There are quite a few loyalty programs that frequently run promotions on purchased points, which can represent a great deal, especially for aspirational redemptions.
In mid-April I wrote about how Marriott was offering a discount on purchased Bonvoy points for the first time since the Marriott Bonvoy program was formed at the beginning of this year. Historically Starwood Preferred Guest frequently offered promotions on purchased points, while Marriott Rewards didn’t.
Well, if you’ve been considering this promotion but haven’t yet taken advantage of it, this is your last chance to do so, as the promotion expires on Wednesday, May 15, 2019.
How much does it cost to buy Marriott points?
Through May 15, 2019, Marriott Bonvoy is offering a 25% discount on purchased points when you buy at least 5,000 points in one transaction.
Ordinarily Marriott Bonvoy charges 1.25 cents per purchased point, so through this promotion you’re potentially looking at paying just 0.9375 cents per point.
The terms suggest that it could take 24-48 hours 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 90 days after enrollment
Which credit card should you buy Marriott points with?
Marriott points purchases are processed by points.com, meaning they don’t count as a hotel purchase for the purposes of credit card spend.
Therefore I’d recommend using a card on which you’re trying to reach minimum spend, or otherwise, a credit card that maximizes your return on everyday spend, like the Chase Freedom Unlimited® or Citi® Double Cash Card.
See this post for more on which credit cards are best for buying points.
Is buying Marriott 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 fifth night free that you get on award redemptions:
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.
However, personally I’m not a buyer at this cost, and I do think the pricing is a bit on the steep side if they’re hoping to have wide appeal.
This is Marriott’s first promotion on purchased points since the Bonvoy program was formed. I do think the pricing is a bit on the steep side, though with a specific use in mind this could represent a good deal, especially if you’re just topping off an account for a redemption.
If you’ve been considering buying points but haven’t done so yet, you have just a couple of days left to do so.