Top Picks for Marriott Bonvoy Credit Card Free Nights Top Picks for Marriott Bonvoy Credit Card Free Nights

Top Picks for Marriott Bonvoy Credit Card Free Nights

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One of the principal benefits of the Marriott Bonvoy co-brand cards is a free night certificate issued each year on your account anniversary. The free night certificate is good for one night in a Marriott property up to the value assigned to your card's free night, and you’ll continue to receive one every year for as long as you hold the card. Cards that receive anniversary Marriott free night awards include:

  • Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card – Free night valued at up to 50,000 points.
  • Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card — Free night valued at up to 35,000 points.
  • Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card — Free night valued at up to 35,000 points.
  • The Ritz-Carlton™ Credit Card — Free night valued at up to 50,000 points.
  • Marriott Rewards® Premier Plus Credit Card — Free night valued at up to 35,000 points.
  • Marriott Bonvoy® Premier Plus Business Credit Card — Free night valued at up to 35,000 points.
  • Marriott Bonvoy™ American Express® Card — Free night valued at up to 35,000 points.
  • Marriott Bonvoy Premier Credit Card — Free night valued at up to 25,000 points.
Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card
Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card
Annual Fee$95
Welcome Bonus Our Best Free Night Offer - Earn 5 Free Nights (each night valued up to 50,000 points) after spending $5,000 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening with the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card!
  • For a Limited Time Only! Earn 5 Free Nights (each night valued up to 50,000 points) after qualifying purchases.
  • Our Best Free Night Offer!
  • New Benefit! Earn 3X Bonvoy points per $1 on the first $6,000 spent in combined purchases each year on grocery stores, gas stations, and dining.
  • New Benefit! Earn 1 Elite Night Credit towards Elite Status for every $5,000 you spend.
  • 1 Free Night Award (valued up to 35,000 points) every year after account anniversary.
  • Earn up to 17X total Bonvoy points per $1 spent at over 7,000 hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy® with the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Card.
  • 2X Bonvoy points for every $1 spent on all other purchases.
  • Receive 15 Elite Night Credits annually, automatic Silver Elite Status each account anniversary year, and path to Gold Status when you spend $35,000 on purchases each calendar year.
  • 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

Each of these cards provides an annual free night certificate just for holding the card. Provided the free night is worth more than the yearly fee, you’ve effectively reduced your out-of-pocket costs to $0, or even made a small profit. Free nights that don’t require additional card spend are a fantastic benefit that provides tangible value for long-term cardholders.

Free night certificates are perfect for a couple that wants to piggyback two of them for a weekend away if each is a primary cardmember on their own card.


How Do Marriott Free Night Awards Compare to Those from Other Cards?

Both the IHG® Rewards Premier Credit Card and The World of Hyatt Credit Card offer a free night certificate each account anniversary (IHG has requested we call it a reward night), without needing to meet an additional spend requirement, as does the new premium Hilton card.

The Hilton Weekend Night can be redeemed at almost any property, but the requirement that it be used on a Friday, Saturday, or Sunday night makes it less flexible than its counterparts.

With any of these mid-tier hotel cards, most folks will have no trouble recouping the value of the annual fee.

How Do the Free Night Certificates Work?

When you’re ready to redeem your free night certificate, the process is straightforward and can be done online.

  • Log into your Marriott account
  • Isolate your search to hotels that are equal to or less than the value of your certificate
  • Search for hotels in your destination
  • Select a hotel with standard rooms available
  • The reservations page will display a message confirming you have an unused free night certificate
  • Select the option to attach your certificate and finish your booking

Our Top Picks for Redeeming Marriott Free Night Certificates

As the value of the free night awards differs between cards, we've included a selection of Marriott properties ranging from 25,000 points for holders of the old Marriott Rewards Card, through to properties fetching 50,000 points per night for folks holding the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Card. Here are a few of our top picks from the U.S. and further afield.

Irvine Marriott – Irvine, California


Having just completed a multimillion-dollar renovation, the refreshed Irvine Marriott has been completely redesigned and features new room/suite designs, new restaurants and bars, an onsite Starbucks, and an updated pool and gym. Located less than a mile from John Wayne Airport with complimentary shuttles running around the clock, the Irvine Marriott is one of our top picks for free night awards valued up to 35,000 points.

  • Category 5 (35,000 points) / $185 per night

The Henry, Autograph Collection – Dearborn, Michigan


What does a Ritz-Carlton do when it retires? It reinvents itself as The Henry and slots into Marriott’s luxury Autograph Collection. This award-winning hotel is located in Dearborn, Michigan, and provides visitors to Detroit a contemporary luxury that is hard to find. If you’re chasing a mix of luxury and elegance, and a kick-ass indoor pool, The Henry sits near the top of the list for Marriott free night awards valued up to 25,000 points.

