The best ways to earn Marriott Bonvoy points

Mar 27, 2020

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You may be familiar with Marriott Hotels & Resorts — the company has thousands of properties around the world. But what you may not be aware of is that Marriott’s loyalty programme, Bonvoy, is now the world’s largest hotel programme with a massive 6,700 participating properties in more than 100 countries worldwide. This means that if you have considered focusing on a hotel loyalty programme, Marriott can offer more properties than any other.

The loyalty programme of the global Marriott hotel group is called Bonvoy, and its points currency is Bonvoy points. These points can be enormously useful given Marriott’s global footprint.

Related: An introduction to the Marriott Bonvoy hotel loyalty programme

Here are the best ways to earn Bonvoy hotel points for U.K.-based travellers.

(St Regis Maldives. Photo by Ethan Steinberg/The Points Guy)

Hotel stays

As you’d expect, you can earn Marriott Bonvoy points when staying at any of Marriott’s participating properties worldwide. Like most hotel programmes, you earn points based on how much you spend on your stay, your status tier and the type of Marriott hotel at which you’re staying. The majority of Marriott hotels earn 10 points per US$1 (£0.80) spent on stays, while Element, Townplace Suites and Residence Inn properties award 5 points per $1 spent.

Here’s an overview of the current status tiers and how many bonus points you’d earn on stays:

  • Silver Elite: 10% bonus (1 extra point per dollar spent)
  • Gold Elite: 25% bonus (2.5 extra points per dollar spent)
  • Platinum Elite: 50% bonus (5 extra points per dollar spent)
  • Titanium Elite: 75% bonus (7.5 extra points per dollar spent)
  • Ambassador Elite: 75% bonus (7.5 extra points per dollar spent)

TPG U.K. values Marriott points at 0.7p apiece, so 2,000 points is equivalent to about £14.

As an example, if you spend two nights at a JW Marriott property for $250 (£200) per night as a Gold Elite member, you’ll earn 6,250 Marriott Bonvoy points on your stay. Additionally, members with Gold Elite status or higher receive a welcome amenity of 500 – 1,000 points at check-in at most brands. The number of points varies by property, but Courtyard, Fairfield Inn, and SpringHill Suites properties give just 250 points as a welcome gift.

Related: Your complete guide to Marriott Elite breakfast benefits

Stay promotions

Marriott frequently runs promotions that let you earn bonus points on paid stays. We recommend keeping an eye on Marriott’s promotion page and logging into your Bonvoy account regularly to see if you’re targeted for any special offers.

Right now with the “Elevated Earning” promotion, you’ll earn 2,000 Marriott points per stay starting with your second stay, and there’s no limit to the number of points you can earn.

To participate in the promotion, you’ll need to register here by 31 May 2020 and stay between 17 March and 14 June 2020. Starting with your second stay, you’ll earn 2,000 points per stay with no cap during the earning period.

You’ll be able to earn the bonus at most participating Marriott Bonvoy hotel brands, however:

  • Homes & Villas by Marriott International, ExecuStay, Marriott Executive Apartments and Marriott Vacation Club owner-occupied weeks are not eligible for bonus points;
  • Only points-qualifying rates are eligible, so award stays and bookings made through a third-party site like Expedia won’t earn bonus points;
  • A stay is defined as consecutive nights spent at the same hotel, regardless of check-in/checkout activity; and
  • You must have your Marriott account set to earn points (not miles) to participate in the promotion.
The Villa Mutiara, another Bonvoy property. (Photo courtesy of The Ritz-Carlton)
The Villa Mutiara, another Bonvoy property. (Photo courtesy of The Ritz-Carlton)

Credit cards

There are three ways to earn Bonvoy points via ordinary credit card spend. Firstly, there’s the cobranded American Express Marriott Bonvoy credit card where you will earn:

  • 2 Bonvoy points per £1 spent, increasing to
  • 6 Bonvoy points per £1 spent directly with Marriott group properties that participate in the Bonvvoy programme, whether that is for prepaid room rates, or spend during your stay like room service, food and beverage, resort fees or spa treatments

With this card, you’ll also earn a welcome bonus of 20,000 Marriott Bonvoy points after spending £3,000 in the first three months of card membership.

Secondly, if you have an American Express card that earns Membership Rewards points, you can transfer those points to the Bonvoy programme at a rate of 2:3. So 2,000 Membership Rewards points would become 3,000 Bonvoy points.

Thirdly, if you earn Diners Club Rewards points, you can transfer these to Bonvoy ponts at a rate of 1,250 Diners Club points to become 1,500 points.

Refer a friend to Marriott bonvoy

Have a friend without a Marriott Bonvoy account? Refer them to the loyalty programme and you’ll receive 2,000 points for every stay they complete, up to five stays per referral. Additionally, your friend will earn 2,000 points after their first five Marriott stays.

Rent a car with Hertz

You can earn up to 2,000 Marriott Bonvoy points on your Hertz car rentals. Just book through the Marriott portal and you’ll earn 500 points on one-day rentals and 2,000 points on rentals of two-days or more.

The Boscolo Exedra Hotel, Nice, Autograph Collection. (Photo by Ben Smithson/The Points Guy)

Book a cruise with

Booking a cruise through CruisesOnly can net you a huge number of bonus Marriott Bonvoy points, depending on the cost. If you book through the Marriott portal, you’ll earn 3 points per $1 spent on cruises booked through CruisesOnly, and even more if you book a premium balcony or suite.

Pool points with friends or family members

You can also earn Marriott points by utilising the programme’s point transfer option. Many hotel programmes allow you to pool your points together, though these policies don’t tend to be unlimited. Marriott’s is flexible but has some guidelines.

Here’s what the programme’s terms and conditions have to say about transferring:

“A Member can transfer up to a maximum of 100,000 Points per calendar year to another Membership Account as long as both Accounts are in good standing and have each been open for at least sixty (60) days. A Member can receive up to a maximum of 500,000 Points per calendar year from other Membership Accounts as long as the Accounts are in good standing and have each been open for at least sixty (60 days).”

As a result, if you have friends or family members with Marriott points, you can receive points directly from their account. This is a terrific way to turn small, relatively insignificant balances into enough points for a meaningful redemption.

The Ritz-Carlton Cancun. (Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)

Purchasing Bonvoy points

You can top up your Bonvoy balance by simply purchase Bonvoy points directly. Why this isn’t usually a great deal based on our valuation of Bonvoy points, through 25 March 2020, you’ll receive 50% more Marriott points when you buy 2,000 or more points in a single transaction. That amounts to just 0.83 cents per point, which is a nice discount compared to the usual price of 1.25 cents (1p) per point.

For the duration of the promotion, Marriott has doubled the yearly limit of points you can purchase. Normally, you’d be capped at 50,000 points per year, but you can now buy 100,000 points — with this 50% bonus, you could buy a total of 150,000 points through 25 March 2020.

Note that you can only buy 50,000 points per transaction (in increments of 1,000 points), so you’ll have to make two purchases to buy 100,000 points.

Head to Marriott’s Buy Points page to take advantage of this sale.

Bottom line

With a global programme as massive as Marriott’s Bonvoy programme there are many ways to earn valuable Bonvoy points, whether it’s through hotel stays, everyday credit card spend, car hire, cruises or buying or transferring Bonvoy points.

Featured image by Marriott Hotels

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