning Marriott Bonvoy points starts with hotel stays.

Earning Points on Stays

Base Points: Earning points is separated into 4 categories by brand:

  • Earn 10 points per $1 on most Marriott brands, which also includes the Marriott Vacation Club properties
  • Earn 5 points per $1 at Element, Residence Inn,  TownePlace Suites, and Homes & Villas by Marriott
  • Earn 2.5 points per $1 at Marriott Executive Apartments and ExecuStay

Elite Status Bonus: You will earn additional bonus points based on elite status—a 10%, 25%, 50% or 75% bonus for Silver, Gold, Platinum, or Titanium members, respectively.

Promotions: Marriott typically has a promotion every quarter for bonuses such as bonus points or free night certificates that reward frequent stays. Watch your email and make sure to register before your upcoming stays.

Earn Marriott Bonvoy Points and Status for Hosting Events

If you’re in need of a place to hold a meeting, look no further. Marriott offers meeting and event services that earn you points!

Earn a maximum of 60,000 points (2 points per $1) or 20,000 miles (1 mile per $1) for 1 qualifying event.

Elite members get a bonus when earning points, though not for earning miles:

Meetings or EventsGeneral MemberSilver EliteGold ElitePlatinum EliteTitanium EliteAmbassador Elite
Earn Rate2 points per $1 USD or 1 mile per $1 USD spent per qualifying event
Bonus Points10% Bonus25% Bonus50% Bonus75% Bonus75% Bonus
Maximum Points Earning per Event60,00066,00075,00090,000105,000105,000
Maximum Miles Earning per Event20,00020,00020,00020,00020,00020,000

You have the option of splitting the points with another member.

Hot Tip: For your first meeting each year you can earn 10 Elite night credits. Plus, for each meeting you can earn 1 Elite night credit per 20 room nights, up to 20 Elite night credits per meeting.

Share Marriott Bonvoy Points

Family members can transfer points for free.

Earn Marriott Bonvoy Points With Credit Cards

Chase and American Axpress both issue Marriott-branded credit cards, now standardized everyday spend earning at 2 Marriott points per $1 spend. (Some legacy Marriott cards earn less.)

Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card - Earn 75,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. Get automatic silver elite status each account anniversary year; and a free night award (valued up to 35,000 points) every year after account anniversary.
Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card - earn 75,000 bonus points when you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months of account opening. A solid card for business owners who will get complimentary Marriott Bonvoy silver elite status. Annual fee is $125. For rates and fees of the Bonvoy Business Card, click here.

Other Ways to Earn Marriott Bonvoy Points

Marriott Bonvoy has many travel and shopping partners. See our How to Earn Marriott Bonvoy Points article for ideas.

Keep in mind: the trade-off to earning Marriott Bonvoy points is that you won’t be earning other hotel or airline points, which may be more valuable to you.

How to Redeem Marriott Bonvoy Points

Free hotel nights are the primary awards for Marriott Bonvoy points. You can also use points for room upgrades, hotel amenities, and other services.

There are no blackout dates for use of rewards points toward hotel nights, which means that using them during peak holiday travel or other busy periods can exponentially increase their value! However, hotels must have room availability.

Types and Cost of Room Awards in Marriott Bonvoy

Your rewards can be used as a standard award or a Cash + Points award.

The easiest way to use your points is to book from Marriott.com and click on the “use points” option. It will then list all the hotels in your search city that have availability during your stay.

The number of points you use depends on time, location, and brand. Peak and off-peak pricing will be introduced in 2019

Marriott Bonvoy Award Chart

StandardOff-Peak

(Coming in 2019)

Peak

(Coming in 2019)

CategoryCash + PointsPoints OnlyCash + PointsPoints OnlyCash + PointsPoints Only
1$55 + 3,5007,500$50 + 2,5005,000$60 + 4,50010,000
2$65 + 6,00012,500$60 + 5,00010,000$70 + 6,50015,000
3$80 + 8,50017,500$70 + 7,50015,000$90 + 9,00020,000
4$105 + 12,00025,000$90 + 10,00020,000$120 + 13,50030,000
5$140 + 17,00035,000$120 + 16,00030,000$165 + 19,00040,000
6$190 + 25,00050,000$165 + 22,00040,000$225 + 27,50060,000
7$250 + 30,00060,000$225 + 27,50050,000$325 + 35,00070,000
8      (Coming in 2019)$440 + 42,50085,000$325 + 35,00070,000$635 + 50,000100,000

The required number of Marriott points for an award stay is determined by the category of a given hotel. Award redemptions book you a standard room.

