The Marriott Bonvoy Program, All You Need to Know

Being one of the most popular hotel loyalty programs, the Marriott Bonvoy program is taking over the loyalty rewards scene. So, it is essential that all savvy travelers know the program’s ins and outs. As daunting as it might seem, the Marriott has simplified most of the crucial information of the program, so whether you’re a new traveler or a diehard Marriott follower, let’s look at all the information you need to use your card to its fullest potential.

How you earn points

From spending on everyday purchases to staying at participating Marriott hotels, Marriott Bonvoy provides a multitude of ways to build up points that culminate in a great vacation. Members will earn 10 points per dollar spent on qualifying charges for stays and most Marriott hotel brands, with the exception being that you will earn 5 points per dollar on qualifying charges at:

  • Element (5 points)
  • Residence Inn (5 points)
  • TownePlace Suites (5 points)
  • Homes & Villas (5 points)

To earn points for a stay, you need to make sure you book directly with Marriott. If booking through an online travel agency, or staying as a part of an event, your stay will not acquire you points, as well as the nights not be counted as Elite Nights toward the next Elite Status tier.

The Different Cards

As a new applicant, there are four cards available to earn Marriott Bonvoy points, two being from Chase and two from American Express:

Marriott Bonvoy Bold Credit Card: 

Tailored for Marriott loyalists looking for  no-annual fee.

  • Annual fee: 0
  • Earn 60,000 bonus points after spending $2,000 on purchases in your first three months from account opening.
  • Earn 3 points per dollar spent at hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy (half the rate of other Bonvoy credit cards)
  • Earn 2 points per dollar spent on other travel purchases
  • Earn 1 point per dollar spent on everything else. 
  • This card also provides 15 elite night credits each year, which help you make your way towards the next elite status

Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card

 For Marriott loyalists looking for a modest annual fee.

  • Annual fee: $95
  • Earn  5 Free Nights (each night valued up to 50,000 points) after spending $5,000 on purchases in your first three months from account opening. 
  • Automatic Silver Elite status and the ability to earn one elite night credit for every $5,000 you spend.
  • Earns 6 points per dollar spent at hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy
  • Earn 3 points per dollar on the first $6,000 spent in combined purchases each year on gas stations and dining
  • Earn 2 points per dollar on all other purchases.
  • Earn 1 free night award (FNA) every year after your account anniversary that’s valid for a one-night hotel stay at a property with a redemption value of up to 35,000 points.

Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card

Best for Marriott business travelers. 

  • Annual fee: $125
  • Offers a welcome bonus of 75,000 Marriott Bonvoy bonus points after you use your new card to make $3,000 in eligible purchases within the first three months of card membership
  • Earn 6 points per dollar spent at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy program
  • Earn 4 points per dollar spent at U.S. gas stations, wireless phone services, restaurants, and shipping providers
  • Earn 1 FNA every year after your account anniversary that’s valid for a one-night hotel stay at a property with a redemption value of up to 35,000 points
  • This card provides you with 15 elite night credits, automatically providing you with Silver Elite Status.

Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card

 Best for Marriott loyalists looking for perks that are willing to pay the hefty annual fee.

  • Annual fee: $450
  • Offers a welcome bonus of 75,000 bonus points after you use your new card to make $3,000 in eligible purchases within the first three months of card membership. 
  • Earn 6 points per dollar spent on eligible purchases at hotels.
  • Earn 3 points per dollar spent at U.S. services and flights booked directly with airlines
  • Earn 2 points per dollar spent on all other eligible purchases.
  • Gain immediate Gold Elite status 
  • provided with up to $300 in statement credits each year of card membership. As of 9/22/22,  the $300 Marriott Bonvoy statement credit benefit will be replaced with a new benefit of up to $300 in statement credits per calendar year for eligible purchases at restaurants worldwide. 
  • Every year after your Card renewal month, you receive 1 FNA (redemption level at or under 50,000 Marriott Bonvoy points). 
  • Finally, when booking at The Ritz-Carlton® or St. Regis®, utilizing a special rate for a minimum of 2 nights, you receive up to $100 of property credit for qualifying charges.

Marriott Bonvoy Elite

The Bonvoy program has 5 levels of elite status benefits, those being: Silver Elite, Gold Elite, Platinum Elite, Titanium Elite, and Ambassador Elite. Certain Marriott cards provide automatic status and elite night rewards that allow you to progress even further in the elite hierarchy.

Silver Elite

Silver Elite is the lowest elite tier in the Marriott Bonvoy program. But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have its perks.

Requirements: 

  • 10 qualifying nights in a year

Benefits:

  • 10 percent points accrual bonus on stays
  • 2pm priority late checkout (when available)
  • complimentary in-room Internet access when you book through the website or app.
  • Reservation guarantees
  • Exclusive member rates
  • Mobile check-in

Buy Elite Status:
If you have one of the following cards you are automatically awarded Silver Status:

  • Marriott Bonvoy Bold Credit Card.
  • Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card.
  • Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card.

