Redeem Bonvoy Points for Experiential Awards with Marriott Moments

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First unveiled in 2016 as an auction style experiences marketplace to redeem Marriott points, Marriott Moments was essentially a clone of the popular SPG Moments platform, allowing members to bid on unique experiences using Marriott points. Fast-forward to 2019 and an integrated Marriott Bonvoy rewards program, and Marriott has significantly expanded it’s Moments platform to include a wide range of tours and activities.

Marriott-Moments

In addition to the original auction site, Marriott’s expanded Moments platform now includes a car rental portal in partnership with Hertz, and a supersized experiences marketplace for custom tours and activities in cities all over the globe which Marriott claims is “the worlds largest selection of tours.”

The Marriott Moments website is divided up into three separate tabs:

  • Tours & Activities
  • Rental Cars
  • Member Exclusives

Marriott Moments Tours & Activities

Marriott-Moments

The Tours & Activities tab offers a curated list of destination-specific activities put together by denizen travel experts, local celebrities, and resident masters of the culinary arts. Only a portion of Marriott’s travel experiences are redeemable for Rewards points, but members earn 10x Marriott Rewards points on the cost of tours & activities and the transactions code as travel allowing you to use your go-to travel rewards card providing the highest bonus points on travel purchases.

Marriott-Moments6

The experiences marketplace allows you to isolate your search by destination, price, activity, and rating, with Marriott also offering themed lists featuring uber-chic names like:

  • Young, Fabulous, and Broke
  • Pop Culture Vulture
  • The Romantic
  • The Wolfpack
  • Zen Master
  • Exhaust Your Kids and Become the Family Hero
  • The Ultimate Tourist

The majority of culinary experiences are offered in partnership with Eatwith.com, a company providing authentic foodie experiences in 130+ countries around the world. For most other Marriott Moments, activities are organized and run by local experts in cities all over the globe, and all experiences are bookable online.

Marriott Moments Rental Cars

Marriott-Bonvoy-Car-Rental

The Marriott Moments car rental portal is powered by Hertz, providing Marriott Bonvoy members with discounts on rentals of up to 35%, and bonus points on rentals of two or more days. The offer is only available in select countries, and reservations must be made in advance using the codes listed in the T&Cs below.

“Offer valid on rentals of two or more days at participating airport and off airport locations in the U.S., Canada, Europe, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Australia and New Zealand. Rentals of 2 to 4 days can earn 2,000 Marriott Rewards points and rentals of 5 days or more can earn 3,000 Marriott Rewards points. Advance reservations required. CDP# 154080, PC# 204476 and Marriott Rewards number must be included in the reservation.”

Marriott Rewards Member Exclusives

The Member Exclusives tab is the original, auction-style marketplace offering one-of-a-kind experiences you can bid on with your Marriott Rewards points. Available experiences are separated into four categories.

Marriott-Moments

Each category features a subset of rewards which include everything from Formula 1 motorsports events to famous Broadway shows and even unique music festival experiences. Marriott members can bid on their desired experience in an eBay style online auction, and pay using Bonvoy points.

Other Experiential Rewards Offered by Loyalty Programs

While it's great to see Marriott expanding on the experiential rewards concept, the introduction of the new Tours & Activities program is also aimed at keeping the competition at bay. In the previous few years, we’ve seen Hyatt introduce experiential rewards, and Hilton has run experiential awards for quite some time. You can even use your Delta SkyMiles for experiential awards with the Delta SkyMiles experiences program. Experiential awards have been gaining popularity; they serve as yet another way to redeem points. Even credit cards can give you access to some memorable experiences with the Chase Sapphire events.

Need More Bonvoy Points?

If you find yourself short of Bonvoy points to secure one of Marriott’s experience packages, applying for one of the cards from the refreshed lineup of co-brand Marriott Bonvoy credit cards from Chase and Amex is the fastest way of building your points balance. The revamped lineup includes:

Final Thoughts

It's great to see Marriott expanding on its redemption options, and the tours available through the Marriott Moments platform can add a personalized touch to exploring a new destination. While the bidding process does have a habit of making experiences quite expensive, it can also lead to less popular experiences being an absolute bargain.

Redeem Bonvoy Points for Experiential Awards with Marriott Moments
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Comments

  • Karen Klein says:

    I always love the idea of using points and miles for a great many things! So this is great news! The bidding thing I never do participate in since I never tend to win these, however, you do point out a good thing that less popular things you could have a really good shot at. New options are always a good idea to me, even if I cannot use it at that time.

    Thank you for this update!

  • Some of these experimental rewards look promising. If you have no plans to use your points on hotel stays then these types of additional redemptions are a great way to use up your points.

  • Usually these don’t make much sense as you could get a lot more bang for your buck just booking hotels. But i guess to each his own

    • I have to agree. Personally I don’t think these sort of things generally represent a good use of points. However, I suppose it depends how many points you have and how you earn them. If you get points mostly from work travel and you have more than you know what to do with then it might make sense.

