15 ways to redeem the Marriott 50k free night award

Oct 5, 2020

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Editor’s note: This is a recurring post, regularly updated with new information to reflect hotel category changes.


There are two primary ways to book “free” stays at Marriott properties worldwide. You can use points, of course, which can be earned in a variety of ways including staying at Marriott properties and from spending on the various Marriott cobranded credit cards.

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But, Marriott also issues free-night certificates — in 35,000- and 50,000-point denominations — each year you renew select cobranded cards. The more valuable up to 50,000-point certificate comes as a perk of the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card. Every time you renew, you get another certificate to use at hotels priced up to 50,000 Marriott points per night. (Note that The Ritz-Carlton Rewards card also offers the same 50,000-point certificate, but that card is no longer available to new applicants.)

Right now, however, the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card is offering an elevated welcome bonus that awards five of these certificates worth up to 50,000 points each with $5,000 in spending within the first 3 months of a new account opening. This means you could book a five-night stay at a Marriott property that costs up to 50,000 points per night for close to free, just for signing up for this card.

Elevated bonus: Earn five 50,000-point Marriott award certificates with $5,000 in spending after opening a new Marriott Bonvoy Boundless card

Naturally, we want you to maximize this lucrative sign-up bonus, which could be worth up to 250,000 Bonvoy points if you use it wisely. We’ve already given you our picks for where to use these certificates if you’re traveling with your family, but now let’s take a look at some more properties that represent great uses of these valuable certificates.

How to use the 50k Marriott certificates

You can use these 50,000-point Marriott certificates at any Category 1–6 Marriott hotel with standard award availability on standard and off-peak dates. With the introduction of peak and off-peak pricing, the certificates have gotten a little more complicated to use.

You cannot use a 50k certificate to book a peak Category 6 date, but the other side of that coin is that you can now use them to book an off-peak date at a Category 7 property. Essentially, you can use them anytime a property displays for 50k Marriott points per night or less, regardless of category.

We’re focusing on Category 6 properties here but watch for TPG’s upcoming story on the best Category 7 properties to visit on off-peak dates using these certificates.

Additionally, you may decide that an off-peak Category 6 date is a better value when redeeming 40k Marriott points per night than burning a 50k certificate.

Once you receive your certificate, the booking process is simple. Log in to your Marriott Bonvoy account and search for an award stay of any length. If you find a property with standard award inventory for 50,000 points per night (or fewer), the booking platform should prompt you to use the certificate instead of points. Remember you only have a year to use these certificates, so don’t sit on them for too long.

(Screenshot courtesy of Marriott)

Note: Be aware that many of the hotels below do charge resort fees in addition to the annual award certificate.

JW Marriott Marquis Miami

(Photo courtesy of JW Marriott Marquis Miami)
(Photo courtesy of JW Marriott Marquis Miami)

Standard points rate: Category 6 — 50,000 points per night

In a glassy tower in Downtown Miami, the JW Marriott Marquis is near many of Miami’s cultural attractions like the Wynwood neighborhood, the Design District, the Perez Art Museum and more.

At the hotel, you’ll find two restaurants — one helmed by James Beard award-winning chef Daniel Boulud — as well as a state-of-the-art fitness center with a rooftop outdoor pool providing sweeping views of the Biscayne Bay. While the hotel isn’t on the beach, it’s just a short drive away from South Beach. The hotel itself is a luxurious one, with spacious guest rooms with floor-to-ceiling glass windows and other high-end touches like built-in TVs in the bathroom mirrors.

The St. Regis, Langkawi, Malaysia

(Photo by Ethan Steinberg/The Points Guy)
(Photo by Ethan Steinberg/The Points Guy)

Standard points rate: Category 6 — 50,000 points per night

While it’s normal to have high expectations when staying at a St. Regis, TPG contributor Ethan Steinberg was blown away by a recent stay at The St. Regis Langkawi earlier this year.

