How To Use Marriott Boundless Free Night Certificates How To Use Marriott Boundless Free Night Certificates

How To Use Marriott Boundless Free Night Certificates

Bonus Points

AwardWallet receives compensation from advertising partners for links on the blog. Terms Apply to the offers listed on this page. The opinions expressed here are our own and have not been reviewed, provided, or approved by any bank advertiser. Here's our complete list of Advertisers.

Offers for the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card are not available through this site. All information has been independently collected by AwardWallet and has not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer. Some offers may have expired. Please see our card marketplace for available offers.

The Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card is a great card to hold for the long-term, thanks to the anniversary free night award received each year. This benefit alone can often justify keeping this card over the long term, as it takes very little work to redeem the free night certificate for more value than the $95 annual fee.

Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card
Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card
Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card
Annual Fee$95
Welcome Bonus Limited Time Offer! Earn 100,000 Bonus Points after spending $3,000 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening with the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card!
  • 6X Bonvoy points per $1 spent at over 7,000 participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels
  • 2X Bonvoy points for every $1 spent on all other purchases

While anniversary free night certificates are a staple among Marriott credit card benefits, the redemption process can be confusing if you don't know what to expect. To make it easier, in this post we're covering everything you need to know about free night certificates from your Marriott Boundless credit card.

How to Earn a Marriott Free Night Award

Marriott cardholders generally have two ways of earning Free Night Awards. First is simply by holding the card and paying your annual fee. The other requires spending on your Marriott card.

Free Nights Just for Holding a Marriott Card

Marriott free nights are an annual benefit received when you renew your account each year. There are currently three Marriott Bonvoy cards currently available to new applicants that offer a complimentary anniversary free-night certificate:

All that's required to earn your free night certificate is to hold onto your card past the first anniversary and pay the annual fee. After your first year, you receive a free night certificate every year thereafter.

Free Nights for Spending on a Marriott Card

Four Marriott credit cards currently offer a free night award after meeting an annual spending threshold:

  • Marriott Bonvoy Business® American Express® Card — Free Night Award worth up to 35,000 points when you reach $60,000 in total eligible purchases on your card within a calendar year.
  • Marriott Bonvoy Bountiful™ Card — Free Night Award worth up to 50,000 points when you reach $15,000 in total eligible purchases on your card within a calendar year.
  • Marriott Bonvoy Bevy™ American Express® Card — Free Night Award worth up to 50,000 points when you reach $15,000 in total eligible purchases on your card within a calendar year.
  • Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card — Reach $60,000 in total eligible purchases on your card within a calendar year, and choose one of several “Choice Awards” — one of which is an additional Free Night Award worth up to 85,000 points.
Redeem your 35K Marriott Free Night certificate at The LaSalle, Autograph Collection in Chicago
Redeem your 35K Marriott Free Night Certificate at The LaSalle Chicago, Autograph Collection

Marriott Free Night Limitations

The principal limiting factor of Marriott Free Night Awards is their stated value. Until recently, a Marriott Boundless cardholder could only use a 35,000-point certificate at a property charging 35,000 Bonvoy points (or less) for the night.

Fortunately, Marriott has introduced the ability to “Top Off” Free Night Awards. That means you can now add up to 15,000 Marriott Bonvoy points from your account to redeem your certificate for a property with a higher price. This huge improvement puts hotels charging up to 50,000 points per night within reach of the 35,000-point Free Night Award with a top-off of Bonvoy points.

Marriott Award Pricing

Marriott is in the process of making some changes to the way hotels are priced for award stays. Under the old system, each property was assigned a category number that determined its standard award price. Depending on the season, you could be charged the peak, standard, or off-peak rate for the hotel's category:


On March 29, 2022, Marriott began rolling out dynamic pricing. Dynamic pricing means the cost in points will vary depending on demand. Marriott calls this new system “Flexible Redemption Rates”.

Now, you won't see the terms Off-Peak, Standard, and Peak or the legacy categories on the Marriott website. However, the loyalty program assured members that prices for 97% of its hotels will remain between their former off-peak and peak rates (in the table above) through the end of 2022. Here are the Marriott hotels where award prices may vary outside the peak/off-peak bounds.

From 2023 onward, all Marriott hotels will move to dynamic pricing, making the current award chart obsolete.