5th Night Free

When you redeem points for 4 nights, you get a 5th night free.

Room Upgrades

Room upgrades are charged in blocks of 5,000 points. Some hotels and rooms require multiple upgrade blocks of 5,000 points. Cash upgrades are an alternative. All upgrades subject to hotel availability.

Instant Redemptions

Use your points for statement credits for room charges on Marriott stays with Instant Redemptions.

PointsDollars
2,500$5
9,000$20
20,000$50
35,000$100
59,000$200
100,000$500
190,000$1000

 

FAQ

What is Marriott Bonvoy?

Marriott Bonvoy program is the hotel loyalty program for Marriott hotels.

Your free membership grants access to benefits at Marriott properties.

Each stay earns you points that can be redeemed for free nights and other rewards.

Why should I join Marriott Bonvoy? Is it worth it?

Marriott Bonvoy is a free program offered by Marriott to enhance your experience while staying at Marriott properties.

By signing up and staying at Marriott hotels, you will earn points and credits toward your elite status. The higher your elite status, the better benefits you get.

Elite status benefits include things such as free Wi-Fi, free nights, room upgrades, bonus points, and more.

Points earned can be used directly on free rooms, spent in the Marriott shopping portal, or transferred to other loyalty account travel partners.

How does Marriott Bonvoy work?

First, you sign up to the program and get a membership number and loyalty account. Then, each time you stay at Marriott hotels, you will earn base points as well as elite status credits.

If you earn enough base points or status credits, you will advance to the next level of elite status.

The elite status tiers are Member, Silver, Gold, Platinum, and Titanium. It takes an increasing number of points, nights, and/or stays to reach the next tier.

As your elite status level goes higher, you’ll get better benefits, such as complimentary upgrades

You can earn points as well. These are earned for hotel stays, and you will receive more the higher your elite status goes. Points can also be earned by patronizing businesses that Marriott partners with.

Once you have accumulated enough points, you can use them for free rooms, free merchandise, travel, or transfer them to travel partners.

Is there a Marriott credit card?

Yes, you can see our reviews of the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Card and the Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card.

You can also earn Marriott points by transferring them from Chase Ultimate Rewards, meaning you can use the 6 Ultimate Rewards cards to earn points:

How many Marriott points do I have?

To see your rewards balance, you’ll need to sign in to your Marriott Bonvoy account here. Once you sign in, you’ll see your rewards balance at the top of the page.

What are Marriott Bonvoy points worth?

Marriott points can be worth a variety of dollar amounts, typically ranging between $0.004-$0.016 per point.

A free night in a Category 1 hotel costs 7,500 points, and a Category 8 costs 85,000; these figures can help you see the range of values. You can find the full rewards chart here. Peak and off-peak pricing will be introduced sometime in 2019, ranging from 5,000 points to 100,000 points a night.

Are Marriott points transferable?

Yes. You can transfer them to other Marriott Bonvoy members, donate them to charity, or transfer them to travel partners. Transferring to other members are subject to an annual limit of 100,000 points transferred per Marriott Bonvoy account.

When do Marriott points expire?

Marriott points expire after 24 months of no account activity. To keep them, you just need to earn or redeem points or stay in a Marriott hotel.

Spending on your Marriott credit card also meets this requirement.

Where is my Marriott account number?

You’ll see your account number when you log in to your account.

You can also find an email from Marriott when you joined that has your number on it.

If none of those methods work, you can either use the “forgot my password” function to find your information, or call Marriott customer service to retrieve your number.

What are the Marriott Bonvoy benefits? What are Marriott Bonvoy elite status levels?

The benefits of joining Marriott Bonvoy are many. You get free in-room Wi-Fi as well as exclusive offers, a 5th night free on redemptions, and the ability to use their travel partners. 

As you work your way up the levels, you’ll earn more. The elite status levels are Member, Silver, Gold, Platinum, Titanium, and Ambassador.

