Marriott is currently doing what it can to keep the money coming in whilst hotel occupancy is well down. This means that you have an opportunity to grab a deal.
Next week, Marriott will be selling Bonvoy points with a 60% bonus. We will cover this when it launches. It isn’t clear if the very modest 50,000 points annual purchase cap will be lifted.
This week, Marriott is selling gift cards with a 20% discount. See here.
I can see both positive and negative reasons for buying.
Reasons to buy a Marriott gift card:
- you save 20% on whatever you spend them on, which is on top of any other deal when you book
- they NEVER expire
- they are valid at ALL Marriott hotels except for Bulgari and Design Hotels
- the vouchers are delivered by email so there are no issues buying from the UK
Reasons to not buy a Marriott gift card:
- they are denominated in US$, so if you use them outside the United States you will incur a foreign exchange fee – I couldn’t see any small print to explain how large it is
- you will struggle to empty it to the last penny, due to FX issues, if spending outside the US
- they are NOT valid on Advance Purchase bookings, so if you always book non-refundable rates then you will have to overpay for a ‘pay on departure’ rate which will wipe out much of the 20% saving
If you are 100% certain that you will be spending money in a Marriott hotel in the United States in the next year or so, I would seriously consider this.
For anyone else, I’m not sure it is worth the trouble. I would be happier if I knew what the exchange rate is.
How to earn Marriott Bonvoy points from UK credit cards (July 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. Until 31st August 2021, the bonus is doubled to 40,000 Marriott Bonvoy points. 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.
You can also earn American Express Membership Rewards points with American Express Gold (20,000 bonus points), 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.)