How to use a Marriott Bonvoy 35,000-point certificate
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Editor’s note: This post was originally published on June 14, 2019.
There are several Marriott cobranded credit cards that have a permanent place in my wallet because of the annual up to 35,000-point award certificate they provide each year. The currently available Marriott cards that award this certificate at each renewal include:
If you maximize the annual 35k award for a property selling for $200 to $300 per night, you’ve likely more than offset the annual fee for these cards each year. (Note that the new Marriott Bonvoy Bold Credit Card from Chase does not offer a free night certificate.)
How to use a Marriott 35,000-point certificate
Once you’ve earned your annual free night certificate, it’s easy to use it at a range of properties.
Wait for your credit card account anniversary
Once you reach your account anniversary with the cards described above, within eight weeks from that date, a Free Night Award e-Certificate should be automatically deposited into your Marriott Bonvoy account. I received an email when the certificate was deposited. In terms of timing, my Marriott card anniversary date was mid-September and the award was deposited in November.
Check activity in your Marriott account
To see if an anniversary Marriott Bonvoy 35,000-point certificate has been deposited in your account, log in to Marriott Bonvoy and click on “Activity.”
You should see the certificate under “Earned Awards.”
Use a Marriott 35,000-point certificate within one year
The Marriott 35k anniversary certificates are valid for one year from the date of issuance, so be sure to use the certificate before it expires or its value to you is exactly zero. This is your travel by date, not your book by date.
Search for a 35,000 point (or less) per night hotel
To use the Marriott 35k certificate, simply search for hotels using Marriott Bonvoy points like normal and select one that prices at 35,000 Marriott points per night or less. Note that during peak dates, a Category 5 property will be out of range of a 35k certificate. Choose your desired room type, and at checkout you will be given the option to pay using your Marriott 35,000-point certificate.
While you cannot upgrade the certificate with additional points to stay at a higher category hotel (though that would be awesome), you can use the certificate in conjunction with points to stay multiple nights on the same reservation.
Be sure the 35k certificate is refunded if you cancel your stay
If your plans change and you need to cancel the reservation made with your certificate, just keep a close eye on your Marriott account to ensure the certificate is indeed redeposited. TPG has received reports of this redeposit process sometimes requiring a phone call.
Best hotels for a Marriott 35,000-point certificate
Obviously, the best theoretical use of a Marriott 35k certificate is at a hotel that costs at, or very close, to 35,000 points per night — though you can use them for lower-tier properties. You can use the certificates as one night of a longer stay, or when you just need one night of lodging on your journey. Some potential uses include:
- Westin Snowmass
- Sheraton Kauai Resort
- Sheraton Steamboat Resort Villas
- AC Hotel New York Times Square
- St. Regis Bangkok
- Westin Puerto Vallarta
- Renaissance Aruba Resort
For more ideas on where to use Marriott 35k certificates:
- 10 Best Uses of a Marriott 35k Certificate for Families
- 7 Great Uses of a Marriott and SPG 35,000-Point Certificate
Depending on when and where you redeem your award, these certificates can be used at hotels that sometimes sell for several hundred dollars per night, making them quite valuable.
Annual hotel award nights make it much easier to say yes to credit cards that carry annual fees. My family will easily get several hundred dollars in value from the Marriott 35,000-point certificates that we will enjoy each year from a variety of our Marriott cobranded cards. These awards can kick-start trips to the slopes for a ski vacation or get you close to a theme park, the beach or even score you an above average room in the middle of an expensive city like Manhattan or Paris.
Now that you know how to use a Marriott 35,000-point award, where do you plan to put it to good use?
Featured image by Shuttestock.com
The Marriott Bonvoy Boundless card offers a lot of the same benefits and a great sign-up bonus. If you're looking to jump start your Bonvoy rewards earning, this card is a good option.
- Limited Time Offer! Earn 100,000 Bonus Points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
- An additional Free Night Award (valued up to 35,000 points) every year after account anniversary.
- Earn 6X Bonvoy points per $1 spent at over 7,000 participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels.
- 2X Bonvoy points for every $1 spent on all other purchases.
- Automatic Silver Elite Status each account anniversary year. Path to Gold Status when you spend $35,000 on purchases each account year.
- 15 Elite Night Credits each calendar year.
- No foreign transaction fees.
- Earn unlimited Marriott Bonvoy points and get Free Night Stays faster.