Home Hotel Loyalty NEWS: Marriott Offering Cheap Award Bookings, Elite Qualification Bonuses & More

NEWS: Marriott Offering Cheap Award Bookings, Elite Qualification Bonuses & More

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Marriott Bonvoy is not a program know for making customer-friendly moves so it comes as a surprise to find out that Marriott is reducing the award cost at a lot of its properties for a (very) limited booking window, making elite status a lot easier to earn this year, and that it’s throwing in an extra (albeit temporary) benefit for its most loyal guests.

Marriott Reduces Award Rates For Two Weeks

ViewFromTheWing has reported that Marriott is reducing the cost of an award night at approximately 5,500 of its properties for bookings made by 30 June and for stays made by 31 July 2020.

These 5,500 properties are spread across the world (no list has been provided) and are offering award nights at their off-peak prices for the next two weeks.

Here’s the current Marriott award chart:

A quick search on Marriott.com shows that properties like the West Hollywood EDITION (50,000/night) and the Ritz-Carlton Tokyo (70,000/night) are showing off-peak pricing on all dates between now and the end of July, but there are also a significant number of properties which don’t appear to be open just yet.

If you have one or more free night certificates from a Marriott co-branded credit card (like the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Card) and if you’re happy to travel, this may be a good time to strike. The certificate that comes from the Boundless card is limited to properties costing a maximum of 30,000 points per night and, for the next 6 weeks, these award night rate reductions should bring a lot of Category 5 properties into play.

Likewise, if you have a certificate from the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Card from American Express (limited to properties costing a maximum of 50,000 points/night), there should be a lot more very nice Category 7 properties that you can now book for stays by 31 July.

Marriott Toping Up Qualifying Nights

Marriott announced that it was extending all elite statuses for an additional 12 months back in April, and now the hotelier has announced that it will be adding bonus elite qualifying nights to Bonvoy accounts from late July. The number of elite qualifying nights deposited into each Bonvoy member’s account will be equal to 50% of the elite nights needed to earn the status that member earned in 2019.

Here’s what that will look like:

*$20,000 spending also required

This move will have two important effects:

  1. It will make it a lot easier for most Bonvoy members to improve on their current status.
  2. It will make it a lot easier for Bonvoy members to earn the “Choice Benefits” that are awarded when the 50 and 75 elite night thresholds are reached.

For members who have Titanium or Lifetime Titanium status, the extra elite night credits won’t do much for their chances of improving their status as most of them probably won’t be spending the $20,000 needed (on top of the 100 Elite Nights) to reach Ambassador status…but at least the extra nights should help towards the next Choice Benefit threshold.

Ambassador Elites Get A New Benefit

For this year only, Marriott Bonvoy Ambassador Elite status holders (i.e. members who spent $20,000 with Marriott and earned 100 elite nights in 2019) and who earn a further 100 elite nights this year, will be given the opportunity to nominate another Bonvoy member for Platinum status.

Quick Thoughts

On the one hand, it’s very surprising (and welcome) to have Marriott trying to do something positive for its Bonvoy members while on the other hand, two of the three moves are a little half-hearted.

The bonus elite night credits are undoubtedly a very nice move for some, and if I valued the Choice Benefits higher than I do I’d probably get a little excited about the fact that they’re about to get a lot easier to earn this year…but the other two moves aren’t particularly impressive.

Lowering the award costs for one month only (and for a 2-week booking window) isn’t generous. It’s even less generous when you consider how many hotels will remain closed in July, how many countries will remain closed to outside visitors in July and how few people will actually want to travel in July. Why not just lower the award costs through to the end of September or October to give people a fighting chance to take advantage of the offer?

Ambassador members are, by definition, some of the most loyal Marriott guests so it’s nice that Marriott has thought to give them a new (temporary) benefit…but why not give them a benefit that they can actually use for themselves? Marriott Platinum status is just about ok as hotel statuses go but how is in any way rewarding for an Ambassador Elite? What does it do for them? Why not just tell Ambassadors that their nights earned in 2020 will roll over into 2021? That would be a true “thank you for your loyalty” move.

Bottom Line

We’re seeing one very nice move and two moves that really should have been better from Marriott Bonvoy…but the way things have been going with Bonvoy I guess we should happy for whatever crumbs the program throws our way:)

For Your Consideration

Successful new applicants for the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card can currently earn 3 Free Night Awards (each night valued up to 50,000 points) after they spend $3,000 on eligible purchases in the first 3 months of card membership. The card allows all cardholders to earn bonus elite nights from the spending they put on the card and it continues to offer the highest earnings rate available for spending at Marriott properties worldwide.

Our Favorite Benefits:

  • 6 Bonvoy Points/dollar at Marriott properties worldwide
  • An annual free night certificate (worth 35,000 points) every account anniversary
  • 15 elite night credits each calendar year
  • Earn 1 elite night credit for every $5,000 spent
  • No foreign transaction fees

Click for more details on the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card

Regarding Comments

Responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser or any other advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility or any other advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.


  1. With the lounges still closed, breakfast buffets gone for the most part, lots of the upgraded room benefits limited, rates need to drop a lot more to make traveling enjoyable. Right now, it is must travel only domestic for now.

    Until the quarantine is gone and the airlines restore inflight services, I’m going to be keeping a lot of money in the bank.

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