Some links to products and travel providers on this website will earn Traveling For Miles a commission that helps contribute to the running of the site. Traveling For Miles has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Traveling For Miles and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone and have not been reviewed, endorsed, or approved by any of these entities. For more details please see the disclosures found at the bottom of every page.
Unlike a lot of loyalty programs who have been discounting their miles and points for years, Marriott didn’t start selling its currency at a discount until April last year. Since then, however, we’ve seen at least two further sales and now the hotelier is back with its biggest bonus to date.
Headline Terms & Conditions
- Transactions must be completed between 9:00 AM ET May 18, 2020 and 11:59 PM ET June 30, 2020 to be eligible for the 60% bonus points offer 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 2020 are included in the 100,000 points limit.
- Points can be purchased at a rate of $12.50 (USD) per 1,000 points.
- Points purchases will be processed up to 7 business days after purchase.
- Base points purchased will be deposited into members’ accounts first. Bonus points will be deposited up to 48 hours after that initial deposit.
- 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.
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 60% bonus at the cheapest rate we’ve seen them sold for a very long time.
If you buy just 2,000 Marriott Bonvoy points you’ll net 3,200 points for $25.00…
…and that works out to a cost/point of ~0.781 cents.
If you buy 50,000 Marriott Bonvoy points, you’ll net a total of 80,000 points at a cost of $625…
…which also comes to a cost/point of ~0.781 cents.
Is This A Good Deal?
Note: Anyone even vaguely new to the miles and points world should read this post before proceeding.
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 now includes peak and off-peak award rates.
At 0.781 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 80,000 points per transaction (including bonus) but you can currently buy a total of 100,000 points per calendar year (excluding bonuses) so two transactions in this sale would easily 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…but you’ll need to do the math to be sure.
A positive example would be a hotel like the Langley which almost always charges more than $450/night (including taxes)…
…and this makes it cheaper to buy points than it is to pay with cash even in peak season (this particular date is available for 50,000 points which would see a guest save approximately $90/night assuming all 50,000 points were purchased for 0.781 cents each).
A negative example would be a property like the Bangkok Marriott Hotel Sukhumvit which rarely costs much more than $160/night including taxes so, as a Category 4 property costing between 20,000 and 30,000 points per night, it’s a highly uneconomical location at which to spend points purchased in this sale (buying points and using them here would see you paying between $156 and $234/night).
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 have a plan for how you’re going to use them but buy as many as you need if the math makes sense.
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.