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Last year, Marriott Bonvoy announced that it would be adding a highly desired feature to its program — the ability to add points on top of a free night award certificate in order to stay at a higher category property, or even the same category property that happens to be on peak pricing.
Now, the ability to top off your Marriott Bonvoy free night certificates is finally here, so let’s review everything you need to know about this new redemption option.
How To Top Off Marriott Bonvoy Free Night Awards
Fortunately, Marriott Bonvoy has made it super simple to add points on top of a free night award redemption. All you need to do is go through the process of redeeming a free night certificate as you normally would by searching for a 1-night stay at a property you would like to visit.
Once you’ve selected the property, if the hotel in question has a higher award cost than what your certificate allows for (35k, 50k, 85k), you’ll automatically receive the option to redeem your free night award plus however many points are needed on top.
We’ve got to give props to Marriott Bonvoy here for making the redemption process quite straightforward. That said, there are some rules you’ll want to be aware of when you’re planning your redemptions.
Hot Tip: Check out our guide to the best U.S. hotels to redeem a Marriott Bonvoy free night certificate at for max value!
Rules for Top Off Redemptions
Naturally, all of the standard rules still apply to free night award certificates. For instance, the hotel must have availability for the night you want to stay, you must complete your stay before the expiration of your free night certificate, and you can’t use a free night award to stay 2 nights at a less expensive property (for example, one that costs 15,000 points per night).
The newest rule, though, is that you can only apply up to 15,000 points on top of your Marriott Bonvoy free night award certificate. Here is some quick math on what that looks like:
- 35,000-point certificates earned from the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card and Marriott Bonvoy Business® American Express® Card can be used at properties costing up to 50,000 points per night.
- 40,000-point certificates earned through an annual choice benefit can be used at properties costing up to 55,000 points per night.
- 50,000-point certificates earned through the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card can be used at properties costing up to 65,000 points per night.
- 85,000-point certificates earned from a Marriott Bonvoy card welcome bonus can be used at properties costing up to 100,000 points per night.
While the jury is still out on how hard award travelers will be hit by Marriott Bonvoy’s move to dynamic pricing, this change to free night certificates is definitely a favorable one and significantly increases the flexibility and usefulness of these certificates moving forward.
Featured Image Credit: Marriott
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UP's Bonus Valuation
This bonus value is an estimated valuation calculated by UP after analyzing redemption options, transfer partners, award availability and how much UP would pay to buy these points.