Buy Marriott Bonvoy Points With 50% Bonus

Filed Under: Marriott
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There are quite a few loyalty programs that frequently run promotions on purchased points, which can represent a great deal, especially for aspirational redemptions.

Back in the day Starwood Preferred Guest would often have promotions on purchased points, while Marriott Rewards wouldn’t. Since the Marriott Bonvoy program was formed we’ve seen several promotions on purchased points, and that trend is continuing.

From November 19 through November 25, Marriott ran a special 60% bonus on purchased Bonvoy points. While that promotion has expired, Marriott is continuing to offer a promotion for the next several weeks, though it offers a maximum of a 50% bonus.

Marriott’s 50% bonus on purchased points

Through Tuesday, December 22, 2020, Marriott Bonvoy is offering a 50% bonus on purchased points when you buy at least 2,000 points in one transaction.

With this promotion Marriott is also tripling the cap on how many points you can buy — while the limit is usually 50,000 points, you can buy 150,000 points with this promotion, pre-bonus. Note that any points already purchased this year would count towards that limit.

Ordinarily Marriott Bonvoy charges 1.25 cents per purchased point, so through this promotion you’re potentially looking at paying just 0.83 cents per point. The maximum points you can purchase is 225,000 at a cost of $1,875.

The terms suggest that it could take up to seven business days for purchased points to post. Furthermore, there are some eligibility restrictions to be aware of:

  • A new member may purchase points 30 days after enrollment if they have some qualifying activity
  • Without qualifying activity, a new member may purchase points only one year after enrollment

For context, up until now we’ve seen Marriott offer anywhere from a 25-30% discount on purchased points, or anywhere from a 50-60% bonus. So a 50% bonus isn’t quite the best promotion we’ve seen on Bonvoy points, but it is among the better ones.

Best credit card for buying Marriott points

Marriott points purchases are processed by points.com, meaning they don’t count as a hotel purchase for the purposes of credit card spending.

Therefore I’d recommend using a card on which you’re trying to reach minimum spending, or otherwise, a credit card that maximizes your return on everyday spending, like the Chase Freedom Unlimited® (review), Citi® Double Cash Card (review), or The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express (review).

See this post for more on which credit cards are best for buying points.

Is buying Marriott Bonvoy points a good deal?

Personally I value Marriott points at ~0.7 cents each, which is based both on the ability to redeem points towards the cost of hotel stays, and also based on the ability to convert Bonvoy points into airline miles at a 3:1 ratio (and when you transfer 60,000 Marriott points you get 25,000 airline miles).

As a reminder, here’s Marriott’s award chart, not factoring in the opportunity to stay five nights and pay for four:

There are ways to get outsized value from Marriott points, and there are most definitely circumstances where buying points could represent a good deal, especially if you’re topping off an account for a redemption.

Marriott Bonvoy adjusted the categories of about 29% of its hotels for bookings as of March 2020, which was largely a negative change.

Still, there are ways to get great value. For example, this past summer I stayed at the Bodrum EDITION (which I loved). I paid 240,000 points for a five night redemption, which averages out to 48,000 points per night. At a rate of ~0.83 cents per point, that’s like paying ~$400 per night, which is roughly a third of the normal rate in cash in peak season.

While you won’t always get that kind of value, that’s a circumstance where buying Marriott points makes a lot of sense. Personally I’m not a buyer of Marriott points simply because I still have a over a million of them, but otherwise I might be.

The EDITION Bodrum

Bottom line

While I wouldn’t speculatively buy Marriott points for 0.83 cents each, there are plenty of circumstances where buying Marriott points at that rate could represent a great deal. Ideally you would have taken advantage of the previous promotion offering a 60% bonus, but some might find a 50% bonus worthwhile over the coming weeks.

To me, there’s not as much value in the Bonvoy program since peak pricing was introduced, but still, there are situations where it could be worth buying points at this rate, as I explained above. Buying points could get you a room at the Bodrum EDITION for well over half off, for example.

For more opportunities to earn Marriott points, see this post for the best credit cards for earning Marriott points.

Do you plan on purchasing Marriott points with a 50% bonus?