  • Category 4 (25,000 points) / $249 per night

St. Pierre Marriott Hotel & Country Club – Chepstow, Wales (UK)


Heading over the Atlantic to Chepstow in Wales, the St. Pierre is situated amongst 400 acres of pristine parklands. Housed in a 14th-century manor home, you’ll have access to a phenomenal indoor heated pool and a full-service spa, two championship golf courses, and a top selection of cocktail and dining venues.

  • Category 4 (25,000 points) / $105 per night

JW Marriott Hotel Hanoi – Hanoi, Vietnam


One of my favorite Marriott properties, your first glimpse of the cantilevered JW Marriott Hanoi is a sight to behold. Located well out of the traditional town-center in the new CBD of West Hanoi, the JW Hanoi is a top-end luxury hotel unlike anything else you’ll find in Hanoi. Walking distance to the National Convention Center and the Hanoi Museum, the JW Marriott Hanoi dropped from a category 4 to a category 3 during recent award chart changes, charging just 17,500 points per night.

  • Category 3 (17,500 points) / $172 per night

Warsaw Marriott Hotel – Warsaw, Poland


Located in the heart of Warsaw and fresh of the back of a stunning renovation, the Warsaw Marriott Hotel is a 5-star property featuring designer furniture across all rooms, flat-screen TV's, 24-hour room service, five on-site dining options, and a top-class spa.

  • Category 4 (25,000 points) / $159 per night

DO & CO Hotel Vienna, A Member Of Design Hotels

DO & CO Hotel Vienna A Member Of Design Hotels

The DO & CO Hotel is located in the heart of Vienna, overlooking St. Stephen’s Cathedral. Walking distance from the Viennese opera house, the Hofburg Imperial Castle, and the Albertina museum, the hotel falls under the Design Hotels umbrella and offers 43 rooms and suites. The DO & CO Restaurant located on the top floor of the building offers impressive views over the city skyline with the cathedral front and center. If food plays a big part in your travel experiences then this hotel should tick all the boxes.

  • Category 5 (35,000 points) / $319 per night

Residence Inn New York Manhattan/Central Park

Residence Inn New York Manhattan-Central Park

Trawling the thousands of changes to the Marriott award chart recently we stumbled onto the Residence Inn New York Manhattan/Central Park, which has increased from 40K per night to 50K, right on the money for the high-end free night award issued with Marriott affiliated cards. The hotel is walking distance from the Rockefeller Center, Broadway Theatre, Times Square and Central Park, and when you're done exploring the Big Apple, you can retire to your room and soak up the views.

  • Category 6 (50,000 points) / $332 per night

The St. Regis Mexico City

The St Regis Mexico City

The St. Regis Mexico City is located on the historic Paseo de la Reforma Boulevard, an iconic European style boulevard tracking through the heart of Mexico City. You'll gain access to the famous St. Regis Butler service, a stunning indoor pool, and multiple high-end dining options, all within a stone's throw of the Independence Angel statue and the Castle of Chapultepec. The St. Regis Mexico City drops from 60K points a night to 50K points in Marriott's latest round of award chart changes.

  • Category 6 (50,000 points) / $453 per night

Château de la Resle, a Member of Design Hotels™

Château De La Resle A Member Of Design Hotels

While not returning the same monetary value on your free night certificate as other hotels on this list, the Château de la Resle offers a rare experience for points and miles fans that is hard to place a cash value on. Located 90 minutes north of Paris in the winemaking region of Burgundy, the Château de la Resle a privately run B&B style château advertising itself as the smallest hotel to fall under the Design Hotels umbrella. Boasting an immense private art and sculpture collection, each room has been handcrafted to compliment the one-of-a-kind artworks it houses. This property previously cost 60K Rewards points per night, but thanks to the recent Marriott reshuffle, it has dropped to 50K. A perfect redemption for the free night on the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Card.

  • Category 6 (50,000 points) / $343 per night

Note: All sample room rates were taken 3 months out using the lowest-level standard room.

Final Thoughts

There's an argument for only redeeming free night certificates when the comparable cash price of the stay is high. But the reality is if you find a property that sits at or under the redemption value of your certificate, it works for your travel plans and saves you the out-of-pocket expense of paying for the hotel with cash; then it's a good redemption.

If you’re willing to put in some legwork, the free night certificate offered with the Marriott co-brand cards can return a ton of value, making these cards an excellent long-term addition to your rewards portfolio.

What’s your favorite hotel to redeem Marriott free night certificates? Let us know in the comments.

