Marriott Homes & Villas adds points and cash redemptions, spend will soon count toward Ambassador status

Dec 15, 2021

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This week, Marriott Homes & Villas — Marriott’s collection of home rental partner properties — further integrated itself into the Marriott Bonvoy program. You can now redeem a mix of points and cash toward future bookings rather than just paying in all cash or in points. Likewise, the money travelers spend on Homes & Villas bookings will soon count toward Marriott Ambassador elite status.

Here’s a closer look at these new developments and what they mean for Marriott Bonvoy members.

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Marriott launches points and cash redemptions for Homes & Villas rentals

You can now combine cash and Marriott Bonvoy points on Marriott vacation home rentals. (Photo courtesy of Marriott Homes and Villas)

On the redemption side, you can now mix cash and Marriott Bonvoy points to book Homes & Villas stays around the world. The option to use a mixture of points and cash will appear on the checkout page, where you can add points to your booking in increments of 1,000.

Marriott Home and Villas points and cash booking
(Screenshot courtesy of homes-and-villas.marriott.com)

While Marriott hasn’t published an official cent-per-point value for these redemptions, TPG ran a few test redemptions and found that you’ll usually get roughly 0.6 cents per point in value. This is identical to the value you’d get from using points to book a Homes & Villas stay outright, which is a rarity for points and cash redemptions within Marriott Bonvoy or other programs.

That said, TPG values Marriott Bonvoy points at 0.8 cents apiece at the time of publication, so getting a mere 0.6 cents per Marriott point isn’t the best value. It’s not uncommon to get more than 0.8 cents per point when booking high-end stays during peak dates (though that might change when Marriott moves to dynamic pricing next year). In other words, you might want to hold off on this option unless you only need to redeem a very few points to save a little money off the top of your booking or if you are just swimming in Marriott points and the exact return isn’t of concern.

Related: I earned 15,000 Marriott points just by renting a home for 10 days — here’s how

Homes & Villas spending counts toward Ambassador elite status

Marriott Homes & Villas Papagayo Costa Rica
Marriott Homes & Villas spend now counts toward Ambassador Elite status. (Photo courtesy of Marriott Homes and Villas)

Additionally, Homes & Villas spending will count toward the Marriott Ambassador Elite status spend requirement starting Jan. 1, 2022.

Ambassador Elite is Marriott’s top-tier elite status level which requires members to earn 100 elite qualifying nights and spend $20,000 (reduced to $14,000 in 2021) at Marriott properties over the course of a calendar year to qualify.

This could make earning Ambassador Elite a lot easier for some members. Some travelers may rent a Homes & Villas property for a few weeks or a month at a time, paying a pretty penny to do so. In turn, this could expedite progress toward Ambassador and all the perks that unlocks.

Related: What is Marriott Bonvoy elite status worth in 2021?

Bottom line

It’s great to see Marriott add a couple of new features to the Homes & Villas program and better integrate it within Marriott Bonvoy. Being able to earn and redeem points and earn elite status directly with Homes & Villas helps separate it from other vacation rental companies, such as Airbnb, which rely on third-party partnerships for loyalty.

That said, you’ll want to assess your options before using your hard-earned Marriott Bonvoy points for a Homes & Villas stay. Whether you redeem outright or combine points and cash, you’re restricted to 0.6 cents per point in value. This isn’t a terrible use of points if it gets you the lodging you want, but you could potentially get more value if you earned points on your home rental and then redeemed the points toward hotels.

Feature photo courtesy of Summer Hull/The Points Guy

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