Once you have amassed a sizeable balance of Marriott Bonvoy points, it is time to have fun and start redeeming them!
Using your points for hotel stays is one of the better ways to use Marriott points as room rates are often quite high while the points needed for redemptions are fixed.
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Points needed for redemptions
Here are the points needed for standard redemptions, per night. Remember that for every five consecutive nights you book, you get one for free. Peak and off-peak values are included, but not yet active yet.
There is also an option to mix cash + points, but with 3,500 points + USD 55 (AUD 78) needed for a Category 1 redemption, you are essentially being charged 1.95c per point which is too high to be good value.
If you are booking a PointSavers sale redemption, here are the points you will need instead.
How to book a redemption
Booking a hotel redemption is fairly easy. Just head to the Marriott Bonvoy website and enter where you will be travelling to. Tick the ‘Use Points’ box and remember to book at least five nights if you want one night free.
In this example, a five-night stay is being charged at 140,000 points for the stay (Category 5 hotel, 35,000 points per night for four nights with one free).
You can customize which nights you use cash and which nights you redeem points, but doing so would negate the ‘one night free’ benefit.
Select the rate once you are happy and log in to your account to proceed.
A great feature of Marriott is Points Advance. This is where you can proceed with a redemption even without having the required points, giving you valuable time to transfer them over from American Express or even buy them outright from Marriott when there is a sale.
The cancellation policy for redemption bookings is quite generous, as you can cancel one day before arrival without any penalties.
If you owe points due to Points Advance, then the amount needed will be shown as well as how to deduct the points when you get them. Points Advances have to be repaid at least 14 days prior to the stay.
That is all to it. Just enter your credit card details to confirm the reservation (in case you cancel within 24 hours of the stay or accumulate other charges), and your redemption will be complete.
With no black-out days or other restrictions on when to redeem points (apart from the availability of rooms), using Marriott Bonvoy points for hotel stays is easy to do and one of the best uses of the points anyway, given the loyalty scheme revolves around its hotel portfolio.
Be sure to check how much value you are getting per point—our suggested threshold is a minimum of 1c per point in Australian currency.
To work out the value, divide the cash price by the number of points needed, then multiply by 100 to get the value per point in cents. In the example earlier, you would do $2,614 ÷ 140,000 × 100 to find 1.87 cents per points value.
Other ways to use points include transferring them to airline partners or redeeming them for a travel package which includes a hotel certificate and a large chunk of airline frequent flyer points.
Supplementary images of Marriott Resort Surfer’s Paradise courtesy of Marriott