From now till 9 December 2021, 11.59 a.m Singapore time, Marriott Bonvoy is offering a 45% bonus on points purchases.
|Buy Marriott Bonvoy points|
Bonuses are awarded with a minimum purchase of 2,000 points, and the annual purchase limit is 100,000 points (pre-bonus). A new member may buy points 30 days after enrollment if their Marriott Bonvoy account has a qualifying activity (like a stay). Otherwise, they’ll need to wait 90 days to purchase points.
Marriott Bonvoy normally charges 1.25 US cents per point, so a 45% bonus reduces the price to 0.86 US cents per point.
As far as Marriott Bonvoy points sales go, this offer isn’t great. I mean, we just saw a 55% bonus last month, and 50% bonuses are quite common otherwise.
However, it gets much more enticing if you happen to hold a UnionPay card.
Further 10% discount for UnionPay cardholders
During this points sale, Marriott is offering UnionPay cardholders a further 10% discount on points purchases, on top of the 45% bonus.
The maximum discount you can receive is US$62 per transaction, and a maximum of five individual transactions with a combined discount of US$310 per cardholder is permitted.
For example, you could buy 72,500 points (50,000 points + 45% bonus) and pay US$563 (US$625- 10% discount), or 0.78 US cents per point. The cost per point is equivalent to a 60% bonus, matching the largest-ever Marriott Bonvoy points sale in November 2020.
Do note that the discount is not reflected at the time of purchase; you’ll still see the regular undiscounted prices. The 10% discount will be applied to the final billed amount on your card statement.
Also note that the T&Cs say that “purchases must be made in USD out of China”. I don’t know whether to read that as
- only UnionPay cards issued in China are eligible, or
- your IP address at the time of purchase must be in China, or
- it’s just some legalese and all UnionPay cards will qualify since transactions are ultimately processed out of China
I’m leaning towards the last interpretation because elsewhere it says that “Members globally who purchase points with a China UnionPay credit card (starting with digits 62) can get a 10% discount on purchases of 2,000+ Marriott Bonvoy™ points.”
While UnionPay cards are mainly issued by Chinese banks such as BOC and ICBC, you can also get a card through UOB. DBS issues a UnionPay card too, but it’s a debit card and you’ll need a credit card for this offer.
- BOC Zaobao Credit Card
- BOC Travel Card
- ICBC Horoscope Credit Card
- ICBC UnionPay Dual Currency Credit Card
- ICBC Koipy Dual Currency Gold Credit Card
- ICBC Koipy Dual Currency Platinum Credit Card
- UOB UnionPay Card
What can you do with Marriott Bonvoy points?
Here’s Marriott’s award chart, which now features off-peak and peak pricing (these dates may change every month).
But the award chart is not long for this world. Marriott Bonvoy will be moving to fully dynamic pricing from March 2022, eliminating its award chart in the process.
Marriott expects redemption rates for more than 97% of all properties to continue to range between current off-peak and peak redemption rates throughout 2022. Less than 3% of hotels will have redemption rates in a higher range than the current award chart. However, that promise is only good till the end of 2022. For stays in 2023 and beyond “rates will be adjusted based more closely on hotel rates.” Where exactly that falls, no one knows.
It will quite possibly mean the death of sweet spots at the extremes of the spectrum (Category 1 or Category 8 hotels). If some uberlux Maldives property is on your bucket list, now would be the time to book it.
Marriott Bonvoy points can also be converted to airline miles with the following programs:
|Marriott Bonvoy Airline Transfer Partners|
|AEGEAN Miles+Bonus||3:1||Hainan Airlines Fortune Wings Club||3:1|
|Aeroflot Bonus||3:1||Hawaiian Airlines HawaiianMiles®||3:1|
|Aeromexico ClubPremier||3:1||Iberia Plus||3:1|
|Air Canada Aeroplan||3:1||InterMiles||3:1|
|Air China PhoenixMiles||3:1||Japan Airlines JAL Mileage Bank||3:1|
|Air France-KLM Flying Blue||3:1||JetBlue TrueBlue||6:1|
|Air New Zealand Airpoints||200:1||Korean Air SKYPASS||3:1|
|Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan™||3:1||LATAM Airlines LATAM Pass||3:1|
|Alitalia MilleMiglia||3:1||Multiplus Fidelidade||3:1|
|American Airlines AAdvantage®||3:1||Qantas Frequent Flyer||3:1|
|ANA Mileage Club||3:1||Qatar Airways Privilege Club||3:1|
|Asiana Airlines Asiana Club||3:1||SAA Voyager||3:1|
|Avianca LifeMiles||3:1||Saudia Alfursan||3:1|
|British Airways Executive Club||3:1||Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer®||3:1|
|Cathay Pacific Asia Miles||3:1||Southwest Rapid Rewards®||3:1|
|China Eastern Airlines Eastern Miles||3:1||TAP Air Portugal Miles&Go||3:1|
|China Southern Airlines Sky Pearl Club||3:1||Thai Airways Royal Orchid Plus||3:1|
|Copa Airlines ConnectMiles||3:1||Turkish Airlines Miles&Smiles||3:1|
|Delta SkyMiles®||3:1||United MileagePlus®||3:1.1|
|Emirates Skywards®||3:1||Virgin Atlantic Flying Club||3:1|
|Etihad Guest||3:1||Virgin Australia Velocity Frequent Flyer||3:1|
If you happen to have miles in an “exotic” account that doesn’t partner with any bank in Singapore, buying Bonvoy points could be a way of topping it up.
What card should I use to buy Marriott Bonvoy points?
Purchases of Marriott Bonvoy points are processed by Points.com in USD, so they won’t code as hotel purchases.
Assuming you’re not taking advantage of the UnionPay offer (see above), here’s the best cards to maximize the miles earned on your purchase:
|OCBC 90N Visa|
|4 mpd||Cap of S$2.5K per c. month|
|4 mpd||Cap of S$1K per s. month|
|UOB Visa Signature|
|4 mpd||Min S$1K Max S$2K FCY spend per s. month|
|SCB Visa Infinite|
|3 mpd||Min spend S$2K per s. month|
|UOB PRVI Miles|
|2.4 mpd||No cap|
|S. Month= Statement Month | C. Month= Calendar Month|
I generally don’t advise you to use the DBS Woman’s World Card, as past data points have indicated there are issues with getting the bonus points credited.
A 45% bonus on Bonvoy points isn’t the best we’ve seen, but if you hold a UnionPay card you might have quite a tasty deal on your hands nonetheless.
Do keep in mind that Marriott will be eliminating award charts from March 2022, and there’s no knowing what value a point will have after that. Therefore, if you do intend to buy points, you’re going to want to use them as soon as possible.