Deal: Marriott Bonvoy lowers award redemption rates and gives out additional Elite nights

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Breakfast at Sheraton Istanbul City Center

Breakfast at Sheraton Istanbul City Center

Marriott Bonvoy has just announced two updates to their program to “welcome you” as we head into the new normal.

Quick note: As we head into Phase 2 of Singapore’s reopening on 19 June, staycations are still not allowed.

Update 1: Off-peak redemption rates till 31 July

For bookings made from now till 30 June and for stays up till 31 July, you will enjoy off-peak redemption rates on all 5,500 Marriott Bonvoy properties around the world.

Here’s a quick look at how many points are required for each category:


Marriott Bonvoy award chart

Marriott Bonvoy award chart

Considering the fact that the lowest Marriott Bonvoy category that you can find in Singapore is Category 5, that is at least $300 worth of points just for 1 night in very average hotels. As Marriott adopts activity-based expiry, there is no need to waste your points on properties other than those listed in my list of Marriott Bonvoy sweet spots.

The only property that you should consider is The Westin Desaru Resort in East Johor, Malaysia. Although we do not have an idea yet on when Malaysia will open up its borders, award bookings give you free cancellation anyway. For this reason, I will be making a speculative award booking at this hotel in late July, just for fun.


Marriott Bonvoy sweet spots

Marriott Bonvoy sweet spots


The Westin Desaru Resort

The Westin Desaru Resort

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Update 2: Additional Elite night credits

Given the disruption in our travel plans this year, Marriott is going to credit Elite nights into your account (by late July), depending on your status.

Here’s what you’ll get:

Current MembershipAdditional Elite Nights
Normal0
Silver5
Gold13
Platinum25
Titanium38
Ambassador50

I know what you’re thinking, what’s the point when I can enjoy my current status till 2022 anyway? Let’s be honest, Marriott Silver and Gold are basically useless as you do not even get free breakfast on your stays. If you are currently a Gold member (receiving 13 Elite nights), this can help push you towards Platinum IF you stay 37 more nights this year. Still too much to ask, considering the COVID-19 situation.

These additional Elite nights make it easier to push you towards Marriott’s Annual Choice Benefit (ACB) upon reaching 50/75 nights.

I feel that this is most beneficial to Titanium Elite members like me. I have stayed 10 nights this year. After the 38 elite nights credit, I will be only 2 nights away from the 50-night ACB. Choosing an ACB of 5 Elite Nights would then make me just 20 nights short of a 75-night ACB Free Night Award (which I redeemed at St. Regis Istanbul earlier this year). 22 nights by the end of the year is doable but still too much to ask, to be completely honest.

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Conclusion

I appreciate nice gestures like these but I can’t see too many members finding it beneficial.

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