Marriott Bonvoy points are incredibly flexible – and one way to boost your balance is to buy points. Once in your account, those purchased points can be used like any other Marriott Bonvoy points you may have.
For instance, if you’re planning a holiday, you might choose to buy Marriott Bonvoy points and then use those points to book your hotel stay. This won’t always stack up – but sometimes, the cost of buying and redeeming points can be less than paying dollars for the same room!
Other times, your airline frequent flyer account might be in need of a little top-up. Not every frequent flyer program sells points directly – but you could buy Marriott Bonvoy points and convert them to the chain’s 30+ partner airline programs.
Whatever your plans, here’s the rundown on buying Marriott Bonvoy points.
How many Marriott Bonvoy points can I buy?
Marriott Bonvoy currently allows members to purchase up to 100,000 points per calendar year. But note, that cap doesn’t count just the points member purchases for themselves. It also tallies any points purchased by others as a ‘gift’ for that same member.
For instance, a member might receive 50,000 points as a gift from family or friends. In the same calendar year, that same member can only then buy a further 50,000 points. It’s one way that Marriott prevents people from side-stepping the rules.
But there’s a workaround. Members can buy a further 100,000 Marriott Bonvoy points each year when making that purchase as part of a hotel reservation. This is sometimes possible when reserving a room via the Marriott website, so keep your eyes peeled.
There’s another rule to be aware of, though. In order to purchase points, you’ll need to have been a Marriott Bonvoy member for at least 30 days, with your account ‘in good standing’. That month-long wait doesn’t apply when transferring points into Marriott Bonvoy from those partner programs, though.
What does it cost to buy Marriott Bonvoy points?
Depending on how many points you’re buying, Marriott Bonvoy sells them either in increments of 1,000 or 5,000 points.
- Buy 1,000 to 50,000 points in increments of 1,000. That’s 1,000, 2,000, 3,000, and so on.
- Buy 55,000 to 100,000 points in increments of 5,000. This means you could buy 55,000, 60,000, 65,000 points, etc.
Marriott normally charges US$12.50 per 1,000 points purchased. If you were to buy the full cap of 100,000 points, the usual asking price is US$1,250 (AU$1,882).
But from time to time, Marriott runs promotions. And if you are going to buy points, it makes sense to buy only when there’s a promotion running, whenever possible.
Until 20 December 2022, Marriott is offering a 25% cash discount on all purchases of points. You just need to buy 2,000 points or more, and the savings are applied at the time of purchase.
For 100,000 points, the discount brings the price down to US$937.50 (AU$1,411.50). It’s a significant saving, especially given the unfavourable exchange rates on these dates when spending AUD on USD transactions.
Click here for the latest ‘buying points’ promotions for Marriott Bonvoy, .
How do I buy Marriott Bonvoy points?
If you’re looking to buy Marriott Bonvoy points, just head to this page on Points.com. That’s the service through which Marriott sells points directly to its own members.
You’ll be given two options: ‘buy points’ and ‘gift points’. When buying for yourself, you’ll want to click the former. The latter follows a similar process, but it’s designed when buying points for other people instead.
Once you’ve logged into your Marriott Bonvoy account, follow the prompts to complete your purchase.
When you buy points, these will be credited to your Marriott Bonvoy account within 72 hours. From there, you can spend them however you like. You might use them towards a hotel stay or transfer them to a frequent flyer program – it’s up to you.
Can I buy Marriott Bonvoy points for other people?
Remember that ‘gift points’ option we skipped earlier? That’s exactly what to click on if you’d like to buy Marriott Bonvoy points for somebody else.
The cost is normally the same as when purchasing points for yourself. That’s US$12.50 for every 1,000 points you purchase outside of promotional periods. But right now, the discount on buying points also applies when gifting points – that’s 25% off when purchasing 2,000 points or more until 20 December 2022.
Just keep in mind the limit we mentioned above. That is, a member can only gain 100,000 points via such purchases each calendar year, whether by ‘buying’ for themselves or having somebody ‘gift’ them points.
You can’t buy yourself 100,000 points, and also have somebody gift you another 100,000. But if you’re within the limit, click here to gift points.
Can I transfer Marriott points to other people?
Okay, you’ve found a little loophole! Yes, you can transfer Marriott Bonvoy points between accounts – including any points you choose to buy.
You’ll need to tick all of these boxes to be able to transfer points:
- Both accounts must have been open for at least 30 days. If an account has not had any ‘Qualifying Activity’, it must have been open for at least 90 days. Translation: if you’ve created a new account to transfer points into, and that account hasn’t earned any points before, it’s a three-month wait.
- Transfers must be for at least 1,000 points, and can’t exceed 100,000 points per calendar year.
- Across all other transfers of points, any recipient cannot receive more than 500,000 points via this transfer method per calendar year.
Transfers can only be processed by phone. Australian members can call 1800 450 010. Have the details of both accounts ready, including names and Marriott Bonvoy membership numbers. The Marriott website has a few more details on this.
There’s no fee to transfer points.
It’s easy to buy Marriott Bonvoy points – whether for yourself or somebody else. A savvy person looking to buy points in greater quantities may seek the assistance of family members – particularly those not otherwise engaged in loyalty programs.
For instance, somebody wanting to buy 400,000 points per year could start by purchasing 100,000 points for themselves. They might ‘gift’ another 100,000 points to a partner, and another 100,000 points to each of two children.
Once those points have landed in each respective account, the accountholder could then call Marriott and ask to ‘transfer’ those points into the desired member’s account. This remains within all of the rules, as nobody would be individually buying more than 100,000 points. As the transfers also wouldn’t exceed more than 500,000 points into a single account, those shipments between members are also A-OK.
But again, if you are going to buy points, it makes sense only to make that purchase when there’s an incentive. Sometimes Marriott offers a discount, while other times it can be a bonus – which can sometimes be another handy way to purchase more than 100,000 points per person, per year.
In any case, though, we also don’t recommend buying points speculatively. If you have a desired use for those points in mind and buying points is cost-effective for that purpose, then, by all means, go ahead! But if you’re simply buying points to stockpile, lest we remind you that Marriott Bonvoy uses dynamic pricing for its hotel awards – so the number of points needed for any stay can change at any time.
Feature image courtesy of Sydney Harbour Marriott Hotel at Circular Quay.
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