An introduction to the Marriott Bonvoy programme

GUIDE: Program Guide
DIFFICULTY: Intermediate
TIME TO READ: 5 minutes
POSTED: March 18, 2019
UPDATED: March 18, 2019
LOYALTY PROGRAMS: Marriott Rewards

The Marriott Bonvoy programme is a culmination of the Starwood Preferred Guest, Ritz Carlton Rewards and Marriott Rewards programmes, officially uniting in early 2019.

With the merger comes a number of changes to earning and redeeming points, which we will cover in-depth in a series of guides.

Here is a snapshot of the new Marriott Bonvoy programme, including all the changes you need to know with the basics of earning and redeeming points and status tiers.

Locations

Marriott have 22 properties in Australasia. The group includes legacy Marriott properties, plus those from SPG and Ritz-Carlton – you’ll likely be familiar with brands such as Westin, Four Points by Sheraton, and Courtyard.

One of these is in New Zealand – the Four Points by Sheraton Auckland.

Four Points by Sheraton Auckland

Check out our separate guide with a more complete list of hotel options across Australia and the Pacific Islands.

Status

Marriott offers six status tiers in the following order (from lowest to highest): Member, Silver, Gold Elite, Platinum Elite, Platinum Elite Premier, and Platinum Premier Elite with Ambassador.

A comprehensive table of benefits for each membership tier can be found here.

It’s worth it to join the programme just to get free internet, discounted member rates, and the ability to earn hotel or airline points.

Get status with the American Express Platinum Charge

You’ll automatically get Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite Status if you are an American Express Platinum Charge cardholder, which will allow you to instantly enjoy the following at participating properties:

  • A complimentary upgrade to an enhanced room at check-in, if available
  • Earn 10 points per eligible US dollar spent and a 25% bonus over base-level members
  • Late check-out up to 2pm, subject to availability
  • Receive a welcome gift of points upon arrival and complimentary internet access

Earning Marriott Rewards points

Staying at Marriott hotels

The standard earn rate at Marriott properties is 10 Marriott Bonvoy points per US dollar spent on stays and food.

At Element, Residence Inn and TownePlace Suites hotels, which are mostly located in the US, you’ll earn 5 points per eligible US dollar spent.

If you have the American Express Platinum Card, you’ll earn 25% more points on every eligible hotel purchase, including on room rate and other incidentals that can be charged to your room, such as dining and spa, thanks to complimentary Bonvoy Gold Elite status.

Have a read of our full guide on hotel redemption options in New Zealand, Australia, and the Pacific Islands.

Car Hire with Hertz

Marriott have a partnership with Hertz that allows you to earn points on all Hertz car rentals, at the following rates:

  • 1 day: 500 points
  • 2 days or more: 2,000 points

You can book via this dedicated booking portal.

Hertz Marriott

Car Hire with Sixt

With Sixt, you can earn

  • 750 points for every Sixt rent a car booking
  • 1,000 points for every Sixt limousine service transfer
  • 3 points per every USD spent with Sixt mydriver

If you have the American Express Platinum Card, your Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite status will let you match to the Gold Sixt card, for a further 10% discount for every car rental.

Airline partnerships

Marriott boasts partnerships with three airlines, giving you an opportunity to earn points in the air.

These partners are United, China Eastern, and Emirates.

If you linked your old SPG account to China Eastern or Emirates prior to 15 July 2018, you’ll continue to earn and receive benefits. However Marriott have not yet established the ability to link to these programmes following the merger, with a note suggesting to ‘check back’ later.

As such, we will update this guide when and if these partnerships are open for new registration.

Your choice – earn frequent flyer points instead of Marriott points

You can choose to earn either Marriott points, or frequent flyer points with your preferred airline programme. Simply login and update your profile to choose your preferred earning option.

A full list of frequent flyer partners and earn rates can be found here. All the programmes of value to us in New Zealand are present, including Airpoints, Qantas, Virgin Velocity, KrisFlyer, and Asia Miles.

Remember – it is usually better value to earn Marriott points and then transfer to one of these frequent flyer partners. However you will require a minimum of 3,000 points before you can initiate a transfer.

If your stay at a Marriott property looks to be a one-off, you may be better off opting to earn frequent flyer points so you do not end up with a Marriott balance that you cannot use.