This property has a lot of good things going for it, including spectacular sunset views (and cool lounging nets hanging over the water), locally inspired signature bloody Marys, multiple high-quality dining options and a spectacular breakfast offering. The property has spacious base guest rooms and even has a selection of overwater villas. With stunning views of the Andaman Sea from practically all points on the resort, you won’t want to leave this little slice of paradise.

The Ritz-Carlton, Bali

(Photo courtesy of The Ritz-Carlton, Bali)
(Photo courtesy of The Ritz-Carlton, Bali)

Standard points rate: Category 6 — 50,000 points per night

The Ritz-Carlton, Bali can sometimes fetch $700 or even $800 a night, but Marriott decided to classify it as Category 6 property, making it eligible for the 50k free-night certificates when you can find standard or off-peak availability. In the upscale Nusa Dua area, all 313 “rooms” at this property are either suites or villas, and almost all of them feature private plunge pools.

With six on-site dining options and a seemingly endless stretch of pristine beach, guests are sure to never get bored. However, the property also provides unique options for those looking for more structure in their day. The Ritz-Carlton offers an impact program that allows guests to give back to the local community through various service programs, which are perfect for a meaningful family vacation or team-building activities at a corporate event. While you’re planning your trip, read our guide on getting to Bali using points and miles, and learn how to extend your vacation by stretching your Marriott points in Bali.

JW Marriott Cancun

(Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)

Standard points rate: Category 6 — 50,000 points per night

A little closer to home, the JW Marriott Cancun — still relatively fresh off a full renovation — blends high-end luxury with touches of history. Unwind on the pristine white sand beaches, or venture off-site to explore the Mayan ruins at Tulum and Chichen-Itza. Spice up your stay with a Cirque Du Soleil ticket package, or spend your time snorkeling and diving through the pristine waters. At the end of the day, indulge in tequila and locally caught seafood or enjoy sushi and Mediterranean cuisine at one of the many on-site restaurants.

Ready to get going? Flight deals to Cancun pop up regularly, making this destination incredibly accessible.

The Ritz-Carlton, Orlando Grande Lakes

(Photo courtesy of The Ritz-Carlton, Orlando Grande Lakes)
(Photo courtesy of The Ritz-Carlton, Orlando Grande Lakes)

Standard points rate: Category 6 — 50,000 points per night

Even if you’re not a Disney fan, there are plenty of reasons to book a stay at The Ritz-Carlton, Orlando Grande Lakes. You can count on agreeable weather year-round, and while at the hotel you’ll be able to enjoy a whopping 11 food-and-beverage outlets, a massive, 40,000 square-foot spa, a Greg Norman-designed golf course, two pools on property, access to the lazy river pool at the adjacent JW Marriott Orlando, Grande Lakes and more.

The Westin Hapuna Beach Resort

(Photo courtesy of The Westin Hapuna Beach Resort)
(Photo courtesy of The Westin Hapuna Beach Resort)

Standard points rate: Category 6 — 50,000 points per night

On the stunning Kohala Coast of the Big Island of Hawaii, The Westin Hapuna Beach Resort is an idyllic beachside property that recently underwent a complete renovation. The resort has two swimming pools — one for families and an infinity-edge adults-only one — as well as a full spa and the signature WestinWorkout fitness center. After you relax at the pools or beach, play a round of golf at the Hapuna Golf Course or grab a bite or refreshing drink at one of the property’s four food-and-beverage outlets.

W Washington, D.C.

(Photo courtesy of the W Washington, D.C)
(Photo courtesy of the W Washington, D.C)

Standard points rate: Category 6 — 50,000 points per night

Washington, D.C. isn’t known for cheap hotel rates, so if a trip to the nation’s capital is on the agenda, your free-night certificates can save you a great deal of cash. The property recently had a full renovation and has three dining and drinking options for guests, the highlight of which is its rooftop bar and restaurant, called POV, which gives guests spectacular views of the Washington Monument and The White House.

The Ritz-Carlton, Macau

(Photo courtesy of The Ritz-Carlton, Macau)
(Photo courtesy of The Ritz-Carlton, Macau)

Standard points rate: Category 6 — 50,000 points per night

Set in the heart of the world’s largest gambling market by revenue, The Ritz-Carlton, Macau is a destination unto itself in one of the world’s most unique places. Enjoy all the trappings of luxury with palatial guest rooms and marble-clad bathrooms and take your pick of any one of four dining establishments — including the Michelin-starred Lai Heen. After exploring the city — or trying your hand at the blackjack table — relax at The Ritz-Carlton Spa or the hotel’s outdoor swimming pool.

The Shanghai Edition

(Photo courtesy of The Shanghai Edition)
(Photo courtesy of The Shanghai Edition)

Standard points rate: Category 6 — 50,000 points per night

Situated on Shanghai’s glittering Nanjing East Road, the Edition made a splash when it opened in 2018. Its cosmopolitan chic vibe fits right in with the energy of the world’s largest city by population. Rooms feature all the signature Edition touches, like light woods, sparse but stylish decor and the faux-fur through across the bed. The hotel has a whopping eight food-and-beverage outlets, a highlight being the rooftop bar that provides sweeping views of Shanghai’s Pudong district skyline. It’s a view you’ll remember forever — especially at night.

Standard points rate: Category 6 — 50,000 points per night

The Naka Island, a Luxury Collection Resort and Spa, Phuket

(Photo courtesy of The Naka Island, a Luxury Collection Resort and Spa)
(Photo courtesy of The Naka Island, a Luxury Collection Resort and Spa)

Standard points rate: Category 6 — 50,000 points per night

One of the best “bang-for-your-buck” properties on this list, The Naka Island is a private-island retreat off the coast of Thailand’s famed Phuket that you can book entirely on points. Guests reach the island via a speedboat transfer, and once you arrive, you’ll feel like you’re away from everything. Rest and relaxation is the top priority of this resort, and you can spend your days gazing out into the stunning limestone cliffs in the ocean in front of you, indulge in a treatment (or two or three) at Spa Naka or enjoy a leisurely meal and cocktail at any one of the resort’s three restaurants and bars.

Aegon Mykonos, Autograph Collection

(Photo courtesy of Aegon Mykonos, Autograph Collection)
(Photo courtesy of Aegon Mykonos, Autograph Collection)

Standard points rate: Category 6 — 50,000 points per night

Famous for all-night parties, idyllic Cycladic beaches, a red-hot dining scene and … expensive hotels … Mykonos, Greece is one of the hottest summer destinations on the planet. Aegon Mykonos, part of Marriott’s Autograph Collection, is a relative newcomer but packs a big punch. It has just 76 (very chic) rooms and suites, and many of them feature private pools, jacuzzis, in-room spa and fitness features and more. The resort has two outdoor pools and its own beach club, perfect for spending long sunny days without a care in the world.

Falisia, a Luxury Collection Resort and Spa, Portopiccolo, Italy

(Photo courtesy of Falisia, a Luxury Collection Resort and Spa)
(Photo courtesy of Falisia, a Luxury Collection Resort and Spa)

Standard points rate: Category 6 — 50,000 points per night

On Italy‘s sun-drenched Adriatic Coast on the Gulf of Trieste, Falisia is a resort that looks straight out of the movies. The resort is set adjacent to a small marina but is just steps from the beach, where you’ll also find a stunning infinity-edge pool that looks out into the Gulf of Trieste’s beautiful blue waters. Choose from four bars and restaurants, where you’ll be served the absolute best of all that Adriatic cuisine has to offer. You can’t skip having a refreshing afternoon aperitivo with a view of the marina in the background.

The Ritz-Carlton, Abama

(Photo courtesy of The Ritz-Carlton, Abama)
(Photo courtesy of The Ritz-Carlton, Abama)

Standard points rate: Category 6 — 50,000 points per night

On Spain’s famed Tenerife, you’ll find a beautifully pink, Moorish style palace, otherwise known as The Ritz-Carlton, Abama. Set on cliffs above the blue sea, this property is an ideal spot for a laidback European island vacation. This 459-room resort has six bars and restaurants, one of them — Abama Kabuki — holding a Michelin star for its Japanese-Western fusion cuisine. When you’re not busy eating, relax by one of the resort’s multiple pools or at the beach, get a workout in at the fitness center, play a round of golf at the nearby Abama Golf or hit the tennis court at Abama Tennis, which has seven tennis and four paddle courts.

