Marriott Bonvoy is one of the main hotel programs in North America for points and miles enthusiasts. With over 8,000 properties worldwide, understanding the hotel rewards program in regards to how to earn, burn, and take advantage of their elite status offerings can go a long way in making your next vacation that much more enjoyable and affordable.
Acquiring Marriott Bonvoy Points
When it comes to earning Marriott Bonvoy points, there are three main methods in Canada: staying at Marriott Bonvoy properties, credit card welcome bonuses, and credit card spending on Marriott branded credit cards. You can also purchase Marriott Bonvoy points from Marriott, and convert points from other airline and bank programs.
Stay at Marriott Bonvoy Properties
The most well-known way to earn Marriott Bonvoy points is to stay at Marriott properties. As a Marriott Bonvoy member, you will earn points for every dollar (USD) spent at most Marriott hotel brands. The rate of earning depends on the property but is 10 points per dollar spent for most. See the chart below.
|Marriott Executive Apartments||2.5 points per US dollar spent|
|Residence INN, TownePlace Suites, Element, Homes & Villas||5.0 points per US dollar spent|
|All other Marriott brands||10 points per US dollar spent|
Eligible hotel purchases include dining, beverages, rounds of golf, spa services and much more. You can earn points for buying gift cards at most Marriott hotels as well.
Also as an Elite Status member, you get a boost to the earning rate, depending on your status level. Marriott also has promotions from time to time that offer extra points for consecutive stays.
|Marriott Bonvoy Elite Status Level||Boosted Earning Rate on Marriott Hotel Stays|
Do note that to earn points for a stay, you must book directly with Marriott. Booking through a travel agency will generally not allow you to earn Marriott points or benefit from your Elite Status.
Credit Card Bonuses
One of the easiest ways to rack up a lot of Marriott Bonvoy points quickly is to apply for a Marriott Bonvoy credit card. All Marriott Bonvoy credit cards come with welcome bonuses and some give cardholders the opportunity to earn well over 100,000 Bonvoy points after meeting the minimum spend requirement.
In Canada, there are two Marriott Bonvoy credit cards both issued by American Express, the American Express Marriott Bonvoy credit card and the American Express Marriott Bonvoy Business credit card.
The American Express Marriott Bonvoy card earns Bonvoy points and offers cardholders benefits including an annual free night and 15 qualifying nights towards elite status.
Check out our American Express Marriott Bonvoy review for more details about this card.
75,000 Marriott Bonvoy
The American Express Marriott Bonvoy Business card earns Bonvoy points and offers cardholders benefits including an annual free night and 15 qualifying nights towards elite status.
85,000 Marriott Bonvoy
If you have an individual tax identification number (ITIN) and can access the US credit card market, there are four Marriott Bonvoy credit cards available:
|Credit Card||Welcome Bonus||Net Value|
|Chase Marriott Bonvoy Boundless||150,000 Marriott Bonvoy||$1,255||Apply|
|American Express US Marriott Bonvoy Business||75,000 Marriott Bonvoy||$550||Apply|
|American Express Marriott Bonvoy Bevy||85,000 Marriott Bonvoy||$515||Apply|
|Chase Marriott Bonvoy Bold||30,000 Marriott Bonvoy||$270||Apply|
|American Express Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant||95,000 Marriott Bonvoy||$205||Apply|
Credit Card Spending
All Marriott Bonvoy credit cards earn Bonvoy points at various rates, depending on the purchase category. In general, the highest rate you can earn is on purchases made at Marriott Bonvoy hotels. This of course stacks with the points earned as a Marriott Bonvoy member, as described above.
|Marriott Credit Card||Earn Rate on Marriott purchases||Earn Rate on other categories|
|American Express Marriott Bonvoy Personal (Canada)||5 points per CAD dollar spent||2 points per dollar spent on all other purchases|
|American Express Marriott Bonvoy Business (Canada)||5 points per CAD dollar spent||3 points per dollar spent on gas, dining, and travel purchases|
2 points per dollar spent on all other purchases
|American Express Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant (USA)||6 points per US dollar spent||3 points per dollar spent on dining (including takeout and delivery) and on flights booked directly with airlines.|
2 points per dollar spent on all other purchases.
|American Express Marriott Bonvoy Business (USA)||6 points per US dollar spent||4 points per dollar spent on restaurants, gas stations, shipping providers, and wireless phone services|
2 points per dollar spent on all other purchases.
|Chase Marriott Bonvoy Boundless (USA)||6 points per US dollar spent||2 points per dollar spent on all other purchases|
|Chase Marriott Bonvoy Bold (USA)||3 points per US dollar spent||2 points per dollar spent on travel-related purchases|
1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases
Related: Use our ITIN service to be able to access the lucrative US credit card market as a Canadian.
