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What is the Marriott Bonvoy rewards program? A 2020 guide

Climb the Marriott Elite ranks to make the most of your rewards.

Updated . What changed?

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Our pick for earning Marriott Bonvoy points: Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card

Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card logo

75,000-point

Signup bonus after spending $3,000 in first 3 months

  • 6x points at Marriott Bonvoy hotels and 2x points on everything else
  • Automatic Silver Elite Status and 15 Elite Night Credits each year
  • Annual Free Night Award
See offer
Marriott Bonvoy is a unified hotel rewards program comprised of the former Marriott Rewards, Starwood Preferred Guest and Ritz-Carlton Rewards. It’s a lucrative-enough rewards program, though it does have a rather complex redemption structure and elite status system.

Nonetheless, if you’re a fan of Marriott Bonvoy properties, you’ll find some decent earning and redemption options here. Here’s a look at the program’s features.

Marriott Bonvoy program breakdown

Here’s a quick look at the need-to-know information about Marriott Bonvoy:

Points are worth 0.8 to 1.0 cents
Number of brands in portfolio 31 hotel brands
Earn points by Booking stays at Marriott Bonvoy brands
Spending with eligible Marriott Bonvoy credit cards
Full earning guide
Redeem points on Award nights
Point transfers to airlines
Full redemption guide

Do Marriott Bonvoy points expire?

Points can expire if your Marriott Bonvoy account has no qualifying activity for 24 consecutive months. The exception is if you’ve gained Lifetime Elite status, in which case your points will never expire. After five years without qualifying activity, Marriott may deactivate your account.

How to stay active in Marriott Bonvoy

  • Have completed stays — paid and award — on your account
  • Earn points in the program by using your Marriott Bonvoy cobranded credit card, earning rewards through a travel or program partner, holding an eligible event or meeting or a similar action
  • Redeem points
  • Convert points to airline miles or vice versa
  • Buy points

These activities won’t keep you active in Marriott Bonvoy

  • Gifting or transferring points
  • Receiving points from a gift or transfer
  • Earning points through social media initiatives such as #MarriottBonvoyPoints

How do you earn Marriott Bonvoy points?

There are two primary methods to earn Marriott Bonvoy points: book stays at Marriott branded hotels and spend with eligible credit cards.

Making purchases with credits cards is the simplest and often fastest way to earn Bonvoy points, particularly with a cobranded Marriott card. For example, the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card will earn you 6x additional points per dollar spent on Marriott Bonvoy hotels and automatically grants you Silver Elite membership upon account opening.

You can of course also earn points by staying at Marriott Bonvoy hotel properties. For a more in-depth look at earning Marriott Bonvoy points, check out our full earning guide.

Compare cards that earn Marriott Bonvoy points

Marriott’s line of cobranded cards offer the most direct method of earning Bonvoy points and typically offer a signup bonus to help you get a headstart on your earnings. Use the comparison table below to find a card that best suits your travel needs.

Name Product Welcome offer Rewards Annual fee Filter values
American Express® Gold Card
60,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months
3x points on directly-booked flights; 4x at restaurants; 4x at US supermarkets on up to $25,000 annually (then 1x points)
$250
Earn up to 4x points on select purchases, a bevy of travel perks, and a welcome offer worth up to $600 with this upper-mid tier travel card. Rates & fees
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
60,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months, a value of up to $750 through Chase Ultimate Rewards
5x points on Lyft, 2x points on travel and dining and 1x points on all other purchases
$95
Earn a signup bonus worth $750 with this popular travel card. Combine with other Chase Ultimate Rewards cards for even greater value.
The Platinum Card® from American Express
100,000 points after spending $5,000 in your first 6 months, plus 10x points at US gas stations and US supermarkets on up to $15,000 in combined purchases in the same timeframe
10x points at US gas stations and US supermarkets on up to $15,000 combined in the first 6 months, 15x points on directly-booked flights or on flights and hotels on Amex Travel. 1x points on all other purchases. Starting January 1, 2021, your 15x points on flights will be capped on up to $500,000 annually (then 1x points).
$550
One of the most valuable premium travel cards, featuring two welcome offers worth up to $4,500, multiple travel credits and unrivaled lounge access. Rates & fees
Chase Sapphire Reserve®
50,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months
10x points on Lyft rides, 3x points on dining and travel after earning your $300 travel credit and 1x points on all other purchases
$550
Get a generous $300 in annual travel credits, 3x points on travel and dining, and a 50% bonus on point redemptions with Chase's premier card.
Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card
100,000 points after spending $5,000 in the first 3 months, plus earn 25,000 after the first anniversary of card membership (offer expires 1/13/2021)
6x points at Marriott Bonvoy hotels, 3x at US restaurants and on flights booked directly with airlines and 2x for all other purchases
$450
Earn 100,000 bonus points when you spend $5,000 or more within your first 3 months, plus earn 25,000 after the first anniversary of card membership (offer expires 1/13/2021). Rates & fees
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How to redeem Marriott Bonvoy points

There are two primary redemption options for your Marriott Bonvoy points: award nights at Marriott Bonvoy brands and point transfers to partnered airlines. Award nights will generally be your best bet for using your points, but you can read about all of your options using our Marriott Bonvoy award chart.