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Comments
  1. I don’t see too many hotel redemptions representing much value (pre-COVID or now). Buying them as a transferable points currency at cost of ~1.9 cents per mile (when transferring exactly at 60,000 Marriott points increments) may present better value.

  2. Note that this can also be considered buying 100K of almost any airline miles for 1.875 cents a piece. Again, not low enough for speculative buying but there are many redemptions on many airlines that would be worth far more.

  3. This is another terrible offer. If it were a good offer it wouldn’t exist.

    Most redemptions are worth a fraction of points at these values.

    Most every property in New York is redeeming at 0.4 cents right now. You’d have to do the Essex House to get greater value out of these points. Virtually all service is shut down. Still worth $560 a night to you ?

  4. For the a couple with good credit and reasonable means, here’s a much better offer available now, and the article would be better if it offered this as a possible alternate strategy:

    Person #1 applies for the Amex Bonvoy Brilliant and nets 100,000 in bonus points on spend
    Person #1 applies for the Bonvoy Business and nets 100,000 bonus points on spend
    Person #2 applies for the Amex Bonvoy Brilliant and nets 100,000 in bonus points on spend
    Person #2 applies for the Bonvoy Business and nets 100,000 bonus points on spend
    Person #1 and #2 get free Platinum status for 2021
    After year one, Person #1 gets a 25,000 point bonus, a free night in a 35,000 point hotel, a free night in a 50,000 point hotel
    After year one, Person #2 gets a 25,000 point bonus, a free night in a 35,000 point hotel, a free night in a 50,000 point hotel

    Adding it up, that’s 400,000+ points if you keep the card for just a year with an effective maximum out-of-pocket cost of $550 ($1150 total in membership fees – $600 in Marriott credit on room rates, food, etc.). If you keep the card for y2 effective cost is $1100, but you tack on 50,000 points, two free nights in a 35,000 point hotel, and two free nights in a 50,000 point hotel for that additional $550 cost.

    For those who can take advantage, either of these options destroy this best-ever points purchase offer.

  5. Ben two things why I would discourage getting in on this offer.
    1. Marriott has made so many nights at Peak or Not Available during high season. Even with covid when hotels are empty, I am seeing many nights at Peak. So you need to compare the Peak award chart or knowing that hotels may not be available in the future when you want to go.
    2. Using Marriott points for airline transfer which is about 2cents per mile, is also not really that great of an option either. This year most airlines have devalued considerably so don’t keep thinking that they are worth 2cents per mile. I believe you value Alaska at the highest, but try using those Alaska points to book the great redemptions such as Cathay or Emirates First awards and its not going to happen. As well some of the other sweet spots in Alaska are starting to sour with little availability.
    As you write, there may be some specific examples where this could represent value, but I STRONGLY caution people not to buy without a specific redemption in mind.

  6. It depends what you’re after… I just booked 5 nights at a property which would have cost $1800 in cash but paid 140,000 points. If I didn’t have points, buying at this rate would make perfect sense and would happily do it!

  7. Does anyone know how long the purchased points take to hit your account? Need to book a Hawaii point savers rate quick but need to top off first.

  8. Hi, this year I had purchased 100k points and received 50k points as the bonus of the purchase in previous promotion. In this promotion, am I still eligible to buy another 50k points and receive bonus?
    T&C is can buy up to 150k points, not sure if this 150k includes bonus point received previously?

  9. Hi, this year I had purchased 100k points and received 50k points as the bonus of the purchase previously. In this promotion, am I still eligible to buy another 50k points and receive bonus?
    T&C is can buy up to 150k points, not sure if this 150k includes bonus point received previously?

  10. I chose to do it and the full 150,000 points. I used my Delta Skymiles AMEX as well. For every $1,000 spent you earn 500 MIles and 500 MQMs. I have an AMEX offer of spend $250, get $75 back with Marriott. So, wondering if that kicks in or not. I don’t like buying points in most cases, but I am trying to stack additional deals. We will see if I was successful. 🙂

  11. Marriott terms are confusing about who can buy points (and bonus). It says 30 day old a/c with qualifying activity OR 1 year old a/c without qualifying activity.
    Strangely, most points recommending portals suggest it is 90 days without qualifying activity.
    My a/c was signed up in March 2020 (6 months old) and does NOT have any qualifying activity.
    Can I buy points (+ bonus)

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