Despite the changes, it's possible to receive hundreds of dollars in value from Marriott Free Nights Award certificates — especially now that you can “top off” your certificate with up to 15,000 points to put more expensive properties within reach.

Award Night Certificate Validity

Once Marriott issues the certificate, you get twelve months to use it. However, unlike IHG free night certificates, you need to complete the free night stay within those twelve months — not just make the booking.

However, some members have reported some success requesting a one-year extension of the validity of an unextended Free Night Award. Marriott requires that you call in the same calendar month that the Free Night Award expires. Then, an agent may be able to process an extension. Just note that this extension isn't guaranteed, so we don't recommend counting on it.

How to Redeem Marriott Bonvoy Free Night Certificates

When you're ready to redeem your free night certificate, start by going to Marriott's homepage. Once there, the process largely mirrors that of making a points booking. Type your desired location and dates, and check the box for “Use Points / Certificates”:

Start your Marriott free night search like any other point booking

You'll see all the properties that fit your search listed with their respective award rate. As long as the rate is at or below the value of your certificate plus 15,000 points, you should be able to book a free night.

Screenshot of Marriott award search results in Chicago to use free night award certificate

In this case, let's assume you have a 35K certificate to use, and you want to book The W Chicago – City Center. Once you select “View Rates”, you'll see a screen displaying all of your booking options — including rates for point bookings, cash bookings, or a combination of both. Select the points rate.

Use Marriott free night awards at pricing like this, less than 35,000 points per night

With Marriott's move to dynamic pricing, this hotel is showing 34,000 points as a points redemption or $200 + 17,000 points as a cash & points redemption. Many other nights in the same may month cost more than 35,000 points. In these cases, you can redeem up to 15,000 Bonvoy points along with the certificate to book those nights.

As you continue the booking process, Marriott will note that “you have eligible e-certificates that match your reservation” on the final booking page. This is where you can choose to either use points to complete the booking or redeem your certificate.

At checkout, you can apply a Marriott free night certificate instead of points

If you decide to redeem your certificate, it'll disappear from your Bonvoy account when the booking is confirmed. In this case, a 35K certificate saves you about $300 compared to booking the same room at the standard rate.

W Chicago cash rate with taxes

How to Redeem Marriott Bonvoy Free Night Certificates in the Marriott App

Some people may find mobile apps to be more convenient and user-friendly than desktop computers, especially for tasks that can be easily accomplished on a smaller screen. 

To book a Marriott reservation through the mobile app, follow these steps:

  • Download the Marriott app on your mobile device from the App Store or Google Play.
  • Open the app and log in to your Marriott account. If you don't have an account, you can create one by following the prompts.
  • Once you are logged in, tap on the “Book” tab at the bottom of the screen.
  • Enter your destination and travel dates, and then tap “Find Hotels” to view available hotels. Ensure you toggle the “Use Points / Awards” button.
  • iPhone Marriott app searchSelect the hotel you want to book, and then tap on the “Select Room” button to view available rooms.
  • Choose the room type you want, and then tap on the “Select” button on the Redemption option to proceed to the Review Reservation screen.

iPhone Marriott app select room

  • On the Review Reservation screen, you'll click on “Redeem Free Night +” to apply the award to your reservation.

iPhone Marriott app Redeem Free Night

  • After confirming payment information, tap “Book Now” to confirm your reservation.

You should receive a confirmation email with your reservation details.

How to Use a Marriott Free Night + Points

As noted above, you can now expand the value of a Free Night Award with up to 15,000 Bonvoy points from your account. This feature applies to Standard Room Types and PointSaver redemptions only. Unfortunately, you cannot book upgrades or suites by adding points to a Marriott Free Night Award.

Fortunately, the booking process couldn't be easier. Here is a property that costs a little more than the value of my 35K certificate:

Chicago search over 35k

After selecting this hotel and choosing a room type, I am automatically presented with the option to top off my Free Night Award with an additional 5,000 points from my account.

LaSalle top up marriott 35k certificate with 5k additional

Best Hotels to Spend a Marriott Free Night

If you're looking for inspiration, check out our article covering the best Marriott properties for redeeming free night awards. Meanwhile, here are a few of our favorite aspirational properties to redeem Marriott free night awards and get you started.

