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You can now top off your Marriott Free Night Award certificates with up to 15,000 points to allow you to book and stay at a higher-priced Marriott property. This new feature was originally announced late last year and is now live. You can top up your various certificates with up to 15,000 points!
Free Night Certificate Values
Marriott Bonvoy partners with both American Express and Chase to issue Marriot co-branded credit cards. The value of the free night certificates is as follows:
Chase-issued Marriott cards
- Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card — receive a Free Night Award worth 35,000 points.
- Marriott Bonvoy Premier Credit Card — receive a Free Night Award worth 25,000 points.
- The Ritz-Carlton™ Credit Card — receive a Free Night Award worth 85,000 points.
- Marriott Bonvoy® Premier Plus Business Credit Card — receive a Free Night Award worth 35,000 points.
Amex-issued Marriott cards
- Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card — receive a Free Night Award worth 85,000 points.
- Marriott Bonvoy™ American Express® Card — receive a Free Night Award worth 35,000 points.
- Marriott Bonvoy Business American Express® Card — receive a Free Night Award worth 35,000 points.
How To Top Up Your Certificate
Topping up your certificate is straightforward. You simply go through the award booking process as usual. When it comes to paying, you can check the box to use your free night certificate. The system will automatically show the remaining balance in points needed as a top-up for the award.
In the example above, we showed how you can combine the previous 50,000-point Free Night Award issued with the The Ritz-Carlton™ Credit Card, with the 35,000-point Free Night Award from the Marriott Boundless — plus a top off of 12,000 points — for a two-night stay at the Le Méridien Resort & Spa in the Maldives.
Without the ability to top off the Marriott Boundless Free Night Award certificate, you'd only be able to book one night at this property with your Free Night Awards.
Maximizing Your Marriott Free Night Award Certificates
Marriott scrapped its award charts in March 2022 and switched to a semi-dynamic pricing model. Now, it's gotten a little trickier to get the most out of your Marriott Bonvoy Free Night Award certificate. The price in points is now more closely linked to the cash price of the booking and the hotel occupancy at the time.
To make the most out of your certificate, you will have to target times when the property you want to visit is less busy. This should then reflect in a lower cash price and subsequent point price.
In addition, you can take advantage of flexible booking policies when booking with Free Night Award certificates. So, if you find your desired property at a great price but your plans are not 100% fixed, you can still book it and lock in the price point. If you later need to cancel, Marriott will reimburse your Free Night Award certificates and/or Bonvoy points with no harm done.
If you are looking for a more extended vacation stay — say a 6-night stay — you can combine your certificate with Marriott's fifth-night free perk to leverage your points for maximum value. Booking 5 nights using points will trigger the 5th-night free perk. Then you can use your certificate for the 6th night, giving you a great deal on your stay.
Ever since Marriott changed to dynamic pricing, it has taken some of the shine off its free night certificates. Marriott allowing points top-ups is welcome news and keeps Marriott in line with its main competitors. IHG enables point top-ups when using free night certificates, and Hilton imposes no restrictions on its free night certificates.
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