Gold Elite

Gold Elite is the second tier in the Marriott Bonvoy program, coming with a hefty set of benefits that match its status.

Requirements:

  •  finishing 25 qualifying nights in a year

Benefits:

  • 25 percent bonus on stays
  • 2 pm priority late checkout
  • Room upgrade priority
  • A welcome gift of points each time you stay.
  • Mobile check-in
  • Reservation guarantees
  • complimentary in-room Internet access when you book through the website or app.

Buy Elite Status:

There are 5 cards that grant gold status as a perk of their card after enrolling:

  • The Business Platinum Card® from American Express.
  • The Platinum Card® from American Express.
  • Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card.
  • Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card (after spending $35,000 on purchases in a calendar year).
  • Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card (after spending $35,000 on purchases each calendar year).

Platinum Elite

Platinum Elite is the third tier in the Marriott Bonvoy program, coming with even more benefits for the devoted member.

Requirements:

  • Finish 50 qualifying nights in a year. 

Benefits:

  • Gain a 50 percent bonus on stays
  •  Suite upgrades based on availability, access to Marriott lounges
  •  Guaranteed 4 pm checkout
  • A choice of gifts with each stay. These gifts include a choice of points, breakfast, or an amenity
  • Instant redemption

* To gain a lifetime status on your Platinum Elite rewards, you’ll need to rack up 600 lifetime nights and 10+ years as a Platinum Elite member.

Titanium Elite

Titanium Elite is the fourth tier in the Marriott Bonvoy program, chock-full of a multitude of benefits that set it apart from every status before it.

Requirements:

  • Finish 75 qualifying nights in a calendar year.

Benefits:

  • 75 percent point bonus on stays
  • 48-hour guaranteed availability
  • Lounge access
  • Dedicated Elite support
  • Ultimate Reservation Guarantee
  • Annual Choice Benefit for Members with 50 Elite Night Credits
  • After completing 75 nights in a calendar year, Titanium members are eligible for a second Annual Choice Benefit, with an added option being a free night worth up to 40,000 points, as well as the option to gift Gold Elite status.

Ambassador Elite

Ambassador Elite is the fifth and most prestigious tier in the Marriott Bonvoy program.This Elite Status will provide you with the largest count of benefits.

Requirements:

  •  Finish 100 qualifying nights in a year
  • Achieve $20,000 in Marriott spending

Benefits:

  • 75 percent bonus points on stays
  • Gain dedicated ambassadors that assist you in booking stays. 
  • Gain access to Your24 which lets you pick a 24-hour check-in and checkout time.
  • 48 hour Guarrentee
  • Lounge access
  • Dedicated Elite support
  • Ultimate Reservation Guarantee
  • Annual Choice Benefit for Members with 50 Elite Night Credits
  • After completing 75 nights in a calendar year, Titanium members are eligible for a second Annual Choice Benefit, with an added option being a free night worth up to 40,000 points, as well as the option to gift Gold Elite status

Refer a Friend Reward

One benefit of the Marriott Bonvoy program that is often overlooked is its refer-a-friend rewards. Each year, you can refer up to five new members and earn 2,000 points for up to five of their stays. On top of this, if all the friends you refer complete five stays, you will be rewarded a bonus of 50,000 points a year. This referral can be filled out with the link below.

https://www.joinmarriottbonvoy.com/friends.aspx?promo=rewardafriend&ctycode=EN&source=

Buy a Mattress, and get Free Points

Members of the Marriott Bonvoy program can earn 10,000 Marriott points if they buy a mattress from any of the Marriott’s retail stores online.

Transferring Your Points

You can transfer both the American Express Membership Rewards and the Chase Ultimate Rewards to the Marriott Bonvoy at a transfer rate of 1:1.

Combining Points

The Marriott Bonvoy allows you to combine your points with another Marriott Bonvoy member. Each year, members can receive up to 500,000 points from each other and transfer 100,000 points to another account. These transfers between members are completely free with the limitation that to complete the transfer, you need to call Marriott.

Maximizing the Value of Your Points

  • Free Fifth Night: Members of the Marriott Bonvoy get a free night on award stays of five nights or longer.
  • Best Rate Guarantee: The Marriott will match a rate found on another website so long as you submit a claim within 24 hours of making your reservation at said Marriott hotel.
  • Low Point Hotels: Not all hotels are created equal! Some Marriott hotels can be stretched by redeeming at hotels with staggeringly low award rates. There are Marriotts that cost 5,000 points per night in 2022 and if you can find these low-award hotels, you can maximize your points

Marriott Bonvoy Moments

Another feature of the card, the Moments Program allows you to cash in your points for unique experiences, ranging from entertainment to sports, even to culinary. The options change regularly and fluctuate in value.

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