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Marriott Bonvoy Membership

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Marriott owns 30 brands and 8,000+ properties around the world, including the Ritz-Carlton, W hotels and Sheraton. And of course, it has a membership program – Marriott Bonvoy. The program is structured around five membership tiers, each with its perks discussed below. You need to spend a set number of nights per calendar year at Marriott hotels to progress to the next tier. Separately from this, spending nights at a hotel results in points that you can redeem for free hotel stays. We’ll first look at the membership tiers and then discuss points.

10 Nights: Silver Elite Tier

The Silver tier doesn’t offer much. 10% extra points and free Wi-Fi. Also, the “Elite” in the name doesn’t mean much. There are no non-elite membership levels.

25 Nights: Gold Elite Tier

At this level you get 25% extra points, plus bonus points at check-in, higher chances of complimentary room upgrades and late check-out. Good but not that impressive. You can also get gold status simply by having the Amex Platinum card. Note, however, that you still need 50 nights to reach the next tier even with the Amex Platinum.

50 Nights: Platinum Elite Tier

This is where things get better. 50% extra points, free breakfast, lounge access, and even higher chances of complimentary room upgrades and late check-out. Plus a choice of annual benefit, where arguably the 5 “Suite Night Awards” offer amazing value. Each Suite Night Award is a one-night confirmable upgrade to a suite or premium room, depending on the hotel’s availability. The free breakfast, lounge and Suite Night Awards are available at many, but not all hotels.

The other two tiers are reached at 75, respectively 100 nights. They are beyond the scope of this article and out of reach for most travellers. Even 50 nights per year is a daunting task for most people but there are ways to make this easier:

  • For £95/year you can get the Amex Bonvoy credit card, which comes with 15 night credits in addition to other perks. Only 35 nights left to go (more on that below).
  • Marriott occasionally runs promotions where they give 2 night credits for each night stayed.
  • Nights booked with points also count.



As a member, each stay at Marriott hotel gives you two things: the elite night credits discussed above and Bonvoy points. Most Marriott brands give 10 points per USD spent but some give 5 points. On top of this there’s the tier bonus. With the 50% bonus, a Platinum member would effectively earn 15 points per USD. Hotels may also offer 500-1000 points as a welcome gift.

In addition, Marriott runs promotions that range from a small additional check-in bonus to double points. Their current public promotion, shown here, gives an extra 1500 points for each stay.

Another way to get points does not involve hotel stays at all. The American Express Bonvoy credit card offers 2 points for each £ spent (6 points per £ spent at Marriott hotels) – but it carries the 3% foreign exchange fee which makes this less valuable abroad. It also comes with a sign-up bonus, which is usually 20,000 points, but is increased until November 14 to 40,000 points (43,000 points when using the link below)

Before applying for the card, make sure you have your Bonvoy account number handy. Join the Marriott Bonvoy program here if you’re not yet a member and get an extra 2000 points for your first stays.

Hotel stays paid with the Bonvoy card essentially give back 15-25% in points, depending on tier and redemption rate. More on redemptions later below.

Finally, Amex Membership Reward points can be transferred to Marriott Bonvoy at a rate of 2:3, i.e. 2 MR points for 3 Bonvoy points. This is generally a worse deal than getting the points on the Bonvoy card.


Points can be redeemed against hotel stays. The exact rate varies but ranges from more than 1p/point (a really good rate) to less than 0.5p/point (bad). Perhaps surprisingly, good rates are available at hotels ranging from modest to luxurious. All the screenshots below are for a 5 day stay, and the cash value is per night.

Going from left to right, the Amex sign-up bonus is 1000 points short of a five night stay at the Four Points in Siena, a beautiful medieval city in Tuscany. The same 5 night stay costs €485.

A Christmas break in Bucharest, at the amazing Marmorosch hotel, smack down in the city’s Old Town, costs either 65,000 points or €750.

And for the luxury-inclined, five days at the luxurious St. Regis Rome cost either 322,000 points or a whopping €4,850 (£4,200 or 1.3p/point).

And for the luxury-inclined, five days at the luxurious St. Regis Rome cost either 322,000 points or a whopping €4,850 (£4,200 or 1.3p/point).

What’s more, with Marriott status you are more likely to be upgraded to a better room, and the 5 Suite Night Awards per year further increase those chances for that one special holiday.

In Conclusion

… joining Marriott Bonvoy is worthwhile if you travel to popular destination. To get the most out of it, try to reach the Platinum tier. Look for promotions and use the Amex Bonvoy card to boost both your night credits and points.