Le Méridien Maldives Resort & Spa

One of the newest and nicest Maldives resorts is also one of the best values using a Free Night Award. The Le Méridien Maldives Resort & Spa can often be booked for under 50,000 points. That means a free night can be booked with a 50K certificate — or a 35K certificate plus up to a 15K Bonvoy point top off — on many nights.

Use a Marriott Free Night Award at the Le Meridien Maldives

Pier One Sydney Harbour, Autograph Collection

Part of Marriott's Autograph Collection, Pier One Sydney Harbour is a 5-star property located (literally) in the shadow of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. This makes it the perfect gateway for a vacation down under.


A 35K certificates can secure a night in a “Heritage Guest Room” many nights of the year. Some nights might need a top off of just a few thousand Bonvoy points:

Use a Marriott Free Night Award at the Pier One Sydney Harbour

Cash rates often exceed US$300 per night, meaning you're getting incredible value using your Marriott Free Night Awards.

San Francisco Marriott Union Square

For a stay in the heart of San Francisco, it's hard to beat the San Francisco Marriott Union Square. This well-rated Marriott is just a block from Union Square and within striking distance of all that San Francisco has to offer. Best of all, you can use your Marriott Free Night Awards to stay there for nothing out-of-pocket.

With dynamic pricing, award nights start at 40,000 points per night. So, you'll need to top off your 35K Free Night Award with at least 5,000 points. But that's still a great deal for a stay in the heart of such an expensive city.

Use a Marriott Free Night Award at the San Francisco Marriott Union Square

Sheraton Grand Danang Resort

The Sheraton Grand Danang Resort is on the coast of Vietnam near the historic Hoi An Old Town and the Marble Mountains. On-site amenities include a spa, wedding & event facilities, and multiple pools. There are also restaurants to suit all tastes.

 Sheraton Grand Danang Resort exterior with view of pool and ocean in the distance

You can use a 35K Marriott free night award here nearly any night of the year. PointSavers pricing may be available, further reducing the award redemption costs.

Use a Marriott Free Night Award at the Sheraton Grand Danang Resort

Base rooms come with a beautiful view of the bay and typically cost over $200 a night.

Track Your Marriott Free Night Certificates with AwardWallet

The only downside of earning Marriott free night certificates is having to keep track of them. Nobody should have to go through the pain of realizing you accidentally let one expire. Thankfully, AwardWallet makes it easy to keep tabs on all of your free night awards.


If you add your Marriott account to AwardWallet, you'll receive reminder emails whenever your certificates get close to expiring. This makes using them (and not losing them) a lot easier.

Final Thoughts

We love hotel credit cards that offer free night awards. In almost every case, the free night easily justifies the annual fee — even before factoring in other benefits. No card exemplifies this better than the Marriott Boundless. The 35K anniversary free night award certificate easily justifies the card's $95 annual fee.

On a final note, don't get caught up thinking you have to use your certificates at the highest category hotel possible. While we've used comparable cash values as the value metric above, there are other ways to calculate their worth.

For example, I often end up using my certificates for last-minute overnight stays in airport hotels. It's simple and convenient, and it saves me from paying cash when I don't want to. Plus, waiting for the perfect moment to redeem a certificate is a recipe for it to expire unused.

Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card
Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card
Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card
Annual Fee$95
Welcome Bonus Limited Time Offer! Earn 100,000 Bonus Points after spending $3,000 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening with the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card!
  • 6X Bonvoy points per $1 spent at over 7,000 participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels
  • 2X Bonvoy points for every $1 spent on all other purchases

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.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


  • @tassojunior. Thanks for the tip. I just checked Westin Hapuna Bay for March 2022, it’s always above 50k points for the single days I tried – I tried several. Is there a specific time you could get it at 50k points?

  • tassojunior says:

    Westin Hapuna Bay is many of our favorite hotel in the world. Stunning beach and architecture. Cheaper than the next door Mauna Kea AC, the Westin is usually in the low 50’s outside of June/July/August.

    St Pancreas Renaissance in London is usually around 50. In the historic train station from where the bullet train to Paris leaves.

    Royal Palm in South Beach is low 50’s in high season and is an outstanding hotel.

  • Michael Dikovitsky says:

    Love the hotel free night certificates. Traveled last year on a 10 day, 9 night road trip to National Parks and used all free nights and points.