Purchase Marriott Bonvoy Points
Marriott Bonvoy points can be purchased at a rate of 1.25 USD cents per point. Marriott has been known to offer bonuses on purchasing points, with up to 55% bonus points which can reduce the cost per point significantly. Members are able to purchase up to 100,000 Marriott Bonvoy points during a calendar year.
If you are looking to top up your points balance for a hotel redemption, this can be a viable option in a pinch. Alternatively, you may also find value in purchasing points during a promotion since buying points and redeeming them may be cheaper than paying cash rates for specific properties.
If you are going to purchase Bonvoy points, use a credit card that has no foreign transaction fees to save 2.5% since the purchase will be charged in US dollars. You can purchase Marriott Bonvoy points here.
Transfer Points From Other Programs
You can convert points from several other programs to Marriott Bonvoy points:
- Convert American Express CA Membership Rewards points to Marriott Bonvoy at a rate of 1:1.2
- Convert American Express US Membership Rewards points to Marriott Bonvoy at a rate of 1:1.
- Convert Chase Ultimate Rewards points to Marriott Bonvoy at a rate of 1:1
- Convert United Airlines MileagePlus points to Marriott Bonvoy at a rate of 1:1, only available for United Premier status members.
In general, Amex Membership Rewards and Chase Ultimate Rewards points can be redeemed for better value through airline programs. So transferring these currencies to Marriott Bonvoy is really only recommended if you have a surplus of airline points and a deficit of hotel points.
Other Ways to Earn Marriott Bonvoy
Aside from the above, there are several more obscure methods to earn Marriott Bonvoy points, including:
- Organize meetings and events. If you hold an event at a Marriott property you can earn 2 points per dollar spent.
- Refer up to five friends to Marriott Bonvoy per year. Both you and the friend earn 2,000 points for each of their first five paid stays (10,00 points for them and up to 50,000 points for you per year).
- Eat Around Town by Marriott Bonvoy. Marriott has its own hotel dining rewards program, where you can earn 6 Marriott points per dollar spent as a Marriott Bonvoy program member. To participate, sign up and add your credit card to the program to use at participating restaurants. The 6 Marriott points are in addition to any earned by the credit card or restaurant’s reward program. Note: currently only US restaurants are participating.
- Book travel with Marriott travel partners. When booking directly with Hertz car rentals you can earn 500 points per rental by adding your Marriott Bonvoy number to the reservation, or you can earn 2,000 points per rental booking through Marriott Bonvoy Tours & Activities. You can also earn Marriott Bonvoy points when you book a cruise through Marriott Cruise With Points.
- Buy a bed from Marriott Bonvoy. You can purchase a mattress from any of Marriott’s 15 online retail stores, including Shop EDITION, The Ritz-Carlton Shops, The Luxury Collection Store, St. Regis Boutique, W Hotels The Store, Curated by JW, Shop Marriott, Sheraton Store, Westin Store, Shop Le Méridien, Collect Renaissance, Gaylord Hotels The Store, Shop Courtyard, Fairfield Store and Shop Four Points.
Redeeming Marriott Bonvoy Points
There are two ways to redeem your Marriott Bonvoy points: staying at Marriott Bonvoy properties and transferring to airline partner programs.
Stay at Marriott Bonvoy Properties
The best way to redeem your Marriott Bonvoy points is to use them for hotel stays at any of the Marriott properties worldwide. Marriott has properties that range from a simple room to rest at night to gorgeous properties in some of the most desirable locations in the world.
Redeeming points with Marriott Bonvoy is simple. In order to redeem points, you will need to visit the Marriott website or open the Marriott app and search for a city or hotel and select “Use Points/Certificates”.
Once you select the property you are interested in staying at, you will see the rooms that are available to book on points. At many properties, they may only offer a certain room type for points or may offer the option to book with points and cash combined. Select the room type that you are interested in staying at.
Once you select the room, you will be at the reservation confirmation screen where you will see your dates, property selected, and room type. If you scroll down, you will be able to confirm that you are making a points redemption as it will show that you are redeeming a set amount of Marriott Bonvoy points for your reservation.
In March 2022, Marriott Bonvoy introduced dynamic pricing for all of its properties. This means that point pricing can fluctuate significantly, so I would recommend checking your existing bookings a few times before your stay to see if the total points cost was reduced. If so, it is easy enough to cancel and rebook your stay to save on points.