Marriott elite levels

Marriott Bonvoy elite tiers

Marriott Bonvoy offers a loyalty program with six levels, each requiring an increasing number of hotel stays for eligibility. As you progress through the tiers, you gain additional benefits and perks on your Bonvoy account. Among these perks is a bonus to your Marriott Bonvoy reward points earned when you stay at an eligible hotel.

Here are some of the other rewards you’ll earn by moving through the elite ranks:

Elite level Nights required per year Benefits
Members 0 to 9
  • Complimentary in-room Internet access.
  • Member rates. As a member, you’ll find nights for a slight discount.
  • Mobile check-in and services. Download the Marriott Bonvoy app and get access to mobile features: check-in, room key, room service, support and more. You can also use the app to check your rewards account.
Elite level Nights required per year Benefits
Gold Elite 25 to 49 All benefits of lower tiers
  • 25% points bonus.
  • 2 p.m. late checkout based on availability.
  • Complimentary enhanced in-room Internet access. According to Marriott, this upgraded Wi-Fi gives you a high-speed connection. You can video chat, stream video and download large files.
  • Additional in-hotel welcome gift options. You’ll receive bonus points of varying amounts based on the property.
  • Enhanced room upgrade. Based on availability.
Elite level Nights required per year Benefits
Platinum Elite 50 to 74 All benefits of lower tiers
  • 50% points bonus.
  • 4 p.m. late checkout.
  • Enhanced room upgrade that includes select suites. Limited to your personal guest room.
  • Lounge access. Get complimentary access to the Concierge, Executive, Club, Signature Club or M Club lounges at select properties.
  • Room type priority. You’ll get priority for the room type you request at select properties.
  • Annual choice benefit. Choose from five Suite Night Awards — upgrades to standard suites or premium rooms — 40% off a Marriott retail bed item, a $100 charitable donation, a gift of Silver Elite status for a friend or family member or five Elite Night Credits.

You’ll receive your choice benefit when you accumulate 50 qualifying nights.

Elite level Nights required per year Benefits
Titanium Elite 75 to 99 All benefits of lower tiers
  • 75% points bonus.
  • 48-hour guarantee. Marriott guarantees a room for a paid stay at eligible properties. Just book at least 48 hours in advance.
  • Additional annual choice benefit perk and more options. Choose from two of the following: one Free Night Award or any of the Platinum Elite options. For Titanium Elite members, you can choose to gift Gold Elite status for a friend or family member instead of Silver.

You’ll receive your choice benefits when you accumulate 75 qualifying nights.

Elite level Nights required per year Benefits
Ambassador Elite 100 or more All benefits of lower tiers, except for Annual Choice Benefit
  • Ambassador Service. Your ambassador offers personal assistance when you stay at a Marriott Bonvoy property. They can help with arrival requests, tickets for exclusive events, making dinner reservations and more.
  • Your24. You can choose a 24-hour period for a stay at a Marriott Bonvoy property. This can be helpful if you arrive at odd hours — for example, if your flight lands early in the morning or late at night.
Elite level Nights required per year Benefits
Lifetime Elite
  • Lifetime Silver Elite: 250 lifetime nights and 5 years of Elite status
  • Lifetime Gold Elite: 400 lifetime nights and 7 years of Gold Elite status or higher
  • Lifetime Platinum Elite: 600 lifetime nights and 10 years of Platinum Elite status or higher
Perks associated with that level

Complimentary elite status

If you’re a Marriott Bonvoy cardholder, Marriott may grant you a complimentary elite status depending on your card.

The Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card, for example, offers Gold Elite status upon account opening while the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card from Chase offers Silver Elite status for opening your account.

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What is Marriott Bonvoy Cobalt?

Marriott Bonvoy Cobalt is the rather secretive “hidden” tier of the Marriott Elite program. You won’t find information on Cobalt on the Marriott Bonvoy site — the program is allegedly invite-only.

As you might expect, there isn’t much information available on how you can join. Similarly, the exact benefits of the program remain masked in mystery. A few leaked documents on social media show that the Cobalt program largely offers perks and benefits for members staying on Marriott properties, such as upgrades, amenities and more.

Marriott Bonvoy hotels

Here is a full listing of Marriott Bonvoy brands as of this writing:

  • The Ritz-Carlton
  • The Luxury Collection
  • Sheraton
  • Westin
  • Four Points
  • AC Hotels
  • Residence Inn
  • Autograph Collection Hotels
  • St. Regis
  • W Hotels
  • Marriott Vacation Club
  • Renaissance Hotels
  • SpringHill Suites
  • Aloft Hotels
  • TownePlace Suites
  • Design Hotels
  • JW Marriott
  • Edition
  • Delta Hotels
  • Gaylord Hotels
  • Protea Hotels
  • Moxy Hotels
  • element
  • Tribute Portfolio
  • Ritz-Carlton Reserve
  • Marriott Hotels
  • Le MERIDEN
  • Courtyard Hotels
  • Fairfield Inn & Suites
  • Marriott Executive Apartments
  • Homes & Villas

Bottom line

Marriott Bonvoy is a solid program, albeit one that requires a fairly heavy commitment for the best redemption value. If you’re a Marriott loyalist, or you find yourself staying at their brand of hotels more often than not, then Marriott Bonvoy is worth a look.

Compare your Marriott credit card options along with other travel credit cards to find a card that best suits your purchasing and travel needs.

Frequently asked questions

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