Should you buy Marriott points with a 45% discount?
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If you’re looking to plan travel for the holidays or even into the new year, Marriott is currently offering a bonus when buying Marriott Bonvoy points. From now through Dec. 8, 2021, you’ll get a 45% discount when you purchase 2,000 or more Marriott Bonvoy points, dropping the cost to just 0.86 cents per point. This is a decent discount when compared to the usual price of 1.25 cents per point.
Let’s take a closer look at the promotion and discuss times when it makes sense to purchase Marriott points.
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Marriott buy-points promotion details
You can take advantage of this promotion by heading to Marriott’s buy points page and purchasing a minimum of 2,000 points.
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.
Additionally, you can only buy up to 100,000 points per year, though the bonus points are not part of this maximum. For instance, you could purchase 100,000 points and get 45,000 bonus ones.
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, but only under the right circumstances.
TPG’s monthly valuations estimate Marriott points to be worth 0.8 cents each. So, under this promotion, you’re paying just a tad more than that. This can make the promotion a decent deal, but only if you have an immediate plan to use the points to book expensive stays at a discount. Otherwise, you’ll probably want to avoid speculatively buying points.
While Marriott is eliminating its award charts in favor of dynamic pricing in March 2022, you still have a few more months to book stays before these changes take place. 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 70,000 points for about $600 and receive an effective discount of $400+ 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. Specifically in this case, you may want to buy Marriott Bonvoy points with this bonus to top up your account for a five-night redemption if you don’t have quite enough for that type of booking at the moment, especially while Marriott’s award charts are still in effect.
How to earn Marriott Bonvoy points
Purchasing Marriott Bonvoy points isn’t the only way to earn Marriott Bonvoy points. In fact, one of the easiest ways to accrue these points quickly and inexpensively is with Marriott’s cobranded credit cards.
Currently, Chase offers two cobranded credit cards — both with elevated sign-up bonuses. The Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card earns 100,000 bonus points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first three months of account opening. The Marriott Bonvoy Bold Credit Card earns 50,000 bonus points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening.
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) and is currently offering 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.
Further, it also includes an annual up to $300 statement credit on eligible purchases at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy program and annual free night certificate (worth up to 50,000 points).
Use the right credit card to buy points
The terms of this promotion 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. Instead, to maximize your spending when buying Marriott points, look at cards like The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express, which offers 2 Membership Rewards points per dollar spent (on the first $50,000 per calendar 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).
Additional reporting by Stella Shon, Andrew Kunesh, Joseph Hostetler and JT Genter.
For rates and fees of the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant card, click here.
Featured photo by Benji Stawski/The Points Guy.
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