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Does the weak £ make Marriott Bonvoy’s flight ticket redemptions a good deal?

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One of the Starwood features that was adopted by Marriott after it bought the company was the ability to redeem your hotel points for a flight ticket.

Two facts make this offer sound quite attractive.  Marriott Bonvoy is buying you a cash flight ticket so there is no problem with reward availability.

And, because it is a cash ticket, you will receive airline miles and tier points when you fly.

Redeem Marriott Bonvoy points for flights

Historically, looking at the cash value of your SPG (now Marriott Bonvoy) points, this deal was terrible value.  Things have now changed.  The Marriott Bonvoy flight booking system is priced in US$ and, with the £ hovering around $1.20 compared to the $1.65 it was at for many years in the early 2010s, it’s worth taking another look.

If you want to book a ticket, you need to go to this page of the Marriott Bonvoy website and click on ‘Go by Road, Air, or Both’.  You are diverted to a Switchfly-powered page to make your booking.

What do I get for my Marriott Bonvoy points when used to book a flight?

Marriott does not publish a pricing table for flight redemptions.

However, Starwood DID publish one and it has not changed substantially.  The chart below is ROUGHLY correct but may be a few thousand points too high or too low in some cases.

Based on the cash cost of your flight, the number of Marriott Bonvoy points you need is approximately:

up to $150 30,000 Marriott Bonvoy points

$150-$215 45,000

$215-$280 60,000

$280-$345 75,000

$345-$410 90,000

$410-$475 105,000

$475-$540 120,000

$540-$605 135,000

$605-$670 150,000

$670-$735 165,000

$735-$800 180,000

$800-$865 195,000

$865-$930 210,000

$930-$995 225,000

$995-$1060 240,000

….. and so on.

Using Marriott Bonvoy points for flights

Looking at a few random examples I ran yesterday:

  • a $129 ticket came out at 32,500 points (slightly worse than the list suggests)
  • a $257 ticket came out at 65,000 points (slightly worse than the list suggests)
  • a $344 ticket came out at 87,500 points (slightly worse than the list suggests)

These three examples work out at 0.396c, 0.395c and 0.393c per Marriott Bonvoy point.

At the current exchange rate, it means you are getting 0.32p per point.

Let’s be clear.  0.32p is not great value.  We normally target 0.5p when redeeming Marriott Bonvoy points.  It isn’t totally terrible, however, and ‘totally terrible’ is what you normally expect when a redemption involves the programme handing over hard cash to a third party company.  If you earn all of your Marriott Bonvoy points via business travel, which makes them effectively ‘free’, then you might consider this acceptable.

For comparison, remember that Marriott Bonvoy points convert to Avios at the ratio of 3:1, although this improves to 2.4:1 if you convert in chunks of 60,000 Marriott Bonvoy points.

If you value an Avios point at 1p, then getting 0.33p per Marriott Bonvoy point by converting them to Avios (assuming you convert fewer than 60,000 Marriott points) is not a lot better than getting 0.32p by redeeming directly for a flight – and you have zero availability problems and you will earn miles back when you fly!

On this basis, you might find redeeming Marriott Bonvoy points for flights offers some value. You can find out more on the Marriott website here.


How to earn Marriott Bonvoy points and status from UK credit cards

How to earn Marriott Bonvoy points and status from UK credit cards (February 2024)

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 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.

Marriott Bonvoy American Express

20,000 points sign-up bonus and 15 elite night credits each year Read our full review

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 Premium and MeliaRewards Gold status.  We reviewed American Express Platinum in detail here and you can apply here.

The Platinum Card from American Express

40,000 bonus points and a huge range of valuable benefits – for a fee Read our full review

You can also earn Marriott Bonvoy points indirectly:

and for small business owners:

The conversion rate from American Express to Marriott Bonvoy points is 2:3.

Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which can be used to earn Marriott Bonvoy 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.)

Comments (13)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • polly says:

    Never knew such a thing existed….

  • letBAgonesbe says:

    What weak £?

    • Richie says:

      Does a US dollar cost 50p ?

    • Erico1875 says:

      Back in 70s you got about $5 to £

      • Ken says:

        I don’t think Sterling has ever been higher than $3 in my lifetime, however my dad born just before WW2 used to call a crown (5 shillings, so 25 post decimal pence) used to call it a dollar as the rate when he grew up was fixed at $4.03 during the war.

        • Erico1875 says:

          Yes you are right. Somehow time twists memory. I remember getting $5 from my aunt from USA.

    • Ken says:

      The £ that buys less dollars now than at any time between 1985 and 2020

      The £ that for a couple of decades fluctuated either side of Euro 1.30 and now seems to have settled at roughly 15% less

      That £

    • Harry T says:

      The British one

      • ianM says:

        Technically the UK one !

        But either way it’s been crushed by the Tories.

        • zapato1060 says:

          13 years of rule and they have decimated this country. Like Nick Abbott says its a smash and grab, take anything worth of value thats not nailed down and sell it for a profit to line their pockets.

          • mark2 says:

            We have not had a Tory government since 1992.

          • will says:

            Correct, most “financial and social” conservatives are as much in disbelief at this current lot as those who are more in line with Corbyn’s politics.

            To be more unpopular than Thatcher is some achievement.

            Wait till the housing market falls apart and you’ll see their last remaining supporters go with it.

  • Swifty says:

    Oh god not the politics chat again. You trolling the J.C. as well 🤣

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

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