Buy Marriott Bonvoy Points With 60% Bonus (Extended)

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.

In mid-May Marriott launched their latest promotion on purchased points, where they’re offering their best-ever deal. This promotion was due to expire yesterday, but it has now been extended by just over two weeks, so you have a bit more time.

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

Marriott’s 60% Bonus On Purchased Points

Through Wednesday, July 15, 2020, Marriott Bonvoy is offering a 60% 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 0.78 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 Marriott Bonvoy has offered on purchased points. In the past we’ve seen either a 25-30% discount, or a 50% bonus, so this is a better deal than any of those promos.

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 adjusted the categories of about 29% of their hotels for bookings as of March 2020.

For example, earlier in the year I had booked five nights at the Bodrum EDITION for this summer (unfortunately this trip is no longer happening). When I booked the stay cost 200,000 points, while now it costs 240,000 points (because the category went up — the hotel costs 60,000 points per night, with a fifth night free).

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

At 0.78 cents per point you’d be paying the equivalent of $374 per night, which represents massive savings.

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 0.78 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 well over half, for example.

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

If you’ve been considering this promotion but haven’t yet made a purchase, you have just over two weeks remaining to do so.

Do you plan on purchasing Marriott points with a 60% bonus?

The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.
Comments
  1. While I generally don’t like speculatively buying airline miles, buying hotel points can make more sense with these bonuses. More people seem willing/able to pay $500 a night cash for hotels than they would be willing/able to pay $5,000 for a round trip business class flight. If you regularly pay that much for hotels, buying Marriott points at ~0.08 cents per point, or Hilton points at ~0.05 cents per point, can save you a bit of money as redemptions at those kinds of high end hotels can regularly exceed 1.0 cents per point… I do try to stock up on points in both programs during sales.

  2. Is this a best ever deal that comes around once a year? Or a deal that they’ve never offered before.

  3. @Anthony

    From my experience, there are capacity control so it’s not that easy to get luxury stays on points. I’ve heard this was changing but I’m not sure what the current situation is.

    @JackG
    I’ve never remember seeing 60% bonus before. Definitely not once a year deal.

  4. What is to stop them from “adjusting the categories, again”, making this not such a great deal. I worked for Marriott and saw firsthand the multiple shortcuts they used to shortchange guests to increase the bottom line (thanks Arnie)! Get past the lobby, and into your room, and you tell me the difference between Motel 6 and Marriott.
    I’ll tell you the difference.
    Not much!
    Miss the Marriott family, and their dedication to the guest.
    Arnie, it’s not all about the numbers, my friend.

  5. just randomly checked the points per stay in September at St Regis in Hong Kong: 85,000/night
    lowest rate including taxes $604
    so it’s slightly better to pay cash.

  6. I think many people have already forgotten about the horrible Marriott category devaluation this spring where about 1/3 of the hotels went up a category. Add to that the incredible number of nights where hotels were at Peak level.

    For example I don’t believe there are any Marriott hotels in Manhatten now that are below a Category 6?? (60k X $0.78 = $468) and yet even before the pandemic hit I saw lots of nice hotels there in the $200 range.

    I remember looking for hotels in Seattle for July and they were for the majority of time at Peak pricing.

    I agree you can find better then $0.78 here and there, however there are also many times the value is half that. So why lock yourself into a currency, and a business that could be in serious trouble.

  7. All of these points sales seem like a trap. Why would you speculatively buy points knowing that these companies just sold millions of points for pennies on the dollar? I wouldn’t buy these unless you have an immediate use, and that means like this week.

  8. Do you know if I can buy again since I bought 100K on the last promotion earlier this year?

  9. Love your photos of the Bodrum Edition. Stayed their last October. So GLAD we cashed our 7 week award in when we did. Now stuck with 100’s of thousands of airline FF miles and no where to go. Hope this changes SOON, but you are right. It just won’t be fun to fly anymore, not even in First/Business (gulp)!

  10. Bloggers often focus on the cash value of the points, but instead I focus on the redemption value. This determines more or less if I am getting a good deal or not.

  11. The real “bonus” is when you travel to a country with a positive exchange rate vs your country. Being US based and traveling to the UK, using my points saves me the 30% hit I would take on the valuation of the dollar vs pound. So buying at this discount compared to the average value per point I find against the pound and euro in the 1.5+ range is a great deal!!!