Additional benefits include late checkout, gift shop discounts, special reservation lines, complimentary upgrades, faster internet, partnered program status benefits, arrival gifts, and more!

Perhaps the best benefit is bonus points for staying, which will allow you to reach rewards more quickly.

What is a JW Marriott?

JW Marriott is the luxury brand of hotel under Marriott International. There are currently 76 JW Marriotts across big cities and resort locations worldwide.

What is the Marriott Vacation Club?

Marriott Vacation Club is the Marriott timeshare program. You can buy into the program to earn the ability to utilize more than 50 Vacation Club resorts.

In addition, there are hundreds of other affiliated properties and access to additional vacation awards. Like most timeshares, you purchase a bank of points for the year, which you can use toward properties around the world.

Which hotels are included in Marriott Bonvoy?

The Marriott brand includes the following hotel chains: The Ritz-Carlton, St. Regis, W Hotels, EDITION Hotels, JW Marriott, The Luxury Collection, Marriott Hotels, Westin Hotels & Resorts, Le Meridien, Renaissance Hotels, Sheraton Hotels & Resorts, Delta Hotels by Marriott, Marriott Executive Apartments, Marriott Vacation Club, Autograph Collection Hotels, Tribute Portfolio, Design Hotels, Gaylord Hotels, Courtyard by Marriott, Four Points by Sheraton, SpringHill Suites by Marriott, Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott, Residence Inn by Marriott, TownePlace Suites by Marriott, AC Hotels by Marriott, Aloft Hotels, Element, Moxy Hotels, Protea Hotels.

Alex Miller

About Alex Miller

Alex has been traveling for over 25 years and from a young age was lucky enough to set out on numerous family trips all over the world, which gave him the travel bug. Alex has since earned millions of travel points and miles, mainly through maximizing credit card sign-up bonuses and taking every opportunity to earn the most points possible on each dollar spent.

Disclaimer: Any comments listed below are not from the bank advertiser, nor have they been reviewed or approved by them. No responsibility will be taken by the bank advertiser for these comments.

16 comments

  1. Catherine S · March 25, 2019 · Reply

    Thanks for the updates. Is there anyone that we can write at Marriott regarding the changes to lounge access for Gold Elite?

  2. Christopher Lee · July 4, 2019 · Reply

    I have to say that I have been a Gold Member for over two years now and the program is terrible. They say Gold members can receive upgrades, but every time I stay I never receive one. They don’t add all of your elite nights that you stay unless you catch it and spends hours on the phone with them to get them added. I have even been hung up on more times than I can count. I’ve stayed at some of their best hotels and still been placed in rooms that hadn’t even been cleaned. When a problem arises, having elite status doesn’t help a bit. You need to book through their site in order to get points, but their site is often more expensive than other sites. I don’t see the benefit.

  3. Anil shandil · July 14, 2019 · Reply

    I’ve been a Marriott gold Elite member got years. I have their Bonvoy credit card use it to get points. Now I’m not allowed to use their lounge unless I’m a platinum elite. This is one of their many changes after their merger with SPG. Obviously, this elite status is designed for business travelers because an average family does not do 50 nights a year. This means that their intention is not to reward average families. Since we are a military family we used to get a discount on many Marriott properties. Now they appear to offer military rates but most of them are higher than regular rates by far. For example, in Maui, a regular night is $411. If you apply a military discount, the price is $526. I don’t feel valued as an elite member or military veteran anymore.

  4. I still can’t find information that explains that if you achieve the status in one year, do you go back to nothing in January of the following year? For example, if I earn GOLD status in August 2019, I know I get the benefits until December 31, 2019 but what happens January 1st? Do I keep GOLD or do I start back at the bottom and NOT get any benefits until I earn that status again?

    • Christine Krzyszton · August 5, 2019 · Reply

      Hi Miro and thanks for your question. Elite status is earned on a calendar year basis. You then keep that status through the following year and it resets in February after that year. For example, you have until December 31st of 2019 to earn status for 2020. If you achieve Gold status in August of 2019, you will have Gold status for the remainder of 2019, have qualified to keep Gold status for all of 2020, and your status will reset in February 2021 based on your stays in 2020.

