Now through October 18, 2019, Marriott is offering a 30% discount when you purchase points to top off your account. You do need to buy at least 2,000 points to get the discount.
Marriott Bonvoy points are typically worth between 0.7 and 0.9 cents each. With the recent adoption of seasonal peak and off-peak award rates, your valuation may depend on what kind of travel you like to do.
I am an off-peak kind of guy, so I might have better luck finding cheaper off-peak awards. I was looking at the Gritti Palace in Venice the morning of the changeover and was pleased to see five nights for 280,000 points with the fifth night free. (That’s the off-peak rate of 70,000 for a Category 8 property.) This hotel was otherwise charging over $800 a night, so the redemption value is over 1.4 cents each.
Of course, there’s a lot of change happening right now and we still don’t have much data on how common these new seasonal rates will be.
That’s important because it will determine if buying more Marriott points on sale is a good deal. A 30% discount translates to $437.50 for 50,000 points — a cost of 0.875 cents per point. That’s close to the high end of what I earlier suggested they were worth. Still a good value to buy them for my particular vacation in Italy, but not so great for some other travelers.
Remember that you can only buy 50,000 points per year. Marriott is temporarily lifting that limit to 100,000 points during this promotion from September 14 to October 18. That means to buy the full 100,000 points you would need to make two purchases of 50,000 each.
Again, not a great deal for everyone but potentially something to consider if you already know where you’ll be traveling and how many points you’ll need.