Update 7/1/20: Marriott sent out an email yesterday advising that this sale has been extended to July 15, 2020.
Marriott today announced that they will be selling Marriott Bonvoy points (available to gift or purchase) with a 60% bonus from May 18 to
June 30, 2020 July 15, 2020. That brings the cost of points down to about 0.78c per point. While I’ve found many opportunities to redeem north of that in the past, I probably won’t be a buyer at that price.
- Marriott will be offering a 60% bonus on the purchase or gift of points from May 18 to
June 30, 2020July 15, 2020 (this brings the cost down to 0.78c per point)
- Members may ordinarily buy up to 50,000 points per calendar year (they sometimes increase this limit during purchase bonuses, but we don’t yet know whether or not they will here)
Greg recently wrote a post pegging the value of Marriott Bonvoy points at 0.7c each. It is certainly possible to get more or less value than that, but given that this sale will be slightly more expensive than that reasonable redemption value, I wouldn’t buy points unless I had a specific redemption in mind.
That said, there are scenarios where it could make sense. For instance, Marriott’s Category 1 properties cost 5,000 points per night off-peak. That’s just $39 worth of points. Since Marriott gives you the 5th night free on award stays, a 5-night stay could be an even better deal. If you’re able to find 5 nights where none are higher than 5,000 points, you’ll be able to nap that 5-night stay for 20,000 points. Assuming you purchased the points, that’s 5 nights for $156 — an average of $31.20 per night. If you had use for a hotel like that or were just looking to pick up cheap and easy elite qualifying nights, that might make sense. Since my Marriott Titanium status has been extended to February 2022, I don’t expect to need any stays like that this year. However, if I saw a few opportunities like that next year and I needed the points, maybe I’d consider picking up some cheap elite qualifying nights that way. Maybe. I probably won’t buy points for this purpose though.
Ordinarily, Marriott charges $12.50 per 1,000 points (that’s 1.25c per point). With a 60% bonus, that will be $12.50 for 1,600 points (0.78c per point). Keep in mind that Marriott points purchases are processed by Points.com and will not earn bonus Bonvoy points on any of the Bonboy credit cards (they code as an ordinary “everywhere else” purchase). Marriott usually allows members to purchase up to 50,000 points per year. They have in the past increased that limit to 100K during a sale, but no word as to whether or not they will do that here.
We will add this to our master post on buying points when the sale goes live on May 18th.