  5. Buddy Wood · August 16, 2019 · Reply

    It is sad to see what has happen to Marriott over the past few years. You need to hire an attorney to review the program. What ever happen to the great old days of Marriott putting the CUSTOMER FIRST? It is a DISGRACE to the Marriott name of old. I bet the Father is turning over in his grave.

  6. christine jones · August 18, 2019 · Reply

    As a family of 4, I’m not convinced that our Chase Marriott Bonvoy Card is the best option. We’re platinum members with lots of points.
    Every time I try to book a room on points, I’m told points are redeemable for 2 guests to a room only and I need to book 2 separate rooms.
    That’s ridiculous. Split my husband & I up, we each get one kid? Or put my 9 & 11-year-old in one room?? It just doesn’t make sense.
    Is there any way around this? Do I chance it & just say 2 guests to a room & hope for the best?
    Any info or insight is helpful.

    • Hi Christine,

      I’m shocked to hear they told you this as I personally redeemed points for a room with 3 adults, with no issue, just a few months ago. Were you told this by the hotel you were trying to book with or by Marriott directly?

      • christine jones · August 25, 2019 · Reply

        Hi Jarrod,

        Thanks for the reply. I’ve never actually called the hotels. Always just book online. Maybe if I called, I could explain the situation.

        I actually dealing with this right now as I try to book our upcoming trip to Lisbon, Portugal.
        I was told that there would be an “extra person fee.” Depending on the hotel, it could be $30 (Sheraton Cascais) or as high as $120 (Penha Longa). And that’s only for 3 guests (2adults, 1child). When I try to add an additional child (again we are a family of 4), I get a message that the hotel is “not taking redemption bookings at this time.”

        I do want to add that we are a military family stationed in Germany & we travel A LOT! Maybe it’s just hotels in Europe? I’m not sure but it’s something our family runs into all. the. time.

        • Hi Christine,

          I would definitely suggest contacting the hotel, or someone from the Marriott customer service team, and see if they can explain this policy to you. It may be the case that this policy are unique to these hotels, but don’t apply to others in the Marriott portfolio. In any case, I think that would be your best course of action. Hopefully, you’re able to get it all sorted out!

  7. Sabri alshiekh · August 26, 2019 · Reply

    Hi, if I reserve a room for my immediate family members, will they enjoy the facilities of the membership level such as lounge access, upgrades, free breakfast, etc.?

    • Hi Sabri,

      Most hotel programs will let you make reward night bookings for others. The catch is that technically elite benefits don’t apply in those instances since it’s the status of the person staying that counts. So they may extend the elite benefits to your family, but they are not required to do so.

      Thanks for reading!

  8. David Roush · September 16, 2019 · Reply

    Hi, I’m new to Marriott Bonvoy but I have 43 nights this year and will not be staying at a Marriott property again until next year. If I get the Chase Marriott card with 15 elite nights now will it count for this year and put me at Platinum level?

    • Christine Krzyszton · September 16, 2019 · Reply

      Hello David. The 15 elite qualifying nights are awarded on a calendar year basis and are credited in the first quarter prior to March 1st. So unfortunately they would not be credited this year. You could hold a small meeting at a Marriott and receive 10 elite qualifying nights with their Rewarding Events program. Those are credited shortly after the meeting is held.

  9. Laura McEwen Gallagher · November 12, 2019 · Reply

    I just got off the phone with Tiffany who works for the Marriott Bonvoy Loyalty program. She was the 5th person I had talked to in regards to a hotel reservation cancellation. Without going into the minute details, I would just tell anyone who has any questions about ‘anything’ to bypass the Sheraton jungle and go directly to the Loyalty program for answers. I was very frustrated and there are so very many Sheraton phone numbers out there. I knew immediately I was speaking to someone who knew what was going on and knew exactly how to handle my situation. Thank you, Tiffany, for a pleasant experience with an unpleasant situation. You restored my faith in a system fraught with recorded messages, Muzak and off-location employees. As I am commenting, I get a return phone call from Sheraton Broadway Plantation employee ‘Sam’ who has already been notified of my problem and has resolved it much to my satisfaction and amazement. A big shout out to Tiffany and Sam. Thank you!

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