Of all the major hotel groups, Marriott has taken the biggest strides into competing directly with Airbnb with ‘Homes & Villas by Marriott’.
Marriott is currently offering a whopping 21,000 bonus Marriott Bonvoy points if you book a home or villa rental for this Summer. This is on top of your base points of 5 per $1 spent.
What’s the deal?
If you book a property through Homes & Villas by Marriott for a stay completed before 30th September 2021, you will receive 21,000 bonus Marriott Bonvoy points.
The small print is:
- Your ‘homes and villas’ stay must be completed by 30th September 2021
- You must book by 27th September
- A minimum three night stay is required
- A minimum spend of $2,100, which can include all taxes and charges, is required
- Bookings which meet the minimum spend and stay length requirements but which are paid for using Marriott Bonvoy points do not qualify
All stays are billed in US$ so you don’t need to worry about currency conversions creating confusion about whether you hit the $2,100 threshold or not.
One important point to note is that many of the homes featured by Marriott are not exclusive to its platform. It is worth checking to see if the same property is listed on Airbnb (earning you Avios when you book) or Vrbo (ex HomeAway) at a different price or with different terms.
Do I get Marriott Bonvoy points with a homes and villas rental?
You earn at the same rate as Marriott’s long stay hotel brands. This means 5 points per $1 spent. You do not earn points on booking fees, taxes, cleaning fees and extra add-ons during your stay.
If you have Marriott Bonvoy elite status, you also earn a tier bonus:
- Silver Elite: 5 points per eligible dollar plus 10% bonus
- Gold Elite: 5 points per eligible dollar plus 25% bonus
- Platinum Elite: 5 points per eligible dollar plus 50% bonus
- Titanium Elite: 5 points per eligible dollar plus 75% bonus
- Ambassador: 5 points per eligible dollar plus 75% bonus
Gold Elite members and higher also receive a welcome gift:
- Ambassador Elite, Titanium Elite, Platinum Elite: 1,000 points
- Gold Elite: 500 points
Do I earn elite night credits too?
You also earn elite night credits for each night you stay. These nights count towards your annual status renewal but do not count towards lifetime status.
Are homes and villas bookings flexible?
It varies by property. The cancellation policy varies from home to home between a generous 14 days and a not-very-generous-at-all 90 days.
Can I pay with Marriott Bonvoy points?
Yes. However, any booking made with Marriott Bonvoy points will not qualify for the 21,000 bonus points offer.
There is no reward chart for ‘Homes & Villas’. It is a pure revenue-based redemption, with each Marriott Bonvoy point you redeem having a fixed value.
1 Bonvoy point is worth 0.6 cents (0.44p) when used for a ‘Homes & Villas’ redemption.
I value Marriott Bonvoy points at 0.5p each. In theory, this means that using points for ‘Homes & Villas’ is a poorer deal. It isn’t that simple, of course:
- getting 0.5p per point is trickier than it used to be at the moment, given that hotel room rates have collapsed in most places whilst Bonvoy pricing has remained constant
- if you need to redeem for a family, ‘Homes & Villas’ is a welcome option which can easily provide you with the space you need
Whilst 21,000 Marriott Bonvoy points sounds like a lot – and of course it is – you do need to spend $2,100 to earn it. Based on my 0.5p base valuation of a Marriott Bonvoy point, the bonus is worth 6.8% of what you spent. In reality it will be lower as you are unlikely to hit $2,100 exactly.
Irrespective of the offer, however, Homes & Villas by Marriott has some interesting properties and is especially useful for families and extended groups. I wouldn’t book purely to earn 21,000 bonus points but it is a nice little extra to pocket if you do.
PS. The Homes & Villas website is also promoting a separate offer of bonus points for anyone who pays with a Marriott Bonvoy credit card. Whilst the small print is not specific, this only appears to apply to US-issued credit cards.
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 (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.)