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It was only in April this year that Marriott launched its first ever discount on the sale of its currency and now the hotelier is back with a slightly improved offer which runs through 18 October 2019.
Where in April the best offer available was a 25% discount with a minimum purchase of 5,000 points, this September promotion sees the discount increased to 30% with a minimum purchase requirement of just 2,000 points….and Marriott has doubled the maximum number of points which can be purchased to 100,000.
Headline Terms & Conditions
- Transactions must be completed by 11:59 PM ET October 18, 2019 to be eligible for the discount of 30% with a minimum purchase of 2,000 points.
- Purchased points do not count towards Marriott Bonvoy Elite status.
- A member may purchase or receive as a gift from another member a combined maximum of 100,000 points during the promotional period only. Points that have been already purchased or received as a gift in 2019 are included in the 100,000 points limit.
- Points may be purchased in increments of 1,000.
- Promotional discount purchase rate is 30% off the regular purchase rate of 12.50 (USD) per 1,000 points.
- Please allow 24-48 hours for transaction to be completed and points awarded to recipient.
- You must be a member in good standing to both purchase and receive points.
- A new member may purchase points thirty (30) days after enrollment if their Marriott Bonvoy account reflects qualifying activity as described in the Marriott Bonvoy Program Rules. After ninety (90) days from enrollment, a new member is eligible to purchase points regardless of their account activity.
- Once points have been purchased or gifted, no refunds will be permitted.
- Purchasing points using a Marriott Bonvoy™ co-brand credit card will result in earning one point per dollar spent on these transactions.
- All Marriott Bonvoy Program Rules apply and can be found at (https://www.marriott.com/loyalty/terms/default.mi)
This is just about as simple as it gets – as long as you buy 2,000 points or more you’ll be buying Marriott Bonvoy points at the cheapest rate we’ve seen them sold for a very long time.
If you buy just 2,000 Marriott Bonvoy points (the minimum required to get the 30% discount) it will cost you $17.50…
…and that works out to a cost/point of 0.875 cents.
If you buy 50,000 Marriott Bonvoy points (the maximum amount you can buy in one transaction) it will cost you $437.50…
…which also comes to a cost/point of 0.875 cents.
Is This A Good Deal?
I value Marriott Bonvoy points at around 0.6 cents each so, at first glance, these points are still quite expensive…but there may be times when buying points here isn’t such a bad deal
To see what I mean we have to start with the current Marriott Bonvoy award chart which, as of Saturday, now includes peak and off-peak award rates.
At 0.875 cents/point this is how much a night at each category would cost if you were to buy points in this promotion:
Note: You can only buy a maximum of 50,000 points per transaction but you can currently buy a total of 100,000 points per calendar year so two transactions in this sale would see you net enough points for a Category 8 Peak Season award.
If you’re looking to book a Marriott property in one of the less high-demand locations or if you’re planning to stay at a Marriott during a quiet period it’s unlikely that you’ll find much value in buying points in this sale.
If, however, you’re considering making a Marriott booking in an expensive city like New York(or London, Tokyo, Moscow etc…) there’s a good chance that this sale could save you some money.
Here are the first 8 properties Marriott.com shows in a search for rooms in Manhattan on a random date in June (click to enlarge):
Here’s how this pricing compares to the cost of points (cash cost/number of points/cost to buy points):
- JW Marriott Essex House – $714 + taxes or 70,000 points ($612.50)
- The Ritz-Carlton New York – $1,269 + taxes or 100,000 points ($875)
- Fairfield Inn Suites New York Manhattan – $275 + taxes or 40,000 points ($350)
- Courtyard New York Manhattan/Upper East – $313 + taxes or 40,000 points ($350)
- Le Meridien New York Central Park – $483 + taxes or 60,000 points ($525)
- Courtyard New York Manhattan/Central Park – $475 + taxes or 50,000 points ($437.50)
- Residence Inn New York Manhattan – $424 + taxes or 50,000 points ($437.50)
- The St. Regis New York – $985 + taxes or 100,000 points ($875)
In 4 out of 8 instances the cost to buy points and book a room is lower than the cost of cash rate excluding taxes and in 2 out of the remaining 4 instances, the cost to buy points and book a room is lower than the cost of the cash rate with the taxes included.
If you were looking to book a high-end Marriott property in new York on this particular date there are some very impressive savings to be made by buying points in this sale and using them to book a room.
Clearly this situation will not arise for every booking you look to make (certainly not in cheaper markets), but the illustration above does show that there will be times when buying points in this sale makes sense….even if they cost more than the value I (and most people) assign to them.
Don’t buy Marriott Bonvoy points if you don’t have a plan for how you’re going to use them – that would be a great way of throwing money down the drain.
As usual, following my frequently given advice is probably the best way forward:
- Find out the cost of a night at the properties you would like to visit (at the time of year you would like to travel)
- Compare that cost to the cost of an award night paid for with points purchased in this sale.
Only if the math clearly makes sense is it ok to buy points. If the results are inconclusive you should probably pass.