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 Bonvoy program was formed we’ve only seen a couple of promotions on purchased points, so they’re definitely rare than they used to be with SPG.
Anyway, the latest such promotion was launched in mid-September, and ends in just a couple of days. So this is your last chance to take advantage of it.
Marriott’s 30% Discount On Purchased Points
Through Friday, October 18, 2019, Marriott Bonvoy is offering a 30% discount 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. 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 0.875 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
As a point of comparison, during Marriott Bonvoy’s first promotion on purchased points they offered up to a 25% discount, so this 30% discount could represent a better value.
Get A Good Deal On American & United Miles
As I’ve outlined in separate posts, there are ways to leverage this promotion to get a great deal on the purchase of both American AAdvantage and United MileagePlus miles:
- American is offering a 25% bonus when you convert hotel points into miles, so you can stack the two promotions to buy AAdvantage miles for as little as 1.68 cents each
- United is offering a 30% bonus when you convert hotel points into miles, so you can stack the two promotions to buy MileagePlus miles for as little as 1.47 cents each
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.
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.
While I wouldn’t speculatively buy Marriott points for 0.875 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 topping off an account at this rate.
I’d say promotions to acquire American and United miles at a discount could make a lot of sense, given the opportunity to stack promos.
If you haven’t yet purchased points with this promotion but are considering doing so, you have just a couple of days remaining.
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 30% discount?