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.

Marriott has just launched their latest promotion on purchased points, where we’re seeing both a bonus and the limit on how many points you can purchase increased.

While I wouldn’t speculatively buy points, this is potentially a great opportunity.

Marriott’s 50% Bonus On Purchased Points

Through Wednesday, March 25, 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 doubling the cap on how many points you can buy — while the limit is usually 50,000 points, you can buy 100,000 points with this promotion, pre-bonus. If you want to buy more than 50,000 points you’ll need to do two separate transactions.

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 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

For context, this is the best promotion I recall seeing on purchased Bonvoy points. Past promotions we’ve seen have offered 25% off and 30% off, so a 50% bonus not only offers you a lower cost per point, but also increases the cap on how many points you can buy.

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 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® (review) or Citi® Double Cash Card (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.

Do keep in mind that Marriott Bonvoy is adjusting the categories of about 29% of their hotels for bookings made as of March 4, 2020. So let’s look at opportunities in terms of what you could book now, since I always recommend buying points with a short term use in mind.

For example, for this summer I booked five nights at the EDITION Bodrum for 200,000 points (50,000 points per night, plus a fifth night free).

The paid rate, including the service charge, would have been ~$5,200 for the five night stay.

At 0.83 cents per point you’d be paying the equivalent of $333 per night, which is about a third of the paid rate. That’s an incredible value.

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 couple of million of them, but otherwise I certainly 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.

To me, there’s not as much value in the Bonvoy program since they introduced peak pricing, 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 EDITION Bodrum for about two thirds 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. Hainan Collapses!!! Lucky,In the past hours, rumor has been emerging in China’s social media, that Hainan will collapse. Air China will “take over” Most of the Hainan!

  2. You could use option this to get 50k Alaska miles for 2 cents/mile, by transferring 100,000 Marriott Points (cost $1,000).
    Not as good as buying Alaska miles for 1.97 cents/mile (50% bonus sale), but better than their recent promotion (40% bonus sale) which came out to 2.11 cents/mile.

  3. Instead of paying $900 per night, you’d “only” be paying $300… whoopee.

    Is there any value in this offer for someone who’s hoping to use points to pay, say $90 for a room advertised at $300 ?

    Like Pointsbreaks for example … oh dear, never mind.

  4. @harry hv: generally (and I mean 98% of the time), NO! These $90 points level (i.e. Category 1) are usually located in Tulsa, rural China, Wichita and maybe in the middle of February (when rates are <$80) are available for less than 10,000 points.

  5. I understand Marriott is not what SPG used to be or what it should be (I have been Bonvoyed a time or two) but you have a couple of million Marriott points…wow!!

  6. So, how to buy marriott points.

    Scenario: I spend 12-15 nights a month in hotels.. (work)
    I can redeem the points at 10,000 points a night where the same property will cost about $175 plus taxes ($206) or another hotel, a little further away, in the area will cost $110 (night) either ways, I get to save some cash.

    $625 for 75000 points
    75000 points for 7.5 nights
    7.5 nights ~ $1537 at Marriott
    7.5 nights ~$851 at a Hampton in farther away

    Question is what card do I use?

    I have Amex platinum. and Citi Premier. Besides other Hotel cards/

  7. hi Ben
    so i’ve currently got just over 46k points with Marriott i wanna buy 100k to get 150 in total
    in order to redeem 5 nights at the Ritz in Hawaii
    so that will be a total of only 196k how can i get that to 220k? thats how much ill need
    thanks

  8. @palty,

    the quickest way would probably be either with a sign up bonus from a co-branded credit card or via transferring Amex/Chase points. You can earn smaller amounts from car rentals with Hertz, or just earning points the old fashioned way by booking nights through Marriott.

  9. @Tahsin
    thanks so much for the response
    i’m not taking out another card now lol
    but my question is if i max out on buying (100k to get 150k) can i then buy from a friend that they should transfer it into my account? is there such a thing? as i’ve never really done this before
    thanks again

  10. “potentially a great opportunity”

    “could represent a good deal”

    “which can represent a great deal”

    “otherwise I certainly might be” (just… wow)

    These are qualified statements on top of qualified statements.

    Why? Because buying points is a sucker’s game.

    Do it only if you (1) need a few to complete a redemption (2) have an *immediate*, confirmable opportunity to beat the “average” value.

    Marriott points are often worth quite a bit less than 0.7 cents each. Fair value is in eye of beholder, but ask yourself if they were worth 0.7 cents before the last 3 Bonvoy devaluations, is that even remotely reasonable not to cut that valuation?

  11. I respectfully disagree with buying points being for sucker.

    I can buy 150,000 points for $1250.

    Then I can use those points to rent the NEAREST room to my work (only 5 miles) vs the next option (26 miles).

    This nearest room happens to rent for $179 plus taxes ~$206/night and between 10,000 and 7500 points .

    So 150,000 points would net me 15 – 20 nights. And that’s equivalent to ~ $3200.

    So, $1250 to get $3200 in value. hmm
    150,000 points to get $3200 in value ~2.13 cents / point.

  12. @palty,

    No problem.
    I saw on TPG that you can transfer 100k per year, and receive up to 500k points per year from someone else, apparently each transaction costs $10, and waived for Gold Elite or higher tiers. So that’s another option for you.

    @Lucky,

    Would you be able to add transferring Marriott points info on this article? And perhaps what credit cards to use to purchase the points?

  13. While the page looks like it’s a Marriott page, at least they are direct and honest about not earning as Marriott qualifying points.

  14. in the article he writes the following.

    “At 0.83 cents per point you’d be paying the equivalent of $333 per night, which is about a third of the paid rate. That’s an incredible value.”

    so i’ve been reading this part over and over again and i still don’t understand why did he divided it into 3?

    clearly i’m missing something….anyone?

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