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  • William Dillon says:

    Just used our free night certificate at Marriott Las Vegas convention center. A nice hotel off the strip with lovely rooms thanks for a great post

  • Susan Melvin says:

    More fun 4 and 5 Marriott’s please. Great list!

  • The Austin one is now a category 6??

  • Now I need to get to Vietnam.

  • We typically just use our free night on a simple room we would have otherwise paid for but it’s nice to think about actually making a trip out of the free night certificate!

  • It’s helpful to have a reference point on what’s possible with the certs.

  • Travel card people fall into two camps – those that seek to reduce the cost of their usual (“necessary”) travel and those that seek additional travel with the points. I see comments about why use the card for a courtyard in anywhere USA when you could 4x it in some exotic locale. I get it but I am not trying to add trips (cost) beyond the family’s annual plan. Even driving 3 hours to Dearbon Mich to “optimize” my certificate is not smart when I end up spending hundreds more for the privilege of a cool hotel room. I would rather use on a springhill (free paring, free breakfast, free internet, often a pool that works for the kids) on my way to a cruise or WDW – even though the cash value is $90 versus the $300 Autograph. Not judging those in the first camp – burning a few hundred thou in MR or UR points to fly two people in first to SE Asia – but it is not me. The next blog should be the secret deals near WDW, NYC, FLA beaches that are both clean and category 5.

  • Love this list too. I am interested in more domestic ideas. Are there any beach properties in the USA?

  • I thought cat 5 ( or less ) would be easier to find in more usable locations. Don’t have the marriot card but have a free cat 5 night from the current promo: not sure where to actually use it without going well outside of a city center just for the sake of using it.

  • If coming to Austin, another good Category 5 is the Fairfield Inn & Suites in Fredericksburg, Texas (in the Texas Hill country wine region 90 minutes West of Austin)

  • Would you really use the Cert for a Cat 4 ($87/night) hotel? The cert effectively costs $85 via the annual fee on the card. I’m new to the certificate side of the game, having just picked up IHG and Hyatt cards this year.

  • Gotta try some of these 😉

  • That Hanoi hotel is so amazing! I wish I can visit the place next year.

  • Can you save the free night one year so that you have 2 nights the next year?

  • just booked the Courtyard Newark Airport with a cert. Not the most pricey use of it, but it was going to expire soon and we have an overnight at the airport coming up.

  • Thanks for the ideas. I never know what to do with my cert every year. Searching manually was so painful.

  • This is a great list. Thanks! Marriott has some sweet spots.

  • Some great properties to consider. Keep in mind that good deals on redemption can also be found at smaller properties. We recently redeemed a free night at a Courtyard by Marriott where the nightly rate was over $250. Not exactly an inspirational property, but a good value for using the free night certificate.

  • Sadly I am above 5/24 rule from chase. Or I will definite get this Marriot benefit.

  • THanks for the post! Hope to see some great cat 1-5 marriotts in California! (I’m still looking.)

  • Thanks for U.S. option advice. Love the looks of Austin.

  • Great list – thank you! Will need to get to Hanoi again. I’ve used mine at the Marriott Bangkok Sukhumvit and while not necessarily a super value (rates are rarely more than $140 there) it is a beautiful hotel in a great location – the seventh floor pool with a view and the rooftop bar are awesome.

  • makes me wish….

  • Thank you for the thoughts on the best hotels to use it for! I was reading an article about hotels that still had available suites or rooms for the Thanksgiving day parade in NYC. Know any we could use our certifs or points for? Or maybe which to stay at if you want that magical Christmas in NYC?

  • The JW Phu Quoc is definitely on our list for the next time we’re in Vietnam!

  • Courtyard Hangzhou China is also amazing value as a Category 2 and rated one of the best hotels in that city.

  • This is great! Im about to earn a free night.

  • thank you, perfect timing. I am thinking of booking a night in Austin.

  • Some of these look amazing! I definitely want to visit them.

  • I dont have a favorite per se but I find any redemption that saves me out of pocket cash, worthwhile. By the looks of it though that one JW MARRIOTT Phu Quoc looks amazing and would likely end up being my favorite LOL!

  • IMO if you are getting a Marriott VISA, do not put too much weight in that annual category 1-5 certificate because that value of that certificate has really diminished as Marriott greatly devalued their rewards program in the past 10 years. As an example, their annual free cat 1-5 certificate used to NOT allow cat 6 and 7 hotels, and there were only like five cat 7’s in the world. Today, that SAME annual free cat 1-5 night certificate cannot not be used at cat 6, 7, 8, and 9 hotels, of which there are numerous cat 9’s in the world. If you can actually find good use in the certificate, that is good for you as you would be in the minority; but in the past, many people could find value in the certificates.

