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Offers for the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card, The Ritz-Carlton™ Credit Card, Marriott Rewards® Premier Plus Credit Card, Marriott Bonvoy® Premier Plus Business Visa Signature, Marriott Bonvoy™ American Express® Card, Marriott Bonvoy® Premier Credit Card, Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card and Starwood Preferred Guest® American Express Luxury 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.
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One of the principal benefits of the Marriott Bonvoy co-branded 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 award, 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 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.
- Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card: Free night valued at up to 85,000 points.
- The Ritz-Carlton™ Credit Card: Free night valued at up to 85,000 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.
- Earn 6X Bonvoy points per $1 spent at over 7,000 participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels
- Earn 3 Marriott Bonvoy® points for every $1 on the first $6,000 spent in combined purchases each year on gas stations, grocery stores, and dining
- Earn 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 when you can stack a couple for a weekend getaway if you have two cards or if a friend or family member is a primary cardholder with their own free night certificate. Keep in mind that Marriott allows cardholders to top up the value of the free night award with up to 15,000 points from their Marriott account, providing ample opportunity to use your free night, even if the hotel costs a little more than the free night certificate is worth on its own.
For example, if you top up the 85,000-point free night certificate provided by the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Card, you could potentially stay at Marriott's top-tier properties even if they are charging 100K per night!
How Do Marriott Free Night Awards Compare to Those from Other Cards?
Both the IHG One 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 spending requirement, as does the premium Hilton card.
- IHG One Rewards Premier Credit Card: Reward Night up to 40,000 points after each account anniversary year – $99 annual fee. For more details, here's how IHG free night certificates work.
- The World of Hyatt Credit Card: Free night certificate every year after your cardmember anniversary, valid at any Category 1-4 hotel or resort – $95 annual fee. Here are some of the best spots to use your World of Hyatt free nights.
- Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card: Free night certificate issued after each account anniversary – $550 annual fee. These are some of the best luxury properties for Hilton award stays.
The Hilton free night reward can be redeemed at almost any property, any day of the week. With any of these hotel cards, most folks will have no trouble recouping the value of their credit card's annual fee.
How Do the Free Night Certificates Work?
When you’re ready to redeem your Marriott Bonvoy free night certificate, the process is straightforward and can be done online.
- Log into your Marriott account.
- Search for hotels at your destination.
- Isolate your search to hotels that are equal to or less than the value of your certificate.
- Select a hotel with standard rooms available.
- The reservations page will display a message confirming you have an unused free night certificate that can be applied to the booking.
- Select the option to attach your certificate, top up the transaction with points if needed, and finish your reservation as you normally would.
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 Bonvoy Premier Credit Card to properties asking 100,000 points per night for folks holding the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Card since you can top off the certificates with up to 15,000 additional points. Here are a few of our top picks from the U.S. and further afield.
Note that Marriott introduced fully dynamic pricing on award stays in 2023, so you may not find availability using your free night awards every night of the year at these properties.
Irvine Marriott – Irvine, California
The Irvine Marriott was completely redesigned in 2016 and features restaurants and bars, an onsite Starbucks, and an updated pool and gym. Located less than a mile from John Wayne Airport (SNA) with complimentary shuttles running around the clock, the Irvine Marriott is one of our top picks for free night awards valued at up to 35,000 points.
We found nights priced between 30,000 and 42,000 points throughout 2023, making this redeemable with 25k or 35k free night award certificates — plus topping off with points as necessary.
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 the Detroit area with 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 at 20,000 to 30,000 points.
St. Pierre Marriott Hotel & Country Club – Chepstow, Wales (U.K.)
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. We found rates for this property ranging from 20,000 to 30,000 points per night throughout the year.
JW Marriott Hotel Hanoi – Hanoi, Vietnam
One of our 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. Within walking distance to the National Convention Center and the Hanoi Museum, this property charges 22,000 to 30,000 points per night.
Warsaw Marriott Hotel – Warsaw, Poland
Located in the heart of Warsaw, this Marriott Hotel is a five-star property featuring designer furniture across all rooms, flat-screen TVs, 24-hour room service, five on-site dining options, and a top-class spa. Nightly points pricing ranges from 20,000 to 30,000 throughout the year.
Solaz, a Luxury Collection Resort – Los Cabos (Mexico)
The Solaz Luxury Resort in Los Cabos recently reopened after its abrupt closure for renovations in 2021. With six on-site restaurants, you'll have plenty of dining options. Many of its rooms have outdoor showers, private plunge pools, and awesome views of the Sea of Cortez. Nightly cash rates hover above $1,000 with taxes and fees, so using 85k free night award certificates at this property provides great value.
AC Hotel Fort Lauderdale Beach
The AC Hotel Fort Lauderdale Beach offers stunning waterfront views. It's located near shops, dining, nightlife, the Fort Lauderdale International Airport (FLL), and the Port Everglades cruise port. With its modern design, convenient location, and beachfront setting, the AC Hotel Fort Lauderdale Beach is one of the top hotels for Marriott free night redemptions, pricing at 25,000 to 30,000 most nights.
Al Maha, a Luxury Collection Desert Resort and Spa, Dubai
Whether Dubai is your destination or you're just transiting, this property would be a nice way to break up your journey. Al Maha is a desert oasis and one of the best Marriott points redemptions for luxury stays. Al Maha is a five-star resort located about an hour outside Dubai. As an all-inclusive resort, you'll gain access to daily activities like falconry, camel rides, and archery, as well as all meals. However, some activities, like a desert drive, have an additional surcharge.
We found nights for under 100k Marriott points at Al Maha during the off-season from May to October. A night in September would require an 85,000-point free night reward certificate + 7,000 additional Bonvoy points. The cash rate for the same night was about $1,150 — making this an excellent use of the 85k free night reward that comes with the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Card.
The Ritz Carlton Wolfsburg, Germany
One of the top hotels for the 35,000-point certificate issued with the Marriott Boundless or the Marriott Bonvoy Business Card can get you a night in The Ritz Carlton Wolfsburg. You'll find this property just 90 minutes west of Berlin by train. This five-star hotel is located within Volkswagen's Autostadt theme park and is surrounded by automotive and architectural design. Some of its unique offerings are its Aqua restaurant, which boasts three Michelin stars, and the floating swimming pool.
Given the cash price of staying at Marriott's top hotels, cardholders should have no issues getting enough value from this use of free night award to compensate for their card's annual fee. We found nightly rates for this hotel to be in the 400–500 Euro range, so using a 35,000 free night certificate would provide above 1.3 cents per point in value.
Le Méridien Maldives Resort & Spa
Could any points redemption list be complete without mentioning the aspirational Maldives? While it's not exactly a destination for a weekend getaway, using a free night award here could make sense if you want to extend a planned points redemption. You could take advantage of Marriott's fifth free night when redeeming points and add additional nights using free night awards, making this one of the top Marriott hotels for avoiding cash rates by redeeming instead.
There's an argument for only redeeming free night certificates when the comparable cash price of the stay is high. But the reality is different. If you find a property that sits at or under the redemption value of your certificate, it works for your travel plans, and it 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 from Marriott co-branded cards can return a ton of value, making these cards an excellent long-term addition to your rewards portfolio.
What do you think are the top hotels for redeeming Marriott free night awards? Do you think we missed any?
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