  • Some of them are pretty neat, but at the same time the offerings are a little limited (a lot of Cubs games). It does me wish I had a stash of a few hundred thousand Starpoints!

  • Does anyone have experience booking This? If so how was your experience?

  • Never was interested in these spg auctions, but earned lots of points for “participation ” promos through SPG. Maybe get the same chance with Marriot.

  • charlesj says:

    Thank you for mentioning that auctions for less popular experiences can be a bargain. Otherwise I wouldn’t l wouldn’t have looked further.

  • Obviously this type of redemption is a win-win. People are willing to spend hundreds of thousands of points on something “unique” whilst the companies get to reduce their points liability at relatively little cost. (plus all of the branding/promotion that happens at these events)

    • My thought exactly… Still, that said, judging from the above examples, and perusing the Moments site, myself, there are some pretty cool offerings.

  • Does not make much sense to me personally but I take it as a good sign of Marriott’s intention to implement SPG perks into their program as full as possible (may be just a wishful thinking though).

  • I think this kind of redemption make sense only for people having a lot of points and don’t know how to spend them.
    Otherwise the best thing is to book nights in hotels.

    • It all comes down to what you’re looking to get from your points and miles. Like anything, they’re a form a currency and if your hotel points aren’t needed for a specific trip or you have no immediate need for them, why not look at the strategy of earn and burn — they don’t earn any interest if they’re not used.

  • It is interesting to see the approach marriott is taking here; by slowly emulating their reward program so that it is similar to SPG.

    One thing they haven’t done a great job of is converting or convincing loyal SPG members to stay with Marriott properties. As an SPG plat, I see no reason to change at the moment…

    • I’m right there with you. I’m thankful that I can redeem at Marriott properties and am hopeful my lifetime status will be grandfathered, but I’m still not excited about Marriott Rewards.

  • This is a good sign of Marriott’s intention to implement some of the best practices from SPG…i love the Marriott travel packages though…it gives the best value for my manufactured points 🙂

  • Agree that this is good sign Marriott is attempting to incorporate aspects of SPG program. SPG by far has the best experiences for points, but the bidding makes great things not worth it

  • Thanks for sharing! I like the idea of using points and miles for many new things, but sometimes these hard earned points are not being redeemed for best value. Good to know Marriott is learning from SPG at least.

  • I browsed through the list and wasn’t impressed.
    Hopefully it will get better soon.

  • Thanks for the update. I used Starpoints for moments once and wasn’t disappointed (it was for Japanese cooking class)

  • I find these hard to quantify if its a good deal or not since pricing is opaque. I would just go for it if you are a real fan and could not get this elsewhere.

  • Some better signs showing up from the merger recently.

  • I am totally not crazy about the auctions.

  • Bertrand Say says:

    I would love to use my points for this type of thing but only if I have a lot of points that I don’t know what to do with.

  • Just spent 25K points on 2 tickets to an NFL game in London. Almost seems like a mistake rate to me…

  • I can’t imagine having enough points to spend them on experiences! Some of them look interesting but I usually need the points for a free place to stay. Especially now that Marriott points are transferable to many airlines — they have also become a flexible currency for getting to my destination. Options are always good, and I have no doubt that for some people, this might be a great way to burn points.

  • I had a look at some of the items on offer . Most are overpriced but they are some unique ones which one may be willing to pay for the experience. Just my thoughts .

  • A good lineup of options, but I would rather use my points to fund a vacation.

  • I do not like the SPG bidding process where they extend the bidding at the end of the auction. Hopefully Marriott has changed this

    • Agreed. It’s great for SPG in getting the maximum bid/spend, but in no way good for bidders, especially those pros who want to snipe right at the end.

  • Always nice to have these options!

  • I remember getting an email from them about this and looking at the options. While more options are never bad, for me, these aren’t the best value for my points.

  • I didn’t even know this existed! I am not sure what to think of it thou…..I think I still would rather put it towards flights…

  • great idea!

  • I am not into auction bidding. Whenever I gather sufficient Marriott Points I spend them on hotel nights.

  • Maybe someday I will take advantage of these experimental awards.

  • Great option only if you sit on a big pile of points.

  • The more options, the better!

  • This doesn’t really enthuse me very much. I don’t see most people getting much value per point from this.

  • Ok, never heard of it before, so thanks for pointing it out!

  • These seem great! I can only imagine how much time it would take to just browse through them if you don’t already have an idea of what you’re looking for, though.

  • farid kassam says:

    This seems to be only valuable when you have huge pile of points.

  • Auctions are always interesting to keep an eye on. Useful for those really limited experiences.

  • Not my favourite way of redemption.

  • Some good redemptions

  • SPG has had some awesome experiences in the past. Hope Marriott keeps it going. Not my preferred method of redeeming points

  • Thanks for the write-up and examples of competing or similar programs of which there are many, many more, e.g., from AirBnB, Citi, IHG, MasterCard, Visa, just to name a few more.

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