Last Chance: Buy Marriott Bonvoy Points For 25% Off

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.

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.

Bottom line

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.

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Comments

  1. Hopefully they become more desperate later on and sell points with bigger discounts. I would buy points at 40% or more discounts…

  2. Seems like they would have offered a more appealing price given the recent pervasive problems they’ve had, as a measure of re-establishing goodwill and bringing back customers who have boycotted the chain in exasperation. The offer may very well backfire as some of those more cynical leavers might view this offer as more of a slap in the face than a bona fide deal. On the other hand, this might be a mildly appealing deal for someone looking to unload the rest of their Marriott balance for a redemption but are just a few thousand points shy of the desired award. I might consider this to top off my balance to the nearest 10k, redeem, and then adieu.

  3. On the bottom of the Purchase rules, it states:

    “Purchasing points using a Marriott BonvoyTTM or The Ritz-CarltonTM credit card will result in earning one point per dollar spent on these transactions.”

    Does that mean it goes from 2 points to 1 point or does it mean that you get 1 additional point for a total of 3 points? In the past, buying SPG points with the SPG amex, gives you an additional SPG point for total of 2 SPG point per dollar spent. That is equivalent to 6 Marriott points.

  4. 120k in points would cost approximately $1,125 and net someone 50k in airline miles which is a one way business class fare in many airlines. (Based on 20k plus 5k bonus per 60k in points.) Seems like that would be a good deal. That said I still would not buy unless I was planning a trip with that in mind.

    I agree with Steve and angry380 that better offers are on the horizon. Marriott likely measuring demand with a base 25% offer first.

  5. My Math says about 100 dollars wildly more expensive than it should be and even then it would be slightly overpriced
    Especially when you consider the massive devaluation to the program

  6. @ Jerry D — Hmmm, I suspect someone just got confused in their attempt to describe that you didn’t get additional bonus points because it wasn’t a Marriott purchase, but should be 2 points.

  7. Between the double points promotion, the spending bonuses on their Amex cards, and now this, my hunch is that Bonvoy is seeing a hemorrhaging of customers, versus the assumption that people were complaining with no choice on moving their loyalty. If it’s true, hopefully it’ll shock enough of the beancounters to perhaps make some common sense positive enhancements to the program.

    Who am I kidding…lol

  8. Used to by the max SPG points the past few years. I believe it equaled 105,000 Marriott points for about $600 if my memory serves me correctly.

  9. i needed 5K immediately to top off my balance for upcoming stay. Rather than wait a coupe of months for my point to appear in my statement, I took the bait and purchased just 5K.
    Good timing Marriott!

  10. For the new Marriott program, the max # of miles one can purchase is still 50K a year?

    https://www.marriott.com/loyalty/terms/default.mi#earn/
    “A Member may purchase or receive Points purchased by another Member for a combined maximum of 50,000 Points per calendar year. ”

    For people without any credit card offerings linking to Marriott, what is the best way to accumulate points?

  11. I just got the Bonvoy Brilliant card which takes me to Gold Status. I am looking to book a few trips and found that Gold status pricing vs non member was better by $16 per night BUT AAA pricing was better than Gold status by $1. Maybe I have to have higher status to get better pricing than AAA members. 🙂

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