Best Way to Use Bonvoy Free Nights
Many of us are swimming in free hotel night certificates (thanks to Covid extensions) and I might actually be able to use them this year since it looks like there are plenty of opportunities to use Bonvoy Free Nights at category 6 properties. Several Marriott credit cards offer 35,000-point free-night certificates as annual card benefits each cardmember anniversary. Here's the list of cards that offer this benefit:
- Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card from Chase
- Marriott Bonvoy Business American Express® Card
- Marriott BonvoyTM Premier Plus Business Credit Card
35,000 Bonvoy Points is generally limited to Category 5 Properties or lower unless there it's a PointSaver rate. (Here is the standard award chart). However, if you look at the Point Savers chart below, you can see that an off-peak Category 6 property costs just 35k Points per night. There can be a big difference between 5 and 6 and to make everything more appealing- there are so many unadvertised hotels available at PointSaver rates through Spring of next year.
I think this wide ranging PointSaver availability is due to decreased demand and very low cash rates across the board, so there's no harm in speculatively booking while prices are depressed.
As you can see off-peak dates with PointSavers rates drop to 35,000 points per night. On peak nights with the standard award chart these same rooms go for 60,000 points.
PointSavers hotels can generally be found here and the current list has only 17 properties in 7 different locations (FL, MO, CO, SC, Thailand, Mexico and Canada). (There are so many more than advertised.)
Some of the BEST Properties I found
Coral Towers at Atlantis (Bahamas)
Renaissance Barcelona Hotel- BCN (excellent availability for the holidays)
Sheraton Lake Como Hotel (Como, Italy)
The Naka Island, a Luxury Collection Resort & Spa, Phuket
How to Find The Best Rates on Marriott.com
I like to head over to this page and input 35,000 at the minimum and 50,000 and choose the locations from the list on the right. You then do a flexible search and choose the number of nights.
Amex Bonvoy Brilliant and Chase Ritz Carlton Free Nights
These two premium cards come with annual free nights for stays up to 50k points per night. The exact same process we used above can be applied to use your free night cert at a category 7 property during off peak pointsaver dates!
Since Marriott is practically giving away status this year, I had planned on using my free night certs to get me to the next elite level, at least this will make the process less painful.
Also bonus tip– any properties that have multiple hotels in one like Atlantis will usually let you upgrade to another hotel within the same resort. As far as I can think of that would be a nice way to get a nicer hotel at a cheaper price using free nights. The property I was thinking of was The Coral Towers at Atlantis- you can used the free nights and then upgrade to the Cove for a few hundred bucks.