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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.
- This promotion is valid between May 18, 2020 — June 30, 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.
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.
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:
- Citi® Double Cash Card
- The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express
- Chase Freedom Unlimited®
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?
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