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Marriott has launched its first major points sale of the year this week and in it it’s offering Bonvoy members a bonus of up to 40% when they purchase points before the end of March.
Note: As I’ll discuss in this article, this promotion may be targeted.
- Buy 1,000 Bonvoy points and get no bonus
- Buy 2,000 – 100,000 Bonvoy points and get a 40% bonus.
- Transactions must be completed between 9:00 a.m. ET February 8, 2024, and 11:59 p.m. ET March 31, 2024, to be eligible for the 40% bonus Points purchase offer with a minimum purchase of 2,000 Points.
- You qualified for the 40% bonus offer because of your qualifying stay made between October 1, 2023, and December 31, 2023.
- Bonus Points purchase offer will remain the same for each Points purchase transaction made during the promotion period.
- The bonus Points earned with this promotion through the Buy Points or Gift Points pages are not included in the annual purchase limit of 100,000 Points.
- This offer is valid only for Points purchased through the promotion’s Buy Points and Gift Points pages.
- In 2024, members may purchase or receive as a gift a combined maximum of 100,000 Points per calendar year when purchased through our Buy Points and Gift Points pages, Buy Points Points.com-powered window on Marriott websites, Marriott Mobile Apps or the Customer Engagement Centers.
- Members may purchase up to an additional 100,000 Points annually while booking a hotel stay through the reservation path on marriott.com.
- Purchased or gifted Points do not count toward Marriott Bonvoy Elite Status.
- Purchase rate is $12.50 USD per 1,000 Points.
- Points will be posted to the Member’s Account within 72 hours after the transaction is complete.
- A member must be an active member in good standing to purchase and/or receive Points.
- New members may purchase Points thirty (30) days after enrollment in the Marriott Bonvoy program.
- Once Points have been purchased or gifted, no refunds will be permitted.
- Purchasing Points using a Marriott Bonvoy cobrand credit card will earn Points as an everyday purchase.
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 with a 40% bonus.
If you buy just 2,000 Marriott Bonvoy points you’ll end up with 2,800 points (after the 40% bonus is factored in) for just $25.00 …
… and that works out to a cost/point of ~0.89 cents.
If you buy 100,000 Marriott Bonvoy points, you’ll end up with a total of 140,000 points at a cost of $1,250 …
… which also comes to a cost/point of ~0.83 cents.
Is this targeted?
I haven’t been paying close attention to the terms and conditions of recent Bonvoy points sales, but from what I can see, past sales have included wording similar to this:
‘Marriott Bonvoy members worldwide are eligible for the 40% bonus Points purchase offer with a minimum purchase of 2,000 Points.‘
This sale, however, doesn’t have that sort of wording. This sale has this wording in the second line of the terms and conditions:
‘You qualified for the 40% bonus offer because of your qualifying stay made between October 1, 2023, and December 31, 2023.’
I had two stays with Marriott in that period (just 3 nights in total), so that term fits my circumstances, but does this mean that anyone who didn’t stay with Marriott in that period is excluded?
Let me know in the comments if you have access to this sale and if you can see similar wording in the terms and conditions.
Is this a good deal?
Note: Anyone even vaguely new to the miles and points world should read this post before proceeding.
This isn’t the best deal we’ve see Marriott publish, but it’s also not a bad one.
In the past, we’ve seen Marriott offer a bonus as high as 60% (points costing ~0.78 cents each), but I can’t remember the last time I saw that offer. More usually, we see bonuses of 35%, 40% and 50% on offer so as far as Marriott points sales go, this a middle-of-the-road deal.
I value Marriott Bonvoy points at around 0.6 cents each so, at first glance, the points on sale here are still quite expensive, but there may be times when buying points here isn’t such a bad idea.
Despite Marriott’s move to dynamic pricing, it remains possible (with a bit of research) to find stays where you’ll get at least 1 cent of value out of each Bonvoy Point you use, and if you’re buying points at under 0.9 cents each, that represents a good saving.
Be aware, however, that just as it’s not excessively difficult to find a good use for points purchased in this sale, it’s also very easy to find a significant number of terrible ways to use the points that you buy, so make sure you run the numbers and pay close attention to what you’re booking.
Don’t use the wrong credit card
Marriott Bonvoy points sales are processed by Points.com and that eliminates the scope to earn a travel/hotel bonus by using a credit card that offers bonus points for spending in one of those categories.
That makes this a good opportunity to boost your spending towards a welcome bonus on a card that’s offering a good deal (like this one), or to boost your earnings of a currency that you particularly like.
I, for example, would probably use my card_name if I was to buy Bonvoy Points as I can never have too many Ultimate Rewards points (despite the fact that I would only earn 1 point/dollar).
This may or may not be a good sale depending on how you plan to spend the points you buy. Don’t buy Marriott Bonvoy points if you don’t plan to use them in the near future, but buy as many as you need if you can lock in a booking now (for any bookable date in the future) in which the points you purchase offer your a good saving on the cash rate you would otherwise have had to pay.
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.
Featured image: The JW Marriott Khao Lak Resort courtesy of Marriott