I have just booked a couple of nights at the new JW Marriott in Venice on the back of peer pressure after my kids read ‘Olivia Goes To Venice’.
Whilst I ended up using cash, when researching my options I was reminded of a quirk of Marriott Rewards which is unique to the programme and which I have never mentioned on HfP before.
Marriott Rewards allows you to book redemptions nights even if you do not have all the points you need.
This is a very valuable feature of the programme and one which is probably good business for Marriott. If you see a flight or hotel redemption which you can’t afford, you rarely put in the effort to earn the extra points. Why? Because there is a very good chance that the room or seat will have gone by the time you have the points.
By letting you book a room you can’t currently afford, you can start moving your upcoming hotel stays to Marriott Group properties to earn those points safe in the knowledge that your redemption room is in the bag.
If you were planning to buy points to make up the difference, it allows you to hold off in case a bonus promotion comes along.
It also allows you to lock in a reservation and then start the process of transferring points into your account from a family member. This can often take a day or so and there is a risk that you might lose your room if you wait.
The process is very simple. If you try to book a room redemption at marriott.com without having enough points, you will be presented with the following choices – to buy the points or to order the e-certificate after earning the points.
Select the latter option. Marriott will deduct your current points balance from your account and tell you how many points you are short.
Once you have earned the additional points, go back into your reservation confirmation. You will see a line marked ‘Order reward certificate for this reservation.’
You have until seven days prior to check-in to trigger the reward certificate.
This is a very handy feature and one worth keeping in mind if you have Marriott Rewards points.
How to earn Marriott Bonvoy points and status from UK credit cards (September 2021)
There are various ways of earning Marriott Bonvoy points from UK credit cards. Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses.
The official Marriott Bonvoy American Express card usually comes with 20,000 points for signing up, 2 points for every £1 you spend and 15 elite night credits per year.
You can apply here.
You can also earn Marriott Bonvoy points by converting American Express Membership Rewards points at the rate of 2:3.
Do you know that holders of The Platinum Card from American Express receive FREE Marriott Bonvoy Gold status for as long as they hold the card? It also comes with Hilton Honors Gold, Radisson Rewards Gold and MeliaRewards Gold status. We reviewed American Express Platinum in detail here and you can apply here.
Until 2nd November 2021, The Platinum Card comes with a sign-up bonus of 60,000 Amex points. This converts into 90,000 Marriott Bonvoy points.
You can also earn American Express Membership Rewards points with American Express Gold (30,000 bonus points – special offer to 9th November 2021), the American Express Rewards Credit Card (5,000 bonus points) and – for small business owners – American Express Business Gold (20,000 bonus points) and Business Platinum (40,000 bonus points).
(Want to earn more hotel points? Click here to see our complete list of promotions from the major hotel chains or use the ‘Hotel Offers’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)