While Marriott Bonvoy does operate on tiers of properties even with dynamic pricing, these tiers are not publicly available as they once were. Simply put, you can expect to pay more Bonvoy points for a St. Regis property than you would for a Courtyard property.
Marriott Bonvoy also offers the fifth night free on award bookings. This means that if you book a five-night stay and redeem Marriott points, you will only pay the total amount of points for the first four nights of the stay. This benefit is only available on an all Bonvoy points booking; free night certificates can not be used toward the fifth-night free benefit.
Transfer Points to Airline Partners
Marriott Bonvoy points can be transferred to over 40 airline partners at a ratio of 3:1. Additionally, Marriott will add an additional 5,000 airline miles for every 60,000 Bonvoy points transferred. This means that Bonvoy points can be transferred to frequent flyer programs at a ratio of 60,000 Bonvoy to 25,000 airline miles.
Transferring Bonvoy points can be a good alternative if you need to top up airline points in a specific program, such as Alaska Miles or Virgin Atlantic Flying Club. I would not recommend transferring Marriott Bonvoy points to programs that you can easily earn points for in Canada, such as Aeroplan.
The full list of airline transfer partners can be found here.
To initiate a transfer of your Marriott Bonvoy points, take the following steps:
- Log in to your Marriott Bonvoy account at Marriot.com
- Navigate to this page: Transfer Points to Miles – Marriott
- Click the button labeled ‘TRANSFER POINTS’
- A modal will pop up prompting you to select what frequent flyer program you want to transfer to, enter your frequent flyer number, and how many Bonvoy points you wish to convert.
- Click confirm once you’ve entered the required information.
Note that it can take up to 1 week for the transfer to complete and be reflected in your account.
Marriott Bonvoy Elite Status
Elite Status is a staple of what makes the Marriott Bonvoy program worthwhile. By earning status you unlock a host of valuable perks and benefits.
How to Earn Bonvoy Elite Status
Marriott Elite Status is granted based on the number of nights you’ve stayed at a Marriott property in a calendar year, which are called ‘Elite Qualifying Nights’ or EQN for short.
Status is awarded based on the following chart:
|Status Level||Number of EQNs Required|
|Silver Elite||10 nights|
|Gold Elite||25 nights|
|Platinum Elite||50 nights|
|Titanium Elite||75 nights|
|Ambassador Elite||100 nights + $20,000 spending|
Once you earn a given status level, you’ll be entitled to the benefits of that status level when staying at Marriott properties for the rest of the year it was earned, the following year, and January and February of the year after. Essentially, you will get benefits for a minimum of 14 months and potentially much longer.
Of course, there are lots of tricks to getting to elite status faster. By holding any Marriott Bonvoy credit card, in Canada or the US, you immediately get 15 Elite Qualifying Nights. Unfortunately, you cannot stack multiple Bonvoy credit cards to get more than 15 EQN, except in one specific instance: holding both a personal and business Bonvoy credit card in the US.
If you want more details on how to take advantage of the EQNs from credit cards and get Marriott Bonvoy Titanium status quickly, read our article: Fast Track to Earn Marriott Bonvoy Platinum Status. Not to mention, if you earn 30 EQN from a combination of two credit cards, you will earn Gold Elite status with no work required.
Once you have the 15/30 EQN from your credit card, you can further expedite your status by doing what are called ‘mattress runs’ – this is where you stay at a lower-end Bonvoy hotel during off-peak dates (ie. for the lowest amount of points possible) purely to acquire EQNs. By getting your status as fast as possible, you can enjoy the higher tier of status for your memorable trips to more exotic destinations.
Related: Earning Marriott Bonvoy Platinum with Stay Edmonton
Benefits of Bonvoy Elite Status
The full list of benefits for each Marriott Bonvoy status tier can be found here: Membership Levels & Benefits | Elite Status | Marriott Bonvoy.
We’ve summarized the most worthwhile benefits in the table below. In general, only Platinum and higher get really juicy benefits, such as free breakfasts, suite upgrades, lounge access, and so on.
|BENEFITS||GOLD ELITE||PLATINUM ELITE||TITANIUM ELITE|
*Based on availability
|In Hotel Welcome Gift|
*Varies by brand
Points, Breakfast offering or Amenity*
Points, Breakfast offering or Amenity*
|Enhanced Room Upgrade|
Based on availability
Including Select Suites
Including Select Suites
|Annual Choice Benefit|
Awarded with 50 qualifying nights
|Annual Choice Benefit|
Awarded with 75 qualifying nights
The Annual Choice Benefit is a major perk of Platinum Elite status and Titanium Elite status (Titanium gets two). With this, you get to select one of the following:
- Five Suite Night Awards
- Five extra elite qualifying nights
- Give the gift of Silver Elite status to another member
- 40% off your favorite hotel mattress
- US$100 charity donation
It’s really not worth choosing anything other than Five SNAs, in our opinion.
