Like most other hotel loyalty programs and some frequent flyer schemes, you can buy a set amount of Marriott Bonvoy points each year to help top-up your account, as well as share points around with friends and family.
The standard pricing is rarely good value and is only worth it if you are a little bit short for a hotel redemption and do not have any other way to bridge the gap.
But when there is a promotion—either bonus points or a discount in price—then it might be good to stock up if you have a planned hotel stay in mind.
Note that it is not advisable to be stockpiling of points without a specific end-goal in mind, as it can become a liability if the points become devalued in some way, without much warning.
Purchasing points through Marriott
Here is the link to purchase points through Marriott, run by points.com. Your account needs to be in good standing and open for at least 30 days with qualifying activity, or open for at least 1 year without any activity.
The standard pricing is $12.50 USD ($17.65) per 1,000 points, up to a maximum of 50,000 points each year for $625 USD ($882).
This means each point costs approximately 1.77c each—very pricey considering we value them at roughly 1c per point when redeeming them.
If there is a 50% off discount or 100% bonus points offer, then the effective cost of each point should drop to 0.88 cents each, which is a much better proposition if you can redeem them for stays where the cash value of the room rate is quite high.
Simply visit the page and log-in to check eligibility. If so, you will be presented with the option to buy 1,000 to 50,000 points.
Do not forget to use a card that earns reward points or that does not charge international transaction fees, or perhaps one that does both such as the ANZ Travel Adventures card.
Gifting points through Marriott using cash
You can purchase or receive up to 50,000 points from the points.com store each year. This means if you purchased 20,000 points initially and someone else wants to also buy you points, they can only purchase you another 30,000 points for the year.
The same new account requirements still apply here.
Transferring points through Marriott
The restrictions around transferring existing points in your account are more relaxed. Any member can transfer up to 100,000 points to any other member, each year. You can receive up to 500,000 transferred points each year.
All it takes is a flat $10 USD ($14.11) fee per transaction. Gold Elite and Platinum Elite members can transfer for free.
This is a way to get around the 50,000 points purchase limit each year. If there was a particularly good offer, family members to purchase points into their accounts, and then transfer them to you subject to the limits and fees mentioned above.
Both sending and receiving accounts need to be in good standing and open for at least 60 days, although new accounts still need to be open at least 30 days with qualifying spend or 90 days without activity to send and receive point transfers.
Transfers cannot be done online, so call up Marriott on 1800 450 010 (Australian number) to make it happen. Remember, terms and conditions state that you cannot sell or barter points, so do not do anything that could get your account suspended.
Supplementary images courtesy of Sydney Harbour Marriott