Al Bustan Palace, a Ritz-Carlton Hotel

(Photo courtesy of Al Bustan Palace, a Ritz-Carlton Hotel)
(Photo courtesy of Al Bustan Palace, a Ritz-Carlton Hotel)

Standard points rate: Category 6 — 50,000 points per night

Oman has been making a name for itself as a top travel destination. If you find yourself in this small Middle Eastern nation, you likely won’t find a better deal on points than the Al Bustan Palace. A landmark in the country, the hotel is set on the beach with unobstructed views of the dramatic Al Hajar Mountains. It recently underwent a complete renovation that embraced modern Middle Eastern luxury. The resort has six bars and restaurants, and perhaps the most memorable of them all is the Atrium Tea Lounge, which is set beneath a 125-foot dome in the resort’s lobby.

Tambo del Inka, A Luxury Collection Resort and Spa, Valle Sagrado, Peru

(Photo courtesy of Tambo del Inka, A Luxury Collection Resort and Spa)
(Photo courtesy of Tambo del Inka, A Luxury Collection Resort and Spa)

Standard points rate: Category 6 — 50,000 points per night

In one of the world’s most beautiful — and mystical — places, Tambo del Inka encourages you to embrace the rugged setting while pampering you every step of the way. Use this resort as your home base for exploring the home of the ancient Inca people, which is made even easier by the fact that the hotel has its own train station on the way to Machu Picchu. Gaze at the imposing Andes from your room or suite, enjoy a meal at one of the two on-property bars and restaurants or treat yourself to a treatment at the spa — you’re going to want one after a day of exploring the Sacred Valley.

Bottom line

Marriott’s free-night certificates have always been valuable but with the limited-time offer on the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless card, they’ve become even more so. If you take advantage of this elevated offer, you’ll have a tremendous amount of value in your Marriott Bonvoy account, and the only thing left to do is decide where you’ll be using your certificates. Rest assured, though, if you use your certificates at any one of the properties above, it’s a sure bet that you’ll have a memorable vacation.

Featured photo of the JW Marriott Cancun by Zach Griff/The Points Guy.

Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card

Earn up to 125,000 Marriott Bonvoy points. Earn 100,000 bonus points after you spend $5,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Plus, earn an additional 25,000 bonus points after your first anniversary of Card Membership. Enjoy complimentary Platinum Elite status with your Card for the 2021 status year. Offer Expires 1/13/2021. TPG values 125K Bonvoy points to be worth around $1,200. Aside from the huge welcome offer you'll earn up to $300 in statement credits each year and 1 free night every year after cardmember anniversary. Terms apply.

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More Things to Know
  • Earn up to 125,000 Marriott Bonvoy points. Earn 100,000 bonus points after you spend $5,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Plus, earn an additional 25,000 bonus points after your first anniversary of Card Membership. Offer Expires 1/13/2021.
  • Enjoy complimentary Platinum Elite status with your Card for the 2021 status year. Offer Expires 1/13/2021.
  • Enjoy up to $300 in statement credits each year of Card Membership for eligible purchases at participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels.
  • Earn 6 Marriott Bonvoy points for each dollar of eligible purchases at participating Marriott Bonvoy Hotels. 3 points at U.S. restaurants and on flights booked directly with airlines. 2 points on all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive 1 free Night Award every year after your Card account anniversary. Award can be used for one night (redemption level at or under 50,000 Marriott Bonvoy Points) at a participating hotel. Certain hotels have resort fees.
  • Enjoy unlimited airport lounge visits when you enroll in Priority Pass™ Select membership.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $450 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Intro APR on Purchases
N/A
Regular APR
15.74%-24.74% Variable
Annual Fee
$450
Balance Transfer Fee
N/A
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.