Free Night Certificates
A few of the Marriott co-branded credit cards offer a free night certificate perk as part of your cardholder anniversary.
For example, on the Canadian side, both the Bonvoy Personal and Bonvoy Business credit cards offer a free hotel night certificate worth 35,000 Bonvoy points on the cardholder’s anniversary. On the US side, the American Express Marriott Bonvoy Business (US) and Chase Marriott Bonvoy Boundless cards also offer a free night certificate worth 35,000 Bonvoy upon the cardholder’s anniversary. On the other hand, the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant American Express card offers a 50,000 Bonvoy annual free night certificate.
Related: 18 Best Hotels in North America to Redeem Marriott Free Night Certificates
If you have any free hotel nights in your Bonvoy account, they can be viewed under your “Account Activity” or in the Marriott Bonvoy app. Your free night certificates will have an expiry listed; this expiry date is when you must complete the stay by, not by when the booking must be made.
If you want to redeem a free night certificate, search for a points redemption booking on the Marriott Bonvoy website. Once you are at the booking page where you are able to select your type of payment, if you are eligible to apply a free night certificate towards the booking, it will appear as a payment option.
The option to use a free night certificate will only appear if your free night certificate covers the Bonvoy point cost of one night of your stay. However, you can top up the certificate with up to 15,000 Bonvoy points to cover the booking.
So for example, if you have a 35k points certificate, the option to use the certificate will show up on the payment screen for any hotels that cost 50,000 points or less.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do Marriott Bonvoy points expire?
Yes, Marriott Bonvoy points expire if your account does not have any qualifying activities for 24 months. Qualifying activities include any transaction in which you earn or redeem Marriott Bonvoy points.
How can I use my Marriott Bonvoy free night certificate?
To view your certificate, navigate to your Marriott account dashboard on Marriott.com. Your Marriott Bonvoy free night certificate will appear under the ‘Activity’ tab, where the value and expiration date will be shown. When searching for Marriott Bonvoy hotels, if you select ‘Use Points/Award’, you will see the certificate listed as a payment option on the booking page, IF the certificate value is enough to cover at least one night (either by itself or with a top-up of up to 15,000 points).
How can I use Marriott Bonvoy suite night awards (SNA)?
If you have suite night awards earned through elite status, you can apply them to your bookings (when allowed) to increase your chance of being upgraded for your stay. One suite night award will be consumed per night of your stay.
To apply them to an existing booking, select your booking on the Marriott website or in the Marriott app. If eligible, there will be a button that you can click to apply the suite night award(s). You will then need to select the room type(s) that you would like to upgrade to. The more types of suites you select, the greater the chance of approval. Suite night awards will clear a few days before your stay and you will receive an email notification if you have been upgraded.
If you are looking for more information on suite night awards, click here.
Can you purchase Marriott Bonvoy points?
Yes, Marriott Bonvoy members are able to purchase up to 100,000 Bonvoy points in a calendar year. Points can be purchased at a rate of 1.25 cents (USD) per point. If you are interested in purchasing Bonvoy points, you can do so here.
From time to time there are discounts on the purchase rate, sometimes points can be had for as little as 80-90 cents (USD) per point.
How much is a Marriott Bonvoy point worth?
The value of one Marriott Bonvoy point is approximately 1 cent. This means that you should aim to receive 1 cent per point when making an award booking to ensure you are getting good value for your points, else it may make more sense to spend cash.
Can I transfer Marriott Bonvoy points to another Bonvoy member?
Yes, you are able to transfer your Marriott Bonvoy points to another member. In order to initiate a transfer, you will need to call Marriott customer service.
The minimum amount that can be transferred is 1,000 Bonvoy points. You are eligible to transfer up to 100,000 Bonvoy points per calendar year to other accounts. A Marriott Bonvoy account is eligible to receive up to 500,000 Bonvoy points total per calendar year.
My free night certificate has an expiry date. Do I need to make the booking by this date or stay by this date?
The expiry date indicated on your Marriott free night certificate is the stay-by date. This means that you need to complete the stay before this date, not just redeem the certificate.
How can I contact Marriott Bonvoy customer service?
Marriott Bonvoy customer service can be reached at 1-800-228-2100 in Canada and the United States.
How do I select my Marriott Annual Choice Benefit?
A few days after you achieve Platinum or Titanium Status, you should be sent a congratulations email prompting you to go to the Annual Choice Benefit website to make your selection.