  12. @Iamhere I agree, the numbers that bloggers like Lucky assign to Marriott points are complete BS.

    However, Marriott has already had its annual devaluation, so if anyone finds a good redemption, I’m pretty sure they can buy the points now and be confident the redemption value will hold for the rest of the year. That is, if the hotel doesn’t close.

    I also want to second what Bill said above. Marriott has way too many properties that advertise gorgeous remodeled lobbies, but then I get to the room and the rooms are absolutely depressing. Simply not competitive for the prices being charged.

  13. About the only reason I can see for this offer is to maintain a presence on the loyalty program with a “transaction” that you need to have every year or so. At $12.50 for 1000 points it is probably worth an upgrade to the 2000 point minimum. There’s probably a service charge etc so probably forget it and donate some points to a charity instead.

    Bonvoy points are useless. Used up everything I could when the Starwood miles and stay program was still active. But the resulting stay at the Ritz Carleton was so expensive (as they don’t comp breakfast to Golds anymore) that I cannot imagine every returning. Will stick to HH Diamond where you are appreciated (at least outside NA).

  14. @Keith Barker
    I think you have it the wrong way around. The dollar is strong against the pound and euro now. You want to be using cash to benefit from that. If you pay in points you don’t get the benefit of the strong dollar.

  15. @two scoops 1 US Dollar equals .82 Pounds. Stronger than years ago when it was .65 but still not equals by any means. Euro is better but we still get .91 for 1 US dollar.

  16. Had purchased points earlier this year pre-COVID19 at 50% off (usually the best rate) and not eligible for this promotion due to the annual limit. But if they do get desperate enough, maybe they will reset the annual limit.

  17. Avoid this promotion if you plan on buying and using the purchased points within a week of purchase. Marriott/Points.com are not posting the bonus points with 48 hours as required by the terms and conditions. Instead, only the base points post. I bought a paltry amount of points (19,200) to top up my account for a reservation that I intended to make for a stay within 48 hours. The base points posted (12,000) but the bonus points (7,200) did not. Didn’t have enough to stay at the hotel so called Marriott. After 30 minutes, one customer service agent, a supervisor and a technical specialist, I was basically told to go pound sand and call back in three days if nothing had posted. Refused to provide a “goodwill deposit” even though I’m a Lifetime Bonvoy Platinum member and they could see that the base points had posted. Bizarre that, at a time when Marriott is struggling to fill rooms and is selling points to generate some kind of revenue, they would be playing games. Reminds me of a certain airline — I’m lookin’ at you United.

  18. Buying points is a very risky proposition since you’re in essence playing Russian Roulette with Marriott’s award charts. On the other hand, discounts on gift cards (like Marriott’s recent 20% off program) offer real, hard, savings that can be used now or in the future.

  19. I agree at luxury hotels if you don’t mind paying about $400 a night when you can find a 5th night free with points at .078 cents with this sale, it is cheaper than cash and at a few hotels can be a deal.

    Before the huge devaluation in March like you said, many places were significantly cheaper. I disagree with your .07 cents value (which the sale is more expensive than .078 cents at the 60% off rate) as I feel the value of Bonvoy points is now about 10% less than March pre-devaluation rates so about .062 now. Add to that Covid 19 non-travel and it’s a definite pass for me.

    Now if they were selling at .05 cents I would be a big time buyer.

  20. My wife and I maxed out on the offer. Booked 5 nights St. Regis Bora Bora for next Summer for the cost of two nights cash rate.

    TD

  21. @Marc…Thanks. Saw that too when I bought points on my account and was going to post update. Will wait till July to get points for my wife’s account.

  22. Marriott is not the same as it was. For decades I used only Marriott branded hotels and was very pleased. Then over the past 10-15 years, things really went down fast. The only thing that went up was the amount of points it took to stay a night! And if you look at their timeshare program, the points you are credited with there, have fallen in value so much, and the yearly maintenance fee’s have skyrocketed, it is no longer a good option.

    I have totally switched over to Hilton a decade ago. While not perfect, the value I receive is better for me and the family. Plus the Hilton Amex cards are great with many valuable perks.

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