Example partners

Credit card transfer partners

If you have an American Express Membership Rewards card, you can transfer points to the Marriott/SPG programme in increments of 330 points at a 1:1 ratio. The online portal still shows the partner as ‘Starwood’ and the currency as ‘Starpoints’ though for all intents and purposes, the points are now treated the same amongst the entire Marriott group.

Marriott MRP

If when you merged your legacy SPG and Marriott memberships you received a new membership number, be sure to add this new ‘Partner Account Number’ to Membership Rewards prior to initiating a transferring – otherwise your Membership Rewards Points could become lost in the ether if tied to an older number.

Marriott MRP

Be sure to add your new account number to replace any existing one shown here

Buying points

Points promotions from SPG used to be wonderful, and represented great value for topping up either for specific stay redemptions, or for transfers to one of their many frequent flyer programmes.

It is yet to be seen whether Marriott will continue with SPG’s legacy of running great promotions for buying points.

You can purchase a maximum of 50,000 Marriott Bonvoy points before bonuses each calendar year.

Points cost USD $12.50 per 1,000.

If you’re a new member, there is a waiting period for buying points of either:

  • 30 days after enrolment if your account reflects activity (a hotel stay or earning of points through a Marriott partner); or
  • 90 days with no account activity

Buying Points Marriott

Redeeming Marriott Rewards points

Here are the ways in which you can use your Marriott points:

Here is a full list of airline transfer partners, including many which are otherwise inaccessible to New Zealand points collectors:

Frequent Flyer ProgramsExchange Ratio - Marriott Points : Airline Miles
Aegean Airlines3:1
Aeroflot Bonus3:1
AeroMexico ClubPremier3:1
Air Canada Aeroplan3:1
Air China Phoenix Miles3:1
Air France/KLM Flying Blue3:1
Air New Zealand Airpoints200:1
Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan3:1
Alitalia MilleMiglia3:1
ANA Mileage Club3:1
American Airlines AAdvantage3:1
Asia Miles3:1
Asiana Airlines Asiana Club3:1
Avianca LifeMiles3:1
British Airways Executive Club3:1
China Eastern Airlines Eastern Miles3:1
China Southern Airlines Sky Pearl Club3:1
Copa Airlines ConnectMiles3:1
Delta SkyMiles3:1
Emirates Skywards3:1
Etihad Airways3:1
Frontier Airlines EarlyReturns3:1
Hainan Airlines3:1
Hawaiian Airlines HawaiianMiles3:1
Iberia Plus3:1
Japan Airlines JAL Mileage Bank3:1
Jet Airways JetPrivilege3:1
JetBlue TrueBlue6:1
Korean Air SKYPASS3:1
LATAM Airlines LATAMPASS3:1
Lufthansa Miles & More3:1
Multiplus3:1
Qantas Frequent Flyer3:1
Qatar Privilege Club3:1
Saudia Airlines3:1
Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer3:1
South African Airways Voyager3:1
Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards3:1
TAP Air Portugal3:1
THAI Airways3:1
Turkish Airlines Miles&Smiles3:1
United MileagePlus3:1.1
Virgin Atlantic Flying Club3:1
Virgin Australia Velocity Frequent Flyer3:1

Marriott Bonvoy follow on with the SPG tradition of offering bonus points for transfers to frequent flyer partners:

  • Receive 15,000 bonus points per 60,000 points transferred – this will result in a total of 25,000 total points/miles being deposited into your frequent flyer account (or 375 Airpoints Dollars if you choose Air New Zealand)
  • You can transfer 3,000–240,000 points/day

Be sure to read our full guide to the transfer bonus, including key redemption sweet spots.

Current offers

We publish a guide with some of the best best Marriott Bonvoy offers, but the full list can be found here.

Summing up

It’s not hard to earn Marriott Bonvoy points from everyday spend in New Zealand. The effective transfer rate of 1:1 over to Marriott from American Express Membership Rewards is respectable – considering the value and flexibility of these points – and it’s certainly possible to get a good stash of points going in your Marriott Bonvoy account.

If you haven’t already, start by joining the programme for free, even if its just to lock in a discounted rate and free internet access.

If you’re an existing member of either the legacy SPG or Marriott programmes, you may like to spend some time familiarising yourself with the programme and any nuances, given the recent merger. Online functionality is known to currently be a bit buggy.

Be sure to keep an eye out for bonus points offers that provide an opportunity to boost points earn.

Supplementary images courtesy of Marriott.

An introduction to the Marriott Bonvoy programme was last modified: March 18th, 2019 by Daniel Kinnoch