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

Dec. 15, 2021
4 min read
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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.

(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 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.

Featured image by (Photo by Summer Hull/The Points Guy)
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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  • For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
  • Earn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
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Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
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3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
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  • Intro Offer
    For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening

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  • Annual Fee

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    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

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Why We Chose It

The Citi Premier’s 3 points per dollar spent across a wide range of popular categories is one of the more lucrative offerings in the world of points and miles. The Citi Premier comes with a $95 annual fee and is currently offering a solid sign up bonus of 80,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first three months. It also has some valuable transfer partners to make the most of your rewards. Add in access to Citi Entertainment plus a $100 hotel credit for any single-stay hotel booking that exceeds $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through the Citi travel website, there are few reasons why the Citi Premier should not be in every traveler’s wallet.

Pros

  • Earns 3x points on restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, air travel and hotels.
  • $100 annual hotel savings benefit (on single hotel stay bookings of $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through thankyou.com)
  • Points transfer to 16 airline programs, from JetBlue to Virgin Atlantic.
  • World Elite Mastercard benefits, extended warranty, damage and theft protection.

Cons

  • $95 annual fee
  • Lacks travel protections that other travel rewards cards come with
  • For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
  • Earn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Annual Hotel Savings Benefit
  • 80,000 Points are redeemable for $800 in gift cards when redeemed at thankyou.com
  • No expiration and no limit to the amount of points you can earn with this card
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases