[Extended] Buy Marriott Points With a Best-Ever 60% Bonus

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Update: This 60% bonus promotion was originally scheduled to expire June 30, 2020, but it has been extended through July 14, 2020.

Marriott has just launched its latest point sale. With this promotion, Marriott members will receive a 60% bonus when purchasing Bonvoy points, bringing the cost down to just 0.78¢ per point. That's the cheapest Marriott has ever sold them!

A Note on Buying Points

Before we get into the details of this promotion, let's point out that buying points isn't always a great idea. Without a great bonus like this, the price to buy points is typically higher than the redeemable value they present.

With that said, there are two cases when buying miles can be a smart move. The first is when topping off your account balance for a specific redemption. The second is when the price to buy points for a redemption is cheaper than paying for the same product outright.

Key Terms

  • This promotion is valid between May 18, 2020 — July 14, 2020.
  • You will receive a 60% bonus when you purchase Bonvoy points.
  • Members are ordinarily limited to purchasing a maximum of 50,000 points per year. However, that annual cap is being raised to 100,000 Bonvoy points for this promotion, and bonus points don't count toward the limit.
  • It may take 24 – 48 hours for purchased points to post to your account.
  • To be eligible for this promotion, your account must be at least 30 days old with qualifying activity, or at least 90 days old without it.

Luxury Redemption Options

Following the merger with SPG several years ago, the Marriott Bonvoy program has emerged as a powerhouse in the hotel world, encompassing over 7,000 properties across 30 different brands. Among these are some of the most recognizable luxury hotel brands in the world—including Le Meridien, Bulgari, St. Regis, and Ritz Carlton.

With this in mind, we've picked a few of the most aspirational Bonvoy properties to demonstrate how you could save a bunch of money by buying points instead of paying the (often astronomical) cash rate.

Suiran, a Marriott Luxury Collection Hotel

Luxury in Kyoto

As the historic capital city of Japan, Kyoto is an incredible city rich in history and culture. Unfortunately, finding a place to stay there tends to be an expensive endeavor.

Suiran—one of Marriott's ‘Luxury-Collection' properties—is an authentic Japanese-style hotel nestled in Kyoto's Arashiyama Hills. With all the taxes and fees included, a basic room comes out to $1,037.16 per night.

As a category 8 property, the standard award price here is 85,000 Bonvoy points per night or 70,000 Bonvoy points per night off-peak. Under this promotion, you could save considerably by buying the required Bonvoy points for $675 at the standard rate, or only $550 at the off-peak rate.

Escape to Bora Bora

We refer to properties in Bora Bora a lot when lucrative promos like this pop up. Our reasoning is this: several of the world's largest hotel groups have ultra-expensive luxury properties in Bora Bora. While the cash rates for these places are mind-boggling, the award prices can be feasible—provided you're able to find availability. Marriot is no exception.

The St. Regis Bora Bora Resort

Some may instantly recognize this as the filming location for the 2009 blockbuster movie ‘Couples Retreat', the St. Regis Bora Bora Resort embodies the word ‘Eden', the name given to the property in the film. Unfortunately, the price of the resort can make a stay unmanageable for those of us that aren't A-list movie stars.

All-in, you're looking at $1,562 per night. However, if you buy the 85,000 Bonvoy points under the terms of this promotion, you'll only have to pay $675—saving over $900 per night.

5th Night Free

Don't forget that Bonvoy loyalty members effectively get 20% off five-night award stays, thanks to Marriott's 5th Night Free Benefit. This could make for a pretty lucrative opportunity if paired with this promotion and an off-peak Category 1 property.

This Four Points in Oklahoma, for example, could be booked for five nights for 20,000 Bonvoy points total. At 0.78¢ per point, you could buy all of the necessary points for only $156, or $31.20 per night!

Safari in southern Africa

If you're looking for a more luxurious destination, Marriott has a few enticing properties in southern Africa.

Protea Hotel Kruger Gate is located immediately across the river from South Africa's incredible Kruger National Park. That makes it a convenient yet luxurious camp for exploring the wonders of Kruger. Despite the convenient location, the hotel charges a reasonable 12,540 rand (US$675) total for a 5-night stay.

But, as a category 2 hotel, you only have to redeem 12,500 points for a standard night (10,000 for off-peak; 15,000 for peak). After a 5th night free, you can pay just 50,000 points for a 5-night stay during standard dates. You can buy those miles during this promotion for just $390 total, or just $78 per night.

Even better, the Protea Hotel Lusaka Safari Lodge has its own game reserve on-site! As a category 1 hotel, you can pay as little as 5,000 points for an off-peak night, or a modest 7,500 points for a standard night. For example, you can visit in March 2021 for just 20,000 points total for a 5th-night free stay. If you pay those points during this promotion, you'll pay just $156 total. That's less than the typical cost for just one night at this property!

Generating Airline Miles at 1.9¢ Each

Marriott Bonvoy points transfer to 44 different airlines at a 3 to 1 transfer ratio with a 5,000-mile bonus for transferring 60,000 points. That means that a 60,000-point transfer would yield 25,000 airline miles. This excellent 60% bonus promotion opens the opportunity to mint airline miles at just 1.9¢ cents each.

For example, you can buy 38,000 Marriott points through this promotion and get a 22,800-point bonus for a total of 60,800 points for $475.

If you then transfer 60,000 Marriott points to an airline, you'll end up with 25,000 miles for a cost of $475. That's exactly 1.9¢ per mile.

The rate is even better if you transfer to United MileagePlus. As part of United's partnership with Marriott, Bonvoy transfers to United get an additional 10% bonus. So, you'll end up with 27,500 United points for every 60,000 Bonvoy points transferred. That means you can mint United points for just 1.7¢ cents each through this Marriott buy points promotion.

Maximizing your Purchase

Unfortunately, Bonvoy point purchases are processed by Points.com—not Marriot directly. This means that buying Bonvoy points most likely won't trigger the ‘travel' category bonus on any credit card. If you choose to buy Bonvoy points, your best options are to use the purchase to help qualify for a minimum spending requirement or use a card optimized for everyday spending. Some of our favorite options are:

Bottom Line

It bears repeating that buying miles isn't for everyone. For most people, it's a lot easier to accumulate Bonvoy points through a sign-up bonus on a Marriott co-branded credit card—almost all of which are currently offering bonuses on grocery purchases.

However, at the best price Marriott has ever offered, this could be a terrific opportunity for folks with a plan.

Are you going to buy Bonvoy points at 0.78¢ each?

The comments on this page are not provided, reviewed, or otherwise approved by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

Comments

  • Good offer if it makes sense for your travel plans, but would be worried about being able to actually go and if you have to cancel those points sitting there and then being devalued yet again by Marriott.

    • Very good point. I had a hotel stay at a Hyatt so I transferred 12,000 points from Chase. Long story short trip is canceled and I’m stuck with 12,000 points. I guess I’ll figure something out.

    • lenin1991 says:

      The key point is “plans”: I wouldn’t bet on anyone using these any time in the next year, especially abroad where the highest values could be found.

  • Although the suggestions for usage of points for this promo is nice, I still would not be caught dead paying $685 a night for a hotel room.

    • Agreed! I’d never pay that much even for a five star stay. I’d have trouble spending that much on three nights. 🙁

    • $685/night is about triple what I’m willing to pay. Maybe just double if it’s all inclusive.

  • Loved being able to use the 5th night free staying at Protea Pelican Bay Namibia. Perfect location to see the largest natural flock of flamingos in Southern Africa! Wonderful staff !! Great restaurants nearby at the largest harbor getting Namibia and on the Atlantic ocean! Gorgeous sunsets and favorite restaurant was Dockside grill ❤️

    • It’s called Pelican Bay, but the flamingos are where it’s at? It sounds as if the flamingos earned the title! Sounds wonderful all around. Oh, to be able to travel!

  • where and when is everyone booking with Marriott points?

  • Now we’ve finally reached near equivalence with what SPG sold points for…

    Yet how times have changed when I was an automatic buyer of Starpoints and can’t really find much value in Marriott…

    • Michael Karpiel says:

      I agree with Craig. Back in 2018 prior to the final merge of SPG with Marriott I bought 30K SPG points (90K Marriott) for $682.50 which was 0.758 cents per point (Marriott equivalent). I then used those points as part of a 7 night Cat 6 Hotel and Air package from Marriott. SPG and Marriott points were valued a lot higher back then so this is no bargain.

    • agree with you. I miss SPG so much 🙁

  • That’s kind of crazy at the thought of functionally buying airline miles. It definitely pays to know all the ins and outs and ways to get points of the currency you’re after.

  • I agree with Craig’s comment.
    Back in the days when SPG was selling points with comparable prices it was a nobrainer to buy them.
    However nowadays even with Marriott’s best price ever on points I am leaning against pulling the trigger.

    • If they’re this desperate for cash, don’t be surprised when the program gets devalued in three months.

  • I suspect we’ll see more and more of these. Hotels will definitely be looking for influxes of cash.

  • not sure if there would be value in banking Bonvoy points at this time when the travel outlook for the next 6 months is still uncertain.

    • Nor do we know what Marriott will do to the program. They’re big enough I expect them to survive but none of us have any clue how the rewards program will be affected.

  • Maryjane says:

    I won’t be buying any points, despite the fact that it can make sense. However, I do consider this a flexible currency so earning Bonvoy points with the best credit card is definitely part of my strategy. Currently the Bonvoy Business card has the best everyday earning for gasoline so it is my go to card for that. One day I will go to one of the aspirational properties pictured in the article, but through stays and spend.

  • The offer is good but it’s the use of the points which may have some problems.

  • Bora Bora is on my bucket list. This sounds like a great deal but the world is crazy right now, not sure if I’m comfortable with spending money on something I might not be able to use for a long time. What if they go out of business?

  • As a former Starwood member, I favor Marriott to redeem points for aspirational hotels and destinations, including Bora Bora. Buying points cheaply now makes sense for when travel can be done safely, comfortably and before the big crowds return

  • This certainly is a good offer but the big risk is that by the time we get to use these, Marriott would have devalued the points (a devaluation is certainly coming)

    If you can somehow use it before that, it would be a good deal for sure.

  • I think now is the time to start booking future travel as prices will likely not be this low as we reopen in the US.

  • What happened to SPG’s great promotions such as “Buy 4 nights get 2 free” and “Buy 2 nights get 1 free”??? As a longtime SPG and now Marriott loyal client I can only say the current Marriott “promotions” don’t interest me especially when you have to use your points when you reserve to be eligible for only 1 free night!

  • Robert Revita says:

    Agreed. Now is the time to start booking future travel. Prices are rock bottom.

  • I agree this is a good offer for someone with an immediate intended stay. I wouldn’t buy them just because it’s a good offer

  • After seeing this methinks it is time to use up your points, devaluation seems to be near

  • When was the 10% transfer bonus to the MileagePlus program introduced?

  • Great time to hoard some points while properties start opening up- Or you can buy the points and use them right away!

  • SPG points are very much missed !

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