Buy Marriott points with a best-ever 60% bonus (0.78 cents each)
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Marriott just announced a huge sale on Marriott Bonvoy points. From now through July 15, 2020, you’ll receive 60% bonus on all Marriott Bonvoy points you purchase, dropping the cost of these points to just 0.78 cents per point. This is a steep discount when compared to the usual price of 1.25 cents per point, and is the best price we’ve ever seen for Marriott Bonvoy points.
We’ll take a closer look at the promotion and discuss times when it makes sense to purchase Marriott points. But before we do that, let’s address the question on all our minds: should you buy hotel points in the middle of the coronavirus outbreak?
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Should you buy Marriott points now?
The world is currently in the middle of the global coronavirus outbreak — this has brought travel to a near standstill, and you should only take essential trips until the virus is contained. That said, there are a couple of things to keep in mind if you’re planning to purchase Marriott Bonvoy points during this promotion.
The first is the financial state of the hospitality industry. The coronavirus has brought hotel demand to virtually zero, with hotels in the U.S. reporting extremely low occupancy rates. Marriott is expecting a 45% drop in occupancy this year, and while it has a plan in place to deal with this downturn, there’s no guarantee that Marriott will make it through the coronavirus outbreak without serious financial hardship.
We’re confident that Marriott will make it through the downturn unscathed, but in a worst-case scenario where Marriott did go bankrupt or insolvent, your newly purchased points could be rendered worthless. With that in mind, only purchase Marriott points during this promotion if you’re confident that the hotel group will make it through the coronavirus outbreak without filing for bankruptcy or otherwise going bankrupt.
In addition, TPG only recommends buying points and miles of any type unless you have an immediate plan to use them. This means you’ll purchase hotel points for a stay that happens after it’s safe to travel again, which is likely to be in late 2020 or early 2021. There’s no way to guarantee this though, so make sure to familiarize yourself with Marriott’s change and cancellation policies before you buy miles to book a stay that you may need to cancel.
Marriott buy-points promotion details
Between May 18 and July 15, 2020, Marriott is selling points with a 60% bonus, dropping the price of Marriott Bonvoy points to just 0.78 cents apiece. You can take advantage of this promotion by heading to Marriott’s Buy Miles page and entering your Marriott Bonvoy details.
Do note that you can normally only purchase 50,000 Marriott Bonvoy points per year, but Marriott has upped this limit to 100,000 for this promotion. This doesn’t include the 60% bonus points either, meaning you can buy up to 160,000 points with this promotion. There is still a 50,000-point (80,000 with the bonus) limit per transaction so you’ll need to purchase two sets of points to maximize the bonus.
If you’re new to Marriott Bonvoy, note that the terms say you may purchase points 30 days after enrollment if your Marriott Bonvoy account has other mileage earning activity from hotel stays or credit card spend. You’re eligible to purchase points regardless of your account activity after your account is open for at least one year.
Who should buy Marriott Bonvoy points?
If you’ve already earned the bonuses on the best Marriott credit cards, buying points with this discount could be enticing.
TPG monthly valuations estimate Marriott points to be worth 0.8 cents each, so this deal lets you buy points for less than our valuation. This is the first time we’ve ever seen Marriott sell points for this cheap, so if you have a specific redemption in mind, it may be worth taking advantage of.
One time when buying hotel points is a good deal is if you’re able to purchase points the points needed for a specific stay at a cheaper rate than a cash stay. For example, you can book Marriott Category 8 hotels for 70,000 points on off-peak dates. You’ll pay more than $1,000 per night at many of these hotels, like the St. Regis Maldives. But with this deal, you can purchase 70,500 points for $549.90, and receive an effective discount of $450+ per night compared to paying cash.
You’ll receive an even better value when you book five or more consecutive award nights thanks to Marriott’s fifth-night free perk. That said, you may want to buy miles to top up your account for a five-night redemption if you’re running low on Marriott Bonvoy points.
How to earn Marriott Bonvoy points
Purchasing Marriott Bonvoy points isn’t your only earn Marriott Bonvoy points without staying at hotels. In fact, one of the easiest ways to earn these points is with Marriott’s cobranded credit cards that are offered by Chase and American Express.
Currently, Chase offers two cobranded credit cards. The Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card earns 75,000 bonus points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first three months of account opening. Further, the Marriott Bonvoy Bold Credit Card earns 30,000 points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first three months of account opening. Each card has various benefits and annual fees.
On the other hand, American Express offers the more premium Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card. This card has a higher $450 annual fee (see rates and fees), but offers 75,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 in purchases in the first three months of opening the account. Further, it also includes an annual up to $300 Marriott credit and free night certificate (worth up to 50,000 points).
Use the right credit card to buy points
The terms state that purchasing points with a Marriott Bonvoy cobranded credit card will earn points as an everyday purchase, so you won’t earn bonus points like you would on a Marriott stay. To maximize your spending, look at cards like The Blue Business®️ Plus Credit Card from American Express, which offers 2x Membership Rewards points per dollar (on the first $50,000 per year; then 1 point per dollar thereafter, terms apply), or the Chase Freedom Unlimited, with 1.5% cash back (1.5 Chase Ultimate Rewards points per dollar).
Featured photo by Ethan Steinberg/The Points Guy.
Joseph Hostetler and JT Genter contributed to this post.
For rates and fees of the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant card, click here.
WELCOME OFFER: 60,000 Points
TPG'S BONUS VALUATION*: $1,200
CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 2X points on all travel and dining, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners
*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.
- Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
- 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
- Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel
- Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on orders over $12 for a minimum of one year on qualifying food purchases with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
- Earn 5X points on Lyft rides through March 2022. That’s 3X points in addition to the 2X points you already earn on travel.