As we trailed last week, Marriott Bonvoy has launched a ‘buy points’ deal – and it is the most generous deal they have ever run.
Via this page of the website, you will get a 60% bonus on all points purchases until 30th June.
Of course, as Marriott Bonvoy has only been running for a couple of years in its current form, saying this is ‘the best ever offer’ doesn’t mean so much. However, it IS better than all other recent deals. These have either offered a 50% bonus or a 30% discount, which are effectively the same thing.
Do I qualify to buy points at a discount?
There are two restrictions on using this offer. Your Marriott Bonvoy account must be either:
90 days old, or
30 days old if it has some activity on it
Because this offer runs for more than 30 days, non-members could still qualify. You could open a Marriott Bonvoy account now, transfer a handful of American Express Membership Rewards points across and then buy in 30 days time.
How many Marriott Bonvoy points can I buy?
The annual purchase cap of 50,000 points pre-bonus has been doubled to 100,000 points although the maximum you can buy in one go remains 50,000 points pre-bonus. With the bonus, you could pick up 160,000 Bonvoy points although it would require two separate transactions of 80,000 each.
At the top end you are paying $625 (£487) for 80,000 points under this offer.
What is a Marriott Bonvoy point worth?
My rule of thumb is that a Marriott Bonvoy point is worth 0.5p. You are paying a little more than that (0.60p) under this offer so it isn’t a steal.
However, you might find it worthwhile if:
you are planning a stay at a property where you know you will get outsized value (and it really isn’t that hard to get more 0.6p if you are travelling to peak cities at peak times), or
you are topping off your account before making a points booking, or
you are close to 60,000 Bonvoy points and want to make a transfer into airline miles (you get a bonus of 5,000 airline miles when you transfer 60,000 Bonvoy points into 20,000 airline miles)
The snag with Marriott Bonvoy is that the annual points buying cap is too low to allow you to exploit the deal. The St Regis New York, for example, can easily run to $1,300 per night including taxes, which makes 85,000 Marriott Bonvoy points (on a ‘Standard Reward’ day) a great deal. The problem is getting enough points. Even with the increased cap, the most you could buy from scratch is 160,000 points which doesn’t even get you two nights.
However …. you CAN transfer up to 100,000 Bonvoy points per year from one member to another. You need to ring up to do this, which is a bit annoying, but that is the only restriction. You don’t need to share an address. This is one way around the limit on points purchases.
Buying Marriott Bonvoy points is a way of buying cheap airline miles
Because you can buy 60,000 points in one go, this deal is also a way of picking up 25,000 airline miles in programmes where you can rarely buy them cheaply.
The usual transfer rate from Marriott Bonvoy into airline miles is 3:1, which is already generous. If you transfer 60,000 Bonvoy points at once, however, you get 5,000 bonus airline miles which means a total of 25,000 miles.
Do NOT do this with Avios, because there are regular offers to buy Avios for 1p – 1.1p. However, it might make sense for other airlines.
Buying 60,000 Marriott Bonvoy points under this offer will cost $475 (£370). If you turned this into 25,000 airline miles, you are paying 1.48p per mile. With SOME airline schemes, you might find this valuable, especially if it is a scheme where you find it very hard to earn miles in the UK.
The link to buy Bonvoy points with a 60% bonus is here if you are interested. The offer runs to 30th June.
How to earn Marriott Bonvoy points from UK credit cards (April 2021)
There are various ways of earning Marriott Bonvoy points from UK credit cards. Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses.
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.)