  • Thanks for the tips

  • Catherine Soulard says:

    Dont forget about The Algonquin Resort St. Andrews By-The-Sea. Great hotel, was a Fairmont before changing to Autograph collection. Spent 3 nights there this past summer using 3 free nights certificates, nightly rate was 350USD. Upgraded to a suite thanks to SPG platinum.

  • My favorite is the courtyard edgewater NJ. It is located just across the river to NYC, a short ferry ride away. And parking is free! A cheap alternative to staying in Manhattan.

  • I will have to consider getting one more credit card?

  • Bertrand Say says:

    I wish there were no category restrictions like the chase Ihg card on the free night certificate.

  • Always interesting to see what properties are within our grasp. Thx.

  • Luciano Amorim says:

    Updating my wish list!

  • thanks for the info

  • Phu Quoc looks amazing

  • Thank you for the rundown. I never wanted to apply for a hotel car instead of a airline bonus card because of the number of airline mile offers available, but I do see it’s value (and that of the other hotel cards you provide as a comparison.

  • Some useful info here, and great places to stay.

  • Patrick O’Hearn says:

    That’s a great list , unlikely i would visit any but 2: Austin and Wales. The problem I have discovered with the Hyatt and Marriott categories is, for example, in So. California if I wanted to take a road trip weekend there’s very few locations that are at all appealing. For example, if you want to go to the desert, mariott no longer offers accommodations in Palm Springs; you have to drive further out to one of their hotels right off the main freeway not located anywhere where you really want to be. Hyatt may be a bit better, but IHG is the best because their top of the line properties worldwide are included. I got an entirely free weekend at the Venetian in Las Vegas with my anniversary certificate as well as my ambassador welcome certificate; I’ve also used it for the stay at the Intercontinental in Lisbon. And with Platinum ambassador status (and being nice to the front desk), generally they seek to please and might upgrade you or allow you to use the ambassador club.

  • Phu Quoc seems a great option.

  • this is such a nice list! love it.

  • Jacqueline parsons says:

    Great resource as usual!

  • That Hanoi and Wales ones look attractive.

  • Great list, thanks for compiling it.

    Like you, I’m looking for good value. My vote for a Marriott 1-5 would be the Courtyard Miraflores in Lima, Peru. I had a very memorable breakfast (included in the cert rate) that might be my best hotel breakfast ever.

    Since the Marriott travel package lowest rate also are for Categories 1-5, we are exploring the options. The AC Madrid was centrally located in downtown Madrid, near the Prado and train station. That made it a good launch point for day trips by train to nearby points of interest.

    Neither of these recommendations are “aspirational,” but good clean hotels in a good location.

  • Have used the Marriott certificates for several years. While you may not have an amazing room, many of the hotels are located in places that are well worth visiting. Loved seeing the Austin hotel on this list. Besides that, there are several Residence Inns in Virginia within a couple of blocks of the Metro for sightseeing in DC. Another example is staying in Bellevue, near the Museum of Flight and Seattle.

  • I am able to find Category 5 availability in areas I visit. They may not be aspirational but as you say they provide value to me and save me money. An individual’s valuation is most important but you make dreaming nice too.

  • Sarah Willard says:

    Wow! Thanks for doing the leg work. I see several that I may have to detour through on future vacations.

  • I got a great deal using Marriott points at a Residence Inn for December.


    I have stayed at the Henry before. Very, very nice property. It can be hard to find a parking spot, however, and I would avoid the nearby mall.

  • Marriott Warsaw, can’t believe it’s a category 1-5. Heck Don Trump, our President, stayed there. It’s a fantastic hotel and right next to the train station and a short ride to the airport.

    • Agree. It is a great hotel, fantastically convenient location, with tremendous staff. Superb value either using the free night or even for that old fashioned commodity, money!

  • I have a free night from Marriott and Hyatt, but neither will help me when I travel to Hawaii next year (Oahu and Big Island) because everything is above a category 5.

  • Thanks for creating this amazing list. Lot of good choices to use my points with.

  • I just used mine for a trip to Arizona. Nice place to visit this time of year.

  • I need to check out the JW Hanoi, although its location doesn’t really look that good for tourists.

  • Great inspiration material!

  • thanks for the list and advise.

  • Thanks, some interesting options here…

  • Great list with the tiers. Thanks for listing.

  • Thanks for the info! Very helpful.

  • I’ve had the IHG Card for years. I’m going to have to seriously consider getting this card also. (And maybe the Hyatt Card). I consider the night not to be free, but paid for by the annual fee. Which can give great value.

  • Great list! Thank you!

  • Thanks for the list. Manually searching is painful.

  • Thanks for this list. Do you think the Marriott card offer will go beyond 80,000 points anytime soon, or as this as high as it’s likely to get before the merger?