Marriott Bonvoy has run two points sales since bringing together Marriott Rewards and SPG: a 25% off in April 2019, and a 30% off in September 2019. Now there’s a third points sale, which runs until 23 December 2019, 12.59 p.m SGT.
Marriott has chosen to repeat the same 30% off offer as the previous sale, provided you buy at least 2,000 points in a single transaction. A maximum of 50,000 points can be purchased per transaction, or 100,000 points per year. You can only buy points if your account has been open for at least 90 days (30 if there’s a qualifying activity like a stay).
Should you buy Marriott Bonvoy points at 30% off?
The best SPG sales offered 35% off the usual 3.5 US cents per point price, or 2.275 US cents each. 1 SPG point has become 3 Marriott Bonvoy points, so that’s an equivalent price of 0.758 US cents each.
With 30% off, you’re buying Marriott Bonvoy points at 0.875 US cents each. This is still more expensive than the cheapest SPG points sale, but it’s not fair to do a straight comparison because the most expensive properties in the SPG portfolio cost 90,000 SPG points (270,000 Marriott Bonvoy points), while the most expensive properties in the new Marriott Bonvoy portfolio cost 100,000 Marriott Bonvoy points.
Marriott Bonvoy recently introduced peak and off-peak pricing, and from what I’m gathering online, this represents more of a move towards dynamic pricing than true “peak/off-peak” rates. People aren’t thrilled about it, but there will be winners and losers, depending on the dates you’re looking at.
|1||5,000 (-33%)||7,500||10,000 (+33%)|
|2||10,000 (-20%)||12,500||15,000 (+20%)|
|3||15,000 (-14%)||17,500||20,000 (+14%)|
|4||20,000 (-20%)||25,000||30,000 (+20%)|
|5||30,000 (-14%)||35,000||40,000 (+14%)|
|6||40,000 (-20%)||50,000||60,000 (+20%)|
|7||50,000 (-17%)||60,000||70,000 (+17%)|
|8||70,000 (-18%)||85,000||100,000 (+18%)|
Marriott has given some indication of when off-peak pricing can be found in selected popular markets:
|Off-peak periods for selected markets|
That said, it’s important to note that just because a date is off-peak today doesn’t mean the same date will be off-peak next month. Marriott will re-evaluate peak and off-peak dates on a monthly basis, which means that you should check your reservation each month to see if your dates now qualify for lower rates. If so, you can rebook and reclaim the difference in points.
This uncertainty regarding pricing is yet another reason why you should not buy points speculatively. However, if you’re ready to lock in the dates of your stay and just short of a few points, the low purchase threshold of 2,000 points to unlock the 30% discount may work for you.
What cards should I use?
Assuming you’ve decided to take the plunge, Marriott Bonvoy purchases are processed by Points.com in USD, so here’s the cards I’d use:
- OCBC 90N- 4.0 mpd, no minimum spend
- UOB Visa Signature- 4.0 mpd, min S$1K max S$2K of foreign currency spending in a statement period
- Citibank Rewards Visa or Citibank Rewards Mastercard– 4.0 mpd, max S$1K a month
- DBS Woman’s World Card- 4.0 mpd, max S$2K a month. Be advised that only 1.2 mpd will be credited initially, you’ll have to appeal for the remaining 2.8 mpd, and YMMV
- BOC Elite Miles World Mastercard- 3.0 mpd, no cap
- Standard Chartered Visa Infinite– 3.0 mpd, minimum S$2K spending a statement period
This is Marriott Bonvoy’s third ever points sale, and I think they’re still trying to feel out what the market is willing to pay. The fact that they’re repeating the same 30% off discount may suggest they think they’re on to something here, although it’s still possible we may see higher discounts in the future.